The cavern shook as a loud explosion hit the surface world. The Hermit's appearance glitched. "Doctor?" I said, pointing to the Hermit. "Did you see that?"
The shadow head nodded. "I did," he said. The Doctor approached the console unit at the base of the platform. His arm went inside his own shadow. Then he pulled it back out again and swept it across his head. He leaned over the console, inspecting it. "Why are you projecting an image?"
"Doctor, please, don't touch it," said the Hermit. "That being may as well be dead."
"Then turn it off and let him go," demanded the Doctor. "What would it hurt?"
The Hermit moved between the Doctor and the console. "This place, these people, and would destroy in ways yet undisclosed," said the Hermit. "Please, you know how time can wobble. I am asking you, Doctor. I am begging you. Please. Don't."
The Beggarman, that impossible shadow man, paused for a moment, then he backed away. "I'll be watching. I'll be checking."
The Hermit nodded. "As you always have been." The cavern rocked again. "But you are needed elsewhere. Go."
The Doctor grabbed my hand, and we ran back down the tunnels and corridors. We ran towards the Sisterhood and the dangerous armored Leprechauns.
Witinera and the Sisters stood together looking up at the ship in the sky. As the Doctor and I ran towards them, Witenira turned towards us. "Doctor!" she yelled. Then her face fell.
He interrupted her before she could go further. "Yes, I know! It's my fault. I'll fix it. Just tell me what..."
She pointed at my hair. "What have you done?" She demanded.
I smiled and pointed to the sky. "They figured it out too, didn't they? The cup you gave them..." The Doctor groaned.
"Wasn't lined with gold! Yes, they know and are demanding we give them the real cup." she hissed angrily. "Where have you been? What have you done?"
A ball of fire flew across the sky and landed in an explosion. The Doctor grinned. "Me? Nothing. Her?" he pointed at me. "Well, she got hungry."
Witenira flew into a rage as another explosion hit nearby. "I'll have her!" She came at me.
"Not today, Witenira. Gotta dash!" The Doctor grabbed and tugged me towards the TARDIS. "Run, Jessica. If you ever want to leave this place, run!" He hissed at me.
"Doctor! Come back here!"
The Shadow man and I ran to the TARDIS through the shower of fireballs. It was difficult because of the shaky ground caused by the explosions. As we neared, he clicked his fingers, and the doors flew open. Then, my Beggar man threw me in through the doors. I slid across the entrance grating and came to a stop in front of the console. The Doctor ran in after me and slammed the doors shut. Then, he bolted to the console and engaged the TARDIS in flight. It was fast. He tapped at the keyboard, flipped a switch, seven seconds of wheezing, a thud, and a ding. He rushed past me, opened the doors and yelled. "Here you are! Now, sod off!" The Doctor closed the door again. He dashed back the console and flipped the switch again. Then, I think he shoved his hands in his pockets, bent his head, and sighed.
"Doctor, you didn't give them the cup did you?"
"Of course I did," he replied.
"But why? Its important to the sist..."
He shook his head. "No, it's not. It's only a cup. An antique cup lined with gold. It has no powers. Its only value is in sentiment and the gold. Which, when compared to the value of life, is not that much." The Doctor walked over to me and offered his hand. "Jessica, it was always just a cup. Never anything more."
I smiled and took his hand. As he lifted me off the floor, I realized that he was only part right. "No Doctor. It is one more thing."
"Oh? What's that?"
"Its a cup and a terrific story."
The Shadow mansmiled at me and laughed.