Return to Gallifrey, Chapter 12

“This way,” said Aloysius airily as they traipsed though the daytime jungle, “It’s much quicker.”

The Doctor glared. “Are you insane?” he wanted to know, “Do you know what lives that way?”

“What, Doctor?” queried Martha nervously.

“Don’t be stupid,” snarled Aloysius, “they don’t come out during the day.”

What don’t come out during the day?” asked Martha again, growing anxious.

“Puh!” snorted the Doctor, “Don’t you remember what happened to Charlie?”

Having had quite enough, Martha stopped abruptly in her tracks. Facing both of them, she near-bellowed, “What’s in there, who’s Charlie, and why the hell aren’t you telling me anything?”

Both men fell silent. “Sorry, Martha,” said the Doctor sheepishly.”

Tell me what’s going on!” she snapped in reply.

The Doctor sighed and fidgeted with his collar for a moment. “Well…might as well prepare you for the worst…”

“Nonsense,” interrupted Aloysius, “You’ll frighten the young lady!”

“Excuse me, but I think I can handle it,” spat Martha in disgust. “Now, Doctor, what were you saying?”

The Doctor sighed. “What’s in there is a horde of Taclydia. Now, my thickheaded friend over here says that they don’t come out during the day, but I’m not too sure…”

“Ugh,” Martha shuddered, “Do I even want to know what they are?”

He smiled grimly. “Oh, believe me. You’ll know them when you see them.”

As if in reply, a loud shriek rattled the trees around them. The air was suddenly alive with ferocious winds, and the ground seemed to shake.

They don’t come out during the day!” mocked the Doctor coldly.

“Oh, save your high-horsery and run for it!” shouted Aloysius, who had already departed the scene, over his shoulder.

The trio dashed through the jungle as the gigantic, reptilian creature zoomed overhead, screeching madly.

“Keep running,” panted the Doctor, as if they had a choice, “because there’s a hell of a lot more where that came from!”

He was right. Following the first Taclydian were two more, possibly even larger in size. Suddenly, the Doctor had an idea. “Duck!” he shouted. Even Aloysius obeyed without question, the Doctor’s presence was so commanding. Amazingly, the Taclydia seemed to have lost track of them. Vexed, they soared away.

“Why…” Martha wheezed, “why did they just leave us alone like that?”

Having regained his breath much more quickly than his friends, the Doctor promptly explained. “Taclydia,” he informed them, “can’t see anything more than fifty feet below them. If you figure each of our heights–” he paused, then smirked slightly at Aloysius, “–actually, Al…it’s just you. You’re six feet, two inches, and exactly–” he pulled his Sonic Screwdriver out of his coat pocket, scanning Aloysius from poll to toe, “forty-five millimeters tall, which puts you at precisely forty-nine feet and eleven inches below the monsters!”

“That’s absurd!” said the Decori anxiously, “Surely a Taclydian’s senses aren’t that–

“They’re exactly that sensitive,” snapped the Doctor, “Now, if you want any of us to survive, you’ll be snaking along the jungle floor for the duration of our journey through our journey through this Godforsaken area that you selected!”

Aloysius opened his mouth to argue, but the Doctor appeared so stern that he thought it best not to argue and began to crawl.

The Doctor seemed to relish this as they traveled through the Taclydian territory. Martha even thought she saw him suppress a laugh after a quick glance at their floor-bound companion.

Aloysius, though he was without dignity, smiled to himself.

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2 Responses

  1. High horsery? That is beautiful usage of the english language. Keep the stories coming. Thanks

  2. Derivation says : I absolutely agree with this !

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