May 31, 2011

Enchanted Garden Chapter Twenty One

Newt sat in the darkness until light returned and the floor straightened, then she went to the control room where, much to her surprise, the Doctor was talking to a woman she had never seen before. She cleared her throat and both the Doctor and the woman looked at her.

"Who are you?" she asked the pale blonde woman.

"Me?" the woman smiled at Newt. "My name is Romanadvoratrelundar."

"Wow," said Newt," That’s a really long name."

"Just call her Romana," The Doctor said. "She won’t mind."

"Oh yes she will mind," said Romanadvoratrelundar.

"But," said the Doctor, "If a large and horrible monster had sneaked up behind you, by the time I say your full name, you would be the monster's lunch. Which is why I call you Romana."

"But I don’t like 'Romana'," said Romanadvoratrelundar.

"It’s that or 'Fred'," the Doctor said.

Romana smiled, her eyes dancing. "Fine then, call me Fred."

"Great," said the Doctor, with an extra warm smile. "It’s good to see you again, Romana."

"It’s good to see you again, Doctor," said Romanadvoratrelundar.

“So,” said the Doctor, “if the TARDIS is working properly, then why couldn’t we land in Belly Button, Arizona? And how did we end up in Antarctica? The time didn’t change, only the location. And how did you end up here at the same time?”

Romana was busy checking the dials and controls on the console, and the far side of the circular control panel from where the Doctor was standing.

“I would guess,” she said, pointing to one of the smaller screens, “that this would be the reason you couldn’t land in Belly Button, Arizona, though I don’t see why you would want to, really.”

The Doctor moved around the console and looked over her shoulder. “A space-time interdiction? Centered on what? And anyway, all I was trying to do was to take these children home before they were missed.”

Romana looked up to where Harold and Dusty had joined Newt in the doorway of the control room, and gave the three of them a brilliantly white smile.

“Where did you pick them up? Children this young aren’t your usual style.”

“No, they’re not,” the Doctor agreed, moving back around to his side of the console, “but they trespassed in the yard of the local witch, and according to their testimony she cast a spell that sent the children to Purvis Major.”

“Purvis Major?” echoed Romana, “That’s a fair distance. Have you looked into who could send them there without a capsule?”

“Not yet,” the Doctor answered irritably, pressing several controls and frowning at the results, “I was going to check into that right after I took them home.”

“Do you know what sort of spell the witch used?” Romana asked. “That might help us negate the inter-dimensional interdict. I’ll bet it’s centered on the children, anyway. Was there a time period stated in the original parameters?”

The Doctor smacked his forehead with the heel of his hand. “Ahhh, of course! Yes, they can’t go home until midnight. So when I tried to take them home at noon instead, so they wouldn’t be missed…”

“The interdict becomes active and slaps the TARDIS away, and you end up in Antarctica. So the solution is?”

“Wait until midnight in Belly Button, and let the interdict expire, and then take the kids home, of course,” the Doctor said, beaming. “Unfortunately, we can’t take them home at noon, but I expect midnight will have to do just as well.”

“So you didn’t say how you got here,” he added, looking pointedly around the center column at Romana.

She smiled back at him, and her dimples flashed with her delight.

“You remember Biroc?”

“Yes, what about him?”

“You remember what he was doing when we first met him?”

“Yes, he was—ahh, he’s taught you how to walk on the time winds without getting burnt.”

“Exactly. It’s extremely difficult, and much less comfortable than a TARDIS, but there you’ve it. I was walking my way out of e-space, and then I noticed the disturbance when the interdict slapped the TARDIS, and decided I should check out the cause of the disturbance. So here we are, together again.”

“I rather like that thought,” the Doctor said.

“So do I,” Romana agreed.