"Where do you want to go, presuming the Tardis will
travel now that you are here?" the Doctor asked Isabelle as he strode to
get to the console gently pulling her behind him.
He dropped her hand to type on the keypads on the console. She looked over his shoulder watching his movements.
"I don't know, maybe, somewhere exotic," she said provocatively. He turned his head towards her with his eyebrows raised. "Because it's cold! I want to go somewhere warm."
"I thought you liked the cold?" he questioned with his brow furrowed slightly.
"I do, but I've never taken a holiday in the winter time," she replied thinking to herself.
The Doctor's mouth broke into a tremendous smile. He then starting going around each of the six panels on the console. The TARDIS groaned to life and flew off.
They landed on the southern end of an island. When they exited, trees surrounded them. The lapping of waves was behind them.
"Where are we, Doctor," Isabelle asked as she peered through the trees at the narrow beach.
"Not only where are we but when are we," he said casually as he faced inland looking through the trees at the mountain.
"Okay, when and where are we?" she asked grinning.
"The twenty-sixth of August 1883 on the island, or rather volcano, of Krakatau," he answered. He was looking at the smoke billowing from the nearest peak.
Isabelle ignored the beach and directed her attention to the Doctor. Her smile faded.
"You brought me to the most deadliest volcanic eruption in history? Are you trying to kill me so soon?" she asked with anxiety in her voice.
"We are here hours before it erupts. We'll look around for a bit and off we go before a single speck of ash can land on the TARDIS," he told her. He started walking off towards the west.
"That better be a promise," she snapped as she followed him through the woods.
The Doctor soon found a footpath left by the natives for hunting. They followed it around until it opened up to a small village on the shore. The clearing offered a better view of the peak threatening to rain ash, debris, and hot lava down on them. The village was rather busy. There were proa moored to the trees with natives pulling nets of fish from them. Other villagers had gathered to barter for the fish. There was a man with blonde and fair skin amongst darker skinned natives that looked out of place carrying an easel, a canvas, and wooden case.
The man set up his easel in the clearing on the beach. He faced the volcano and placed the canvas on the easel adjusting it one last time. Using the rocks around him, he sat down and took out a sketchbook.
"I feel out of place," Isabelle commented.
"How do you mean?" the Doctor asked as he observed the villagers moving about.
"I mean, I'm wearing the wrong clothing. Women did not wear trousers," she mentioned. Her jacket had been discarded back at the TARDIS because of the warmer climate which left her wearing her black top and jeans.
"I think you look fine," he said indifferently. "It doesn't make a difference really. Most of the people here are natives. They wouldn't know about Victorian fashion. The only person who might be remotely concerned about our clothing is that bloke there sketching. Then again, he might think we were making a fashion statement and enjoy rebelling against the norm."
The Doctor took out his sonic screwdriver and pointed it at the ground. There were steady readings. The Doctor walked over to a native villager taking their fish back to their hut.
"Excuse me," the Doctor said. The native man stopped and turned towards the Doctor, looking surprised.
"Yes?" the man responded.
"Have there been any earthquakes lately?" the Doctor asked.
"There was one the other day. The day the peak started smoking," he answered.
"Thank you," said the Doctor as he moved away from the village headed back towards Isabelle who was looking over the shoulder of the artist.
"Stop right there," Isabelle shouted at the Doctor.
"Why?" he asked stopping.
"Humor me," she asserted. "Can you draw him into your sketch?" Isabelle quietly asked the artist.
"Yes, I can," he answered delightedly. "Would you like to be in the sketch as well?"
"Would you do that?" she asked.
"For you, milady, anything," the artist said. Isabelle smiled coyly at the artist.
The artist stood up to positioned Isabelle for the sketch in front of the Doctor with his hand on her shoulder. Isabelle interrupted him.
"Um, we're not together. I mean, we're together but we are just friends travelling," she stammered as she wiggled out of the stance. She moved a foot or so away from the Doctor.
The artist looked between the two quickly.
"Oh, I see," the artist said with an uplifted tone.
The artist went back to where he was sitting to view the pose.
"Miss, could you move a little more to your right?" he asked of Isabelle. She did so. "Just a little bit more. Ah, yes. Perfect. That gives it a nice balance," said the artist as he took up his sketchbook and pencils.
He began to scratch the pencils against the paper.
"Where are you from?" he asked.
"Uh, London," Isabelle answered.
"What brings you to the island?"
"Research," the Doctor answered this time.
"Oh, what sort of research?"
"Volcanoes," the Doctor said seriously. The artist looked up.
"Do you think the smoke indicates there will be an eruption soon?" he asked the Doctor.
"Actually, I think it signals the very last time . . . ," but the Doctor didn't get to finish his sentence.
"I'm sorry but I didn't get your name?" interrupted Isabelle giving the Doctor a look.
At first, the artist seemed perplexed by the sudden interruption.
"Arthur Sloan. Most people address me as Art," he replied. "Yes, I am aware how ironic my name is due to my profession." Art chuckled as did Isabelle.
The Doctor observed them exchanging smiles and pleasantries.
"Where do you call home, Art?" Isabelle continued to question.
"Originally I am from Tyrone, but to pursue my love of art, I moved to Belfast," he answered looking up occasionally to compare details in the sketch. "May I ask your name?"
"Isabelle. My travelling companion goes by Doctor," she replied. The Doctor eyed her quietly. She smiled mischievously.
"It's a pleasure meeting you, Isabelle, especially in such a remote location. I never thought I would acquaint anyone from home in this part of the world."
"Nor I," Isabelle responded.
The Doctor stood there as Art sketched. Occasionally their eyes met as Art looked at him and then back to the sketch pad.
"I'm just about finished with the Doctor. Would you like to take a look?" Art said more to Isabelle than to the Doctor.
"Yes, please," she said as she left her position to glance at the sketch. She gasped. "It's the very likeness of him. You are an outstanding sketch artist, Art."
"Thank you. Now, for you, my dear lady," Art said.
Isabelle bit her bottom lip and returned to her position. Her footprints were still in the sand where she was standing which allowed her to easily find where she stood previously. She was very precise as she stood in the exact same spot.
"Doctor, you can stand down if you want," Isabelle told him.
"I'll just be over there," the Doctor said indicating a hut in the background.
He scanned the area for abnormalities with his sonic screwdriver. The readings still showed minimal activity. He looked up at the summit again. His eyes widened.
Art was just about to put pen to paper when the Doctor shouted for Isabelle.
"Isabelle, we need to go," he yelled.
"Not now, Doctor," Isabelle shouted in return but not looking at him.
"Yes, now!" he barked at her.
"Pardon me, Art. I'll . . . I'll be right back," Isabelle said apologetically as she went to walk over to the Doctor. "What is so important that you needed to ruin the sketch?"
The Doctor pointed towards the peak through the trees. The thin ribbon of smoke that had been emanating from the summit was now a billowing dark plume.
"I've never seen a volcano erupt, but isn't that normal?" she stated.
"Did you feel anything?" he questioned. "Like an earthquake."
"Precisely," he said walking towards the mountain.
"We're not going up there, are we?"
"That's exactly what we are doing."
Isabelle huffed before following him towards the volcano. It took a while to walk up to the summit. It was a large mountain covered in trees. Again, they used paths left by wide boar and the natives to get to the area where the smoke was rising. It looked more like a crash site than a volcano about to erupt. The trees had been disturbed from top down. There seemed to be a path through the them down the crash site. The smoke came from a small crater not a large bulge that usually proceeded a volcanic eruption.
"Doctor? What is that?" Isabelle asked pointing towards the back of the elongated crater.
The Doctor quickly moved towards it with his screwdriver ready.
"Doctor, please be careful," Isabelle said breathlessly. He glanced behind him seeing her hold her hand out as if trying to pull him back towards her.
"I will," he assured her.
Holding the screwdriver out, he set it to scan the sphere that lay in front of him half buried in the dirt.
"What is it, Doctor?" Isabelle asked from the edge of the crater. He stood up straight and backed away to stand next to her.
"It's a bomb," the Doctor answered.
"A bomb. Alien?" she hypothesized.
"Yup," he responded. "It's a bomb made by the Acenes from the planet Lucius. They are scavengers, devouring anything in the wake of destruction. When they can't find destruction, they make it," he informed her.
"How do we disarm it?" she asked moving towards the bomb.
"We don't," he replied as he moved to the other side of the bomb.
"Why not?" she asked with slight fear in her voice.
"There's not enough time. What I need to disarm it is back in the TARDIS. The bomb is going to go off in half an hour. It took us that long to walk up here," he expressed intensely.
"Then we run," Isabelle stated simply. "We run all the way back to the TARDIS."
"What?" he said standing up holding the spherical bomb. It was the size of a bowling ball.
"Run, Doctor. Run!" she said in earnest.
The Doctor thought for a second then bent down to pick up the bowling ball sized bomb. He tucked the bomb under his arm and began to run down the side of the mountain. Isabelle tramped behind him through the brush and trees. Branches slapped at their legs and arms as they ran a straight line down instead of keeping with the paths. The Doctor slipped a bit on some loose soil and Isabelle steadied him. When he was sure of his footing, they ran again. Smoke emanated from the bomb and streamed behind them. Soon, they vegetation started to thin. They ran through the clearing that was now empty except for Art.
"Art, get out of here! Get in a boat and just go!" Isabelle yelled at the artist as she stopped in the clearing. He picked up his easel and box. "No, leave it behind. Just go!"
"Isabelle!" the Doctor yelled behind him. He hadn't stopped running.
"Coming!" she yelled and starting running again.
The Doctor grimaced as he ran directly to the TARDIS. He could see it in the distance. Tucking the smoking bomb under his other arm, he dug into his pocket for the key as he ran. As soon as he was stopped in front of the door, he slipped the key into the lock.
Once inside the TARDIS, the Doctor ran down the main hall then veered to the right. Isabelle's heavy boots clanged on the grating in the console room and clomped along the corridors as she followed the trail of smoke the bomb left behind.
The Doctor finally stopped in front of a door. He thrust the door open to what appeared to be some sort of laboratory and scanned the room with his eyes. Setting the bomb carefully onto a lab table, he rushed to the right of the room towards a series of cupboards. They were white with glass doors. Isabelle entered as well but stopped just inside the door.
"Look in the cabinets on the left for vials of viruses or bacteria," he commanded.
"Why? How is that going to help?" Isabelle asked bent over with her hands on her knees. Her lungs burned and her legs ached.
"This bomb is made up of thousands of small self combusting organisms about the size of a pea compressed into a small space," he said as he threw open a cabinet door. "The only way to disarm an organism is either to kill it or make it sick. I don't have anything to kill it. So, let's make it sick."
"How long do we have to look, Doctor," Isabelle asked gravely. The Doctor scanned the bomb that continued to smoke. The smoke rose to the ceiling.
He looked up with concern etched into his brow. "Ten minutes at the most. Maybe less."
"We'd better get to searching," she said rushing to the cabinets on the left along the wall. He turned to continue his search as well.
"Trouble is I don't keep many viruses and the like around," the Doctor informed her as he passed over a vial after reading the label.
"What do you have?" she asked looking at the label of two vials in each hand.
"I'm not sure. I've forgotten."
"Well, do you have an idea of where it might be?"
"Well, that would narrow down our searching, don't you think? Where?"
"Somewhere in this room."
She let out an exasperated breath and grabbed two more vials. "I can't even read what this one says with all these concentric circles."
"That one's in Gallifreyan. Must not have a translation. Keep searching."
"These others I don't even know what they are. For all I know I could be handling water."
"Look for anything ending with 'virus'," he said with vexation.
"Don't give me that tone! I'm not medical personnel," she retaliated. "I will say one thing, you need better organization in this room. What do you do, just throw it in here?"
"Sort of, yeah," he said scrutinizing a long vial with blue liquid in it then setting it down again.
"Can you please do something about the smoke? It is getting difficult to see with all this smoke in the room," she complained coughing and waving a hand in front of her face.
In an instant, the Doctor raised the sonic screwdriver above his head. The sound of a ventilation system kicked on and the smoke began to clear.
"Ah, thank you. Why can't you just scan the room for a virus with your screwdriver?" she asked still trying to read the vial in her right hand.
"Never thought of that," he said standing up straight. He turned his head to look at her.
"Seriously? All this bloody searching and you could have known in the first minute we were in here. You are unbelievable," Isabelle said moving towards him.
The Doctor had held out the sonic screwdriver. Moving around the room, he scanned each cabinet.
Isabelle moved over towards the bomb. It still billowed smoke but it immediately disappeared when it hit the ceiling. She picked up the bomb to take a closer look.
"Uh, Doctor, this thing is getting hot!" Isabelle proclaimed urgently.
"Now, we have five minutes," he said just as the screwdriver's sound pitched higher.
Reaching into the cabinet he extracted a small glass bottle filled with a bright aquamarine liquid and brought it over to Isabelle. He glanced down at the bomb then looked up into her eyes, then he took it from her.
"Go," he told her sternly. His jaw was firmly set.
"What? I'm not leaving you," she responded with indignation in her voice.
"This is a highly volatile virus. I don't want you getting sick. This could kill you. I'm not even sure this will work. For all I know, it could feed them. You need to go, now," he said pressingly.
Holding his gaze, she stated without wavering, "There's no time. I'd never make it out of the TARDIS if it doesn't work," Isabelle stated. She reached into his arms and took the bomb from him.
He stared at her big brown eyes. The fear in her eyes was fading. He turned abruptly to grab a syringe to siphon the contents out of the bottle. He raised the needle high above his head.
"Hold tight," he ordered her. He saw her muscles tense and thrust the syringe into the skin of the bomb. He depressed the plunger watching the contents drain into the sphere. He waited a few seconds before saying, "The smokes not dying. Is it getting any cooler?"
She looked at him with a grave face, "No, quite the opposite." He slammed the syringe down on the counter in anger.
"This was meant to be. There is no changing this scenario. I can save us but not the island," he said and ran from the room. "Bring the bomb!" he shouted behind him.
When they reached the console room, the Doctor set himself to put the TARDIS in flight just above the impact crater where they retrieved the bomb. He went to the door and pulled it open. Glancing out the door he looked down. He could see the impact zone just below. He went back to the console and started pressing more buttons then turned to Isabelle. He took the bomb from her. By this time, it was on the verge of being too hot to handle. He winced.
"Isabelle, I'm going to drop the bomb. As soon as I shout, 'Now!' I want you to pull this lever. Understood?" he said as he went over to the last section around the console.
She nodded her head but looked grave as she stood by the lever. The Doctor rushed over to the door. He braced his feet against the door jam positioning himself in the middle of the doorway. With each hand on either side of the bomb, he held it out at arms distance, then dropped it.
"Now!" he cried out as he slammed the TARDIS door shut. Isabelle pulled on the lever as the explosion of the impact of the bomb could be heard just outside. The TARDIS gave a great shudder as they were both thrown to the floor. The comforting sound of escape groaned around them.
A few moments later they landed with a soft thud. The Doctor peered over at Isabelle. She was crumpled on the floor near the console. He picked himself off the floor and rushed over to her. He knelt down beside her. The sound of sobbing emanated from her.
"Isabelle?" he said as he touched her shoulder.
She flinched away from him. She moved and sat up but was still scrunched into a ball on the floor. Her face was hidden by her arms.
"Isabelle," he said again.
"We could have saved him," Isabelle finally uttered softly slowly lifting her head. "We could have saved Art."
"Isabelle, there are events in history that must happen. There are fixed moments. There was nothing I could do," he explained to her.
"Everyone dies on that island because of us," she wept.
"No, not because of us. We didn't plant the bomb, the Acenes did. We tried to save them. It didn't work because it was meant to happen."
"Promise me. Promise me from now on, we'll save at least one," she begged.
"Isabelle, it doesn't work that way."
"How do you know?" she shouted. "Maybe Art was meant to live and we sent him to his death. Think about yourself. Think about me. You're the last Time Lord, the last of your kind. I'm the last of my family. We were the ones who have survived. Promise me, we'll always let one survive. Just like us," she pleaded with the Doctor.
The Doctor nodded solemnly. Isabelle sprung forward and
flung her arms around his neck. "Thank you," she whispered into his
She was the first to let go.
He helped her up off the floor.
"Doctor! You're bleeding!" she stated with a gasp looking down at his leg. There was a large tear in his trousers. Blood was oozing from the wound. Isabelle bent down to examine the severity of it.
"Would you look at that, I am," he returned. He faltered his stance. Isabelle quickly tucked herself under one of his shoulders.
"Do you have a medical room?" she asked leading him towards the corridor off of the console room.
"Yes. Down here to the right," he instructed limping as she guided him through the passageway. "I set it close to the console room in case of emergencies."
"Good thinking. I'll get you fixed up," she said as they turned right down another corridor.
The Doctor pointed to a door on the immediate left after they turned the right corner. Isabelle pushed the door open. It was if they had entered an operating room. There was a single flat operating table in the centre. Large lights hung from the ceiling. The room glowed white just like her room. There were a handful of monitors and machines that lined the wall at the head of the bed with wires and tubes hanging from them. A stainless steel table on castors stood against the nearest wall. A cabinet similar to the ones she had searched earlier was tucked in the corner stocked with vials and bottles.
"Where are the bandages and antiseptic?" she asked assisting him to table.
"Over there," he said looking at the wall in front of him as he stood at the foot of the table.
"Take your trousers off," she instructed as she went to fetch the things she would need to patch him up with along with the stainless steel table.
"Your going to fix my leg, not my reproductive parts," he reputed.
"Take your trousers off or I cut them off," Isabelle said facing him with a large pair of scissors. He immediately started unfastening the button. "Good boy. Take your jacket off too."
"Why?" He looked at her sceptically.
"It's too long. It's just going to get in my way."
The Doctor took off his jacket and placed it at the head of the table. He set his trousers on top.
Isabelle rolled the table over towards him. It was loaded with cotton balls, gauze, bottle of antiseptic, bandages, and the pair of scissors.
"Lay back," she instructed the Doctor. He did as he was told. "This may sting a bit," she warned. He glanced at her and she gave him a weak smile. He watched her pour some of the contents of the bottle on the gauze then pressed it onto the gash.
"Ah! That really stings," he shouted.
"Told you," she said with a smirk.
"It's not funny. It hurts," he muttered quietly.
"Sorry, I'll try to be more gentle," she offered genuinely.
The stinging became less as she continued to dab and wipe the area. He glanced down and could see that most of the blood that smeared his leg was gone. Her tender touch was similar to that of a nurse's touch, careful but calculating. He noted that she didn't seem uncomfortable with him being half disrobed as she had been with Jenro. However, he did have pants on as was customary with humans. Once his leg was cleaned, she told him to slightly bend his leg. It was a bit painful to do because she had her hand pressing a patch of gauze against his leg. He then watched as she placed a clean patch of gauze over the wound then wrapped his leg in bandages.
"You act as if you have done this before. Where did you learn to do that?" the Doctor asked her as he sat up after she finished securing the bandage.
"My mum was a nurse. She taught me," she simply said. A bit of a blush shone on her cheek. She picked up his trousers. "You'll be needing a new pair of these."
"Yes, I guess I will," he said. "Come on. I'll show you my wardrobe." He hopped off the table with a wince.
"Take it easy on the leg," she suggested.
"Now, you tell me," he said as he limped out the door with his jacket draped over his arm.
"Here, let me help you," she insisted as she again tucked herself under his arm.
"I don't . . . thanks."
"My pleasure," she responded with a delicate smile as they continued on their way to the wardrobe room.