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Of the Essence (7/8)

Title: Of The Essence(aka The Temp, The Spaceman and the Flyboy)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Series: Doctor Who/TOC Files
Characters: Ten, Donna, OC
Word Count: 1547/14372
Rating: G (I believe)
Summary: The Doctor and Donna arrive on a ship taking refugees from a war zone and are naturally taken for stowaways. An old friend of the Doctor's then asks for their help to rescue members of his team on a hostile planet.
Notes: This story has been sitting on my computer for ages! I actually started it after seeing Donna's reaction to Jack in "Journey's End". It sat around unfinished until last year when my niece and nephew helped me past my block and worked on a plot on the way to a spring training game. It's un-beta'd so feel free to point out typos or any ohter errors you find. Disclaimer The Doctor, Donna and the TARDIS belong to the BBC. Alan Kelly is mine.

Alan was eating a small meal that consisted of rice and some sort of meat, the origin of which he wasn’t going to question. He was washing down a particularly nasty mouthful when Shannon contacted him.

[Hey, how are you holding up?]

[They’re feeding me and there’s no torture, so that’s a plus.]

[We’re just outside the compound with the Doctor and Donna. He wants to talk them into surrendering.]

[If anybody could…]

[Where are you?]

[Not sure. It’s at least two floors if that helps. I wasn’t planning an escape.]

[OK, I see the building,] came Ryan’s voice. [Can you give us better details?]

Alan closed his eyes and remembered how they brought him in. [Assuming it was the front door, we went forward and up one flight of stairs. We went left and then I was put in a room on the right. No window.]

[The Doctor says we’ll make seeing that you’re unharmed part of the deal.]

[So, basically, just hang tight until they come fetch me.]

[Yeah, basically.]

[Any change, tell me.] Alan put the remains of his meal on the small table and stretched out on the bed. Might as well be comfortable.


Donna looked at the Doctor questioningly when Shannon and Ryan went quiet. “They’re talking with Alan,” he explained. “Telepathy. Alan’s older brother has it too, I believe. Something about bloodlines. He tried to explain once. That’s a race I’d like to meet someday. They sound ancient enough to put Time Lords in daycare. I wonder if his affinity for weapons stems from that.”

“What affinity?”

“Put a weapon in his hand and he’ll be able to master it in a short time.”

“Quite the skill for a soldier.” Donna still couldn’t believe that the Doctor, a man who despised guns and fighting, would want a highly-decorated soldier amongst his friends. She was about to ask him about it when Shannon and Ryan ended their conversation with Alan.

“They’re feeding him,” Shannon announced.

“He’s being kept on the first floor in an inner room with no windows to cut down chances of escape.”

“Not that he’s trying.”

“So no time like the present, eh? We get to be snobby and officious?”

“You sound excited,” said Ryan. “You like all that talking?”

“That’s rich, coming from you,” teased Shannon. “You’re whole life before the TOC was based on your ability to talk.”

“Well, that doesn’t work any more. They all know who I am.” He looked at Donna, waiting for an answer.

“I’ve been exposed to so much official double talk, it’s a seond language.”

“So we go in and try to talk this man down,” the Doctor stated. “Did Alan tell you where to find the head man?”

“Yes, he did.” Shannon smiled.

The four of them materialiazed in a small office. The man sitting behind the desk reminded Donna of a few old bosses. His “support staff” drew their weapons. The Doctor put up his hands placatingly. Donna followed suit as did Ryan and Shannon.

“We’re here to negotiate,” said the Doctor. “No need to point those at us.”

“You appear in the middle of my office without notice, I will point a weapon. Who are you?”

“I’m the Doctor and this is Donna, Zoe and Jamie.”

He’s giving them aliases, Donna mused. But where did he come up with those names?

“Now, the Alliance has ships gathering above this planet preparing for a raid. I am here to try and prevent the loss of life such an act would incur.”

“Why would the Alliance raid here?” he asked with feigned innocence.

Donna wanted to wipe that smile off his face by saying they knew he had Alan, but this was the Doctor’s show right now. She’d jump in if he started floundering.

“According to witnesses in the town of Shadowbrook, you are holding an Alliance officer against his will.”

“I don’t know who these witnesses are, but I would never do something so foolhardy. For what purpose would I do such a thing?”

“If I may clarify a few points?” The Doctor nodded and Donna continued. “According to those at Shadowbrook, you sent your men to take people to trade as slaves. They admit to gathering these people for you, but right now, that’s not the argument. The officer traded himself for the prisoners. Realizing who you had, you planned to auction him off to the enemies of the Alliance.” They were all staring at her. “Just so we know where we stand.”

Donna stepped back and could see the man’s façade crack just a little bit.

“All the time we stand here discussing this, the Alliance moves closer. As you saw, they could transport men anywhere on this compound. If you and your men surrender, we can avoid all that bloodshed.”

The Doctor and the trader stared at each other, neither wanting to appear weak. The trader had always preyed on the weak who caved easily. The Doctor had faced down Daleks and Sontorans, each with superior firepower, yet he had one. This guy didn’t stand a chance.

The trader had barely raised a finger and both of his men once again guns aiming in their direction.

“You really shouldn’t have done that,” complained the Doctor.

“Are you going to stop me, Mr. Negotiator?”

“Not me. You’ve just given them a reason to shoot.”

With that word from the Doctor, Ryan and Shannon pulled their weapons in one smooth move. Faced with such determined shooters, the trader’s men dropped their guns and raised their hands.

Shannon alerted Durant that they had successfully taken the compound and that there would be minimum resistance.

“Tell your men to lay down their guns and stand in the middle of the compound,” said Ryan as he bound the hands of the other men behind their backs. “And then you and I are going to release the prisoner.”

The trader spoke into his comms and ordered his men to do as Ryan instructed.

Allaince soldiers entered the office and saluted Shannon and Ryan. “Is this the head?” one of them asked.

“Yes. Take these two out into the compound,” Ryan answered. “More will be joining them. My new friend and I are off to get my brother.”

Donna smiled at the look on the man’s face as Ryan marched him out of the room. She turned to the Doctor. “A job well done. No shots fired. No one died.” She coaxed a smile from him. “I think that’s something to celebrate.”

Chapter 8


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