Dama yawned widely as he awoke from his prolonged nap. He had not meant to fall asleep at all but the serenity of the surrounding area seemed to flood over him, making him feel as if he was at peace with the universe. There was a warm sun in the sky, a cool breeze, and a thousand trees all around him. It was his favorite spot in the entire world, nowhere else that he knew of was so serene. There was literally, no place like it anywhere.
Of course, everyone he knew had told him to stay clear of the forest. They were all sure that there was something evil about it. . "Dama, you must not go there." They continually pleaded, as if he were a naive child. "The others will find you."
This, however, only succeeded in making him laugh. For years they had gone on about "the others" and their evil ways. Even his mother used to tell him stories about how they had attacked his village and dragged his father away in the night, never to be seen again. But the boy never took notice. It was, he thought, a most ridiculous tale and was most likely told to keep the more curious children in the village from wandering too far from home. He, however, had been alive for thirteen years and in all that time he had never even caught a glimpse of "the others."
Besides, even if it were true he was not going to be alone for much longer. Vee, his friend from the next village over, would soon join him. True, he had only met her once before but in that short time he felt like they had become great friends. It was as though they had known each other their whole lives. They had such a wonderful time that they had decided to meet a second time at the very same spot. Now, as he waited patiently under the shade of the surrounding trees he felt a calmness that he had never felt before.
Just then, a small voice sparkled out from behind a thick group of nearby bushes. "Dama?" it whispered cautiously. "Are you there?"
The young man instantly sprang up in joy. His companion had finally arrived. "I thought you'd never get here!" He chimed, happily searching foliage with his eyes.
At the same time a slender form stealthily wound its way up behind him like a wild beast stalking its prey. The boy never suspected that it was there. He was more interested in calling to his friend who was still concealed within the bushes somewhere. As he searched high and low the form came closer and closer until it was directly on top of him.
That was when it struck. "BOO!" The young lady yelled, nearly sending her friend high into the treetops. "My goodness, you're easy to sneak up on."
Dama whirled around to face the girl. He should have known that she would have done something like that since she had deeply enjoyed teasing him the last time they were together. It did not matter much to him though because she had finally arrived. "You seem very happy today." He said with a huge smile.
"Oh, I am." The other replied in a most chipper tone. Gently, but forcefully, she grabbed her friend by the wrist, led him over to an enormous rock, and sat down. "Do you remember," she continued, "I told you that I wanted to help my village but I wasn't sure if they would let me?"
The boy nodded. "It was because they did not know if you had the skill, right?"
"That's right." Agreed the girl, smiling from ear to ear. "But I think I have found a way.
The young man's face lit up. "Wow!" he exclaimed, looking deeply into his friend's eyes, "Congratulations. What is it that you are going to do anyway?"
Now, the girl's smile somehow managed to grow another foot in length at the question. "I'm glad you asked," she said in an odd tone.
Suddenly, the lovesick smile fell from Dama's face. Something was not right. With each passing millisecond Vee's smile began to look less and less like an expression of pleasant joy and more and more like an expression of evil satisfaction. At the same time a strange feeling came over him as if a sudden amnesia had begun to enter into his body. With haste, he opened his mouth to ask what was happening to him but no sound came out. He felt his body start to slip away into unconsciousness and he knew that he had little chance of survival. What had his friend done to him?
Just then a strange sound began to penetrate loudly through the calmness of the forest. It was like a pulsating whine that would grow and then shrink and then grow again. In fear, Vee leapt to her feet and ran back into the forest leaving Dama on the ground in a deep sleep. A moment later, the source of the noise soon materialized into the form of a British Police Box.
However, nothing happened for a long time after that. Dama laid still upon the cool forest floor without any movement or sound at all save for his chest which raised and lowered itself peacefully with each passing breath waiting for an end one way or another.
Finally the door to the police box slowly opened and a young girl's head popped out. Deliberately, she swung it back and forth scanning all around for any sign of danger. Seeing none, she stepped confidently out into the deep forest as if she were out for a Sunday stroll in the park. "It's all clear!" She yelled back. A second later a young boy, looking quite flustered, emerged from the police box followed by an older looking gentleman.
"What's wrong with you?" the girl asked when she saw her young friend's face.
The boy shook his head. "I'm just having a hard time understanding how the Doctor could be so young in the future and so old now."
"Young man," the third member of the party intervened, wrinkling up his face as if it were a raison, "I thought I had explained that it is all due to regeneration."
The young lady shook her head. "Now, don't start with that again." She ordered. "Dave, just take it that every so often he changes. That's all you need to know."
Dave nodded his head as if he now fully understood. In reality he did not have a clue but at the moment a far more important question had entered his mind so he thought that he would give it up for a while. "So, what are we doing here?" he asked.
With a wide smile The Doctor thrust his hands into his coat pockets and took a deep breath of the cool air around him. "My boy," he answered, "I've never been here before. Besides that, I have to figure out what to do with you and Maria don't I?"
"What do mean what to do with us?" The young lady choked, pushing her companion to one side. "We're coming with you."
The time lord shook his head vigorously. "Of course you're coming with me." He answered. "I can't just leave you off and hope for the best, can I? I mean that I must get you back to Earth."
"Earth?" Cried the other. Suddenly her express changed at the thought. She was no longer the tough young woman that she had been when she was on the freighter. Instead, she was now just a scared little girl. "I don't want to go back to Earth!" She moaned. "I can't go back to Earth."
Dave moved closer to his friend to get a better look. He had never seen her like this before. She had always been in control and even when she was not she always looked as though she was. Now the eyes that had been so fiery before seemed to be glazing over as if she were about to cry.
The boy opened his mouth to say something but he could not think of anything that would help. Still, his heart stretched out to her. He did not know why but, in that moment, he wanted to throw his arms around her and let her cry on his shoulder. He wanted to, but he was sure that she would not let him.
"My word child!" Exclaimed the Doctor in shock. "What ever is the matter?"
The girl shook her head and turned away. "I just can't." She retorted sadly, "That's where she is." Then, silently she turned and briskly walked away into the nearby brush.
"I wonder what's wrong with her." The Time Lord asked once she was out of sight.
"Maria is a mysterious person at times." Dave answered. "Sometimes she can be Atilla the Hun and other times your best friend. One thing, though, I have never seen her like this before though."
Just then a short cry echoed through the air like a knife. It was Maria. Like a pair of rockets, both men shot after her. They found her behind a large rock kneeling over a young man taking his pulse from his neck.
"What happened?" Yelled the boy as soon as he saw them.
The girl shook her head. "I don't know." she responded. "But I think he's still alive." Quickly, she shot a glance toward the Time Lord. "Doctor, can you take a look?"
"Take a look?" Repeated the older man. "My dear I am no physician. I am a scientist."
"Its all science," Dave snorted, trying to help.
"And you probably know more about it than we do!" Maria yelled curtly. She was starting to get annoyed by this Doctor's arrogance. At least the other one would have helped her without question. "Besides," she continued, "it can't hurt."
"Oh, all right." Replied the Doctor irritatingly, stepping forward. Gently, he kneeled down beside the unconscious man and began to look him over. "How curious." He exclaimed. "There isn't a scratch anywhere on him."
"What do you mean?" Dave asked, kneeling down beside the other two. "He's unconscious. Shouldn't there be some sign of trauma or something?"
Maria now looked carefully over the victim. The Doctor was right, there was no reason that she could see that he should not be awake. "Maybe it's something internal." She explained, looking around the forest for any sign of help. "What should we do?"
The time lord stood up and clapped the dirt off of his hands. With a look of deep regret he gazed down at his companions. "Leave him." He ordered firmly in a voice of extreme egotism.
The other two were aghast. Even in the short time that they had known this man they would never have conceived of him giving such an uncompassionate order.
"You can't be serious!" Maria yelled, standing up. "We can't just leave him here, he might die!"
"She's right." Dave concurred. "Besides, you wanted to explore the planet. I'd say this was a good opportunity."
The Doctor shook his head. "And where would you have us take him, hmmm? We don't know where he came from or even if it's safe. His people could all be murders. Besides, we don't know that he is dying at all. He may not even be injured!"
The angry young girl's eyes flared up into a great inferno as they gazed upon the man before her. Dave could tell that she was fighting an urge to say something that she knew she would regret later on. There was nothing that he could he about it either. If he tried to stop her she would only turn her wrath upon him. The older man knew it too and, without showing a hint of emotion, prepared himself for the upcoming verbal onslaught. But, to the surprise of all, the young lady instead, turned on her heel and marched further on into the surrounding brush.
Now that he was alone with the Doctor, Dave felt an urge to say something himself, at the very least to defend the honor of his friend. "You know," he explained gently, "It may not be good to rile her up like that. Somebody might get hurt."
"Really?" questioned the Time Lord as smugly as he could. "I was only pointing out some facts. Is it my fault that she can't handle it?"
Suddenly, the boy's eyes now filled with the same ire as Maria's had. This man was truly annoying him as well. Although he had sworn never to clean out another freighter's waste receptacles, as was once his job, he could not help but wish that he were doing so at that very moment. Silently, and with a Maria like stare, he turned and dashed off after his friend, leaving the Doctor alone with the unconscious body.
It did not take long for him to find her. She had only wandered off a short distance so that she would not get lost, although as things were going, she would not have minded too much if she had. Dave found her sitting beneath a large wide branching tree trying to collect her thoughts.
"You all right?" Dave inquired as soon as he saw her.
Maria looked glumly over at her friend and, to his surprise, smiled slightly. "I will be." She muttered. "I just needed to leave before I hit that jerk."
Dave nodded his head and sat down beside her. "Yeah, he's a real goobie. But he did have a point about not knowing where to go."
"I know." Agreed the other, "But he could have been a little nicer about it." Her companion only nodded. Nostalgically, she reached down between her outstretched legs and methodically picked a single blade of grass. It looked just like the grass she remembered seeing on Earth long ago and it almost brought back her old feelings.
She looked over at boy next to her. He was gazing at her as if he wanted to say something but it was not the right time. She wanted to tell him everything that she was thinking too but could not bring herself to do it. It would mean looking weak. Even though she was not his boss anymore she could not bear the thought of it. "So, do you have any ideas?" She finally asked, trying to change the subject.
Dave shook his head in silence. What ever it was that he was thinking about had begun to consume him. In fact, in his mind, the whole universe had disappeared and he. He and she were the only two people left. It was almost as if they were in Eden.
Then, for a moment, Maria's eyes strayed into his, making a strange connection. It frightened and, at the same time, excited her. But she could not explore it now. She had to do something about that poor man.
Inspired, somehow, by a new confidence the young lady leapt to her feet, nearly knocking her companion over. "I going to go get help." she explained as if she were on the losing side of a great battle.
The young boy shook his head and stood up as well. "Get help?" He repeated, perplexed, "From who, where?"
Maria set her hand firmly upon her hip and stared directly at the boy. "I don't know." She admitted confidently. "But I'll find someone."
Dave opened his mouth to try to stop her but he knew that it was a useless gesture. Instead, he said the next best thing that he could think of. "Well, at least take the Doctor. He might come in useful somewhere."
The girl sighed heavily. She did not want to ask but she knew that her companion was right. So, mustering up all the authority that she could, the young lady stormed back into the clearing to hand out her orders.
There was only one problem; the Doctor was nowhere to be found. For that matter, the body was gone too. The only thing besides trees that they could see was the TARDIS but when tried, they found the time vehicle door was locked tight.
At that moment the two youngsters began to worry. No matter what they thought of the Doctor they were sure that he would not just leave them alone. And, after being so cautious about moving the body, they were also sure that he had not wondered off anywhere. Something was dreadfully wrong.