Part Two of this series can be found here.
“Most definitely,” the Doctor’s eyes sparkled as he said it. “Looking forward to it.”
“Look, we don’t have time for conversation right now. There’s kind of a T-Rex out to kill us all,” Clarisse interjected. “So if this Doctor is somebody we can trust now, I want to know his plan. Now.”
“Yes of course! Firstly, I need to get close to the beast. Within a few meters. And then-”
Clarisse cut him off. “Meters?”
After just a second of slight confusion and squinting at Clarisse the Doctor realized the problem. “Yards. A few yards.”
“Got it,” Clarisse nodded.
“I’ll go with you,” Annabeth volunteered. She may have decided to trust this time traveling Doctor, but that did not mean she was going to leave him alone on the front lines.
“Very good! Yes, excellent. Alright. Once I’m near the dinosaur I’ll be able to use this,” the Doctor said, holding up a small cylinder that glowed green on the top, “to find out where it came from.”
“Isn’t that obvious? It came from the ground. Maybe the labyrinth,” Percy offered.
“Well, yes, that’s one possibility,” admitted the Doctor.
Annabeth rose one eyebrow and looked at him. “And the others are…?” Just then there was a loud thud from not too far away from where the four of them were standing. It sounded like a fallen tree. All four of them winced.
“Haven’t got time to explain. If it’s important you’ll find out soon enough,” the Doctor said. “For now, Annabeth, lead the way.”
With a quick nod, Annabeth turned away from the small circle the group had formed and, with knife in hand, wove her way through the assembled demigods. This time it wasn’t too hard; the closer Annabeth came to the front line the more the other demigods recognized who she was and parted for her. Occasionally Annabeth would glance back to make sure that the Doctor was still trailing behind her, but she never stopped completely.
Annabeth’s eyes scanned the tree line. There. Not very far from her at all. Lowering her gaze Annabeth could make out the great claws of the dinosaur and several older demigods hacking away with little to no effect. “That’s weird,” Annabeth thought aloud.
“What is?” asked the Doctor, next to her.
“None of them are having an effect. They’re some of the best we have. With celestial bronze weapons, too.”
“Celestial bronze?” prompted the Doctor.
“The metal we make our weapons out of. It’ll harm monsters as normal, but the blade will pass right through a mortal without hurting it.” The Doctor nodded slightly and didn’t say anything. Annabeth became uneasy with the silence. Was he waiting for her to figure something out? What had she said that- Wait! “The celestial bronze!” Annabeth’s eyes widened as she said it. “It doesn’t hurt mortals!”
“There, you’ve got it!” the Doctor said. “Keep going!”
“So, this dinosaur isn’t a monster at all. It has to be mortal. So, natural. So… Dinosaurs aren’t extinct after all.” Annabeth closed her lips and became very quiet as she looked to the claws of the dinosaur. Not extinct. Not that it wasn’t possible, but… It just seemed so unlikely. And yet here was the evidence, plain as day.
“It does seem that way, doesn’t it,” replied the Doctor. He took one step forward and pressed a button on his small metal cylinder. “This is a sonic screwdriver. Comes in very handy.”
“What are you doing with it now?” Annabeth asked him as he stopped pointing the device at the dinosaur and seemed to be looking at some kind of reading off it.
“I am checking,” the Doctor replied slowly and absentmindedly, still focused on the screwdriver, “To see where this little guy came from.”
“Any luck?” Annabeth asked.
“Depends on how you look at it,” the Doctor told her, putting the sonic screwdriver away.
“And why’s that?” Annabeth pressed.
“Well, because, you’re right. It is from earth, and completely natural. But dinosaurs are still extinct. This one came from a long time ago. A very long time ago.”