“You gonna be alright Holly, like is it really dangerous to change the past?” asked Holly’s best friend, Diana 8.
“Yes! If anyone tries to kill us, Shakira has a gun and knows how to fight, okay? She said she might teach me to use a gun if I want to learn.” Diana was very protective of her friends, and she rescued Holly when she was injured during an attack by the Sandmen. Together they helped save the babies after the Domes collapsed.
“What the fuck is that?” Diana yelled as Shakira’s TARDIS, which took the form of a Victorian closet, materialised right in front of them.
Shakira stepped out of her closet TARDIS. “Salaam aleikum! You ready Holly?”
“I think I’m ready as I’ll ever be” she answered, both excited and nervous at the same time.
Diana thought: She is so loud! And what are those things in her ears? If they help her to hear, maybe they aren’t doing a very good job! She reminds me of David 7…I wonder what the sexy bastard is doing tonight, and said “Anyway, good luck Holly!”
“Thankyouuu!” Holly said, and entered the TARDIS. “What about you, are you ready for this?”
“My answer is the same as yours. I haven’t seen Farrah in years, 10 years for her and 14 years for me.” Shakira typed in the necessary co-ordinates, and there was a buzzing sound as they flew through time and space.
“And we are here!” she declared, the TARDIS stopping and audibly hitting the ground. Holly opened the doors, and found that they landed on a large patch of grass behind a massive, white-walled hospital, next to the carpark.
“So what are we gonna do?” she asked, still getting used to the fact that she had not only just travelled through space, but also time.
“We will find her room, give her these” –she held up a bunch of papers- “and get her out. Without getting our asses kicked. Remember?”
“Why is this so dangerous? It’s not like we’re kidnapping her. Oh…now I remember everything you said.”
“First of all, there is the Time Lord police, if they noticed the changes to the time line. Second, some of the most powerful people in the world don’t want anyone to know that cancer is curable already, especially by non-patentable means. I don’t want her to end up like Steve McQueen, or for us to end up like Max Gerson.”
“Okay…this is a weird planet” Holly replied, a little shocked at the attitudes of the rich and powerful. The Time Lord police were understandable; they were just authoritarian jerks. They left the TARDIS, then Shakira locked it and they proceeded towards the fire stairs.
She opened the door with a possibly bought, possibly stolen, sonic screwdriver. The fire stairs corridor carried sound everywhere.
“We have to whisper in here; she is on the third floor, west side, fifth room from the fire exit so it will be a long walk” Shakira said in the quietest voice possible.
“I’m nervous” squeaked Holly.
“So am I, this is not like anything I’ve done before…when you know them, it’s different.”
The two eventually reached the fire exit, or, entrance to the main part of the hospital. As it should be, the door was unlocked, so they were free to go inside. “Just act like we aren’t doing anything unusual” the Pashtun alien said while carefully looking around. When they had reached their destination, her heart and mind stopped once more. She was almost unable to stand seeing Farrah thoroughly fucked by cancer and chemo, and stood there shaking as Holly closed the door behind them. “Go on, you can do it, you’ve come this far” Holly whispered, nudging her new friend.
“Salaam aleikum, remember me?” Shakira said quietly. Farrah’s sparkling blue eyes fluttered open.
“I know that voice…..Shakira? Shakira Seddiqi? Is it really you?”
By this time, Shakira was crying again. “Yes it is me! I missed you, I love you so much, my sister!”
“It’s okay Shakira, don’t-”
“Don’t tell me not to worry about you! Just let me cry for you…”
They held each other for a while, and then Farrah asked, “What are you doing here?” in sign language, to show that she remembered what her friend had taught her, and to keep them out of trouble. If Shakira wasn’t touching her, she wouldn’t have believed that any of this was real.
“I have come to save you! If you want to live, you must come with me!” Shakira signed back and handed over the papers on the failure of chemo (therapy my ass!, she thought), the original timeline and the best alternatives.
“I can’t believe it, so they lied…or were at least lied to…”
“I am sorry, but yes, it is the truth.”
“I don’t want to spend another second here. Can you take this out for me?” Farrah held out her arm, showing the IV line delivering the prescribed chemo into the worst place possible.
“Of course I will!” Shakira signed as she knelt on the floor, gently removing the needle which she had been eyeing disapprovingly. “Your veins have almost collapsed!…OW!” she said out loud, because the chemo had dripped onto her hand, burning her. “FUCK!” She accidentally pulled the IV bag off its stand, resulting in it falling, breaking open and burning half of her face and both hands. “OW MY HANDS! OW MY FACE! WHAT GENOCIDAL BASTARD INVENTED THIS?? FUCKING NAZIS!!”
“Are you alright?” both Holly and Farrah asked at the exact same time.
“Yes, it just burns” she said, getting up to wash her face and hands. Farrah got out of bed to get her bags, pausing to stop herself from throwing up.
“I don’t think she’ll be okay to walk back to the TARDIS” Holly whispered to Shakira.
“I think you’re right” answered Farrah; she had surprisingly good hearing.
“Well there is an unguarded stretcher out there” Shakira mouthed and signed so both could understand her.
“You’re not gonna steal that are you?” Holly asked.
“I already have one, so no; I will just leave it out on the grass where our TARDIS is.”
“Okay” answered Holly as she picked up Farrah’s bags. Farrah made herself comfortable on the stolen borrowed stretcher, pulling her beanie over her eyes because of the perpetually bright hospital lights. “Can you open the fire door for me?” Shakira asked. Holly did some combination of creeping and running towards the door, then opened it just before Shakira could ram it with the not technically stolen stretcher. She ran after her new friends as fast as possible in order to catch up with them, which was hard because instead of slowing down when she reached the stairs, Shakira would jump on the stretcher and steer it. This wasn’t bothering Farrah at all, the anti-emetic medication had kicked in and she just held on tight. When they reached the second fire door, the momentum meant that this time, Shakira did ram the door open, and left it that way so Holly didn’t have to open it again. “THEY’RE FOLLOWING US!” she yelled as they raced across the grass back to the TARDIS.
“They won’t be following us anymore!” Shakira said back. She unlocked her TARDIS, then let Farrah and Holly in before she came in and had to lock it up to prevent the angry nurses from entering.
“Where are we going?” Farrah asked while sitting on the floor.
“Dreg’s Den in Roswell, no law enforcement goes there!” said Shakira. After typing in more co-ordinates, they were there in about five seconds.
“We’re safe now?”
“Great, I’m so tired.”
Holly looked to where she was sitting. “I’m not surprised; if you have no hair then I don’t want to know what that stuff did to you on the inside.”
“So am I, I could not sleep last night” Shakira helped Farrah stand up. “Let’s just go to bed now.”
“Environmental pollution is the underlying cause of 80% of all chronic degenerative diseases.” World Health Organization, 1974