“No Anji,” the Doctor said, “I don’t think it would be a good idea for you to join us this time. We’ll just pop out, grab what we need and be right back.”
Anji rolled her eyes, “Like that has ever happened.”
“Anji, I think the Doctor is right about this. It’s not a very nice time period for women,” Phaze said. “I don’t like being left behind either Anji, but there isn’t much we can do about it.”
Anji wasn’t very happy but she muttered a consent and leaned against the console with her arms crossed.
“Right,” the Doctor said. “But since the scanner is a little vague on the part’s location, I wish that you two could come along and help. But things as they are I guess Fitz and I will have to split up and make do.”
“Sounds good to me,” Fitz said as he strolled over to the door. “Sorry girls, but I’m sure you both realize that you would only slow us down in this place.”
Anji hmmphed before admitting, “I suppose I don’t really want to be around in a time where it’s the norm for a woman to be caught and raped. I just hate being left behind.”
“I know,” the Doctor said. “But the sooner we find that component, the sooner we can leave. We should be back soon.” With that, he opened the door and walked out with Fitz following close behind.
“Doctor?” Fitz asked as soon as they were outside. “Why has Earth gone so bazaar?”
The Doctor sighed, “That would be due to the relatively recent nuclear holocaust. For some reason, it was mostly females who were killed by the radiation fallout, and so they became a rare thing. Also, and this wasn’t discovered for a long time afterward, the male DNA was altered to become more animalistic with a much higher sex drive and violent tendency. This combination of factors has led to the situation that will exist here for at least another thirty years.”
“It’s horrible,” Fitz muttered as they walked down the dank alley that they had landed in. The Doctor pulled a scanner from his coat pocket and began tinkering with it until they reached the street.
The two stood for a moment, waiting for the scanner to give at least a vague idea of where they each should head. Suddenly, there was a loud shot immediately followed by a woman’s piercing scream. Both of them looked in the direction that the sound had come to and, without thinking, took off running. They came to a corner in a few steps and as they rounded, they witnessed what was happening at the next corner…
Meanwhile, Phaze and Anji had also heard the shot. Phaze was nearly out the door when she realized that Anji was hot on her heels. She paused a moment to reason with the older woman. “Anji, you really should stay here. I can at least cloud their minds and provide some protection for myself. But you don’t have that ability and we might need someone here, just in case.”
“That was a gun shot!” Anji nearly screamed. “One or both of them cold be hurt or in trouble and you want to run off by yourself?! Besides, you’re still supposed to be resting your abilities after what happened with the Toymaker.”
Phaze sighed, “Please, you know that I’m right. I can still use them when I have to. Just stay here. I’ll call you if it’s safe.” With that, Phaze took off, hoping that Anji would stay behind like she asked…
What Fitz and the Doctor saw was a young woman who was screaming and struggling as a group of five or six men wrestled her towards a waiting car. One man stood still, with his back to the travelers, seemingly watching it all unfold. The woman seemed to not only be concerned for herself but this other man as well.
The Doctor raced towards the scene and watched as the woman was bundled into the vehicle, which quickly sped away. Pulling out his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor hopped on a motorbike that was parked on the street and started it. But he didn’t get a chance to go.
Fitz had run to the man as he realized that he wasn’t just standing there. He seemed to be wavering. As the car sped away, he took a halting step forward before he sank to his knees. Fitz reached him just in time to catching him from falling over and gently lowered him further to the ground.
“Doctor!” he called. “He’s been shot!”
He watched a crimson stain quickly blossomed out from a spot on the lower right side of the man’s torso. He seemed to be struggling to breath and the rapid loss of blood was quickly draining away his energy.
“Peri,” he whispered urgently. “Have to save… Peri,”
The Doctor heard him as he quickly approached. “Fitz” he said as he approached. “The bike’s running, follow that car. That girl doesn’t deserve what those men have in mind.”
Fitz nodded quickly in agreement and understanding got up and jumped on the bike, rocketing after the quickly diminishing speck of the car.
As soon as Fitz was under way, the Doctor turned his attention back to the injured man. As he kneeled beside him, Phaze came running up, quickly assessing the situation.
The man looked up at the Doctor as seemed to be confused for a second as he said, “you?”
As the Doctor glanced over him, something familiar about him seemed to brush his thoughts. The man was dressed in a tan suite with a cricket shirt on underneath the jacket, which had red trim. His pants were a light red and tan pinstripe and he wore a collard shirt underneath the sweater. The lapels of the shirt were decorated with two colorful question marks.
Phaze was now kneeling on the other side of him and trying to help as best she could. When the injured man looked at her, a look of surprise crossed his face but he quickly lost interest in whatever had surprised him as he remembered the more immediate situation.
The man, though obviously weakening by the second, seemed agitated and kept trying to get up. He continued to mutter about needing to save Peri. Phaze had little difficulty restraining him to keep him from causing even more damage to his injured side.
The Doctor began to remove his cravat as he assured the man. “Our friend is helping her. He’ll make sure she is returned unharmed, I promise,” he told the man as he lifted up the edges of the wounded man’s shirts and quickly covered the bloody wound with the cravat, indicating for Phaze hold it in place.
The man gasped and winced with the sudden pressure being applied to his wound, but he was quickly on his way to loosing consciousness.
“Phaze,” the Doctor said as he began to roll the man slightly to see if the bullet had passed through, “I need you to find out who he is and what he’s doing here,” he told her when he saw that there was no exit wound.
“But Doctor…” she began.
“I know, you are trying not to use that ability unless you have to, but right now, you have to. There is little way of knowing if this man is even friend or foe of the young lady or if she was even with him or not. Not to mention, he seems more than a little out of place here,” he said with a glance down at the odd, yet familiar attire, which the man was dressed in. There was something else that the Doctor wasn’t saying though… the man seemed to recognize him. He may be someone from his mysterious past.
Phaze nodded and closed her eyes. As she concentrated, the Doctor felt a wave of dizziness and pain washed through his body unlike anything that he ever remembered experiencing before. But before he could determine what was wrong, Phaze’s eyes suddenly flew open and she stared directly down at the man she was tending and switched rapidly to her friend, only to rapidly repeat the motion.
“Well, what is it?” he demanded.
Phaze shook her head as she replied, “I don’t know. I’ve never experienced something like this before, but I am almost positive that I’m not mistaken…”
“In what? What is it?” the Doctor demanded.
“This man and you,” Phaze began. “Are the same person.”