The Piper Chronicles: Trapped at Arcade Station – Chapter 5

Chapter Five:

A New Teacher

She gasped a huge breath of fresh air as she could hear the familiar surroundings of the arcade. As soon as she realized she was still wearing the headset, she yanked it off her head, and immediately threw it onto the ground. Never again, did she want to wear one of those!

“Piper!”

The Doctor jumped out of nowhere and embraced her.

“Uncle Doctor!” Piper squealed.

She wrapped her arms around him, squeezing tightly. She buried her head into his shoulder, almost crying in relief.

“This is real, right?” She asked, with a hint of uncertainty.

“Oh yes!” Her uncle replied, “100% real!”

He was so warm. She clutched his coat, and took a deep breath in relief. Then, he broke to examine her, and touched her face.

“Are you alright?”

Piper nodded. “Just a little tired…and hungry. My headache’s gone, though!”

“Oh, that’s brilliant!” He exclaimed, with a huge smile.

He kissed her on the forehead, then said, “Come on, let’s get something to eat!”

.

As the Doctor helped Piper out of the seat, Mr. Aikens stepped back into the room.

“Ah! Miss Piper!” He exclaimed.

He turned to the Doctor. “I just got word that Kevin Monroe has been arrested for kidnapping. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but you’ve got your girl out safely.”

He leaned forward to Piper.

“I’m terribly sorry for your horrid experience, Miss! I…hope this has not discourage entirely from seeing us again…”

Piper wasn’t sure what to say at first. She glanced at her uncle, then finally responded with:

“Y-yeah, I guess. Just…No more VR for a while.”

Mr. Aikens nodded. Piper took the Doctor’s hand, and the two started on their way.

“Where are we going?”

“I’d thought we’d swing by London.”

“Can we get burgers and chips? I know a quaint little diner, and they’ve got good food!”

“Okay.”

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

About three hours later, Piper and the Doctor returned to the Tardis, catching their breaths, and bellies full of nourishment. Piper had also taken a well-deserved nap, while her uncle waited patiently. The Tardis rotated in space, slowly, around Earth, in peaceful silence.

.

Piper, now refreshed, and redressed, walked down the hall, and back into the control room. The Doctor was waiting for her, his jacket now flung over the back couch sitting on the right. He smiled.

“You feeling better?” He asked.

“Oh yeah! Much better!” Piper replied, grinning.

She walked up to the Doctor and sighed, “So, where are we going next?”

The Doctor flipped a switch, as the engine roared to life. “Home.”

She didn’t think she heard him right. A great strike of horror rose in her chest.

“What?” She gasped.

The Doctor looked at her, solemnly. “I almost lost you. I promised your mother I would keep you safe.”

Piper couldn’t believe her ears. “Uncle Doctor-” she pleaded.

“I promised myself I would keep you safe,” he stated, firmly.

“Uncle Doctor! I’m not scared!” Piper insisted.

The Doctor was quiet. He walked over to another section of the control board, and pressed a couple buttons. Piper was getting frustrated. She didn’t want to go back! Not back to Earth! Not where she had been persecuted and isolated the past fourteen years! The stars was where she belonged. In her hearts, that much was clear. But she couldn’t lie, that experience was very frightening. No control. No way of getting out. All she could do was wait, and contemplate whether or not she was gonna make it out alive.

.

Piper frowned. “Okay, maybe I was a little scared…” She was ashamed to admit that. She had always expressed how she could take care of herself, but this was whole new territory. Her words meant nothing. Then, she had an idea. She looked up.

“You know…What happened to me…Right?”

The Doctor glanced at her, with a stone, cold look.

“Yeah, I remember,” he replied, “You never graduated.”

Piper looked down at the ground, saddened.

“All the perks, but not the knowledge.”

She picked her head up, and slowly approached the emotionless, blue suited man.

“I don’t want to go home,” she said, slowly, and calculated, “There’s so many things, so many wonderful things…That I can never learn on Earth. I never lost that desire to become a real Timelady. I want to continue on what our ancestors have done for centuries…Even if they’re all gone.”

The Doctor’s expression slowly softened, listening carefully to what she had to say.

“You’re right. I should go home. Not because it’s dangerous, but because I have no knowledge of what’s out there.”

She put her hands on his.

You can teach me. You served the council for years. Mum, my real mum…told me. You know everything. You would be the best teacher I could possibly have.”

She looked down at the ground again. She suddenly found it hard to face him.

“I guess…What I’m asking is…Uncle Doctor, can you teach me all the things about being a Timelord…? That I never got to learn? I want to learn how to build my own sonic screwdriver. This-”

She pulled out the screwdriver she had built from Earth material.

“-This can barely do anything. I hardly managed to overload that audio system with this hunk of junk. I want to learn how to pilot the Tardis, for times when you can’t. I want to learn the technology and culture of other races, so I know what to do in a time of crisis, and to not offend anybody.”

She looked back up.

“I want to learn how to save the world…Just like you.”

.

They looked at each other for a long moment. Piper waited, eagerly for his response. She clenched his hands, lovingly, but also anxiously.

“Please don’t send me home” she hoped, “Please let me stay with you.”

Then, he smiled, smally. “Piper Dominique, I’d be honored, to be your teacher.” Piper let out a chuckle, a sigh of relief.

They both exchanged long grins at each other. Their journeys were not going to end just yet.

.

“So, you ready for your first lesson?” The Doctor asked, mischievously.

Piper beamed. “Oh yes!” she squealed.

“Alrighty then!”

The Doctor hopped around the control panel and flipped a giant lever. The Tardis rumbled as it took off at a high speed.

“Allonsy!” The Doctor announced.

“Allonsy!” Piper cheered.

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