Who?

by mystica88 [Reviews - 8]

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  • All Ages
  • Explicit Violence, Swearing
  • Action/Adventure, Drama, General

Chapter 2

Cold hardly began to cover what it got that night. They finally decided that they needed to leave even earlier than they had planned just to keep their blood moving. Blearily, the Doctor offered Fitz’s coat back, but of course he refused.

“I’ll be fine. I can get up and move around. You need it a lot more than me.”

“I can stand g-g-greater c-c-old than y-you.” He chattered.

Cassidy came up along side him and laid a hand on his shoulder as she gently said, “You could. But you’re not exactly what you used to be. And even if you still had your second heart, you would still be just as injured as you are now and require the extra warmth anyway.”

The Doctor began to nod, only to stop himself with a wince of pain. Fitz, decided that it was time to get going anyhow.

“Come on,” he said as he gently took the Doctor’s left arm and pulled it around his shoulders. It was much like the evening before getting back to the bikes. Anji once again went first and uncovered them as Cassidy led Fitz with the limping Doctor back out.

Cassidy got on her bike and this time Anji helped Fitz place the Doctor behind her. “Alright then?” Cassidy asked over her shoulder.

“Let’s go,” he responded.

Nodding at Fitz and Anji, Cassidy started the bike and led the way towards where she hoped to find more people.

As they went, Cassidy talked to the Doctor, trying to keep him awake. “Do you think that looking for help is the best idea?” she asked.

“It’s the only idea,” he said. “We can’t very well stay in the desert and getting back to the TARDIS isn’t an option either.”

“I just hope our bikes make it. I have no idea what they run on, but eventually it’ll run out.”

“I doubt it,” he sighed as he tried to keep from wincing from being jarred by a rock under the bike.

“Why?” There was a pause where he didn’t respond. “Doctor?”

“I… What?” he said drowsily.

“I asked why do you think that the bikes won’t run out of fuel?”

“They’re electromagnet powered. Magnets in the wheels generate a charge that powers the bike. A starter battery gets it going, but the movement of the bike itself is what keeps it going.”

“I guess that we don’t have to worry about fuel then.” Cassidy said.

“No.”

They were silent for a little while until Cassidy felt his grip on her begin to relax. “Doctor, you’re not falling asleep on me are you?”

No answer.

“Doctor!” she said sharply as she turned her head slightly towards him.

“Whha?”

“You were drifting again.”

“I’m sorry Cassidy. I’m just so tired.”

“I know. Just stay with me… Tell me about one of your adventures before I showed up.”

“I don’t…”

She cut him off, “Yes you can… How about Hope? I think Anji mentioned that you went to a city called Hope near the end of the universe. What happened?”

“I was an idiot,” he said.

“How?”

“I pushed the TARDIS too far.”

“How? Give me specifics Doctor. Tell me exactly what you did, even if I won’t understand.”

He sighed before forcing himself to relate everything that he had done to get them to Hope and then got into what all happened there.

Meanwhile, Fitz was keeping an eye on the Doctor from behind.

“Have you ever seen him so weak before?” Anji asked him.

Fitz had been lost in his own thinking and missed Anji’s question. She poked him hard in the ribs.

“What?”

“I said, have you ever seen him so weak before?”

Nodding slowly he answered, “yes, once. It was just before you and I met. I didn’t think that was going to live then.”

“And now?” Anji asked worriedly.

“Oh, this is actually not near as bad as then. He’ll be fine. He is the Doctor after all,” Fitz was quick to reassure Anji.

Anji shook her head and glanced behind them. The sun had risen to their right and was now just beginning to warm up the air. Anji squinted in the still not quite full light at something on the horizon. “Fitz,” she said. “I think that we’re being followed.”

Fitz looked back and saw what Anji was looking at. There was a plume of dust a long ways off in the distance. At first Fitz was reminded of a sand storm, but there was no wind. As he looked, he somehow knew that it was the dust kicked up from a large number of bikes moving quickly.

Pushing his bike to catch up with Cassidy and the Doctor, he pulled a long side of them.

“They’re behind us,” Fitz called to them.

Cassidy glanced back and saw that Fitz was right. “Doctor,” she said. “Yesterday we got away pretty easy, it was as if they didn’t want to push their bikes as fast as we were. Do you know why?”

“The faster you go, the more charge that is generated. Too fast for too long could overload the mechanisms.”

“So we were lucky yesterday.” Cassidy stated. “And now we need to go faster than them again. Do you think we can chance it?” she asked.

He didn’t respond right away and Cassidy was about to check him again for drifting off but he said, “Short burst maybe. Run it too long and it’ll overload.”

Nodding, she called over to Fitz. “Fitz, stay with me, we can’t run at high speed for too long so I’m going to be adjusting speed. Just follow my lead.”

He nodded back at her and let them accelerate a little ahead before matching speed himself.

“It’s me that they’re most angry with,” The Doctor said. “Leave me and they might not keep following.”

Cassidy snorted as she shook her head and said. “Doctor, you know we won’t do that and that is also bad logic. We’ll still have their bikes and I’m sure that they’ll want them back. Besides, it seemed that they were interested in all four of us, not just you. And it was we who humiliated them the most by escaping in the first place.”

He didn’t suggest it again but Cassidy forced him to continue on telling his story. She listened as more and more his energy lessened. She knew they needed to find him help soon but she made sure that she didn’t go flat out constantly as she wanted to. It wouldn’t be any good for her to damage their bikes. There was no way that the Doctor was going to be able to walk anywhere and the Diablos were sure to catch them then.

The heat was also beginning to become oppressive. They had arrived on the planet near sunset the day before and so it had already begun to cool. They had no idea how hot it could get there as midday grew closer.

Glancing back, Cassidy saw that the dust cloud was a bit smaller and further off than it had been. She was just about to slow and stop as the Doctor muttered absently, “This feels rather familiar, only backward.”

Cassidy had to smile slightly at that. Of course it did.

“Doctor, I think we’ll be alright to stop for a few minutes.”

But he wasn’t listening anymore.

Slowing to a stop, Cassidy found a small patch of shade under a large rock formation. The land was still littered with them, even if it was a bit more open than where they had landed.

Fitz followed behind her. As she began to get off, Fitz pulled up and asked, “Why are we stopping?”

Cassidy was holding the Doctor up as he wavered on the bike.

“We need to rest for a moment, get a drink. It’s getting too hot.”

“We need to keep moving,” Fitz said as he got off as well and came up along the other side.

“Doctor?” he asked.

He didn’t answer but teetered a bit further towards Cassidy. Catching him, she nearly fell over. Fitz reached out and pulled him back. “Doctor!” he said urgently.

His eyes flickered as he muttered something unintelligible.

Cassidy and Fitz exchanged a worried look between them as Anji came up beside them.

“What’s happening?” she demanded.

They were silent for a moment.

“Fitz!” Anji prompted.

“I can’t wake him,” Cassidy supplied as she and Fitz worked together to lower the Doctor off the bike.

“Can’t… slee…” the Doctor muttered.

“He’s not out yet,” Fitz said with a little glimmer of hope.

“Anji, get the water,” Cassidy said.

A second later, she was handing Cassidy one of the canteens.

“Doctor,” she said gently as she pulled out the stopper.

He opened his eyes a little and blearily looked up at her but said nothing.

“Here, drink,” Cassidy said as she brought the edge to his lips with one hand while supporting his head with the other.

Weakly he let Cassidy tip some of the liquid into his mouth. He swallowed some before a little of it slipped down the back of his throat and he began choking.

Cassidy winced as she pulled the bottle away. “Sorry Doctor.”

He very slightly shook his head once as he took a deep breath and leaned back again. He was sweating and Cassidy realized that it was more than just the heat.

“I think that some of his cuts are infected,” she said worriedly as she wiped a little sweat off of the Doctor’s brow.

Anji reached into her pocket and pulled out a piece of the cloth that they had torn yesterday and handed it to Cassidy.

Taking it, she doused it with a little water before handing the canteen to Anji. “Here, take a drink.”

“He needs it more,” Anji protested with a shake of her head.

“We all do,” Fitz told her.

Anji nodded as she reluctantly took the bottle.

Cassidy was dabbing the damp cloth across the Doctor’s forehead. “We need to get him out of the heat,” she said anxiously.

“There’s not much hope of that,” Fitz said as he took the canteen from Anji and took a quick drink of it for himself.

“We have to keep going,” Anji said. “There’s still not much choice in that.”

“I know,” Cassidy sighed as she watched the Doctor shiver slightly. In this heat, that was not a good sign. “We’ll rest a few more minutes, then keep going. Fitz, you can take the Doctor. He told me that our bikes are made so they don’t run on fuel so we don’t have to worry about that. We’ll probably have to tied him on so he won’t fall off.”

***

Borris was more than a little upset when he realized that his prisoners had not run the bikes down. As the leader of the most feared gang on Ghont he was feeling rather pissed off that four, seemingly minor people, were able to slip through his grasp.

He had lead his gang across the desert this morning, following the trail of the his two stolen bikes only to find where they had stopped and then left once again. He was sure that at the speeds that they had taken off the day before that those incompetents would have practically exploded their bikes in no time.

Now he was left looking like the fool. There was going to be hell to pay for this once he caught them. And they were headed right for Purespring where he would have no problem wrestling them from those pathetic townsfolk. They were going to suffer for this…

***

A few minutes later they were off again with a new sense of dread and urgency but not able to do anything about it but keep going.

The sun was just past it zenith when they finally caught sight of buildings in the distance. By now they had drank nearly all of the water and the Doctor was barley conscious for more than a few moments at a time.

They put on one last burst of speed and reached the small town in a few moments. It wasn’t very large and rather reminded them of an old west town with maybe a bit more metal than wood for the building materials.

As they pulled in, the streets were completely devoid of people. “A ghost town?” Cassidy said.

“Doesn’t look abandoned. More like just before a big show down,” Fitz replied

It seemed that Fitz was right as a man poked his head out of a door near by. They looked at him and he quickly retreated once again.

“Wait. Please!” Anji called after him jumping off the bike and went towards where he disappeared. “We need your help!”

Before she reached the door, he hesitantly stepped out again. Anji paused as he examined first her and then the other three. Finally resting his eyes on the Doctor.

“You’re not Diablos,” he muttered.

“No, we escaped from them yesterday. Our friend is very badly hurt. Please, can you help us?” Anji pleaded.

He stepped further out and looked around. Anji followed his eyes and noticed that others were beginning to appear from hiding as well.

“You escaped?” he said rather awed.

“Yes, can you help us?” she persisted.

He walked out further and towards the others. Cassidy was checking the Doctor over as Fitz was steadying him while untying the scraps of the blanket they had used to secure him. “Are they after you?” the man asked as he approached.

“We think so,” Cassidy answered.

By now another man was approaching them. “What happened?” He said with an air of authority as he gently nudged Cassidy aside.

“He was dragged behind one of their bikes for a ways before we got to him. His shoulder is dislocated, his leg broken and he has a concussion. I also think that he may have gotten an infection.”

The man spent a few minutes looking the Doctor over. He was currently out of it again.

He looked up at the first man and said. “He needs attention right now, Mathis.”

The other looked worried before saying, “You know we can’t hide them if the Diablos are after them. They’ll punish us.”

“You can stop them,” Fitz said. “You’re a whole town.”

“A town that they feel they own. They’ve killed before but mostly they terrorize. We are no match for them. We have nothing to fight back with,” Mathis explained.

“We can’t send them away,” the other argued.

“And we can’t keep them, Jap.”

“What do we do then?” Cassidy said angrily.

A woman was approaching, “They have bikes Mathis,” she stated.

He got a look of concentration before saying to them, “You could make it to Rushwater, the capital, and get help for your friend and us there. We haven’t been able to, it’s too far and we have no vehicles.”

“He needs help now,” Anji protested.

“Mathis, we can hide him if the Diablos think that we sent them away. Let the others go to Rushwater and, in exchange for their help, we can take care of their friend,” the woman offered.

Pondering for a second more, the Mathis nodded. “Alright,” he said. “We’ll take him, but you have to go on to Rushwater. They’ll help us and you. If you stay here, the Diablos will find and kill you and punish us.”

Fitz and Cassidy exchanged a quick look before Fitz said, “I guess we still don’t have much of a choice.”

Nodding, Cassidy turned to Mathis and said, “Fine, but Anji will stay here too, and we need more water. How far is it to Rushwater?”

“By bike, two days,” Mathis said.

Cassidy sighed. “We need food and water and something warm for at night. We didn’t leave with very much.”

“I’ll see to it,” the woman said as Jap signaled for some more help to carry the Doctor away.

Anji came up to Fitz and said, “Be careful and hurry back.”

“Take care of him,” he told her.

“I will.”

Jap let the other men who had come forward take the Doctor inside one of the buildings as he returned to the travelers. “He’s not in good shape, but I should be able to patch him. We may look rather simple here, but I’m the best physician around. I’ll make sure he recovers.”

“Thank you,” Cassidy said.

“You should let me take a look at that nose of yours before you go,” Jap said to Fitz. By now it had bruised and blackened on his face around his nose that was a bit flatter than it should have been.

“That’s alright. We need to keep going before they gain anymore on us,” Fitz told him.

“Alright, but make sure as soon as you get to Rushwater you get it taken care of.”

“Will do.”

By now the woman had returned with several filled canteens and what looked like a small bundle of blankets.

“Here, there’s food in the blankets and this should be enough water for you if you’re careful. We don’t have much to give. Our spring isn’t as healthy as it used to be.”

“Thank you,” Fitz said as he took the items from her and began packing them in the bags on the bikes.

Mathis turned to Cassidy, “I’m sorry that we can’t be a bit more helpful, but there is nothing more that we can do,”

“We understand, thank you for taking him,” she said, nodding towards the house that Anji and the Doctor had disappeared into.

“When you get to Rushwater, tell them that Purespring is under threat from a new gang, they go as Diablos, and they have been terrorizing us for months.”

“Alright,” she answered. “How do we convince them that we’re telling the truth?”

“Take this,” he said, pressing what looked like a small copper coin into her hand. “It’s the seal of Purespring and they’ll recognize it as such.” Then Mathis gave her a sadly ironic smile as he said, “If they need more proof, then they’ll just have to come here and see what they’ve done to your friend.”

Cassidy nodded, “One more reason for you to take good care of him,” she pointed out as she got back on to her bike.

She and Fitz started them up again and prepared to leave. “Good Luck,” Mathis said to them.

Nodding, they lurched onward, back to the open desert.