Chapter Five - Serendipity
"On second thought, I have a better idea," Holly said to Kai as they starteddown the corridor.
"We split?" Kai suggested. "You go one way and I go another?" Though he wasn't so sure that he wanted to actually be left to his own devicesin these bizarre surroundings.
"No," Holly retorted. "You go and look for Mizradal and I run a fewdiagnostics to see what needs to be done in the way of repairs."
"I'm not so sure if I like that idea," Kai began.
"It's not such a bad idea at all," Holly answered. "In all likelihood,it would increase the chances that we would find Mizradal. After all,I can use the ship's sensors to locate where her and then the telepathiccircuits to guide you to her."
"Telepathic circuits?" Kai asked. "I'm not sure I like that idea atall. I don't want this ship or you messing around with my mind."
"Oh you won't know the difference," Holly assured him. "To you, itwould seem like serendipity."
"Serendipity?" Kai inquired, unsure of the term.
"It would seem like you got lucky and happened to find her, to put it interms you would understand," Holly retorted.
"I am not stupid," Kai retorted. "Just because I don't use big wordsdoes not make me a lower form of life."
"No Kai, it doesn't," Holly answered. "Though there are plenty of otherreasons..."
"You asked me to stay," Kai said in an angry tone. "Do not insult me."
"I never meant to insult you," Holly answered in an apologetic tone. "I was merely stating that we are not on the same..."
"Yes I can see that!" Kai said as he exited the room. "Fine, I'll findMizradal though I don't envy her if she is to spend the rest of her lifewith you! And I'm only doing it for her sake, not yours." Andat that moment, he almost decided that he loathed this being that only afew moments ago, he found himself so irresistibly attracted to.
As Kai paced the corridors in the TARDIS, he called after Mizradal, but shedidn't answer back. As he walked along, he tried to notice his surroundingsas little as possible, though he did manage to take in some of them. He saw vast numbers of "sitting rooms" with ornate furniture and beautifulrugs, large libraries filled with books, and then he came upon a probablythe largest closet he had ever seen. If one could call this room acloset. It was larger than the Seldati Emperor's Palace, he reckoned. He saw racks and racks of clothing, mostly long gowns, shelves and shelvesof shoes, and even drawers with accessories such as purses and jewelry. He was about to decide that this was the most pointless place he had cometo and move on, when he heard a childish giggle coming from behind one ofthe racks.
"Mizradal," Kai called. "Are you there?"
Upon hearing his voice, Mizradal got very nervous and started to run. But she found that very difficult, as she had been playing dress-up and waswearing high-heeled shoes that were much too big for her as well as a longskirt that dragged the floor, not to mention some pearls and a rather largehat. Suddenly her face grew white with terror. "I'm...I'm...I'm sorry,"she stuttered.
"It's okay," Kai, said as he took the hat off the child and gently brushedher hair.
"I know I'm not supposed to," she began, "but they were just so pretty andno one was watching and I just couldn't resist." Suddenly she startedto cry.
"It's okay," Kai said as he hugged her, and let her cry into her shoulder. "I'm sure playing dress-up was just as tempting as all those chocolates..."
"I'm sorry about those too," she stuttered. "I didn't mean to eat themall...it's just that they were so good, I couldn't stop myself."
"I know," Kai said. "And it's okay..."
"But if she finds out," Mizradal began, "that I ate all her chocolates andplayed in her clothes and..." she picked up a blouse off the floor, "and accidentallytore her blouse on the rack over there, she'll sell me again and I'll gosome place awful! She's not going to keep me, I just know it!"
"She's not going to do anything bad to you," Kai assured, though to be honesthe couldn't be sure based on the Time Lady's completely alien nature. "I'm not going to let her," he added. "Come...let's go back to the consoleroom." And he wondered how he had called it that name or knew how togo back so easily.
When Kai and Mizradal arrived in the console room, they found Holly deepin concentration as she was obviously analyzing something. She hardlynoticed them enter at all and Kai got the feeling that now would not be agood time to talk, so he sat on the sofa and Mizradal sat next to him.
"Read to me," Mizradal said, as she picked up a book and handed it to Kai. At first he felt rather nervous, since he didn't know how to read. But then it occurred to him that she probably didn't either and wouldn'tknow the difference if he just made it up as he went along. Besideschances were that even if he could read the book she had just given him thatshe wouldn't care what it said because it probably wasn't the sort of bookthat children would like anyway. It was probably long, boring and scientific.
"Okay," Kai said, as he opened the book, holding it upside down at that. "Many, many years ago when the gods walked among the S'o'h Maiyuoom and werecurious about them, there lived a young S'o'h Maiyuoom named Pah. Pahwas a brave warrior, who had gone on many conquests and had seen many worlds. He always brought gifts back to the other members of his clan."
"What was his clan like?" Mizradal asked.
Kai supposed now would be a good time to turn a page, so he did. "Itsays here that his clan loved him a lot. He lived with his parentsand his grandparents and his aunts and his uncles until he came of age. When he came of age, it came time to prove himself as a man so that he wouldbe worthy of a wife, so that he too could have children to grow up in hisclan."
"And how did he prove himself as a man?" Mizradal asked.
"By taking many, many voyages," Kai answered. "And bringing back giftsfrom afar. And of course, by proving himself in battle against thosewho would harm our ways. One time, he had to fight in such a battle. His people, like all people needed animals, vegetables and minerals to survive. And they got those things from other worlds as they needed. However,there was an evil empire that was always looking for ways to expand. And even though it had many people, there were more than enough places forthose people to live on worlds it already had. But that was not enough. Those people wanted more space, so they moved to worlds that the S'o'h Maiyuoomused. And when they arrived, they fought against any S'o'h Maiyuoomwho dared to use the resources they always used." He turned anotherpage, as he quite forgot and also pretended to once again look at the textin front of him.
"So what happened next?" Mizradal asked.
"Well," Kai replied, "Pah went to battle against all of them, as did allof his clan. However, his clan perished and only Pah survived. Pah's tiny little ship crashed on a tiny little world in the outskirts ofthe empire and landed in the bottom of a swamp. He barely got out beforeit sank."
"Then what?" Mizradal asked.
Kai turned yet another page, though by now, he wasn't even looking at thepages at all, but at the child, who seemed intently interested in his story. "Well I told you that in those days the gods walked among the S'o'h Maiyuoom..."he continued. "And the gods were very curious about the S'o'h Maiyuoomand what they were like, for the gods knew nothing of the love and happinessthat the S'o'h Maiyuoom felt."
"So then what?" Mizradal inquired.
"Pah traveled to a magical forest and there he happened to find one of them,only he had no idea that was what she was. And when he looked at her,he found her to be more beautiful than anything he had ever seen and he wantedher more than any treasure he had ever wanted. Only, she wasn't likehe was and no matter how much Pah loved her, she could never return his affections. Finally he got so angry at her that he..."
"That he what?" Mizradal asked.
Kai put the book down on the table and closed it. "I don't know whatPah did next," he concluded. "That's enough story for now, perhapsanother time."
"Okay," Mizradal said.
Suddenly, Holly interrupted the two of them. "I think I've figuredit out," she said. "It should be a minor problem to fix. I justneed something that would make a good conductor. You see the problemis not that the dematerialization circuit won't work...its in perfect workingcondition. The problem is that the signal from the dematerializationcircuit isn't reaching the actual part that does the dematerializing..."
"So in S'o'h Maiyuoom that would mean?" Kai asked, completely unsure of whatHolly had said, despite the fact she was certain that she had explained itin layman's terms.
"This circuit board is corroded," she said, as she showed it to him. "I really don't know how...this doesn't seem like a logical thing to happenat all. This TARDIS was new and it had just passed inspection. I primed it myself. How any part could be old and corroded is beyondme. But even if some sloppy technician had decided to use a...cheap part..."she looked at it again. "It's really not up to standard and it shouldhave been caught before it ever left Gallifrey. This TARDIS has onlybeen in use a couple of years." Yes, she had gone a couple of otherplaces before she'd actually made it to the Seldati Empire, but still, twoyears was hardly that long for a time machine designed to last thousandsupon thousands of years. "When I return to Gallifrey, I shall definitelyfind out who was responsible for the installation of this part..."
"Well what do you need to fix it?" Kai asked. He wasn't sure why hethought of what he thought of next, only that it seemed that if she wereto find a good metal, she might be able to fix the part and there was onmetal of which Mirfak 4 had vast quantities. "Would Petrylium Klasteriumdo any good?" he asked.
Holly thought for a moment. "You know, I think that just might work. If not, I will certainly be able to modify some and make it work. Youwouldn't perhaps know where I would find some do you?"
"The mining settlement of Mizradal," Kai answered. Then he thoughtfor a moment. "So is that serendipity?"
"Yes," Holly replied. "It most certainly is. We must go thereat once."
"It's an all day hike," Kai said. "We leave first thing tomorrow. After we've had enough rest."