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Reckoning of the Daleks (2/3)

Title: Reckoning of the Daleks
Fandom: Doctor Who
Series: Doctor Who/TOC Files
Characters: Six, Peri, OC
Word Count: 7777
Rating: G (I believe)
Notes: This is the third installment in my planned series to have Alan Kelly meet all of the Doctor's incarnations. It was decided that I should keep with the ongoing trend of Dalek titles, hence "Reckoning". I have started taking notes for the upcoming stories so keep looking.
Disclaimer The Doctor, Peri, and the TARDIS belong to the BBC. Alan and Ryan Kelly, Eric Rader and Shannon Flynn are mine.

Part One

Reckoning of the Daleks

After being told her part in the investigation, Peri raided the TARDIS wardrobe for something appropriate. She decided on a severe suit in chocolate. The skirt came to just above her knees. A nice pair of heels would have completed the ensemble nicely, but she settled for simple flats. Knowing the Doctor, there was always running involved.

She went with the three military time travelers to the Archives. The others needed no identification: it seemed they were known everywhere they went. However, once she showed her badge, the clerks went out of their way to help. She could get used to this feeling.

"Quite a rush, isn't it?" asked Shannon after they had been shown to a private computer room.

"I'll say. Do you get this treatment a lot?"

"Only in places where we're something of a novelty," said Eric.

"Like here."


They settled in for a long day of research, each taking a section of the alphabet so there would be no overlap. After about two hours, Peri paused to stretch and noticed that Shannon was looking at the computer without really seeing it. She turned to Ryan to ask what was going on and saw he had the same look. "What's with them?"

Eric looked up from his screen. "Oh, they must be getting a message from Alan."

"That could come in handy."

"From what I understand, they try not to use it too much so they don't become dependant."

"And you're not..."

"Me?" he scoffed. "No, I haven't been so cursed."

"Cursed? Don't let the Doctor hear you say that."

"What's that old saying? 'With great power comes great responsibility.' I could barely handle the power that came with being an officer in the Rangers. I've seen how careful they have to be with it and I'm glad it's not my problem."

"What problem?"

Peri turned at the sound of Shannon's voice. In an attempt to cover her gossiping, she asked about Alan's message. "Anything important?"

"We have a name and a face. We have to do a background check."

"That means using a different database. Can we access it from here?" asked Eric.

"There shouldn't be a problem," said Ryan. "Though, you might want to look the other way."

"Wonderful." Shannon rolled her eyes.

Luckily, there was no need for Ryan to use less than legal means to find the information they needed. First, they called up the professor's name only to learn he was never on the flight.

"It makes sense," said Peri. "Why would he give his real name?"

"Perhaps he did it as a precaution in case somebody broke the block-or if Alan did it himself," said Shannon.

"I guess this means you and me look through the passenger photos to see if we can spot the bugger." Ryan made a point of getting comfortable at his station. He looked over at Eric. "You might wanna find something to keep yourself occupied. Who knows how long this'll take."


Alan and the Doctor found themselves once more in the hotel. Pretending they were there for lunch, they made sure they had a table with a good view of the lobby to witness the comings and goings of all the guests. "I hope we're not wasting our time."

"I wouldn't be here if that were the case." The Doctor took a sip of his neon drink. "I checked. None of the Nightjar passengers has checked out."

"So what theories do you have? And don't say none, because I know you do."

"What makes you say that?"

"As a man of science, you can't help but formulate theories. It's part of your very nature."

"I've learned that theorizing without all the facts can be dangerous."

"So? Every time I go up in a fighter I know I could be shot down, but I still do it."

"Ah," he said grudgingly, giving in without giving in.

"So, what are they?"

"There are a number of possibilities. First, we could have a shape-shifter who has infiltrated the ship. Of course, it would have strong hypnotic or telepathic abilities."

"We can apply that last qualification to all of them."

"True." The Doctor took another sip of his drink. "Next could be a parasitic alien who has taken up residence inside a human in order to blend in."

Alan shuddered at the thought. "Anything else?"

"Our alien could be using a human as a conduit for his powers. I've come across a few of those before."

"There is one you're forgetting."

"What might that be?"

"That we're dealing with a twisted, greedy human with strong mental powers."

"Yes, that is a possibility. But I suspect he isn't remotely human," he muttered under his breath

Alan looked over into the lobby. "Did you ask the registration clerk if they had the professor as a guest?"

"The cruise line is paying for the passengers' stay until the investigation is complete. They're all here."

Alan shook his head. "Did you ever think he might have registered under an assumed name?"

The Doctor glared at him from across the table. "Colonel, I may not be as adept at subterfuge as some, but neither am I a dunce. The idea did cross my mind."
Alan felt the familiar tingle that preceded a telepathic message. {Guys, what have you got for me?}

{We checked the passenger manifest and there is no one by the name of Kasner, professor or no,} said Shannon.

{No match to the picture either. It's like he doesn't exist,} put in Ryan.

{Let me tell the Doctor what's going on.} Alan relayed the information. "We should probably meet where we can talk things over. Somewhere we don't have to worry about being overheard."

"I noticed a park on my walk from here to the hospital. It should suit our purposes."

"Great. No confined spaces." {OK, guys. The Doctor says there's a park nearby. I don't know the exact location, so we'll have to walk. You can home in on me once I get there.}

Fifteen minutes later, they were sitting around a picnic table under a large leafy tree by a lake-a spot incongruous with the topic of conversation. "There has got to be a way we can prevent this. If we don't, millions will die," declared Peri.

"Since our one and only lead washed out, we have to start from scratch again," Shannon told her.

"More precious time wasted," commented Ryan.

"Shouldn't we be out scouring the city looking for this guy, then?" asked Eric. "He's got to be out there somewhere."

The Doctor opened his mouth to speak, but Alan got there first. "I don't think so."

The others looked at him. "What do you mean?" asked Peri.

"It's something Ryan said. 'It's like the man doesn't exist.' What if this guy planted a completely false identity in my head, not just a name, but everything? We'd waste time out looking for a man who doesn't exist and he gets away while we're elsewhere."

"Now we know he is somewhere on the planet--hopefully still in the city-so we just have to let him know that the one thing he fears has happened," stated the Doctor.

"And what might that be?" asked Eric.

"My memory returning," said Alan slowly.

"You want him to act as bait?" questioned Shannon.

"I see no other way to flush him out in the open," the Doctor answered. "I know you can keep in constant communication, so that shouldn't worry you."

"If he's already planted thoughts in Alan's head, what's to prevent him from doing it again?" asked Peri.

"Good question," said Ryan. "Any plan we come up with won't work unless we can defend against that."

The Doctor thought for a moment. "There are a few tricks I could show you to help against anything invasive."

Ryan took a swig of his beer. "So, we've got the guy in our sights, and he only has eyes for Alan. What then? We can't ask him to come along quietly like a good little villain."

"Of course not," replied the Doctor. "We'll need to convince him in the strongest possible terms."


Two hours later, Ryan entered the bar as planned and looked over at the Doctor. It's a wonder that the man has lasted this long. Yes, his genius probably has something to do with it, but the arrogance! How many people has he ticked off by that alone? And that outfit. Where did he pick that up? A circus clearance sale?

He had wanted to stay with Alan when they paired off, but the Doctor thought it would be better if each pair had one of the telepaths for communication purposes. When put that way, it made sense. So, Eric was with Alan at the spaceport and Shannon and Peri were at the hotel.

He walked up to the Doctor's table and acted as if it was a chance meeting. He then waved to a waiter and ordered a beer. "Any progress on the case?" he asked just a little too loud.

"Will you keep your voice down? I don't want to attract attention."

Fat chance in that outfit. "Well, do you have any leads?"

"One. Your brother's memory was tampered with during the trip effectively blocking certain incidents. We've been conducting experiments to help him regain those memories and it appears to be working."

"So you think he'll be able to name who did it?"

"I believe so. I have to talk with him again later."

"He's over the spaceport now to see if any of the passengers have tried to leave."

"I'll meet him at the hotel later."

They worked the topic away from Alan and it wasn't long before they knew the plan had worked. Ryan saw a man try to slip out unnoticed. "OK, Doc, I'll go follow him." If the Doctor said anything, Ryan didn't hear as he was already out the door.

He spotted the man just before he turned the corner. {Alan, he's taking the bait and he's heading for the port. I'm on him now.}

{Not too close. We don't want him to know he's been set up.}

{Don't worry. He won't see me.}

With that parting shot, he transformed and began the chase in earnest. He loped through the streets, scaring a few pedestrians as he went. What he found strange was that the man wasn't even hurrying or even acting furtive. He must not have realized he had been spotted. He grinned. I am having way too much fun.


Eric and Alan questioned the clerks at the cruise lines to see if there had been any customers who just had to be on the earliest available ship at any cost. No desperate customers, unfortunately.

Eric sighed, "Now what?"

"We wait. If the others were anywhere near our culprit, he'll come rushing here. Uh-oh."

Eric looked at him and saw the tell-tale signs. "Well?"

"Ryan said the man left the bar and he's following him here."

"Did he describe him to you?" Alan shook his head. "Then how are we going to spot him? This place is huge."

Alan smiled. "Look for Ryan." He scanned the main concourse. "Let's find a spot where we can see the most of this place."

Hoping Alan had at least an inkling of what he was doing, Eric followed him to the upper level where they took up position to watch the entrances for their bomber.

Not too long after, perhaps ten minutes later, Eric saw something incredibly out of place. What in the world is a wolf doing here? "Alan, do you see what I see?"

Alan looked where he was pointing and chuckled. "So that's what he meant. OK, let's go. They're here."

"How can you tell?" Eric asked as he followed. "I don't see Ryan anywhere. Did he contact you?"

"You're the one who spotted him."

He hadn't seen Ryan. All he had seen was. "You can't be serious."

"Eric, you are the first to know about this. We haven't even told Evan."

"You haven't told me anything yet."

"We've discovered that Ryan's talent is shape-shifting. He's only done it once before that I'm aware of."

"So that wolf is Ryan?" Alan nodded. "Kinda fitting, I guess."

"You mean loyal, right?"

"No, I mean predatory."

"Yeah, well, he is that too."

They turned the corner at the base of the stairs and Eric was surprised to see Ryan standing there-on two legs. He was leaning against the wall as if being a wolf was a normal everyday experience. "Like the new look."

Ryan shrugged. "Still takes getting used to. The guy you want is over there," he said with a nod towards the ticket counters. "I don't recognize him, but you might."

"Right, let's do it," Alan said and the three walked over.

Eric and Ryan took up position on either side of the man. "You know, they're all under orders not to let anyone from the Nightjar leave," commented Eric.

"You must have mistaken me for someone else," the man replied.

"Oh, no, you are the one we want," said Ryan from his other side. "A very wanted man."

"I don't have to put up with these accusations." He turned to walk away only to find Alan blocking his way.

"Mr. Porter, you mean to shun our company? You barely even know us."

As he and Ryan closed ranks behind the man, Eric could see his hands grip in frustration, knuckles white. He then squared his shoulders in an attempt to intimidate his way past. "If I answer anyone's questions, it will be those of the Investigator. As he is not here-"

"There you are," said the Doctor, breathing heavily as he arrived beside them.

"Doctor, Mr. Porter was just saying how he would speak only to an Investigator," said Alan.

"If we want this case to be legal and above board, it would have to be me he spoke to," the Doctor replied. "Otherwise the defense could contend the confession was coerced."

Eric looked to one of the clerks behind the counter. "Do you have a room we could use?"

"Sure." He led them to a small office off the hallway where they had met up with Ryan.

Mr. Porter took one seat, the Doctor the facing chair. The other three men stood in a semi-circle behind him. "Just answer us a few simple questions, Mr. Porter, and, depending on the honesty of those answers, you might be free to go."

The man said nothing.

"Very well. You are Mr. Porter and a passenger on the Nightjar?"

He glared at them all. "Yes," he answered finally.

"You and your daughter were traveling on to Wannsee?"

"Marais. A business trip."

"Is it your custom to bring your daughter on business trips?" Alan asked.

"We hadn't spent much time together and I felt such a trip would bring us closer together, especially after her mother's death."

"And you were almost separated forever," said Ryan.

"I am well aware of what would have happened."

"Are you also aware that we have learned that the explosion was not caused by an attack, but by a bomb?" the Doctor informed him.

"A bomb?" he repeated nervously. "I had no idea."

"Yet you were worried when you thought the colonel's memory was returning. You knew that if he recalled your meeting, you would be exposed."

"What meeting?" His voice sounded different, more confused than defiant.

The Doctor continued. "You panicked and rushed here to the spaceport to book passage for yourself, abandoning your daughter."

"I don't have a daughter. My wife died before we could have children."

"Hold on a second," said Alan. "If you don't have a girl, who did I save?"


Shannon and Peri arrived at the hotel and began another round of questioning. They also let it slip about Alan's memory but no one rose to the bait. There was no new information either.

"All I can say is thank God I don't do this for a living," Peri said as she fell onto one of the many soft chairs throughout the lobby "The monotony would get to me." She slipped off her shoes and massaged her sore feet.

"What did you do before meeting the Doctor?"

"I was a college student majoring in botany. What about you? You can't have always been with the TOC."

Shannon smiled. "No, I was a historical researcher in Dublin 1989. Alan moved into my building and his 'arch enemy', I guess you could say, found him and my travels began. I go back occasionally to see my family so they don't worry."

"Arch-enemy. It's so strange thinking in those terms. For the first time I mean."

"I'm with you. We all go around and we're all blind to the fight between good and evil until we pick a side and join the fight."

Shannon glanced around the lobby. "Hey, isn't that Shandris? She looks really upset."

Peri looked over and saw the girl cross the lobby, head down as if trying to avoid contact. "Let's go see what's wrong." She slipped on her shoes.

As the crossed the room to try to catch up to the girl, Shannon wished she was in civilian clothes instead of her TOC uniform. There were times when it was a terrific asset, but then there were moments, like this, when she wished she could just blend into her surroundings. Peri's outfit wasn't so bad, but because of its severity-in color and in cut-plus the fact that she'd been here before, everyone saw her as an Investigator. Nobody stopped them but they were still behind Shandris by one flight.

"Damn, she's fast," said Peri between breaths.

"She's on the next floor, room 417." Peri spared her a glance. "I got it from her earlier."

"Then why did we nearly break our necks trying to catch her?"

"So it wouldn't seem like we were after her. A 'chance' meeting and we get her to invite us to her room. Now she'll feel almost trapped."

"Why would she feel trapped if she's got nothing to hide?"

"At that age, I did. Didn't you?"

The two women arrived outside room 417 and Peri knocked on the door. "Shandris! It's Peri and Shannon. We'd like to talk to you."

The door opened slowly and Shandris peered through the crack before opening it wider. Shannon walked in and could see she was in the midst of packing-at least she hoped that was the reason clothes were strewn about the place. Her eyes were puffy like she had been crying. "Is everything OK?" she asked.

"My father...he's gone," she sniffed.

"When did he leave?" asked Peri.

"I'm not sure, maybe about fifteen to twenty minutes ago. He came up here, grabbed a few things and rushed out."

"He didn't say anything to you at all about where he was going?"

"No, he didn't. No, wait, he ranted about you and the stuff you knew. He must have overheard you talking about a meeting with the colonel and, and a bomb!"
She looked up at Shannon. "Is that true?"

"We just said that to flush out the guilty party," Peri said quickly. "Did your father often take you on business trips?"

"Only if they didn't conflict with school."

That's not what you said earlier. "Peri, why don't you look around and see if he left anything behind that might tell us what he's doing."

"Sure." She walked over to the desk and began to go through the drawers.

"When you told us your story before, you mentioned overhearing a conversation. What room where you in again?"

"I was down in the hold somewhere, maybe the left side, I don't remember."

Shannon tried to gather her thoughts and was finding it difficult. Damn, she's trying to get into my head! What did the Doctor say? Concentrate on one thing, that's it. She centered her thoughts on focused on the dial of the machine on her wrist and the pressure eased. She smiled and looked at Shandris. "Sorry, that's not gonna work on me."

With an animal-like growl, Shandris launched herself at Shannon and wrapped her hands around her throat. Shannon tried to push her off but couldn't gain any leverage. Her vision began to blur and she started getting lightheaded. Great, after all I've been through, I'm gonna die at the hands of an adolescent alien. Next thing she knew the pressure on her throat was gone. She looked up and focused on Peri standing over an unconscious Shandris with a piece of statuary in her hand.

"Sorry I took so long."

"'S'ok," she replied in a raspy voice.


The Doctor knew that Alan's concern mirrored his own. They had gone at this all wrong. It had been the girl controlling the father. Alan grabbed his sleeve and within nanoseconds, they were in a hotel room where Peri and Shannon seemed to have everything under control. The girl Shandris was trussed up like the proverbial Christmas goose. "Are you all right?" he asked.

"Shannon had a bit of a close call, but we're ok."

Alan saw the marks on her throat. "What happened?"

"She tried to play her mind games on me when I started to get suspicious. When it didn't work, she went nuts and attacked me. Peri knocked her out and we tied her up. I was just about to call you."

"When you knocked her out, she must have lost control over Porter," said Ryan. "He told us he didn't have a daughter contradicting what he said not five minutes earlier."

"That's not a little girl. So what is that thing?"

The Doctor knelt beside the unconscious, bound moppet. He knew humans. This was a human, but an enhanced human. Something gnawed at the back of his mind, and it wasn't brain rot. Something he had forgotten. Without emotion, without remorse, without pity. "Oh, no. No. Not that."

But the Doctor knew in his hearts. It made sense. Who benefited from a chaotic war between humanity and the Naylons? Only one type of madness. He pulled his sonic screwdriver from his pocket. He examined Shandris' scalp and searched for a scar. Sweat cooled his back. He probed with several notes.

"Doctor!" Shannon screamed despite her hurt voice. "What on earth are you doing?"

He found what he was looking for and gently probed the area. He quickly opened the scarred area, cauterizing as he went. His stomach felt empty. His hearts beat faster. The sight of studded circuitry merged with organic matter sickened him. Only one type of madness.

Peri dropped the statue she had found.

"Daleks," she whispered

"Daleks?" scoffed Ryan. "They've been out of commission for something like 300 years."

"Yeah, they're really not much of a threat these days," agreed Eric. "Besides, from what I've heard they're more of a Blow-Up-And-Take-Prisoners-Later kind of alien."


At least Alan took the threat seriously as he came to stand by the Doctor and peer at the opening just below the girl's hairline. "Pretty fine work," he commented. "You can only see it when you know what you're looking for." He looked up at the Doctor. "So how could the Daleks have done something so miniscule?"

"There are such machines that can accomplish surgery like this," the Doctor replied as if speaking to a child. "Or..."

"Or?" Shannon prompted.

"Or they have humans under their power/control perform the surgery."

"Or none of the above," growled Shandris as she fought her bonds.

"Then enlighten us," the Doctor demanded as he stared her in the eye. He had been told his gaze was very unnerving and he hoped it would do the trick now.

She glared right back at him, unblinking and silent.

"Maybe I should have a go," said Alan. "I saved her life. She owes me."

"Not if she meant to be a martyr," said Peri.

Alan looked at the girl, and despite knowing she was a cold-blooded killer and a terrorist, he still had a tough time separating the truth from the façade. She had done her job well.

"Now I don't doubt the Doctor's word that this is Dalek technology stuck in your skull, but I don't believe that the Daleks are the ones who did it to you. And we have your word to confirm that."

She only glared at him.

Alan wondered if her enhancement would prevent any "exploration". He looked at the others and they knew without any telepathy what he planned.

So did the Doctor. "Do you think that wise?"

"I never let that stop me before. If I find any resistance, I'll withdraw." He took a few deep breaths in preparation then sent himself into Shandris' head. It was like none he had been in before. The previous minds had thoughts, memories, and emotions all jumbled about. He could feel an underlying current of emotions but it was as if they were locked away in a filing cabinet for reference, not use. There was nothing that shed light on who was behind her augmentation.

He decided to delve a little further. If he could break through whatever barriers she had built, they might get the answers they needed. He followed the tug of emotions and found himself surrounded by grief, sorrow, and anger. He let himself merge with the anger to find the reason for it.

Had he been corporeal, he would have been knocked off the floor by the force behind it. Moreover, the hatred wasn't aimed just at the Alliance, but towards him as well. Just as in reality, once those floodgates opened, every thought, emotion, and regret came pouring out.


Ryan switched his attention from a near-comatose Alan to a defiant Shandris. He had never known Alan to be "under" for so long. He wasn't showing any signs of strain, which made Ryan even more nervous. He looked at Shandris again. Was that a tear? "Something's happening," he announced.

At that moment, Alan took a deep breath then fell to the bed. He blinked a few times before looking at the girl. "I think she'll talk now."

Shandris looked as if she would break into tears any second. Only the shock was holding her back. Now she looked like the little girl she was. Peri went forward to comfort her, making shushing noises. Ryan could only watch, not having much of a rapport with children. That was more Alan's thing.

"Can't we untie her?" Peri asked. "I don't think she'd do anything now."

Shannon rubbed her throat. "At the slightest sign of violence, I'll knock her down."

The girl looked at Shannon, fear replacing the awe. "I don't think that will be a problem," the Doctor said. "She's terrified of you."


"Shannon, I realize--"

"Doctor, the little-- She intended to kill me. Her fingers were around my throat. How do you forgive such a thing?"

"It's not easy," Peri locked eyes with the Doctor. Given the Doctor's almost constantly wagging tongue Ryan was astounded by the Doctor's lack of speech. The Time Lord looked down at his garish shoes and turned away from Shannon and Peri. He started to fiddle with the ears of a plush toy. Whatever was in that look Peri flashed to the Doctor, she should find a way to bottle it, for it took the wind out of the bombastic Doctor's sails, that's for sure.

Peri untied the cord that bound her and Shandris broke into tears, sobbing until she had a hard time getting a breath. Peri just cradled her and made comforting sounds.

Ryan looked at Eric who seemed more than willing to let the others handle the questioning of a child.

The Doctor slowly moved away from the console. He knelt down beside Peri, looked at the pretty American and mouthed words so very softly too her that Ryan almost tried to pick the Time Lord's brain to find out what he said. Peri smiled at him and said, "It's in the past. The Present is more important now."

"Just so." The Doctor agreed. He looked into the little girl's eyes. "I know you're scared," he started, "but we'd like to ask you some questions. Do you think you can handle that?"

She nodded and used her hand to wipe her tears. The Doctor took a hankie out of his pocket with a flourish that would make a stage magician jealous before handing it to Shandris. She gave him a little smile and wiped her eyes.

It was odd to see a man usually brusque and loud being so polite. Perhaps due to his long life and different personas occupying one space, it wasn't that strange,

Alan stood and wobbled on unsteady feet. "Where are you from, Shandris?"

"Before Earth I lived on Acheron with my father. Before that, Doflair."

Alan fell back to the bed. "Are you okay?" Ryan asked.

"Yeah. It just took more out of me than I thought."

"Doflair?" asked Peri.

"It's a subjugated planet," Shannon explained. "Alan was there last year and helped free hostages."

"Someone you knew was killed," the Doctor stated.

"My sister." Shandris sniffed. "Daddy blamed him," she said, pointing at Alan. "He said I had to carry on for her."

"Chai," whispered Alan. "I convinced her that there were other ways to get what she wanted. The others in her group weren't so easy to convince and they were all killed by soldiers." He looked at Shandris. "I was with her when she died."

"Shandris, do you remember what happened to you? Why you had this placed in your head?" asked the Doctor.

"I've always been able to know what a person was feeling or thinking. Daddy said something like that would help the cause of it were stronger." She used the Doctor's hankie to wipe away more tears. "He knew someone on Acheron who could help us."

"So you moved," said Ryan. When she looked up at him with those tear-stained eyes, he wondered how anybody could do that to a child, let alone their own. "Do you remember the name of your father's friend, the man who did this?"

She hesitated, unsure if she should go that far. They were lucky they even got as much out of her as they did. It must be hard for a little girl to turn against her father. What could they say or do to make her tell them? They couldn't exactly reason with her the same way they could an adult.

Shandris looked at Shannon. Shane leaned against the wall. She still looked ready to pounce. The others were more forgiving.

{Shane, why don't you go to the lobby for a while. A drink will do you good.}

{A) since when are you giving the orders around here, and B) why should I?}

{Um. Look, I know you don't trust the kid after what she did to you, but you're not helping.}

{Fine. I'll go to the lobby, Ryan, but don't think I'm obeying your orders.}

Peri came up, took Shandris to the other bed, and sat down with her. "This thing they put in your head is dangerous alien technology. It can hurt and kill more people. We just want to find it and destroy it so no one can have it." Shandris looked at her, still unsure. "Did you like how it made you feel? What it made you do?"

"No. I felt bad, but I couldn't stop."

"We want to stop anyone else feeling that way and right now you're the only one who can help us. What do you say?"

Shandris looked at Peri and then around at everyone else, he eyes finally resting on Alan. "Reyus Morin. We lived with him in Charon, the capital."

Peri gave her a hug. "You have been a great help, Shandris."

The girl beamed under such praise.

"Let's get going," said Ryan, ready for action.

"We can take the TARDIS," the Doctor stated as they headed for the door. "We can formulate some plan of action."

"Excuse me," said Eric, "but aren't we forgetting something?" He rested his hand on Shandris' shoulder. "I don't think Shandris should have to go back there."

They all stopped. "You have a good point," agreed Alan.

"But where else can she go?" questioned Peri. "If we turn her over to whatever passes for Social Services here, Lord only knows what will happen to her."

"If she promises to behave and stay in the TARDIS, I think she can come along," said the Doctor, tweaking her nose.

{Where did Shannon go?}

{I did not order her to the lobby.}

{Ryan, you had better hope that she got a powerful drink.}

{Don't I know that.}


Shannon went downstairs to the hotel bar, took a corner booth and just stared at the empty seat across from her. When the barkeep wandered over to take her order, she asked for a Bushmill's.

"Bushmill's, ma'am? What kind of drink is that?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot where I was." No Bushmill's. Probably no Harps or Guinness either. She put in a request for a pint of the local. When the drink came, she downed half of it in one go, not really tasting it, just needing the alcohol. She put it back on the table with a force that had it sloshing up the sides of the glass. Why was she letting this affect her this way? Now that she was away from the others, the shock and anger were wearing off. Yeah, Shandris had tried to strangle her, but it wasn't as if she really had any choice. No adult would probably be able to stand up against such power, so how could a little girl?

Still, until they knew for sure that it wouldn't happen again, Shannon would watch her like a hawk, looking for any sign that might betray that Shandris was not in control. She didn't want to be proven right in this respect, so she hoped the Doctor knew what he was doing. She picked up her glass and swirled the contents. She couldn't let the others know she had changed her mind regarding this. She would stay noncommittal if they asked her anything. If she acted like she was drunk, they'd leave her alone anyway. She finished off her drink, left change on the table, then headed outside and towards the TARDIS. She looked at her watch. She had been longer than she thought. She'd have to act real drunk.


Once inside the TARDIS, Peri went out of her way to make sure Shandris was comfortable. She showed the girl the kitchen in case she was hungry, a bedroom should she be tired, and the library to fight off boredom. "If you're not much of a reader, the Doctor has a large collection of movies."

"Thank you, Peri. You've all be so kind, especially after what I did. I wish I could make friends with Shannon. I feel so bad."

"Don't push for it, Shandris. Shannon will probably come around on her own. I don't think she blames you for what the thing inside your head made you do. It just hurt her really bad."

"I know, but I'm still sorry."

"We all know it wasn't something you decided for yourself. Don't worry, we'll take care of you. Someone will come and tell you when we're leaving."

Peri left her browsing the library stacks and headed back to the console room. The others were all standing around the console discussing what they were planning to do-including Shannon. It seemed they had arrived at a consensus because there was no heated debate. Either that or the Doctor had put his foot down.

Alan was the first to notice her return. "Is Shandris okay?"

"Oh, yeah. She's in the library. She'll be fine. What's going on here?"


"She's really sorry, Shannon."

"Sorry, Peri. I'm not ready to forgive or trust her."

Yeah, I get that.

"What's going on here?"

"We've decided on a 'smash and grab' technique," said Ryan. "We go in quickly, locate Reyus Morin, get him to tell us where the stuff is, take it and go."

"And if he's not alone?"

"Armed guards, you mean? We just threaten to shoot him unless they put down their weapons."

"They won't buy that bluff," declared Shannon. "They'll know we came to get information from him and we can't very well do that if he's dead."

"And you have a better idea?"

"Better than that half-witted plan."

"Hey, it's not that bad."

"Ryan, let's face facts, thinking isn't your strong point."


"No, come on. Let's look at the facts. What has he contributed to our little venture besides turning into a dodgy looking wolf?"

"Whoa! That was a freakin' great wolf!"

"If you say so, dear."

"Enough!" shouted the Doctor. Shannon winced and massaged her temples. The Doctor's voice felt like a thunderstorm. They all fell silent. "Thank you. Now, the obvious solution as I see it is that one of you," he said with a look at the TOC, "put yourself next to him and take him away should that eventuality arise. Peri and I will position ourselves next to two others. Does that satisfy you?" They all mumbled a positive response.

"I hate to be the negative one here," commented Shannon, "but what if that thing Alan did to Shandris is only temporary? I mean, what if it regains control of her and she does something to the TARDIS?"

"Is that possible?" Peri asked.

"I didn't switch it off or anything," Alan replied. "I just had her open up to her emotions again." He faced the Doctor. "What does the Dalek expert have to say?"

"There is the possibility the device could reassert its control should she fall asleep." He moved around the console, pushing the others out of the way. "The TARDIS' telepathic circuits are attuned to Shandris' frequency. Any sign of activity from that abomination of technology, and the library doors will lock automatically."

"Doctor, isn't she frightened enough?" Ryan asked.

"Young man." He sighed. "If any subsystem of that technology activates again, Shandris will no longer be in control. She may in fact shut off. Having it sealed in will do Shandris no harm."

"Good thinking," commented Ryan.

"I've been thinking on the plan," said Eric. "I think there's a way to streamline it a bit more. Doctor, I'm guessing that Dalek technology has a unique component, something not found anywhere else. If you have something that can zero in on it then we can split up; three of us to get the stuff and three to get Reyus."

"I was about to say something like that," remarked the Doctor as he headed toward the inner door. Peri strongly doubted that but stayed quiet. "Let me just check for that down the hall." He left.

Peri took advantage of his absence. "So, what's this about pirates?"

"Well first, his eighth incarnation isn't like that," Alan said.

"He was--will be a fox," Shannon said.

"Really? Let me guess. I wasn't with him."

"No, you weren't."

"Figures. I get stuck with the frog."

Ryan and Eric laughed and clapped each other on the shoulder.

"Don't let it get you down, Peri. I'm stuck with two frogs."


"Gentlemen, if you'd like Shannon not to refer to you as frogs, you might think twice before answering so quickly to the description." Alan smiled.


Eric, Ryan, and Peri appeared in a dark storage room. Ryan pulled out a pencil-thin torch and shined it about, revealing metal shelves along the walls and a few standing in the middle of the floor. "So, which is it?" asked Eric.

"The one that looks unique," Ryan whispered sarcastically.

"C'mon, tell me, can you tell the difference between all this stuff?"

"Hey, boys!" Peri hissed. "Shine that light over here."

Ryan did as requested and Eric could see the gadget the Doctor had given her blinking green. The pile of metal Peri had aimed it at was indistinguishable from all the other bits of machinery on the shelves. "That didn't take long. Let's load up the bags."

Peri pocketed the device and began to load up her bag, piece by piece. Eric grabbed a handful at a time and dumped them in the bag while Ryan put his open bag against the edge of the table and just shoved them in by the armful.

"OK, looks good. Peri, could you check and make sure we didn't miss anything?" Eric asked.

Peri used the scanner on the other shelves in the off chance that something was misplaced. "All clear."

"OK, Ryan, tell them we're clear and will meet them at the TARDIS."

When Ryan was done, the each grabbed their bags and Eric and Peri put a hand on Ryan's shoulders and they were gone.


Alan and Shannon materialized in Reyus Morin's office, guns at the ready and the Doctor in-between them. The office was well appointed. The wood-paneled walls were covered with reproductions of Old Masters and two black leather chairs faced a large oak (or what passed for oak here) desk. All in all, it was not what Alan expected. The man behind the desk, however, was more like what he had envisioned. He looked to be in his early fifties with scruffy, graying hair. His dark eyes were bloodshot and he sported at least two days' stubble. His suit, once fresh and crisp linen, now looked wrinkled and worn as if he were trying desperately to cling to a once prosperous and respectable life.

The minute he saw his visitors, he froze like a deer in the headlights; a dead giveaway that he had done something wrong and knew it. He quickly recovered and stood to welcome them. "Ah, the celebrated Temporal Observer Corps. I'm honored. Please, sit down, and I see that you brought a clown for the party."
"This isn't a social call," said Alan. "We've heard some interesting things about you, Mr. Morin, and we're here to check up on them."

"All business conducted out of this warehouse is legal and above board."

"We know that there is illegal contraband in this building," stated Shannon. "Anything taken from a protected planet has to be declared before it can be sold or exhibited. We could probably get you for receiving stolen goods at least."

"At least?" echoed Reyus.

{Alan, Shane, we found the stuff. See you back at the TARDIS.} Ryan's message came in good time. Now they wouldn't have to pussyfoot around.

"We could always add performing surgery without a license or acts of terrorism against the Alliance," inserted the Doctor. "Though, in my opinion, your most heinous crime was using an innocent child to do your work for you."

"For a clown, you're not very funny."

"For a reptile, you're not very swift."

"So, if you just tell us where that technology came from, we'll see what we can do for you," finished Alan. Morin's mouth opened and closed like a fish. "Now I don't think it's that hard a choice."

He heard footsteps coming up the metal stairs leading from the warehouse floor and motioned Shannon to check the door. She positioned herself flat against the wall to the side of the door where she wouldn't be noticed immediately. Alan positioned himself between the two other men and the door. If whoever came up those stairs was trigger happy, he couldn't risk the Doctor or Morin. He trained his gun on the door. It slid open to reveal a thin man possibly in his late forties with his brown hair cut in a mock Military style. He was dressed in a pair of well-worn coveralls.

"Reyus, word has come through that Shandris failed" He stopped when he saw Alan, his grey eyes full of anger and accusation. "You!"

It was those eyes that gave him away as they were so like his daughters' eyes. Alan couldn't help it; he said what was on his mind. "After losing one daughter, how could you risk the other?"

"And you were there both times! You are to blame!"

"What? I saved Shandris' life! And if Chai had listened to me from the beginning, that whole incident would have ended differently!"

"She shouldn't have listened to you at all! Doflair would be free now!" He rushed Alan.

Shannon came up behind him and knocked him unconscious with the butt of her gun. She shrugged. "He was starting to bug me."

"Tie him up and gag him. That should buy us some time."

"Shouldn't we bring him too?"

"I don't want to risk having him near Shandris right now. Who knows how she'll react to seeing him."

"You mean she might strangle him instead of me."

"You have to let that go, Shannon."

"I was near death, Doctor. I was on the ferryboat and halfway across the river. I owe Peri my life."

"That's unsurprising. She's saved my misbegotten life and my soul too many times for me to count." The Doctor raised a finger. "You never, ever tell her that."

"Of course not, Doctor." She smiled.

"I guess you'll be taking a trip." Alan yanked some cords from the blinds and tossed them to her. He then walked to the Doctor and Morin.

"This is kidnapping!"

"No, we wouldn't stoop to that. You are merely 'helping with inquiries'." The Doctor helped Shannon chuck Shandris' father in the closet. "You wouldn't think he'd be this heavy to look at him," he grunted.

"I don't have to go with you! You're not police!"

"No, we're not," said Shannon as she straightened up. "The Doctor is a licensed Investigator, so who are we to argue?"

"No Investigator would dress like that," scoffed Morin. "He'd stick out like a sore thumb."

"Go on, Doctor, show him your license. If he believes you, we won't have to knock him out too."

The Doctor fumbled through his many pockets. "Since everyone knows what an Investigator wears, wouldn't it make more sense to dress like everyone else?"

{Like anyone else would be caught dead in that outfit.}

Alan tried to hide his smile as the Doctor looked at him, suspiciously. "It is bad manners to talk about someone behind their back."

"I didn't say a word."

The Doctor finally found his license and showed it to Morin. "If you think he's in a foul mood now, imagine what he'd be like if he has to carry you."

"All right, all right. I'll go with you."

"I knew you'd see it our way."

>Part Three


SPN Dean Writing

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