Her first mistake was accepting a ride from Iris. Her second mistake was accepting a drink from Iris. Her third mistake was to trade Doctor stories with Iris. There were other mistakes that came after, but Ace felt those were the crucial ones.
“Okay, Chuck, here's the plan,” Iris started to say before stopping to look around the door. Ace waited what she felt was a reasonable amount of time for Iris to continue before elbowing her in the ribs. “What? Sorry, got a bit distracted there. These guards look very nice in their uniforms.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Ace adjusted the shield tied to her back and tried to ignore the alarms. “What's the plan?”
“Right, plan," Iris answered as she dug through her handbag. She pulled out a grenade and showed it to Ace. “We bung this over there. When it goes off we run for the exit.”
“I've used worse plans. I get to throw it though.” Without waiting for an answer she pulled the pin and tossed the grenade around the door. The alarms covered the sound of it hitting the ground. They were on their feet and headed for the nearest exit almost before the sprinklers had a chance to start. They ran down the hall trying not to slip in the water. Ace reached the door first and yelled in victory when she saw the bus sitting no more then ten feet away.
Once they were safely in the Time Vortex Ace propped the shield against the seat across from her. “So are you going to tell me why we had to risk life and limb to steal this?”
“Well it's quite simple really,” Iris said as she poured drinks for them. “That is a piece of an artifact held sacred to a planet about five galaxies from here. I'm not sure how it got to that planet you and the Doctor found it on. Or why you gave it to Braxiatel.”
Ace accepted the drink Iris handed her and leaned back in the seat, “What's wrong with Brax? Seems like a nice enough bloke. Not that I'll ever be able to talk to him again.”
“He's a snotty know it all. Worse then the Doctor. Flaunts the Laws of Time like they don't matter.” Iris sniffed in disdain. She then looked over at Ace and blushed, “I'm sorry I didn't tell you why we were going there. If I told you we were going to steal the shield you never would've come.”
“Damn right I wouldn't've. I'd have stayed right here in the bus. Or told Brax what you were doing.” Ace sipped her drink and idly kicked the shield. “So what are we going to do with that thing now?”
“Hmm?” Iris looked at the shield and leaned forward to touch the outer rim. “I was thinking we could return it to that planet. Nice people there, know how to throw a great party. Their legends state that when the shield is properly aligned in the diorama an age of peace will come over their land.”
“Diorama?” Ace didn't bother to hide her skepticism.
“Amazingly enough yes. It's all carved out of stone. Very nice and not in the least bit tacky.” Iris pulled out a cigarette and sniffed. “Don't listen to Tom if he tries to tell you different.”
“Guess we'd better return it then.” Ace put her glass down and sprawled out on the bench. “I wouldn't want to be held responsible for an age of peace not showing up.”