Greseer's voice rumbled through the interior of the TARDIS as he and the Doctor discussed the 'plan'. Of all the stupid and dangerous things they had done together, Clara thought, this was one of the most nonsensical ideas. But it seemed to be the only way forward, and knowing the Doctor, it would work; he would make it work.
"I...will do...this...for you...Doctor. You...are a...good man. For...my people...and for...yours." Clara could hear a steely determination in the dragon's gravelly voice.
The Doctor gazed at the image of Greseer on his screen, his eyes showing his respect and admiration for the Tarkonian, but also the sadness that rested there, for what he had asked Greseer to do.
"You understand that if you do this, you will be trapped within the vortex when it closes." It wasn't a question. He knew that Greseer understood the risks.
Clara came round to where the Doctor was stood. Her heart was filled with a sudden feeling of remorse.
"Greseer," she said, interrupting the Doctor mid-flow.
The great dragon seemed to stare into her soul as she continued.
"Thank you. You are making a great sacrifice. Thank you on behalf of the human race." Her voice broke slightly, as she struggled to keep back tears.
"Clara...Doctor. Thank you. You...helped me...see the...error of...our ways. Go...now. I will...do what...you ask...of me. Go." With that, he swirled around, flying further into the increasingly unstable vortex.
The Doctor saluted the retreating dragon, before concentrating on getting them out of there safely.
"Clara, pull that yellow lever next to you. Then twist the vial on your right all the way round once." Clara caught a trace of pain and guilt in his voice before he swept it away. She hurried to do as he asked, wary now of the collapsing rift they were currently stationed in. The Doctor must have noticed her glance as he looked her straight in the eye.
"No regrets, Clara. It had to be done."
"No regrets," she whispered to herself, as the TARDIS began to make her familiar whirring sound, announcing their take-off.
Greseer had shown his true Samurai spirit in sacrificing himself. He had gone back to his own planet and time, to turn off the time travel device of the Tarkonians. To save Earth, and Gamma Ermina. But he would be caught in the vortex as it closed. The Doctor had seen and met so many aliens that only wanted destruction and chaos. Greseer gave him hope that there were still honourable species out there.
"What now, Doctor?" Clara asked, as the TARDIS began the return journey. She was pleased to find that this time the ride was much smoother. Must be something to do with the Doctor being safely back in his machine. The TARDIS could sense he was there. Just a big softie, Clara thought.
The Doctor adjusted the time circuits - again (he really must do something about that) - before looking up. "The metal I had the General melt down will be useless now Greseer has gone back. We will have to use the TARDIS, and the temporal space energy stored in her to seal the breach. It won't be too difficult, providing we get it done before the whole thing collapses."
Clara understood enough to get the gist of what the Doctor was saying. Then she had another thought: "What about the Samurai, and Yuu? What are we going to tell them?"
"General Yuu knows the truth; about me, and Greseer. He will decide what he wants to tell his Samurai." For a moment, he looked wistful. "I wish we could spend more time here, as tourists rather than saving the world. You would love the towns and cities, Clara. So beautiful."
His companion cocked her head. "I probably would. Why can't we?"
"I believed we may be overstaying our welcome if we stayed any longer. Foreigners are still treated with suspicion, even after saving the planet."
Clara nodded, understand well enough what he was saying. They stood side by side, as the TARDIS prepared to land once again on Japanese ground.