Part Four of this series can be found here.
Annabeth shoved the Doctor as hard as she could just as a pine tree close to them fell where they had been standing only seconds earlier. “Watch out!” she yelled impulsively. Whirling around and assuming an attack stance, her dagger already drawn, Annabeth focused in on the huge dinosaur claw about two yards away from her. The two demigods still trying to hack at the thing looked her way occasionally, but couldn’t waste enough breath to verbally ask for help.
“The celestial bronze!” Annabeth shouted above the roaring dinosaur and the clanging metal. “It won’t affect it!”
The demigod closer to her, Aaron from Ares cabin, looked her way for another second before panting out “Why… in Hades… not?”
“It’s not a monster! It’s a mortal. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you’ll never even graze it with those weapons!”
“Then what… do we do?” the other demigod, Seth, again from Ares, asked her. He obviously wasn’t ready to give up the idea of slowing the beast’s walk with his brawn, but he was slowing down a bit as he realized it was pointless.
“I have a… an ally,” Annabeth said quickly. “He can help. He says we won’t have to kill it if we take it back home instead.”
The Doctor waved from beside her. “Hello!”
Aaron rose an eyebrow. “You really trust this guy?”
“Yes,” Annabeth said.
That was enough for both of them. The word of Annabeth Chase went far throughout Camp Half-Blood. “What… do you… want us to do?” Seth asked again.
“Put away your weapons. And come with me. We need to regroup and figure out how to get this thing back home safe and sound. And we need to do it before it reaches the cabins.” In an instant both boys were retreating from the dinosaur and fleeing the woods with Annabeth and the Doctor.
“This ally of yours, is he demigod? Or mortal?” asked Aaron as they fled, zig-zagging a bit to keep the dinosaur off their trail.
“Alien,” Annabeth answered. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Aaron and Seth glance at each other incredulously. And not without reason, Annabeth reminded herself. It was a pretty hard thing to believe. She wasn’t even altogether sure herself why she believed it, but she did. “He has a small spaceship with him he calls his…” she tried to remember the word.
“TARDIS!” the Doctor was more than happy to clarify. “Time and Relative Dimension in Space. It’s a time machine, see. Now when you think of a spaceship—” the Doctor paused to swerve around a tree, “you probably get to thinking about the Enterprise, and Death Stars, and all that science-fictiony stuff that’s not really real and is really just you humans being very imaginative and a bit thick. But the TARDIS isn’t like that. It doesn’t fly, see. It kind of, disappears here, reappears there. It can travel in space and time, and it can get this ancient creature back to it’s original time, and it’s original area.”
“Wait wait wait, back up!” shouted Seth. “If Annabeth believes you’re an alien, then an alien you are. But time travel? No way. There are limits to what I can believe. I’m not that gullible. And are you trying to tell me that that thing,” he jabbed a thumb over his shoulder, “is from another time?”
Annabeth chewed on her lip for a second while the silence hung in the air and everyone focused on running to the camp. “It makes sense. The celestial bronze didn’t work on it, which means it’s mortal. And dinosaurs are extinct. And the Doctor hasn’t technically given me any reason to not trust him so far.”
“What do you mean, ‘technically’?” asked Aaron.
“Well, suddenly and unexpectedly arriving in the middle of my camp just as a huge unknown threat stumbled into is is kind of suspicious,” Annabeth allowed. They were back at camp again. When she saw Percy’s black hair in the crowd, Annabeth sighed softly in relief. Soon they could find Chiron handle this together.
Aaron’s mouth gaped while all four hurried through the assembled demigods. “Kind of?! Why isn’t he a prisoner somewhere? Why are you taking information from this guy?”
“Because!” answered the Doctor before Annabeth had a chance to open her mouth. “I’m from the planet Gallifrey, I am a thousand years old, I am the last of the Timelords, and I was called here by Annabeth Chase herself. You trust me because I am the Doctor, I am going to get that dinosaur back home, and I am going to do it before it destroys your Camp Half-Blood.”