The Servants Of Wokir

DOCTOR WHO - THE SERVANTS OF WOKIR






Guy Blythman







(c) Guy Blythman 2000, 2010










Featuring the Fourth Doctor and Sarah, plus UNIT, this adventure takes place between the TV stories THE SEEDS OF DOOM and THE MASQUE OF MANDRAGORA


















For the 3 Ms
Mum, Mark & Mags



















AUTHOR'S NOTE

In order to achieve the kind of story you want, it is sometimes necessary to mix fact and fiction. There was no god called Wokir in England, or as far as I know Germany, during Anglo-Saxon times. And although I remember it being played fairly frequently on the radio Wishing You Were Here by Chicago doesn't seem to have made it into the charts; I feel it ought to have done.









ONE

As Neil Jennings trudged through the gathering darkness along a narrow, winding country lane deep in rural Sussex, he wished not for the first time that his enthusiasm for a rather esoteric subject hadn't led him into a sticky situation. Neil's hobby was windmills. When he admitted to this, most people tended to exclaim "What?" They'd heard of people being interested in steam trains, traction engines and vintage cars, but windmills; that was a new one.
He'd been fascinated by them from an early age, pestering his long-suffering parents to take him on windmill-inspecting holidays, not only in Britain but all over Western Europe as well. At school he'd been mercilessly teased on account of his hobby, and even now was often embarrassed to admit to it. He tended to say, when asked about his interests, that he was into "local history" or "industrial archaeology".
He found that the interest stayed with him as an adult, taking on perhaps a more mature and sophisticated form; he was fascinated by their internal workings and their history as much as their external appearance. On his holidays, when he should have been losing his virginity on some Mediterranean beach, getting things out of his system, Neil still went around looking at windmills. It was crazy, he knew, but he enjoyed it. Some would have said that he was pursuing such a hobby from a desire to cover up social inadequacies, seeking refuge from the real world in an esoteric fantasy realm. Such was rather unfair. There may have been an element of that, but it wasn't the only factor involved. He genuinely found windmills fascinating. When you considered that the windmill in its traditional form was the most aesthetically pleasing device for the harnessing of energy ever invented, perhaps it didn't seem quite so daft. You couldn't really stereotype windmill "buffs"; at the Society's annual gathering up in London, venerable scholars mingled with ordinary-looking middle-aged businessmen and bearded types in pullovers who wouldn't have looked out of place at a Friends Of The Earth meeting.
He liked to talk incessantly about his hobby. Most people listened with surprising patience, although he uneasily suspected they were a good deal less enthralled than politeness permitted them to admit. Occasionally they appeared to be interested and then suddenly turned round and more or less told him to shut up, which he found rather insulting. Whenever anyone commented on the strangeness of his hobby he always replied defensively that it was better than the usual boring interests people tended to have, like football. Besides, windmills had an appeal to them, difficult to put into words, which if it hooked you at all tended to do so in a very big way.
Neil was a tall young man in his early twenties with curly black hair and a quizzical face. At this moment he wore a thick anorak (standard clothing for people with esoteric hobbies, it seemed - he understood science fiction freaks wore them too) and pullover as protection against the evening chill.
That morning he'd come down from London to check out a few specimens in the Brighton area. As he didn't have a car, he had to get around partly by walking and partly by public transport. Unfortunately, he'd totally miscalculated the time involved and also forgotten that bus services in rural areas tended to be somewhat infrequent, terminating at around five o'clock.
He was now feeling rather vulnerable and rather silly. He had to walk very close to the edge of the road, along a very narrow grass verge, constantly listening out for cars and whenever he heard one behind him, or saw its lights approaching, hurrying to one side and flattening himself against the tall hedge that bordered it. And the height of those hedges and the high banks of earth on either side fare plunged his surroundings into a sinister, spooky gloom. He shivered.
He hoped he would reach the Horsham guest house where he was staying before its owner locked up for the night, but that looked increasingly unlikely. And he hadn't even found that last mill yet. Consulting his Ordnance Survey map, he saw he would reach it fairly soon, although unfortunately Horsham was quite another matter.
He came round a bend in the road and there it was, visible across a large field through a gap in the hedgerow. He stood contemplating it for a few minutes. Even in decay there was something majestic about the huge structure, standing with its four sails starkly outlined against the setting sun. It was a smock mill, one of the kind where the machinery was contained within a wooden tower, in this case mounted on a high brick base, with a rounded top or cap which could be rotated to keep the sails facing into the wind. The mill didn't seem to have changed much since his last visit several years ago, although it was hard to tell at this distance. Its tattered arms gave it the look of a giant scarecrow.
He regarded the mill longingly for quite some time. He had a particular affection for this old ruin. Unfortunately the land on which the building stood was private, and a wood and wire fence stood between him and it. Frustratingly, he knew he wouldn't be able to get any closer than this.
Would he?
Dare he take a closer look? You only lived once. He wanted to be able to say that he'd seen the mill at close quarters. He couldn't pass up an opportunity that might never come again. The mill seemed to have stood the test of time well, but he couldn't be sure it would be standing the next time he came this way - which for all he knew might not be for years. It bidded fair to be a ruin until it fell down. It was a Listed Building, but in the usual fashion this merely meant that although the owner wasn't allowed to do anything with the mill he wasn't obliged to repair it either. The local authority, like quite a few others, wasn't prepared to be seen as bureaucrats bullying the little man. Wimps, in Neil's opinion.
Besides, he'd been told by a local enthusiast of rumours that the mill might "accidentally" catch fire at some time in the future. As with a good many other such structures, the owner was tiring of a troublesome responsibility. He disliked the pressure from various quarters to repair the mill and the townies who were always wanting to get a look at it, sometimes trespassing on his property in order to do so.
This might be the last time any enthusiast saw the mill. His heart pounding, Neil surveyed the scene before him and tried to come to a decision. The fence was on the point of collapse; besides, he'd been told that you were free to go wherever you liked in England as long as there was no notice expressly telling you to keep away. He couldn't see any, and the nearest house seemed to be quite some distance away from the mill.
And, finally, he needed somewhere to bed down for the night. He could try kipping out in the open if necessary, but didn't fancy having his sleeping bag and himself soaked should it rain at any time.
Making up his mind, he stepped somewhat furtively through the gap in the hedgerow and started towards the mill, wincing as his foot squelched in a large cowpat. He stepped over the half-collapsed fence, taking care to avoid the barbs on the wire. As he came up to the mill he gazed up at the structure in awe, eyes shining.
Considering it hadn't worked since the 1930s it was in remarkably good condition, largely because the old miller, Jack Budgen, had felt some affection for the structure in which he'd spent all his working life and carried out a bit of work from time to time to patch it up. And it was very strongly constructed, a tribute to the skill and ingenuity of the old millwrights. Inevitably, however, the passage of time had eaten away at its fabric. The boarding which covered it was starting to fall off revealing the main timbers. For several decades a thick coat of tar had preserved it from decay, but this was now almost worn off, and the rotting boards were green with lichen.
The structure had a sinister, forbidding air. Mills in this part of the country, near the coast, had a reputation of having been used for smuggling. Often they were also said to be haunted, although the stories of ghosts had most probably been put about by the smugglers to scare unwelcome visitors away while they carried out their nefarious practices. A vision came into his head of the floury phantom of some old-time miller, killed after being caught up in the machinery and now frequenting the place of his death...it was easy to let your imagination run wild, particularly with the wind whistling eerily in and out of the broken sails and the occasional creaking sound from the ageing timbers.
The door to the mill was locked, and the bolts had rusted into the woodwork. He tried to budge it but couldn't. However, one of the windows in the ground floor presented a better option. It was boarded up, but the planks were starting to come off, and it was a simple matter to prise one or two away. He guessed it would look as if they had rotted off rather than been forced.
The window was just above the level of his shoulders. He grabbed the sill, jumped up and managed to haul himself up onto it. Wriggling through the opening, he dropped to the floor and looked around. The room was empty save for a pile of old sacks in one corner, and an old desk which had been used by the miller. One or two faded newspaper cuttings from the early part of the century were pinned to the wall. In the fading light he had to squint to make these details out.
He took a torch from the bag slung over his shoulder and shone it around. The beam fell upon a wooden ladder, its steps worn by the feet of generations of millers. It was probably unsafe but that didn't deter Neil; he knew of people who'd been up worse mills than this. Nevertheless it was with considerable care that he climbed the ladder to the next floor. That too was bare, except for a few gears and shafts in the ceiling and the spouts down which the warm meal had once flowed into waiting sacks. A mouse scurried away as he approached, disappearing into the hole in a timber where it had made its home.
He ascended to the third floor, and stood gazing around in wonder at the massive wooden machinery, now festooned with cobwebs. Just look at that lovely great spur wheel, and that Dorkin and Hardwick bevel pinion gearing!
The stout old timbers were liberally coated with flour, dust and dirt. A musty smell pervaded the air. This was a real old mill, with a terrific atmosphere, not one of your "restored" ones. It saddened him to think that if it ever were rehabilitated, it was bound to lose its character to some extent.
He took out his camera, attached the flashbulb, and proceeded to take some photographs.
He ventured all the way to the top of the mill, gazing up into its cap at the huge cogwheel there. His eye fell on a large white stone which hung on a piece of string from one of the roof timbers. It was smoothly polished, with a large hole in the centre. From his knowledge of the local mills he recognised it as a "luck stone", placed there to ward off evil spirits.
Feeling tired and hungry, he sat down and unzipped his backpack, taking out his thermos flask and a couple of sandwiches. Having eaten, he lay down and waited for sleep to come. Early in the morning, at a time when hopefully there wouldn't be an awful lot of people about, he'd get up, sneak away as quietly as he could and resume his journey to Horsham.
Somewhere an owl hooted, and a little later he heard the distinctive cry of a fox.

Joe Hogden threw back the sheets and clambered stiffly out of the bed, muttering crossly. Turning on the light, he went over to the door and lifted his dressing gown from the hook where it hung, continuing to grumble as he struggled into it.
His wife had woken too, and was regarding him blearily from the bed, blinking.
"That bloody little bugger of a fox is on the prowl again," he snarled. "I just heard it."
She lay back with a sigh. Having to get up in the middle of the night to do things like this was one of the irksome tasks which went with being a farmer, although for Joe it was as much a personal vendetta.
In his dressing gown and slippers, Hogden went downstairs to the living room of the eighteenth-century farmhouse and took down his father's double-barrelled shotgun from where it hung over the fireplace. He loaded it with cartridges from one of the drawers in the sideboard and went outside.
Moving very slowly and quietly, he approached the chicken runs. A quick search of their vicinity revealed no trace of any fox. All the same, he knew it was around somewhere and he wanted to find it so he could sort it out. Like a hunting animal himself he paused and waited, perfectly still, listening carefully for any sound from the fox. He stood there for some minutes but heard nothing.
He happened to glance towards the mill, and gave a start. A ghostly white shape was hovering above its cap. Only an owl, he told himself. He'd seen them many times, flitting in and out of the holes in the boarding, but the sight of them could still be unnerving. Peculiar birds, he'd always thought.
The thought of the mill brought a scowl to his heavy features. All the problems he'd had over that old wreck. Many people had tried to persuade him to do something about it. Usually he told them in no uncertain terms what they could do with themselves; it belonged to him and he failed to see why he couldn't do whatever he liked with it. It was stupid, anyway; they slapped a Listed Building notice on it, so he couldn't pull it down, then just let it fall to bits. If they were going to infringe his rights over his own property, they might at least do it properly. And it puzzled him why anyone should make so much fuss over something once it had become obsolete and no longer practically useful.
He was sick and tired of being asked to be allowed to look over the mill or take photographs of it (permission was invariably refused). It also rankled him that his wife and eldest son were pestering him to do some work to it. They thought it would be a shame if it fell down, and that it might be a nice idea to restore it and open it to the public, selling tea and scones to the visitors, but he couldn't be bothered with anything like that. It would mean a lot of work which, as he was doing all right at the moment with the income from the farm, he regarded as unnecessary and therefore tiresome. The mere fact that someone else had suggested it, and not himself, didn't incline him to take it up. The matter was a cause of some friction among the family. All in all, the thing was an eyesore and a nuisance.
Hogden decided he'd do something about it all right. He'd burn it down and be rid of the old pile; next November 5th would be a good time. It'd be easy to blame the conflagration on a stray firework or out-of-control bonfire.
Dismissing the mill from his thoughts for the time being, he resumed his search for the fox.
Inside the mill Neil, still awake, looked up sharply on hearing a scratching, scrabbling sound from above. Rats? No, sounded like something bigger. He felt a pang of alarm.
Perhaps if he left whatever-it-was alone, it would leave him alone. Unfortunately, curiosity got the better of him. He stood up and shone the torch around.
Probably a bird of some kind, he surmised. A lot of droppings were splattered around, giving off a strong stench. Then he caught sight of a nest up in the timbers of the roof.
At a guess the bird must be an owl, returning to the nest with food for its young. He knew they could inflict some nasty injuries. If it decided he was a threat to the chicks...
The thought occurred to him just a little too late. The owl seemed to appear from nowhere, launching itself through the air towards him with an angry screech. He staggered back, instinctively bringing his hands up to protect his face from its beak and claws, and trod heavily on a rotten board which snapped beneath his weight.
Neil cried out in fear as he felt himself falling. Just in time he managed to grab hold of a projecting beam. He hung from it, suspended in mid-air with a drop of ten feet or so below him.
Outside, Joe Hogden stiffened on hearing the eerie cry of the owl and the splintering of wood. Something had alarmed the bird, and it could only be a human being. Forgetting about the fox, he stomped towards the mill muttering lurid threats.
Neil hauled himself painfully up onto the floor. Then he heard an angry shout from outside.
"Oy! Who's in there?"
Oh, shit, he thought.
He decided not to answer.
Briefly the thought crossed Hogden's mind that he might be mistaken. He wasn't inclined to enter the mill to make sure. All that rotten wood made it a dangerous place. Then he grinned slyly, eyes gleaming, as an idea came to him.
"If you don't come out," he shouted, "I'll burn the place down with you in it. I mean it."
Neil's blood chilled. Was the man serious? He supposed that his trespassing on what was undoubtedly private property gave the farmer a sort of excuse for his actions, or something he could make into one. He knew farmers had considerable economic and political clout; they could get away with a heck of a lot.
He lay there pondering the situation carefully. If he gave himself up it might mean a fine and perhaps a spell in prison.
"Right, you've had enough time to make your mind up," the farmer shouted. Then Neil heard him run off. Probably he was going to fetch something to start the fire with. Neil was sickened and dismayed by the thought that he might be responsible for the mill's destruction. Perhaps it would be better if he just went to the farmer and apologised. He cursed himself for having got into the whole silly situation.
Whatever happened, he didn't intend to be in the mill when the farmer set fire to it. Carefully he descended the series of ladders to the ground floor. He scrambled out through the window and jumped down.
Concealed in a thicket a couple of hundred yards from the mill, Hogden watched him emerge from the building and scurry off towards the woods that bordered the property. A broad grin split the farmer's turnip-like face.
He stepped from his hiding place and raised the shotgun. "Hey, you there!" he shouted. "Just stay right where you are!"
Neil should have done just that, faced the music. Instead he panicked, running off into the trees. With a shout of rage Hogden ran after him. He wasn't going to let the bastard get away that easily. Hogden didn't intend to actually kill or injure him, just scare him a little. As long as he saw him off the land.
He let the gun off a few times to make the trespasser think he was going to shoot them. They wouldn't bring charges because they wouldn't want to reveal exactly why they had come to be where they were at that time of night.
"I'm warning you!" he called out.
Furiously he raced after the fleeing figure. But he wasn't young any more, and soon began to slow down.
Hogden wandered through the woods shining his torch before him, the gun clutched in his other hand. He wanted to make absolutely sure the intruder was gone before returning to bed. By now he'd lost sight of his quarry, and was listening keenly for any sound which might give them away.
A few yards away Neil crouched down in a little hollow within a large bush, trembling. He could see the beam of the torch through the trees.
To his relief Hogden passed by him. All he had to do now was wait until the farmer abandoned the search, then kip down here until the morning. If he made a move now, the sound would alert his pursuer.
Hogden was on the point of giving up when he heard something moving through the vegetation towards him.
He frowned. It sounded fairly big, and the way it crashed through the foliage suggested it wasn't afraid of him. What the hell could it be? Not the man he was hunting, surely. But it had to be a man. Too big for any kind of animal.
"I've got a gun!" he shouted. That should do the trick, he told himself, uneasily.
The sound grew louder as its source approached, and the cold feeling of unease began to grow within Hogden. It must have heard him, and yet…
It sounded as if the thing was running now. In a moment or two it would reach him; should he stay and face it? If he just turned and walked away, it'd catch up with him almost immediately.
As he stood there uncertainly it burst out of a bush into a shaft of moonlight. And Joe Hogden screamed in unbelieving horror.
He let off the shotgun instinctively. The blast had absolutely no effect. The thing was still standing there, leering at him.
It couldn’t be real. A man in a suit, surely…
In a sudden rushing movement it fell upon him. Its touch burnt like fire, and Hogden screamed repeatedly as he struggled in vain to break free of it. The sensation was incredibly painful; nauseating. He looked down at himself and saw that it wasn't just hurting him. To his unbelieving horror, the flesh of his hand was changing. Becoming like the creature's flesh.
On hearing the farmer's hideous shrieking Neil sprang to his feet and fled at a pace which would have impressed an Olympic champion, wondering whether it might not be a good idea to give up windmills for a bit. The creature heard him crash through the undergrowth and for a moment considered going after him. No, it thought. Let one unexplained disappearance be enough. If its kind attracted too much attention to themselves, someone might come along who could discover what was going on here and prevent it. For the moment, they had to be cautious. It was enough that they had made one more addition to their ranks.
Cackling and sniggering with evil glee, the creature headed back to where it had come from, dragging the thing that had once been Joe Hogden after it.
As a raging blackness engulfed Hogden's mind and body, he found himself experiencing a curious sensation of tranquility. Mixed in with his fear and terror was a realisation that the thing which held him wasn't too different from himself. Wherever he was going, he'd be at home there.
But it was that which tore the final, terrible scream of despair from his throat, after which silence fell upon the wood until the morning.

The Doctor had got through several laboratories since first starting work as UNIT’s Scientific Adviser. This one was a fair-sized room with walls of white-painted breezeblocks, more or less devoid of decoration. It was clearly not a place where he spent a great deal of time. A couple of benches, and the big table in the middle, were cluttered with assorted scientific equipment. In its usual corner stood the TARDIS.
The Doctor was sitting with his feet on a table, perusing a set of papers he had removed from a manila folder. On the front of the folder, the word "CLASSIFIED" had been stamped in red. Beneath this was the legend:

TO BE READ ONLY BY PERSONNEL IN CLEARANCE CATEGORY A
SUBJECT: THE SOUTH POLE AND ATTERBURY INCIDENTS

As scientific adviser, albeit unpaid, unofficial and much of the time unseen the Doctor had an automatic right to inspect the file's contents. He was already familiar with the details of this particular case, having played an active part in it. It was a kind of morbidity which made him go through the file. "What a waste," he muttered to himself as he did so. "What a senseless, stupid, arrant waste."
The file included something to show how the newspapers had reported the incidents. There were photocopies taken from the front pages of all the leading dailies; in with them some wag had slipped a copy of the front page of a certain tabloid, reporting some inconsequential event in its usual inane fashion, but the Doctor didn't smile. Solemnly he went on reading.

SCIENTISTS DIE IN ANTARCTIC TRAGEDY
Three men are assumed to have perished yesterday in an explosion which completely destroyed a scientific base near the South Pole. A medical team from a nearby military base, called out to help when one of the men had fallen ill, found, in the words of its leader Dr Ian Chester, "nothing but ashes and twisted metal." The dead scientists have been named as Charles Winlett, 34, a geologist; botanist John Stevenson, 49; and Derek Moberley, 32, zoologist. Energy for the base had been provided by a revolutionary new fuel cell system, which because of its untried nature had been situated for safety reasons in a separate building a mile from the complex. That both this building and the main base were destroyed seems to confirm a fault in the new equipment to have been the cause of the disaster.
Reports that two members of a government organisation were present on the base at the time of the tragedy have been denied.
The base had been established by the newly-created World Ecology Bureau in a bid to uncover fossil evidence of the life forms which may have existed on the continent of Antarctica before it became icebound.

RAF CALLED IN AS KILLER PLAGUE STRIKES COUNTRYSIDE
A five-mile area of countryside around Chase Manor, Dorset, home of reclusive millionaire Harrison Chase, was sealed off yesterday, and the house bombed by Royal Air Force jets, as part of measures to deal with an outbreak of a lethal virus in which Mr Chase and various others had earlier died.
A full report on the incident is still awaited, but it is known that apart from Mr Chase the dead included Mr Arnold Keeler, one of the scientists employed by the plant-loving millionaire in the botanical research laboratories he had established at his ancestral home; Mr Richard Dunbar of the World Ecology Bureau, who is presumed to have visited the house to discuss conservation matters; Mr Derek Scorby, understood to have been employed by Mr Chase in a general capacity; Mr Seymour Hargreaves, Mr Chase's butler; Sergeant Alan Henderson of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, who had gone into the building to begin the task of decontamination; and several of the guards employed by Mr Chase to patrol his extensive estate. The virus was able to spread to outlying areas before it could be contained, and it is understood that a gardener, an agricultural labourer and a young woman all fell victim to it.

The Doctor finished reading the file and slammed it down on the desk. "Piffle!" he declared loudly. "Absolute, unadulterated, first generation, card-carrying, state-of-the-art piffle." Disgustedly he flung the folder away from him. It hit the wall and burst, scattering its contents all over the floor.
The Doctor sighed. Would they ever learn?
He sat slumped in the chair for a while, his mobile, expressive face wreathed in gloom. Then his moody introspections were interrupted when a cheery face peered into the room. "Wotcher, Doc!"
The Doctor managed a smile. "Good morning, Mr Benton. How are you feeling now?"
The big Warrant Officer rubbed his head. "Oh, not so bad. Still get the odd dizzy spell now and then, but that's all." He glanced quizzically at the pile of papers on the floor, then at the Doctor, who shrugged.
"You took quite a knock," the Doctor said. "Those Kraal androids are pretty hefty chaps."
Benton grinned. "Well, the Brig did once say I had a - "
"A thick skull, yes I know. That's why they hit you harder than the others. But the Kraals could have killed you if they'd wanted to. I think they were saving you and all the other humans they replaced for further tests on that virus of theirs. They could only spread it manually, you see; not a very efficient way of exterminating the human race. I imagine they wanted to see how quickly the body could succumb to it if it was carried on the air."
"Shame I had to miss that business with the plants," Benton commented.
"I'm not so sure of that, Mr Benton," the Doctor replied quietly, reflecting on what had happened to Sergeant Henderson. He seemed to be slipping back into gloom again.
"Did you enjoy your holiday?" Benton asked. After dealing with the Krynoid crisis the Doctor had once more abruptly disappeared, taking his journalist friend Sarah Jane Smith with him.
"Yes, I did, thankyou," responded the Doctor.
Well, I don't think it did you much good, Benton thought. He tried to cheer the Doctor up. "Heard from Mike Yates while you were away. Told him about you changing your face again. He's still buried out at that Buddhist place. And Jo called as well."
The Doctor’s mood changed, and he broke into a broad grin which showed all his white teeth. "Jo! And how's she?"
"Well. But the Professor's finally had to give up searching for that fungus of his. Er...you're not thinking of dashing off anywhere in the near future, are you Doctor?" asked Benton awkwardly.
The Doctor didn’t answer immediately. "No," he said. "Why?"
"I think the Brig wants a word with you when he gets back from Geneva."
The Doctor sighed, evidently not overenthusiastic at the prospect of a meeting with the Brigadier. "Tell him I'll be around."
"All right, then." Benton left the laboratory, pursing his lips as he went.
The Doctor supposed he'd better do something about the mess on the floor.
For the umpteenth time that morning, he found his gaze wandering around the laboratory, to settle lovingly on the TARDIS. It remained there for several minutes. Then, with a sigh, he bent down and began sorting out the pile of papers.

On the plane carrying him back to London from Geneva, Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, commanding officer of the British Section of UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce), was reflecting on the hectic events of the last few months.
He had gone to the first of the three meetings he had so far attended on the reorganisation of UNIT in a rather apprehensive frame of mind, having been given no indication what to expect, though it was obvious something pretty important was going on.
He had been shown into the Secretary-General's office, through whose window a spectacular view could be had of snow-capped mountains. Harberg had greeted him with customary politeness and invited him to be seated. After the usual small talk, they got down to business. "Now, Brigadier, let me explain why I've called you here yet again.
"You've been Commanding Officer of UNIT UK for nearly eight years now. During that time, a lot of things have happened."
The Brigadier smiled. "You could say that, Sir."
"For some reason, your part of the world seems to attract particular intention from extra-terrestrial invaders. Why that is no-one's quite sure, although we know the Americans have had their own experiences, which they've succeeded so far in covering up; also the Soviets. There is no indication that these attacks will not continue. The Security Council - or rather those of its members who are privy to what is going on - believe there should be some changes in the way the threat is tackled."
The Brigadier tensed. This sounded interesting. It might be Harberg was planning to fob him off, although he nevertheless found that hard to believe in view of all that had been happening. Or perhaps whatever Harberg was aiming to do would only be a partial response to the problem, a compromise designed to satisfy everyone in the short run but ultimately worthless.
"May I speak frankly, Sir?" he asked.
The Secretary General smiled in a friendly way, and spread his arms wide. "Be my guest. That is what you're here for."
"I take it you mean that major changes are to be made in the way UNIT is organised. If so, I must stress that they will have to be very far-reaching. The operation I'm running is a complete shambles. We have too few resources and not enough money." It was for that reason that he, although a staff officer, found himself so frequently leading his troops into battle. He should have a Captain and a Major to do that, but the budget didn't stretch that far.
"We only maintain a token force and we're too dependent on the regular army. And too subordinate to the national governments. In addition, I often have the wrong sort of people forced on me. It can't be acceptable for UNIT to be a dumping ground for people who aren't suitable material merely because they've got friends or relatives in influential positions." A half-smile briefly appeared on his angular face as he thought of Jo Grant. And Harry Sullivan, who'd been a splendid doctor, but not much good at anything else. No, that was unfair. Jo had turned out alright in the end, though both he and the Doctor had despaired of her at times, and Sullivan was doing important work for MI5, which suggested there was more to him than his bumbling image led you to think or he wouldn’t have been trusted with it. All the same…"It's all quite ridiculous, in view of the problems we're facing. I often wonder whether the UN really takes the situation seriously. And above all, Sir, we just can't go covering things up forever. I mean, hundred-foot tall robots marching about the countryside, plants suddenly throttling people...sooner or later, someone's going to start noticing."
There. He'd put his balls on the table. He sat back in his chair and waited for the German to respond.
Harberg’s face wore a wry smile. "Eloquently put, Brigadier. As for the content, I would like to assure you that the Security Council agree with absolutely everything you say."
The Brigadier stiffened. He’d long suspected that to be the case, but this was the first time it had been openly admitted. Surely, it must mean something. He felt his excitement begin to rise.
"The issue of openness is something I would like to address later," said Harberg. "Let me deal with the other concerns you raised one by one. As far as being subordinate to the national governments is concerned, I understand how you feel and can only sympathise. It’s like the UN as a whole. For one thing we're too dependent on the Americans, which of course makes it look as if we're just puppets of theirs." He shrugged. "But that is a perennial problem. Whether we'll ever be able to do anything about it, God only knows."
They talked at great length about the finer points of administration and finance until the Brigadier was frankly bored to tears. The meeting had begun with such promise, but now he had the impression Harberg had merely been going through the motions. He was stalling, and had called the meeting only so he could keep the Brigadier, or someone in Geneva who shared Lethbridge-Stewart’s views, happy, in the short run at least, by making it look as if he was doing something. The Brigadier had the disquieting thought that they might be planning to ease him out – that would be part of the administrative changes proposed - and were making sure he didn’t cause too much trouble before they had found a way of doing so.
The second meeting likewise dealt with purely organisational issues. It was interrupted, not exactly to the Brigadier's chagrin, by that Krynoid business, but by the time he got back to Britain the matter was nearing its climax and he decided to leave Beresford in charge. It was at the third meeting, the one he was now returning from, that things got more interesting. “We are both agreed that more funding is needed," Harberg had said. "Now…I must ask you not to divulge what I am about to say to anyone else, although I know you won't.
“We need more funding; but we cannot get it without telling the truth. That is one good reason for letting the public know of the danger they are in. The other you have already mentioned. It is simply impossible to conceal it forever." He frowned. "Unfortunately, the problem is a more complex one than might be supposed. It's not that we'll all be thought foolish. There's plenty of evidence in the form of dead extra-terrestrials, pieces of their equipment. It's rather that certain reputations would suffer if it became known that politicians had concealed the truth from the world for a period of over a decade – longer than that, in fact."
"To be blunt, Sir, I've no sympathy," said the Brigadier. "They should have told the truth from the start, then they wouldn't be in such a difficult position now."
"We, of course, have always been in favour of an honest approach," said Harberg defensively.
"Of course, Sir, of course."
"Despite the trouble it might cause, the overriding feeling on the Security Council is that we should now disclose the truth to the world public. To be politically embarrassed, ruined even, is preferable in the end to living under the yoke of alien oppression." He gave his wry smile again. "They'll carry out a public relations exercise of course, gloss it over as much as possible. A carefully worded statement is being prepared right now. We were thinking of releasing the news through that journalist girl, Sarah Jane Smith. It seems logical to let her have first refusal. We let her attach herself to you, which she seemed keen to do, in the first place because we were already working towards something like this."
The Brigadier smiled, breathing out as if a heavy weight that had been on his mind for a long time had now been removed from it. His eyes had lit up.
Harberg smiled too. “Pleased, Brigadier?"
"Yes, Sir,” Lethbridge Stewart nodded. “I must say that I am."
Harberg got up and started to pace the room, hands clasped behind his back. "Within the next couple of years a new UNIT will emerge. One which is better funded, better organised, better led, in every respect more professional. It will have the active support and co-operation of both the public and world governments. Every effort will be put into devising a technology capable of defeating the aliens, which our current equipment quite frankly is not. We must push human science forward until we are capable of meeting them on their own terms. That's why we've persuaded the British government to revive the Thinktank project; under carefully controlled conditions, of course, bearing in mind what happened over the K1 Robot. In view of its associations, the name's now been changed to the Combined Sciences Research Foundation."
He paused. "There is one factor in the equation, a very important one, which we cannot be certain of. A random factor. This scientific adviser man of yours..."
"Yes," the Brigadier sighed. "The Doctor."
"I see from your various reports that his advice and assistance has been instrumental in defeating most of the invasion attempts we have been faced with. I also see that he has a habit of disappearing for long periods, often when he's most urgently needed. He could be a marvellous asset if only he were more reliable. A scientific adviser who isn't permanently on call is no good at all. Can't you exercise some control over him?"
"Not without keeping him physically chained up. And he's too valuable to be sacked. I think he'd prefer it if I did sack him, because then he'd have an excuse to go."
"Perhaps it would help if his position were an official one, with a proper salary."
The Brigadier knew the Doctor wouldn't react favourably to this, and said so. He’d no time for money, or for bureaucracy, and never did have.
"Well, you're going to have to tell him, Brigadier, that things can't go on the way they are."
The Brigadier was inclined to agree with Harberg. "That's the frustrating thing," he sighed. "As I said, he’s just too valuable to us to be ignored. We've got no choice but to pander to him. Still, I'll have a word with the fellow when I get back and see if I can't get a few things straight. That's if he's around, of course." He'd left instructions to Benton, and anyone else who spotted the Doctor, to ask him to remain at HQ until he, Lethbridge-Stewart, got back from Geneva. "It's unfortunate in a way that I've had to spend so much of my time here of late; it means I can't keep an eye on him."
"Of course," Harberg said, "we may no longer need him if we can organise ourselves more effectively and develop the right technology. But I'd feel a lot safer if he were around."
"My sentiments entirely. I just hope I can knock some sense into the chap."
That had concluded their business. After leaving the building the Brigadier had taken a stroll down to the lake. Finding a bench, he sat gazing its calm, still waters, the cries of children as they played drifting to him on the breeze, and reflected on the meeting he'd just had, on what it meant for his own future and that of the organisation he'd helped to create; that he loved. The strain of command, and in particular the pressure of trying to deal with obtuse politicians, who often turned out to be as much a danger as the enemy he was fighting, had of late started to tell on him. He'd like a rest from it. If everything was going to change in the way Harberg was suggesting, things might be a lot easier. Then again, they might not. Politicians were politicians, no matter what. They'd always find something to be difficult over. In any case, he still had a nagging doubt whether this new initiative would turn out to be a sham like all the others, or really did inaugurate a new era.
It has to be, he told himself. After what happened at Atterbury, and the business with the Robot, and the dinosaurs, and the Zygons...surely they can't still pretend it's all a hoax.
He felt he couldn't retire as long as the question of the Doctor was unsettled. No-one else understood how to deal with him, could manage to keep their patience with him, endure his eccentric ways. He shuddered at the consequences of leaving Harberg, stiff and formal and often lacking in imagination, to deal with the errant Time Lord.
The Brigadier started making his way back to his hotel. He had a plane to catch in the morning. Tomorrow he’d go back to London and then sort it out with his Scientific Adviser once and for all. Hopefully.

Aston Willis whistled cheerfully as he walked down Pelhams Road in Brixton, looking forward to a pleasant evening at home with his family. Mum would have a meal ready for him when he got there, he thought with a smile; she always did.
He felt a sudden chill as it occurred to him he really shouldn't be walking about the area on his own, given the kind of incidents which had been happening there recently. But what the hell? You couldn't live as if you were under siege. That'd make life extremely difficult, if not impossible. No, you just had to accept that such things could happen, including to you, and that there was no sure way of protecting yourself against them. Aston was a thoughtful, sensible young man and knew there was no choice but to be philosophical about the matter.
That didn't mean it was easier to cope with when it happened.
They waited within the mouth of a narrow and gloomy alleyway which ran between two rows of semi-detached houses. They had taken every conceivable precaution to avoid being spotted. All wore black tracksuits and their faces were hidden by black balaclava helmets. Two of them carried monkey wrenches.
Steve Higgs felt a delicious excitement build up in him as they heard the man's footsteps grow louder; as the moment when he would consummate his hatred approached. His heart thumped furiously and his entire body was tense with excitement. The others felt the same.
Their prey came into sight. "Now!" yelled Higgs. Aston looked round, startled by the shout coming from so close by. Then they were rushing from the darkness of the alley to surround him.
Aston felt sick with fear as he realised what was happening. Instinctively he started to run, but a savage shove in the chest brought him to a halt.
His desperate hope was that they were just seeking to frighten him, to shake him up a bit. What happened next banished any such hope.
Myer was the first to get the boot in. "You shit-skinned bastard!" he bellowed, smashing his leg with sledgehammer force into the young black man's stomach. Aston doubled up and staggered under the impact, the breath driven from his lungs. He had only an instant in which to think he was going to suffocate. Then they were raining kicks and punches on him with insane fury. In a moment he was disorientated, crazy with fear and pain. Unable any longer to stand, he toppled and fell heavily on the pavement.
The weakness of their prey acted as a signal to intensify the attack, fuelling their excitement as it might that of a pack of hunting animals. Aston screamed as the kicking resumed.
A man - a white man, as it happened - came round the corner into the street and stopped dead at what he saw, frozen with horror. He knew at once that it was foolish to attempt to intervene. All it would accomplish would be the depositing of another dead body on the streets of London. Best to ring the police. He had to find a phone quickly if there was to be any chance of saving the victim from serious injury, or worse.
He ran from house to house banging on the door, repeatedly ringing the bell, and yelling frantically for help. No-one answered.
Meanwhile Higgs and Francis were beating at Aston with their monkey wrenches, putting all their rage and venom into the blows. Blood spurted onto Francis' sleeve, but such was his excitement that he didn't even notice it. Then they jerked Aston to his feet and slammed him against the wall. Incredibly, he was still partly conscious. It didn’t do him much good.
Higgs drew the razor blade slowly across Aston's throat. He loved the way the blood sort of bubbled from the wound. It welled thickly out of it and down Aston's front.
Life died in they young man’s eyes and his head lolled to one side. Again they knew an almost sexual thrill as they felt the body go limp; felt it die. Releasing it, they watched it crumple and fall.
They dashed down the alleyway and out onto the pavement of the street which ran parallel to the one where the murder had occurred. Nearby was parked a grubby Ford Transit van. The driver opened the door for them and they scrambled in. They panted from their exertions, rather like dogs after a run or a kill. Inside the vehicle they removed their balaclavas and looked at each other. Their eyes, shining in exultation, met.
As one they whooped in triumph. "Done it! Got one of the bastards! Got him! Yeah!"
Then the driver turned the key in the ignition, stamped hard on the accelerator, and the van shot off down the street into the night, soon to be lost in the maze of roads which dissected this part of South London. They were sure no-one could have recognised them, but felt safer the further they were from the scene of the atrocity, so vital was it that no-one connected them, and thus the organisation to which they belonged, with the killing.
Behind them, Aston Willis' blood flowed along the pavement and into a grating over a sewer. It was an image which would no doubt have appealed to his murderers.

A rather battered 1950s Morris Minor turned off the main road to the village of Wattlehurst and along a bumpy, winding lane that seemed to be full of ruts. On either side of it were tall trees and thick hedges. From out of the windows, which had been wound down against the stifling summer heat, blared the sound of You Should Be Dancing by the Bee Gees, disturbing the peace and quiet of the Sussex countryside.
As the lane bent sharply to the right the cottage came into sight, nestling at the edge of a small wood. "Oh, look!" exclaimed the sturdy brunette sitting with her boyfriend in the back of the car. "Isn't that nice?"
It was a red brick, largely eighteenth century building with an older, half-timbered section the estate agent thought was Tudor, or even older. A few small, square outbuildings were built onto it. To the west was a large field, now somewhat overgrown and bordered at its far end by a dense thicket.
"This should be a lovely place for the children to explore," said the brunette.
Tom gave her a quizzical look. As far as he was concerned they had yet to make a decision regarding kids.
The car drew up beside the rickety wooden gate. The four of them got out and stood looking around, sweating in the intense heat. Sheila, the girl who had been occupying the front passenger seat, had a rapt expression on her face. "Oh, it's lovely," she trilled. "I wouldn't mind living here for good."
"Let's get inside," said Linda. The others concurred, anxious like her to be out of the baking sun. Tom tried the gate, which swung open easily, scraping on the uneven stone path. At the door, he lifted the mat and after a few moment's scrabbling produced the key.
They filed in, and immediately started to explore. The building had a homely, lived-in feel, as well as the atmosphere which comes with an old house that has been inhabited for a long time by the same people. A musty, dusty odour pervaded everything. There was none of the antiseptic modernity that killed the spirit of a place. The entrance hall was panelled in oak, and hung with paintings and brass rubbings. In contrast the living room had been decorated with flowery wallpaper; it sported the obligatory china ducks in flight, along with similar ornaments. The beams in the ceiling, old and gnarled but still sound, were painted over in green. Another room had walls of bare stone, was more or less empty and didn't seem to be used for anything in particular.
There were plenty of concessions to modernity; a TV in the living room, central heating, a modern kitchen (which still, however, retained its old-fashioned cooking range) and bathroom, while an ancient but still serviceable wireless stood on a sideboard. None of these things interfered in any way with the atmosphere of the place.
Tom, practical as usual, wanted to sit down over some tea and discuss how they were going to spend their time while they were there. But everyone else wanted to finish exploring first, so he deferred the business until later.
Seemingly uncertain where to begin, Sheila darted in and out of each of the rooms, making little noises of delight. "Oh, this is lovely," she exclaimed. "Oh oh oh oh oh!"
Everyone seemed to be fully occupied downstairs. Wanting to be different, she began climbing the stairs to the upper floor, the treads groaning a little under her feet.
There was an extension to the main building which served as a garage and storehouse. Idly, Linda wandered inside and peered around. The single large room was filled with an incredible assortment of bric-a-brac. She wondered whether they should leave it as it was, or try to sort it all out. The kids would love to play about in here, captivated by its sheer ramshackle untidiness.
A scratching sound from above made her look up at the ceiling. Almost as she did so, it ceased. She frowned briefly, then returned her attention to the contents of the room. It was a thorny question; curious as she was to find out exactly what was in here, and whether it could be put to any useful purpose, she felt it would be less fun if made neat and tidy.
There it was again; that scratching. It went on for longer this time. Rats? She earnestly hoped not. Or birds; they wouldn’t be so much of a problem.
After a moment she rejoined the others, who had gravitated to the kitchen which they appeared to have selected as their base of operations. She made some tea and sandwiches, and they set about planning how they were going to spend their holiday.
She thought vaguely that she heard the scratching sound again, coming from closer to hand this time, but couldn’t be sure.

In his laboratory the Doctor was sitting moping as usual, staring vaguely at the wall opposite him. Suddenly he raised his fist and slammed it down on the table in a gesture of childish rage.
He sat brooding for a while longer, then, with a sigh, came to a decision and stood up stiffly. He'd been sitting down for so long he'd got pins and needles.
He wandered around the room for a bit, stretching his legs, until the feeling went. Then he began to sort out the tangle of equipment in the laboratory, identifying the things he might need or weren't safe to leave behind. Once he'd got them all together, he carried them in stages into the TARDIS. He paused guiltily when he heard footsteps coming along the corridor, but they passed the door of the laboratory and died away in the distance. Probably just a junior soldier on an errand.
When he had finished the Doctor took one last look around the room where he and his friends had on so many occasions met to plan their resistance to some alien threat or other. Despite himself, he felt a pang of maudlin nostalgia.
He reflected that he really ought to see Sarah one more time before he left, and to leave some sort of farewell note for everyone. But he'd been moping for so long his frustration had made him impatient and he just couldn't bear to wait around any longer.
A moment later, the familiar, to the occupants of the building, sound of the TARDIS dematerialising echoed along its corridors. Benton, patrolling the place on his tour of duty, heard it and sighed resignedly. And just before the Brig was due to come back, too.
In the TARDIS, travelling in Vortex, the Doctor was standing with his finger poised over the instruments on the console, trying to decide where to go first.
He was astonished, and more than a little perplexed, to see the Time Rotor in the centre of the console rise and fall and hear the sound of the TARDIS materialising. Puzzled, since he hadn't selected a destination yet, he studied the instruments in search of some explanation.
The materialisation noise ceased, and the Doctor switched on the scanner. The shutter over the screen rose up to show a familiar and very boring expanse of bare white wall. He'd gone right back to where he'd started from.
He dematerialised again, with exactly the same result. "But how...." He stared at the console blankly, a terrible suspicion beginning to dawn on him. He set to work dismantling the console in an attempt to find out what the problem was. He didn't succeed. As far as could be ascertained everything was working perfectly.
He emerged from the TARDIS to find Benton standing in the doorway, arms folded, his head tilted slightly to one side. "Had second thoughts, had you Doc?"
"No," the Doctor replied crossly. "Someone appears to have been interfering with the workings of my TARDIS." For a moment he regarded the CSM suspiciously.
Benton shrugged. "Don't look at me."
The Doctor realised he was being unfair, and mentally berated himself for it. Neither the Brigadier nor any of his men could have the slightest idea how to get into the TARDIS without the key, which always remained firmly in the Doctor’s possession, let alone what needed to be done in order to sabotage it.
If not them, it could only be the Time Lords. It seemed they didn't want him to leave Earth just yet. There was something very important he had to do there. The awful thought occurred to him that they meant him to remain here permanently, or at least for the foreseeable future. He had always felt that his exile to Earth at the same time as the first Nestene invasion of the planet couldn't have been a coincidence. The Time Lords had sent him there at the instigation of their Celestial Intervention Agency because they believed Earth needed to be protected, and he was just the man for the job.
They must have been faced with something of a problem when he sorted out the Omega crisis - saving Gallifrey, along with every other planet in the universe, from destruction - and it became very difficult to continue refusing him his freedom. Fortunately, in his then incarnation he had shown no desire to snap his links with Earth, which he'd come to regard as his second home, entirely. But when he regenerated, and his new personality proved not to have the same feelings of loyalty and responsibility to the planet, the problem had arisen again.
He told himself to look on the bright side. He had no proof that his fears were justified. And if they were, at least his mind would be made up for him. There'd be none of the miserable uncertainty, noticed on more than one occasion by those close to him, which kept him tied to UNIT despite his oft-expressed disenchantment with it.
He became aware Benton was speaking. "Look, Doc, just a friendly word. You think the Brig's got it in for you because you won't do what he tells you all the time. Well, it's not like that. The fact is, you've annoyed him. You've annoyed all of us. He's got his job to do, and that means making sure you're ready in case anything big comes up."
"Well, Mr Benton, it seems I don't have much of a choice in any case," the Doctor sighed. His manner changed and he seemed alert, motivated. ”Mr Benton, is there anything going on anywhere that I ought to know about?"
"Not that I'm aware of, Doc. If anything does, you can be sure we’ll let you know."
"You’d better."
Benton looked at him strangely, then with a brief nod went off. The Doctor slumped into a chair again, downhearted as the consciousness of his situation hit him once more. Well, he’d just have to see how long this was going to last for. Meanwhile, there were jobs to be done around the TARDIS. He’d just have to hope they kept him occupied until something big really did “come up”.

Clive Breslin worked in a clerical capacity for a firm who supplied agricultural materials to farms in Wattlehurst and the neighbouring villages.
He did his job well enough most of the time, but if he did make a mistake, a single isolated mistake, people seemed to react very strongly. "You stupid bastard" or "stupid nonce" were just a few of the comments he received from his colleagues, or his boss Joe Carson (who he'd once overheard calling him a "poncey college boy"). Their decision he must be a homosexual seemed based on no more than the fact of his talking in a different accent, and a more precise fashion, than they did and being perhaps more fastidious in his manners.
What irritated him most was the angry response he got whenever he tried to politely point out that some aspect of the way the firm conducted its business could be improved upon. That he did so now and again seemed to have marked him down in Carson's eyes as a tiresome troublemaker. For God's sake, he was only showing his initiative, only trying to be helpful. He felt a surge of anger; if he was arguing that this or that ought to be done, or not be done, it was because he was infinitely cleverer than Carson and could identify potential problems which the other man might not. The sheer obnoxiousness of Carson's behaviour sickened him. Once, after a particularly cutting and unjust rebuke, he had stood by Carson while he was working at his desk for almost five minutes (the manager totally unaware of his presence), trying to decide whether to argue the toss with him. He felt it couldn't be allowed to pass without some comment, some angry protest, yet knew that at best it would achieve nothing and at worst the consequences might be unpleasant. He was one hundred per cent certain Carson wanted him out and was looking for an excuse to sack him.
None of his workmates talked to him whenever they were all down the pub. He would say things, attempting to join in the conversation, to be sociable, and they would completely ignore him, which left him looking and feeling very embarrassed. Occasionally, on a whim, one might mutter some casual comment but that was all. He couldn't understand it; after all, despite the differences in background he had never felt any ill-will or hostility towards them.
He cursed himself inwardly for having got into this sort of situation in the first place. If he hadn't lazed about at University, left it with a poor degree and then for a year or two done virtually nothing about finding a job, he might now be working for a decent employer, one who recognised his abilities and respected him for them. He'd been out of work for so long that the more respectable people, understandably perhaps, were somewhat suspicious of him. Instead he was repeatedly being snapped up by the two-bit outfits who didn't understand, or care about either, the codes that should govern recruitment and personnel management. The ones who took people on without a proper assessment of their ability and then decided they didn't like them and kicked them out, often for flimsy or made-up reasons.
Still, it was a job. He had to stay on, make something of it, and in the meantime try to find alternative employment. He'd already started looking; he hoped to God he could find something before he was thrown out onto the dole again, and had to go through another soul-crushing period of unemployment.
It was one of his allotted tasks to make the tea from time to time. That morning, in a moment of carelessness, he knocked against a filing cabinet while he was carrying the tray loaded with cups from the kitchen into the office, jarring his arm. A quantity of the liquid splashed onto the papers Carson was going through.
"Ah, you bloody stupid git!" Carson roared.
For some reason this latest insult made Clive snap where the others hadn't. "I'm not a git," he burst out. "You've no right to call me that, OK?"
"Out," snapped Carson, after staring at him in a kind of astonishment for a moment or two.
"What?" replied Clive, not wanting to believe what he'd just heard. That he might be out on the scrapheap again was so unfair and depressing as to be unthinkable.
"You heard me. I said get out. Sling your hook." Carson jabbed his thumb savagely towards the door. "If you can't even make the tea properly I don't want you in my office. No point in bloody universities if all they do is turn out stupid bastards like you."
Clive stared at him. Then, slowly, as the hopelessness of his position sunk in, he got to his feet, loaded all his personal belongings into his briefcase, and turned and walked stiffly, robot-like, towards the door. Carson watched him leave with a look of contempt, mixed with triumph. He'd resolved a long time before that Breslin would have to go, but had found it difficult to decide whether it was worth the bother of trying to find a replacement.
Clive seethed with anger as he came out of the office and headed for the gates. A few of the workmen in the yard cast brief glances in his direction, then went back to their jobs. He laughed hollowly to himself at the thought of how the Job Centre would describe the business when he told them what had happened. A "personality clash"; the polite way of saying that one, at least, of the parties was a bloody-minded bastard.
Such was his anger that he kept stopping and turning round, as if intending to go back and have it out with Carson. But always prudence got the better of him. At the gates he paused and looked round one last time, to see Carson standing in the yard chatting brightly to a customer.
He was within an inch - no, a centimetre - of going over to the man and physically sorting him out. Carson was far bigger and stronger than he but the need to quench his burning rage seemed paramount, and there was a lot you could do if, say, you managed to get a thumb or a fingernail inside an eye. Trouble was that although it would be worth it just to see the look on the bastard's face, he'd only end up in court with Carson gloating over him as he was sent down.
In his rage and frustration, he found his brain entertaining dark thoughts that would otherwise never have occurred to him in a million years. Carson had to pay, just had to pay, for messing up his life.
If he killed him…but the murder would take careful planning, and in the end he still couldn't be sure he wouldn't be found out. The police usually got their man in the end. And if he was caught, he'd have really screwed it up then, wouldn't he? He considered the effect on his parents if, after all the grief he'd already caused them, he were to be consigned to prison for the rest of his days.
How lovely it'd be if, instead, he could by the simple effort of willing it make the truck parked against the wall of an outhouse a few yards from where Carson was standing reverse straight into him, knocking him to the ground and crushing him to a pulp beneath its massive wheels.
He was more than a little astonished, and frightened, when before his very eyes it did just that.

Early the following morning, a Boeing 747 flew alarmingly low over the bus station at Hatton Cross to touch down on the runway at Heathrow Airport. As soon as he experienced the jolt which told its passengers the aircraft had landed, the man in seat A56 on the left side of the passenger cabin felt a strange, indescribable thrill, of the kind that comes when you know you are within a short time of fulfilling your destiny.
He disembarked and passed through the check-out counter. His next step was to catch the bus that would take him into London, to the hotel. Finding it wasn't due for another thirty minutes, he wandered about idly in the meantime, his hands in the pockets of his smart business suit.
Behind his metal-framed spectacles, above which rose a high domed forehead bordered by thinning grey hair, his eyes peered keenly at the people who thronged the foyer of Terminal Three. Whenever he found himself in or near a largeish crowd he was drawn by an indescribable, irresistable compulsion to look for the face of the man who, thirty-four years earlier, had killed his parents before his very eyes and plunged his world into all-embracing darkness. The man he had come to Britain to find.

"Where is the Doctor?" snapped the Brigadier, having entered the laboratory to find his Scientific Adviser was nowhere in sight.
"In the TARDIS, Sir," said Benton, nodding towards the police box shape. "Seems to be spending most of his time in there these days." The dimensionally transcendental craft was a mini-Universe in itself and while the Doctor was stuck on Earth he could make up for his frustration to some extent, and get away from the Brigadier, by retreating into it.
Lethbridge-Stewart eyed the TARDIS apprehensively, afraid it might disappear at any moment. If only they could immobilise it somehow, so that the Doctor would be prevented from taking himself off whenever he felt like it. Or steal the key? The thought had occurred to him on quite a few occasions. As always, he dismissed it. He wasn't going to do that; no way. Much as he found the Doctor irritating, he wasn't prepared to treat him in such a fashion, even if the request came from higher authority.
"Well tell him to come out," said the Brigadier. "I want to speak to him."
Benton banged on the door. "Doctor? Doctor?"
He hadn't expected to receive a reply, and in the end he didn't.
The Brigadier was fast losing patience. "Keep an eye on that thing, Benton." He spoke through gritted teeth. "Consider yourself relieved of all other duties. As soon as the Doctor shows his face, tell him I want to see him - urgently. I'll be in my office. And if he doesn't come, tell him he's fired."
He stormed off. Benton swallowed.
It was about a minute or two after the Brigadier had gone that the TARDIS door opened and the Doctor emerged. "Do you have to knock so loud, Mr Benton?"
"The Brigadier's here, Doctor," said Benton grimly. "And I should warn you, he's in a pretty foul mood. You'd better not keep him waiting."
The Doctor scowled and stalked out of the room, brushing rudely past him.
The Brigadier looked up from the report he was writing as someone knocked on the door of his office. "Come in," he said, hoping it was the Doctor.
Benton winced as he saw the door close behind the Time Lord. There were sure to be fireworks.
The Doctor strode into the room with a cheery grin. "Ah, Brigadier. You had a nice time in Geneva, I hope. Jelly baby?" He offered the bag of sweets towards his superior.
"No thankyou," said the Brigadier flatly.
The Doctor planted himself firmly in a chair and put his feet up on the Brigadier's desk. "Do you have to, Doctor?" said Lethbridge-Stewart crossly.
With a resentful look the Doctor swung his legs to the floor. "You wanted to see me. Come on, don't waste my time in lectures on etiquette."
The Brigadier sighed. He regarded the man opposite him thoughtfully. He hadn't really gelled with this latest incarnation of the Doctor, and often found himself missing his predecessor acutely. In some ways the two versions were curiously similar. Both tall and gangling, with the same commanding presence and the same difficult, irritating streak. But however infuriating the previous Doctor had been at times, he'd nevertheless had a strong sense of his responsibility towards Earth, which this one seemed to lack. There was an alien remoteness about the current Doctor, a sense of being divorced from the affairs of ordinary humans. It was the same man and yet not the same man. That was what the Brigadier found so perplexing, so hard to take.
"It's no good, Doctor," he said eventually. "Is it?"
"Is what?"
"Come on, Doctor, you know what I'm talking about. It's the same old story. Almost as soon as I get back from Geneva I find you've disappeared again. I know your movements have always been...unpredictable since you got that TARDIS of yours working, but of late it seems to have been getting worse.
“Not only that, but I find you've been reporting not to UNIT but to the World Ecology Bureau. You're trying to avoid me, aren't you Doctor?"
Benton and Sullivan had told him that when they'd met the Doctor during the Devesham business, they'd had the impression he seemed to think he was merely visiting Earth, rather than returning to a place where he lived and worked. But then he'd seemed to change his mind and come back to stay. It was this shilly-shallying which annoyed the Brigadier so much. He leaned forward, fixing his old friend with a steely stare. "I have a job to do, Doctor. It's difficult at times, and you're not making it any easier. Things can't go on as they are. Just what do you think you're playing at?"
The Doctor suddenly exploded. "What's going on, Brigadier, is that I'm tired of being tied to just one planet, one time zone. I became your Scientific Adviser in the first place because I didn't have any choice; because the Time Lords exiled me here. That exile ended long ago. I'm under no obligation to stay."
"Then why don't you say so, Doctor? I'd much rather you resigned for good than put up with a situation where you're never around when I want you."
"It's not that simple, Brigadier. I have a responsibility towards this planet. But I also have a responsibility towards the rest of the Universe. It's not easy to balance the two, you know."
"Well I'm sorry you find yourself in such a position, Doctor. But it's not my fault."
"As a matter of fact, you may not have anything to worry about." He told the Brigadier about the problem he was experiencing with the TARDIS.
The Brigadier couldn't suppress a chuckle, and the Doctor gave him a dirty look. "Well, Doctor, it seems you don't have any choice in the matter."
"As I myself said. I can only presume it's the Time Lords. But if it isn't...if the TARDIS needs new components, and they can't be manufactured on this planet, I'm going to be trapped here indefinitely. Maybe for hundreds of years."
The Brigadier saw the sadness in the Doctor's face and felt a pang of sympathy, regretting he'd spoken to him so sharply. "If that's what's happened, Doctor, I'll do all I can to help. Otherwise I must ask that you make a decision fairly soon, one way or the other."
"I gave you the sionic transmitter, so you could call me whenever a real emergency came up. Isn't that enough?"
"I'm afraid not, Doctor. You see, the people I have to answer to want someone who's permanently on call. Nothing else will do. They're starting to put their foot down. Besides, what if you never came back; if something happened to you out there? Not that you can't go on holiday now and then like anyone else. But not all the time, please."
"As I said, I have obligations to planets other than Earth."
"I thought your TARDIS could travel in time."
"Yes, that's right."
"Well in that case, couldn't you sort out whatever situation you'd got into on Mars or wherever and then get back here to help us?"
The Doctor smiled. "I'm afraid it's not that simple, Brigadier."
"Why not?"
"Well, you see, I can't...I just can't."
"Oh no?"
"You don't understand the nature of time. You see, the Blinovitch Limitation Effect..." He launched into a detailed explanation of some complex scientific theorem. The Brigadier struggled in vain to understand it. "All right, Doctor, all right. I believe you. Please understand I'm not being difficult just for its own sake. All I can say is this. Even if I were prepared to put up with it, my superiors in Geneva aren't. They're fed up with unofficial scientific advisers who only turn up for work when they feel like it."
The Doctor became angry again. "Believe me, Brigadier, if you humans started taking full responsibility for your own defence, if you admitted the danger and organised yourselves to do something about it, then there'd be no need for me to be tied to this place when I'd much rather be seeing all the wonders of the universe."
The Brigadier's moustache twitched. "Is that the case, Doctor?"
"Yes, it is."
"Well then I've something to say which may be of great interest to you."
"And that is?"
"There are changes in the wind, Doctor. The Security Council is taking UNIT a lot more seriously. They've finally started to realise they can't go on hiding the truth from the public forever. And that the whole thing needs to be more effectively organised."
He went on to outline what he'd been told about the impending reorganisation, and in particular the establishment of the Foundation. As he did so the Doctor's huge expressive eyes lit up keenly. "Well, in that case..." he began after a moment, thoughtfully.
"If you think it means you can leave us, Doctor..."
"Can you stop me?" the Doctor challenged.
"No. You're free to go whenever you like. I’d just rather you stayed, that’s all. Anyway, would you like to come and see the place? I'm sure you'd be interested."
"Yes, I would. As long as I don't have to make any speeches."
"Well, I'll see what I can do. There's a big meeting there in a week's time, and of course you and I are expected to be at it."
"Just let me know." The Doctor's feelings had undergone a complete transformation. It seemed likely, he thought, that this was what the Time Lords wanted him to do; he had to see this new project through until it was fully established. The prospect had kindled his scientific interest and his gloom and irritability were now completely gone.
The Brigadier smiled as he watched him go; they were back in business.











TWO
Later that evening, a young woman came home to her flat in a reasonably well-to-do suburb of West London. It was a smartly furnished, cosy little place from whose windows a fine view could be had of the adjacent stretch of parkland. There, the young woman made herself a cup of tea and sat thinking about her life.
She thought for a long time, trying to reach a certain decision that needed to be made. Her eyes kept moving between the telephone and a framed photograph on the mantelpiece of a handsome golden-haired woman in her forties.
Finally she made up her mind, and dialled the number of a large electronics company on the southern outskirts of the city. She asked the telephonist to put her through to its director, making sure the woman understood who she was. "Tell him it's Christine. His daughter, in case he's forgotten." An awkward silence followed.
"Hello, are you still there?"
"Er, I'll just transfer you," the woman said uneasily.
"Yes?" said the voice at the other end. Guttural and heavily accented, it sounded surprised and also annoyed.
"Dad, it's Chris. I think we should have a talk."
"I'm very busy at the moment," her father protested.
"Take your work home with you, do you?"
"In my position, one very often has to. I'm not sure I like the tone of your voice, my dear."
"You've often said that, Dad." She realised she was being a little too aggressive; if the call was to achieve its purpose, she'd better soften a little. "Now then; as I said, we need to have a talk. Is that OK with you?"
"As I said, I'm very busy. And I expect I will be for the foreseeable future."
"You're making excuses again, aren't you? I'm sure you are busy, Dad. But this means a lot to me, all right? You are my father. I've tried to get in touch with you loads of times over the past week, but you've always been working late or something."
"I thought you said you never wanted to speak to me again," he said crossly. That resolution had made things a lot easier for him, left him free to concentrate on important matters undisturbed. It was most inconvenient that she should change her mind now.
She sighed. "Yes, I did. But I'd like to think I had some sort of a family. And that means you."
"Then it is up to you to apologise for what you said to me. And what I gather you have been saying about me ever since."
"You can understand why I wanted to say it, can't you?"
A long silence followed. It was Christine and not her father who broke it. "OK, maybe it shouldn't have come out the way it did. But it'd been welling up in me for a long time, Dad. A long time.
"I'm not going to give up on this, Dad. I'm going to keep on pestering you until you agree to see me face to face. You can have me arrested or cut off if you like. But until then, if you want me off your back, you're going to have to make some concessions. I just want a talk. To make some attempt to sort it all out, for the sake of my conscience. After that you can have nothing more to do with me again, if you prefer. But don't you think that would be a pity? I'm all you've got. There's your work, I know. But surely that can't mean more to you than your family - what you've got left of it, anyway."
Christine decided she'd said enough for the time being, and waited for him to reply. There was another long period of silence. She was about to lose patience and ring off when she heard him speak.
"All right then, I'm going to make a proposal. For the foreseeable future, I shall be occupied most of my time at a property the firm has just bought in the country. However, there's no reason why you shouldn't come and visit me there."
"Where is it?"
"Sussex, not far from Horsham. I can send you directions in the post."
The idea of a trip into the countryside appealed to her. "All right. But it's a bit of a pity, isn't it, that I should have to go all the way down there to see you? You only live a mile or two from here."
"The work I'm doing there is very important. But it won't be too long before it's finished. After that, you can see me as much as you like."
His whole manner seemed to have changed, as if he'd had some sudden realisation which had thoroughly transformed his character. Christine was more than a little taken aback, and it was a moment or two before she could speak. "Er - well, yes, that'd be very nice."
"Would next Saturday afternoon be convenient for you? You can turn up any time you like."
"Hold on." She found her diary and checked her engagements for the week ahead. "Yeah, that should be OK."
"Splendid. We'll have much to discuss."
"We certainly will. What are you doing down there, by the way?"
"I'm turning it into a conference centre. As well as a holiday home for company employees."
"Sounds interesting. Well, I'd better go and get myself some supper. Listen, Dad, it's good to chat to you again - really. Look forward to seeing you on Saturday. 'Bye."
"Goodbye, Christine."
She sank back into the armchair, still mystified. It wasn't in his nature to concede defeat or even make compromises. Usually you had to wear away at him doggedly until, with an ill grace he'd never dream of displaying before VIPs or prospective customers, to whom he was always charming and courteous, he finally gave in.
Unfortunately for him, she reflected, she had inherited his own bloody-minded tenacity. He had been pleased by that at first. However, he had anticipated that the two of them would always be on the same side; that had turned out not to be the case.
In his office Victor Burckhardt put down the phone and sat back to think. The room was large and luxuriously furnished, with an ankle-deep carpet and a drinks cabinet in one corner. One wall was taken up by a series of paintings, another by a large window. Burckhardt went over to the window and stared out through it, over the roofs of factories and warehouses and terraced houses, into the far distance.
What harm could it do? If nothing else, it would get her off his back. At worst, the girl could go away satisfied that there was no more she could achieve. Afterwards, as she had said, they need never see her again; she'd wipe the slate entirely clean, banish him from her life forever. It was a tiresome necessity he had to go through with, but no more than that.
His secretary had come in to do some filing. "Oh, Miss Carlson, those redundancy notices. See that they're given out by three o'clock today, will you?" His tone was like that of an army officer giving orders to a subordinate.
Once she was gone, he found himself thinking about Christine again, and just for a brief moment his face wore a look of pain. He genuinely did regret all the anguish his past behaviour had caused her. It was just something he didn't like to admit, that was all.

By now they had worked out where everything was and ascertained that it functioned properly, though there was still a bit of work to be done. Now they were all seated in the kitchen, trying to decide who should have which room. On the window ledge the wireless was blaring out a song called Afternoon Delight.
Sheila had immediately began to make trouble over the allocation of the rooms, though Linda was able in the end to patch things up. She complained constantly about the facilities, even though she had known what to expect. She seemed to take the view that even the slightest disappointment ruined the whole holiday.
Gavin had been pleased to find a little attic room where he could get on with his thesis undisturbed. "I won't bother you much," he told the others. "Expect I'll be spending all my time in there, wrapped up in my research."
"I sometimes think you eat, live and breathe the Anglo-Saxons," said Linda.
"Well, they're our ancestors...not everyone's, obviously," he added placatingly, aware she had a fair amount of Celtic blood in her through her Irish mother.
"Come on, Gavin," said Tom heartily. "Tear yourself away from your studies. Come down to Brighton with us tomorrow." In this hot sweltering summer the beach beckoned. There were many more attractions to be sampled in Brighton and other places within a twenty mile radius of Wattlehurst. He expected they'd be spending most of their time on such excursions; it was doubtful whether there was much social life to be had in the village.
"Well, everyone," he said, looking round the group, "what do you think of the place then?"
"It's great," said Linda. "I think we might have rats in the extension, though." She described the sounds she had heard.
"Oh, in the extension. That's all right."
"They could get in here, couldn't they?" Sheila said.
"Hang on, I'm not sure it's rats. It could be a bird of some kind."
"I think they must be owls," said Gavin. "I found a pellet in there earlier."
"I can't see owls being much of a problem," Linda said.
So, her conclusion was that all in all it was very nice here. There was just that very faint feeling of unease which she couldn't define.

Martin Gunnell brought his tractor to a halt in the yard of Hogden's Farm, near a cluster of other farm vehicles, and clambered down from it to the muddy ground.
As he did so he glanced over at the mill, a quarter of a mile away in its little field, and thought what a fuss old Joe Hogden had made over it. He was gone now, of course. Damn odd the way he'd just vanished into thin air, no trace of him ever being found despite an extensive police search. Some people were saying he'd been kidnapped by aliens, but this was meant to be the Silly Season; folk had all sort of funny ideas in summer, especially when it was as hot as this one was. Addled the brain, it did.
Since the disappearance, Hogden's widow had been making a brave attempt to run the farm on her own. She was finding it hard going, though, and he reckoned she might sell and move away before long. Business wasn't too good at the moment. To be fair to her this bloody heat wasn't making things any better, with cattle having to be put down because the grass on which they fed had been scorched until it was inedible.
The sprinklers they'd ordered a few weeks ago still hadn't come. This annoyed him, but he had to bear in mind that Carsons were in a bit of a to-do themselves, their manager having just died in that...well, for want of another word you had to call it an accident. He'd heard strange rumours about the way it had happened. Coming so soon after the Hogden affair, it had sent a chill of dread down the spines of most of the village, his own included.
Meanwhile, of course, he and everyone else at the farm had to get on with their work. The ploughing was over for the day, and Gunnell's next job was to see to the hens and chickens. He set off for the shed where the sacks of poultry feed were stored.
His route took him by an open-framed metal barn. As he walked past it a rustling noise from within it startled him a little, and he looked round, trying to establish its source.
A section of the black tarpaulin covering a stack of hay bales was shifting and undulating, as if there were something moving about beneath it. As he moved to investigate, it bunched up, the creases and folds smoothing themselves out. Unable to tear himself away, he watched in fascination, which turned gradually into horror as it formed itself into a cow-like head which stared at him balefully.

"They were taken from the house, put in a van and driven away. And that was the last I ever saw of them."
As Solomon Weitzer told his story Sarah Jane Smith felt the anger rising within her. It was mixed with a horror and sadness which moved her in a way she couldn’t have described.
Weitzer looked once more at the photograph of his family, then put it back in his pocket. She saw the moisture glistening in his eyes. "I'm sorry," he said.
Sarah didn't mind in the least. "Oh, that's all right," she said firmly. "I don't think you have anything to apologise for, Mr Weitzer."
All the same she felt deeply embarrassed by it all, the more so because she didn't know what to say to things like this. This was despite the fact that she had seen them at first hand, though on other planets and in other time zones. She thought of Davros and his treatment of the Mutos.
"I guess words just don't have the power to describe it, do they?" she said, hoping that by this remark she would excuse herself.
Weitzer understood her feelings. "Victims of the Holocaust themselves find it the same. But the important thing is whether or not you can help me."
The day before Weitzer had called at the house of a friend of his, an MP who was also a leading member of the Jewish community in the UK. "I made sure the government were acquainted with all the facts,” he reported. “But that was all I could do. It needs someone who is based in this country to give it their full attention; someone who is not connected with the authorities."
"What about a freelance journalist? There are several I could think of who might be of use."
"Can you give me their details?"
"Yes. But if you wanted to start anywhere, you might as well start with a girl called Sarah Jane Smith. She's bright, enthusiastic, and very persistent. Once she thinks she's got a lead she'll never let go of it. She's exposed quite a few dubious types in the past." The MP showed Weitzer a photograph of a young woman with a pleasant heart-shaped face and shoulder-length raven hair.
Now they were sitting discussing the matter over tea in Sarah's flat in South Croydon, surrounded by a clutter of books and papers. On her desk stood an electric typewriter. One wall of the room was taken up by rows of bookshelves, each stacked to the full.
"So what exactly did he do during the war?" Sarah asked.
"He was a Colonel in the Waffen SS. He had responsibility for large parts of southern Germany. Between 1942 and 1945 he supervised the arrest and despatch to the death camps of over ten thousand Jewish men, women and children, as well as people from other minority groups whom the Nazis regarded as inferior or undesirable."
"Could he have had any choice in the matter? I mean, I know this argument's got cobwebs on it, but if he had specific orders to do what he did, I'm not sure he could have refused. Something nasty might well have happened to him, mightn't it? Bearing in mind what the Nazis were like..."
She braced herself for an angry retort. Many people, and not just victims of the Holocaust, would respond vigorously - to put it mildly - to any suggestion of the kind she had just made.
Weitzer sighed. "A complex and sensitive issue. I am not prepared to go into it right now. Fortunately, in von Arbenz' case there is no doubt of his guilt. From what I have been able to glean of his background, he had always been anti-Semitic. When he was told that it would involve killing Jews, he accepted the offer of his new post with alacrity. He enjoyed what he did. There are plenty of eyewitnesses who will tell how he laughed and joked as he or his men shot us or beat us up. Or made us do amusing little tricks, like performing animals..." Weitzer's voice was cold with repressed fury. "He would kill them personally if it took his fancy, even if he had no specific instructions to do so. With him, the excuse that one was only obeying orders has very little credibility."
Immediately Sarah's mind was made up. "All right," she nodded. "I'll be happy to help you. But I'm afraid it won't be just yet."
"Oh, er...why is that?"
Sarah brightened as she realised her explanation would mollify Weitzer. "I'm committed to investigating an organisation called Firebird. You may have heard of them. They're neo-Nazis, although they're always claiming to be something different."
A gleam appeared in Weitzer’s eye. He’d heard of Firebird. "Well, Miss Smith..."
"Call me Sarah."
"Well, Sarah, I think it's best you be left to get on with that very worthwhile task. I suppose it couldn't be more appropriate." His mood was more cheerful now, though there was still a trace of disappointment. "What are you planning to do?"
"I thought I'd start by paying their offices a visit and interviewing their commanding officer, as he likes to call himself. With any luck I should be able to provoke him into saying something that shows them in their true colours.
"In the meantime, you'd better give me some more details. You think this von Arbenz bloke and Burckhardt are one and the same?"
Weitzer fished in an old leather briefcase and took out a couple of photographs, placing them on Sarah's desk. She studied them carefully. One showed a man in his sixties, still upright and impressive-looking, but with heavily lined features and a shock of white hair. The other looked to have been taken some thirty or forty years ago. It showed a handsome young man with glossy black hair and bushy eyebrows. Age apart, it didn't seem likely they could be the same man. Sarah peered more closely at the second photograph; there seemed something artificial, something manufactured, about the face.
"He's had plastic surgery, of course. A high-ranking Nazi like him would have been sure to take such a precaution if he wanted to avoid recognition. But the Institute in Tel Aviv has done an analysis and they're sure it's the same man; that Burckhardt is von Arbenz. There are ways of telling."
He sat back in his chair, hands clasped, and continued with his story. "As you may know, the story is that Burckhardt is a refugee from Hitler..."
Burckhardt, allegedly an opponent of Hitler, had escaped from Germany during that period towards the end of the war when the Nazi state, knowing it faced defeat and annihilation, was lashing out blindly at anyone who it suspected of treachery. His entire family had been rounded up and sent to a concentration camp, where they perished, but Burckhardt himself managed to escape in disguise to neutral Switzerland, where he remained until after the war when he came to Britain. He had arrived there without any money and knowing barely a word of English. By sheer hard work and determination he had succeeded in overcoming all obstacles to do very well for himself. He had started his own electronics business which, conducted with all possible Teutonic thoroughness, rose to become a leading multi-national company. He'd also married and had two children.
"And you don't think any of that is true?"
"No I don't. I think it's a very clever deception. He claims any surviving German relatives were all killed in an Allied air raid on Cologne. Which is very convenient for him whenever anyone tries to prove he's not who he says he is. I think he created a whole fictional identity for himself. Of course, a lot of records were destroyed during the war, either deliberately or as a result of hostilities, which would have made it easier for him.
“von Arbenz – as opposed to Burckhardt - has left behind a few elderly relatives, but they insist they have never seen, spoken to or received any correspondence from him since 1945. Of course they could be lying. Or it may be he has deliberately avoided contact with them, choosing not to let them into the secret in case they should give him away. At present, as far as the world is concerned, von Arbenz disappeared at the end of the war. Until recently it was thought he had gone to South America."
"And you're saying he's here, in Britain? It seems incredible." She turned the matter over in her mind. "I'm not saying there's no truth in what you've told me. But I do find it strange von Arbenz should come to this country rather than somewhere like Brazil, or Chile, or Paraguay. Surely he's putting himself in danger, even with plastic surgery?"
"There must be some very important reason why he has chosen to settle here. What it is, I simply cannot say." The old man shook his head in puzzlement. "However Burckhardt - let us call him that for the time being - is known to have visited several South American countries over the past few years, supposedly on business trips. We became suspicious of him largely through our investigations into other Nazis who were living in that part of the world. People Burckhardt seems to be friendly with. Tapes of his conversations with them record him saying things only von Arbenz would have known. And we intercepted a letter to him from Paraguay which began "Dear Heinrich." Not Victor - Heinrich."
"Pretty low of him, all in all," Sarah muttered. Some Germans had risked their lives by attempting in various ways to undermine the Nazi regime, they and sometimes their relatives often paying the consequences for their courage.
"There've always been rumours about Burckhardt," she went on. "His politics are pretty right-wing; not what you'd expect, somehow, from someone who claims to have opposed Hitler. There've been a lot of stories about his alleged contacts with people like the National Front; he's supposed to have given them a lot of money. But he's always denied it and no-one's ever been able to prove anything." She wrinkled her nose. "I can't say I like him much myself."
"Why is that?"
"He's a ruthless employer who sacks people in large numbers and is good at forcing rival firms out of business. Always comes over as arrogant when you speak to him or see him on television. And he looks it. There are even rumours he's had people he doesn't like killed. He's always seemed the type to me."
"From what I know of von Arbenz, it would not be surprising."
"All the same, we're going to have to be very sure of our facts before we go ahead with this one," Sarah said.
"Oh, of course," Weitzer assured her. "It's always been my policy not to accuse without proof."
She placed a hand on his arm. "Mr Weitzer...I promise you, if I do find out anything regarding this Burckhardt, or von Arbenz, or whatever, I'll let you know. I guess your friend gave you all my details?" Weitzer nodded.
"When you have finished with the Firebird business, is there any chance you could take up my request?" he asked.
"I don't see why not. It'll be next on my list, I promise."
"You must take care," he urged. "From what you yourself say about Burckhardt, you might be putting yourself in grave danger by investigating him. I can't ask you to risk your life unless it is something you are prepared to do yourself."
"You don't need to worry about that," she said firmly. "I've risked it before and no doubt I'll risk it again."
After he had gone, she stood looking out of the window for a while. She noted that black clouds were gathering in a corner of the sky. To her it reflected the increasingly dark and violent state of the world.
Everything was riven by political and social conflict and financial instability. Apart from the East-West divide, and its potential to bring about nuclear catastrophe, there was the growth in international terrorism; and as Weitzer's visit had reminded her, the legacy of old conflicts, old evils, which still had to be tidied up. She often wished the Doctor would go into Earth politics; what a great fixer he'd be. She was certain he'd end the arms race, pacify the unions, and sort out all the international trouble spots. But then politics wasn’t something he’d ever had much time for. All the same, she found the thought of his presence on Earth immensely reassuring. She hoped he'd be around for a while yet.

As Clive Rayner's car turned into the driveway of an elegant Georgian house on the edge of Richmond Park, where a number of other cars, all of them large and expensive, were already parked he was unaware that a man was scanning him with a telephoto lens from the window of another house on the opposite side of the road, outside which a "For Sale" notice was displayed.
The man watched Rayner get out of the car. He saw a thickset, rather thuggish-looking individual in his late twenties, with close-cropped dark hair.
"He's got another visitor," he told a fellow agent with whom he'd been taking it in turns to watch the house. "I think it's an MP...Yeah, it's that Clive Rayner bloke."
"Rayner? He's not on our list. Doesn't mean he isn't involved, though. Knowing their views, people like him and Burckhardt are bound to stick together."
In the hallway, Rayner was shaking hands warmly with the owner of the house. "Clive, dear boy, absolutely wonderful to see you," said Victor Burckhardt in his thick German accent.
From across the street the MI5 operative watched as Rayner and Burckhardt disappeared inside. He waited to see if any more cars turned up, but none did. "That seems to be the lot," he said, and smiled. "Six of our chief suspects all in one place. If this isn't highly suspicious, I'm buggered if I know what is."
"If only we could have got the tap in," sighed his colleague.
"If only. But we should learn as much from tailing them. We’ll see, anyway.” They would wait until they thought they had enough evidence, then jump.
In the spacious living room of the house the five men were sitting around a huge oak table, a glass of sherry in front of each of them. The room was thickly carpeted and sumptiously furnished with a massive bookcase at one end and reproductions of eighteenth and nineteenth century portraits adorning the walls. There was something gloomy, Wagnerian, about the decor of the room, whose oak panelling and furniture were varnished a dark brown. Through the big French windows an impressive panorama of the park, stretching right across to Kingston, could be enjoyed.
On the mantelpiece and sideboards were arranged an assortment of photographs; most showed Burckhardt shaking hands with important people like the Queen and the Prime Minister. In a group apart from the rest stood three family portraits: a tall and handsome fair-haired woman; the same woman with Burckhardt at their wedding; and finally Burckhardt and his wife with a little girl and a little boy standing before them, their parents' hands on their shoulders. The girl had the mother's golden hair and fine bone structure.
Burckhardt's gaze strayed idly over back and forth over these momentos as he sipped at his sherry. After a while it transferred itself to his guests, who were chatting excitedly among themselves. Besides Rayner there was Sir Guy Thornton, the eminent diplomat, Lord Swain the Nobel-prize winning scientist, and General Sir Neil Blundell, former Chief of the General Staff.
Burckhardt decided it was time to get down to business. "Gentlemen," he boomed. "If I might have your attention."
Immediately their heads all swung towards him. He released the catches on a leather briefcase and with a flourish pulled out the set of documents he had earlier finished carefully scrutinising. "Here we are. The deeds to Greenleaves. Now all I have to do is sign them." With another flourish he produced a fountain pen and wrote his name on one of the sheets of paper.
He handed the documents to the thin-faced, balding man in his late forties who sat beside him. The solicitor inspected them briefly, then replaced them in the briefcase. Burckhardt gave him a curt nod, indicating that he was dismissed. He left, taking the briefcase with him.
Burckhardt waited until the man had gone, then turned triumphantly to his guests. "Well, the house is ours. I suggest we waste no time in paying it a visit."
"You're certain that we’ll find what we're looking for?” demanded Blundell. “You’re certain it’s there?”
"Positive. Gleeson told me not long before he died that he sensed the forces were growing stronger...becoming active. When I visited the place myself I could sense the creature's presence all around me. But why don't you all come down and see for yourselves? In any case, it's part of the plan that we should spend as much time as possible there."
As always when discussing important matters, Burckhardt had been speaking in clipped, precise tones. Now his emotions burst forth and he rubbed his hands together gleefully, his eyes shining. "It's wonderful! Wonderful! Within just a few weeks, we'll have got all we want."
Thornton looked worried. "Do you think the security services know what we're doing?"
Burckhardt's features became darkly thoughtful. "It's always possible. We must get to the house and do what we have to do as quickly as is compatible with the plan. The aim must be to complete our plans before MI5 decide it's time to make their move.”
"But we've cut off all our links with Firebird," said Blundell.
"That fact will itself arouse their suspicion," Burckhardt told him. "Having been strong supporters of the organisation for a number of years, there is no reason why we should suddenly abandon our connections with it. Unless somehow that is a part of the plan."
"So what do we do about them?" asked Swain.
"They don't have enough evidence to connect us with anything they’d consider criminal,” said Rayner. “Otherwise they'd already have arrested us. And since we no longer have anything to do with the organisation, there’ll be nothing to pin on us in the future.”
"We haven't entirely distanced ourselves from Firebird," pointed out Blundell. "There's still MacDuggan. Are you sure it's wise to involve him?"
"He knows what's happening at the house, about the creature. It's best he remains within our circle. The risk is worth taking. It won’t take us that long to do what we must."
“He’ll join us later?”
“That is the idea.” Burckhardt paused impressively. "We no longer need Firebird, gentlemen. All it can achieve in the long run is pinpricks. It can spread fear and cause disruption, but not to any ultimate purpose. What is in that house will give us real victory." He raised his glass. "A toast to the new Reich. And this time it really will last for a thousand years."

The Doctor played idly with his yo-yo while he waited for the Brigadier to come and collect him for their visit to the Foundation. He was bored, but not unhappy. Now that he knew what he should do, and had no reason to suppose he wouldn't be allowed to resume his happy meanderings through time and space once it was done, his spirits were restored. At the moment nothing else that seemed particularly important, or out of the ordinary, was going on. A Sussex farmer had mysteriously disappeared, but that didn't necessarily point to alien activity. People disappeared all the time, whether because they wanted to or because other people had done away with them.
The irritating thing was that the Time Lords hadn't told him a long time ago what they wanted him to do. They seemed to like playing games with him, leaving him hanging around waiting for his instructions.
Someone knocked on the door and opened it. He looked up to see Sarah Jane Smith and brightened. "Ah, Sarah, my dear," he beamed, enfolding her in an affectionate hug.
"Wotcher, Doctor. Just called to see how you were. I wasn't at all sure I'd find you here. Thought you'd had enough of UNIT."
"I had," said the Doctor. "But as they say, something's come up." He told her about the Combined Sciences Research Foundation.
Her interest was immediately piqued. "I'd like to come along with you, if the Brigadier's willing. Unfortunately I'm a bit busy at the moment. I'm checking out this Firebird organisation."
"Is that anything I should know about?"
"It's a new right-wing political organisation. Seems to be a mish-mash of all the old ones. Neo-Nazi. They say it's been behind a lot of the race riots that have been going on lately."
Despite himself, the Doctor felt his emotions stirred. People like that weren’t good news. But it wasn't part of his brief to get involved in human politics, however nasty they might be. Firebird were one thing the authorities could jolly well sort out for themselves. “Good for you,” he said. "Now where is that wretched Brigadier?"
They heard the sound of heavy footsteps in the corridor and a moment later Lethbridge-Stewart entered, in full dress uniform. He nodded politely on seeing Sarah. "Hello, Miss Smith. Doctor, I'll be ready in about ten minutes, if that's all right with you. Round by the gates, in my staff car." The Doctor nodded briefly and went out.
Lethbridge-Stewart turned to Sarah. "Actually, Miss Smith, I think I might have a word with you, while you're here. I don't suppose the Doctor's told you about this new project?"
"He has, actually. Seems just the sort of thing I'd like to get my nose into."
"That's what I thought. Well, I hardly need say it, but you'll get first refusal when the time comes to make it all public."
"I'm wrapped up in something else at the moment. But when you're ready for me, just give me a call. How long do you think it'll be?"
"A couple of hundred years at this rate, I'll bet," sighed the Brigadier. "They're still trying to thrash out the right wording for the official statement. The problem is finding something which will preserve their reputation. The fact they've been hiding the truth so assiduously over the last eight years won't look too good." He consulted his watch. "Well, I'm off now. Nice to see you again."
"You too, Brigadier. I'll just have a word or two with Mr Benton, then I'll be going too."
The Brigadier strode down the corridor towards the exit from the administration block, his swagger stick tucked under his arm. His thoughts turned to the journey ahead. He was glad he'd made sure they were going there in his staff car because
he hated travelling in Bessie, the Doctor's yellow vintage roadster, and was determined to avoid doing so if at all possible.
When he came out of the building into the car park the first thing he saw was Bessie with the Doctor at the wheel, revving the engine. "Well come on then, Brigadier," he said cheerfully. "What are you waiting for?"
Stifling a sigh of annoyance the Brigadier climbed stiffly into the front passenger seat, and they were off.

"Come and join us, Sheila," insisted Gavin. He, Tom and Linda were seated at the table in the kitchen, about to play a board game.
Sheila shook her head, smiling. She had been standing at the window gazing out of it dreamily.
"Come on."
Sheila shook her head again, fiercely. This time her expression was by no means friendly.
Linda knew better than to try and force her. "OK. Later maybe," she said amiably.
After a moment Sheila turned sharply away and stalked out. "Wonder what's going through her head?" Gavin muttered once she was out of earshot.
"God knows," said Tom wearily.
Sheila Kingman wandered about the house. Yes, she thought, it was nice here. Things would be great as long as the others didn't spoil it for her.
She opened a side door and sauntered out into the garden. Finding a bench, she planted herself on it. She sat for a moment in the sunshine, enjoying the peace and quiet. It could almost have soothed her, made her forget her worries. But it didn't.
She should have been enjoying herself, but she couldn't. The things that were blighting her life, all the bad things which had happened in the past, kept coming back to her like a black cloud descending on her mind, whatever she was doing. The fact that she was supposed to be on holiday, was supposed to be having fun, made it particularly awful. Oh God, will you just go away, she hissed through her teeth.
Restless, she went back inside. Was there anywhere she hadn't looked at yet? Oh yes, that garage extension.
She found her way there and tugged open the door. It was pleasantly musty in the little room. Happily she surveyed its contents, delighted by the tumble of bric-a-brac. After a moment she began sorting through it.
Scratch scratch.
The sound Linda had heard. Idly she glanced up, and after a moment resumed her inspection of the room's contents.
Scratch scratch.
This time she ignored it. But then she gave a slight start as a loud crack interrupted her thoughts. She looked round to see what had caused it. A small hole had appeared in the wall opposite her, and as she watched another fragment of plaster fell away.
She tensed, and stared fixedly at it. Could that be…yes, it was. From the hole, a pair of burning yellow eyes were watching her intently.

Victor Burckhardt's brand new Jaguar, with Burckhardt and Clive Rayner inside it, drove through the gates of the industrialist’s Richmond house and turned onto the main road, setting off in an easterly direction. A short distance behind it followed a blue Ford Capri.
The Jaguar stopped at three different houses within the next half-hour, picking up Thornton, Swain and Blundell. By then the Capri had been succeeded by a biscuit-coloured Renault.
"They've just left," said the driver into his radio. "Am in pursuit."
"OK. Keep it up for half an hour, then Prentice will take over."
The Jaguar crossed the Putney Bridge and joined the A3 at Putney Heath. It turned off the A307 south of Kingston, travelling down the A243 towards Leatherhead. As it drove down the main street of the latter town, heading for Dorking and Horsham, a lime green Lada pulled out from the pavement and set off after it.
To avoid generating suspicion it was advisable to have a rota system by which one car would follow their suspects for a certain amount of time and then be replaced by another, until they reached their destination.
A few miles south of Horsham they were overtaken by a yellow vintage car, travelling at an astonishing speed for its age, in which sat a figure in a broad-brimmed hat and incredibly long scarf accompanied by one in full army officer's uniform. Since as far as they knew the London to Brighton rally wasn't due for a while yet, the Jaguar's occupants wondered if they were on their way to a fancy dress party.
Mercifully unaware of the thought going through their heads of their fellow motorists, the Brigadier scanned the rolling country landscape around him. He glanced at the map spread out on his knees and saw that they had almost reached their destination. "Up here on the left, Doctor."
Bessie swung off the A24 along a specially laid down road across what had once been farmland, before its owners had been bought off at a handsome price by the Government. Ahead, a glimpse of the grey-white buildings of the Combined Sciences Research Foundation could be had through the trees. Armed UNIT and regular Army sentries were patrolling the approaches to the complex, walking up and down on either side of the road.
As they passed him one of the soldiers gazed after them for a moment. Then he turned to resume his patrol, and stopped and stared in astonishment. Sitting on the branch of an old tree a few yards away was a large white bird. It stared at him penetratingly for several seconds, then flew away with a hoot.
The sentry felt a little uneasy. He'd heard somewhere that an owl being seen in the daytime was a bad omen.
In Bessie, the Brigadier stole a sideways glance at the Doctor. During the journey down from London his companion’s mood had alternated between cheerful chattiness and long periods of gloom. It was this changeability which made him so difficult to get on with, the Brigadier decided.
The Doctor had looked miserable for the last few minutes, but his eyes lit up with interest as they turned a bend in the road and the buildings of the complex came into full view. As he had expected it was a collection of grey and featureless concrete boxes, little different from the countless other scientific and military establishments which he had had to defend during his time as UNIT's Scientific Adviser. When you'd seen one such place, you had very definitely seen them all.
The car halted as it reached the gates of the complex and a uniformed sentry came out of his hut and approached them, no doubt intending to check the driver's pass. The Doctor sighed; there would no doubt be endless formalities, interminable form-filling and pass-checking. That was another aspect of the job which he hated. Fortunately, he might not have to put up with it for much longer. Just as soon as he'd seen this new project on its feet he'd buzz off, providing the Time Lords would let him.
"Well, here we are, Doctor," said the Brigadier cheerfully, trying to be friendly. The Time Lord made a non-committal noise.
The sentry's eyes widened at the sight of Bessie, but his expression rapidly changed, partly out of respect and partly because the Brigadier was fixing him with a withering stare. The formalities concluded, they drove on between two of the buildings to a car park outside the main administration block.
The Doctor parked Bessie in the space which had been reserved for them. The parking lot was already half full, and as they got out of the car they saw several more vehicles drive into it. Their passes were checked again at the main entrance, and they were shown into a small conference room, where they found themselves surrounded by a dozen or so other delegates all wearing ID badges, like them.
"Who are all these people, Brigadier?" the Doctor asked, with a breeziness that made Lethbridge-Stewart wince.
"Oh, civil servants, politicians, members of the intelligence services,” whispered the Brigadier. “The privileged few who get let in on the secret. And of course members of the staff here."
Everyone was staring, in amazement, disapproval or both at the Doctor, who looked totally and unashamedly out of place amid his surroundings. A security guard actually made to challenge him until he saw his ID badge.
The Brigadier saw the Minister of Defence coming towards them. The man greeted them both with the usual flabby handshake. The Doctor nodded curtly; one characteristic he shared with his previous self was a strong dislike of politicians.
The Minister decided it was best to introduce him only to the people who most mattered. Charteris, the Director of the Foundation, and his deputy Dr Alan Stedman, to both of whom the Doctor was rather more cordial. They regarded him with an intrigued, rather than disapproving, look. Charteris was a tall, imposing man in his forties, with prematurely grey hair and moustache, smartly dressed. Stedman was a few years younger and stockily built, with reddish-brown hair and a trace of a northern accent.
The three of them started talking scientific shop, most of which was quite beyond the Brigadier. Once or twice the Doctor made some casual remark which had Stedman and Charteris gaping at him as if astonished by what he knew, which was clearly rather more than what they knew. Leaving them to it, the Brigadier wandered around until he saw a couple of people he used to know, ex-soldiers now high up in the intelligence community, and decided to renew their acquaintance.
After a while the Minister raised his voice to speak to everyone. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wouldn't mind making your way to the conference room and taking your seats, please."
The conference room wasn't very big, since the number of people who were acquainted with what was going on at the Foundation was small. It held three or four rows of twenty seats. At the front on a dais was a table with a row of chairs behind it, at present unoccupied. There was a projection screen on the wall above the table.
Once everyone was seated the Minister made a short welcoming speech, the Doctor listening in stony silence to the usual pomposities. He then introduced Dr Charteris, who to a burst of clapping went to stand at the front. “I take it you all know why this conference has been called,” he began. He went on to give an account of alien attempts to invade the Earth over the years; they went back much further than anyone suspected, but the one which had really made people sit up and take notice was that by the entity which called itself the Great Intelligence. Charteris nodded to the projectionist and the film started, commencing with scenes of the Intelligence’s robot servants, the Yeti, patrolling the streets of London which the Intelligence had caused to be evacuated by taking corporeal form as a cobweb-like substance which choked people to death. "The Intelligence was defeated by the regular army with the assistance of Colonel Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and Dr John Smith, who later became UNIT's commanding officer and Scientific Adviser respectively." His eyes moved to the two UNIT representatives; the Brigadier nodded stiffly, while the Doctor was grinning immodestly. One thing the Doctor’s regeneration had made no difference to, the Brigadier reflected, was his monumental egotism.
"It was as a direct result of the affair that the UNIT organisation was set up,” went on Charteris. “It played a major role in the defeat of the next invasion attempt." The picture changed to show an army of silver-clad figures striding down another London street. Their faces were sinister metal masks with round holes for eyes and thin slits for mouths.
"These are Cybermen. Once human, they discarded their organic bodies and replaced them with metal and plastic components, leaving the brain the only organic element. Their compulsion is to conquer other races and turn them into cybernetic beings like themselves. Fortunately their efforts to do this to us was thwarted, again with the help of the Doctor."
There followed a series of clips depicting further attempts at conquest by Autons, Daleks, Axons, Krynoids, Zygons, etc.
When the film had finished those who had not seen it all before and at first hand sat in stunned silence. Of course the Doctor had, and merely looked bored.
"So far, we have been lucky. But our luck cannot continue. It is apparent that many of these creatures have powers far in excess of our own. That is why this centre was set up to push human technology forward until the odds were equal and we need not fear the future quite so much.”
Now the Brigadier and the Doctor were directed to sit at the
table with Charteris, Stedman and the Minister, forming a kind of panel. There followed a series of speeches. The first was by the Brigadier; though he’d known he’d be expected to do this kind of thing he looked nervous and ill-at-ease, never having had much flair or liking for it. His idea of a speech, after all, was of giving orders to people. There wasn't much he could add to what Charteris had already said. In a rather hesitant and rambling performance he gave a potted history of his military career and his association with UNIT, before going into the nature and importance of the organisation's work and how it deserved the full support of all member governments.
Conscious of having made rather a fool of himself, he sat down. Then it was the Doctor's turn. All eyes were on the Bohemian figure as he rose to his feet; though he looked like a tramp he was impressive in his way, giving off an aura of moody, lunatic grandeur that commanded everyone’s attention. His manner was grim, Wagnerian, though enlivened from time to time by some witty comment that made his audience dissolve in laughter. He told them all about his work, leaving out from the account certain things that even they weren’t supposed to know, things only the Brigadier and his most trusted men were privy to. Speaking for about ten minutes in all, he finished his oration with a hearfelt plea.
"For the last few years I have been, in a sense, the protector of this planet. I will shortly be resigning from the post, for...for various reasons. There is one thing I must say to those who will be my successors. You hold the fate of what despite its faults is a great planet, a great people, in your hands. Look after it. That means making sure your governments listen to the experts, the people who know what they're talking about. And that they understand they can’t disbelieve in something just because it seems incredible.
“Thankyou for listening to me.” He returned to his seat to the accompaniment of thunderous applause. There’s something about him they seem to like, the Brigadier thought, even if I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.
There followed a few more speeches. The Doctor was soon bored again, and made no comment on the proceedings apart from the occasional mutter of "twaddle" or "nonsense."
From where he was sitting Charteris regarded the Time Lord with interest. "So at last we’ve met the famous Doctor," he murmured to Stedman. "Doesn't look at all like a scientist, does he?"
"And even less like a soldier," Stedman commented.
"Yet evidently he's brilliant. You know, he's had a complete facelift in the last year or so, going by the photographs. Understand it wasn't the first time it happened, either."
"Probably for security reasons," Stedman suggested.
"Probably," agreed Charteris. All the same he continued to stare intently at the Doctor, as if fixated with him.

"I'm certain we're being followed," insisted Burckhardt, turning to glance at the car behind them for the umpteenth time.
Having passed through Horsham, the Jaguar was now driving down the A24 through pleasant, wooded Sussex countryside. "We turn off for the village in a few minutes," announced Rayner.
A few hundred yards behind them the driver of the Lada was making another call to his superiors. "Suspect still proceeding along A24 towards Worthing. We're approaching a turning."

"We've got to get rid of him," Burckhardt snapped. Perhaps it would be possible to lose them in the narrow lanes around Wattlehurst.
"Are you sure they're following us?" asked Rayner, not convinced that Burckhardt wasn't being paranoid despite his earlier nonchalance.
"There have been three different cars right behind us since we left London. Just three. I've been checking. Don't you think that is significant?"
"What can we do?" asked Swain. He, too, was beginning to panic a little. "We can't let them trail us to the house."
Burckhardt's face tightened. "I think we're going to have to call on some help," he told the others.

Gavin Brendon poked his head round the door of the garage extension, which Sheila seemed to have made her home. She was seated at the old desk which stood in one corner, crouched over an exercise book in which she seemed to be drawing something with a pencil.
"Morning," he said cheerfully. She smiled by way of reply.
He went over to take a closer look at what she was doing. The page was covered with sketches of birds, birds with distinctive flat faces and tufted heads. "Owls, Sheila?"
"I like them," she replied, defensively.
Gavin shrugged.
"What's wrong with it, anyway?" she demanded
"Nothing. You shouldn't be so..." He checked himself. Sheila didn't like being told she was wrong. "Well, I'd better leave you to it," he said, and moved away.
"If you wouldn't mind."
It was a shame about Sheila, Gavin thought. Much of the time her behaviour was either introverted or aggressive. That was a pity, for when she was normal she could be very pleasant and friendly.
She'd been like that at school, according to someone they'd met who'd known her there; OK some of the time but liable to screaming tantrums if she thought, with or without good reason, that anyone was picking on her. Her weirdness and her temperamental nature had made her deeply unpopular with classmates and in the playground she'd either wander aimlessly or sit huddled against a wall staring intently at nothing in particular. After a while, she had seemed to improve. She managed to get a place at University but then had a relapse. Her first year at University, meant to be a happy time, had done her no good. Before long she again became withdrawn and moody, and consequently shunned or picked upon by the less savoury inmates of her Hall of Residence.
She'd sort of fallen in with the little group of acquaintances - Tom, Gavin and Linda - and they'd rather taken pity on her. When Tom's aunt had agreed to let them have her cottage for their summer vacation while she herself went off to Majorca, they’d suggested she come along, thinking it would do her good, that it would bring her out of her shell. Already they were beginning to regret it. She had constantly disagreed over how the party should spend their time while on holiday. In Brighton she tended to make a fuss if she had to do what everyone else did, and usually ended up going off on her own.
And now she’s got a thing about owls, Gavin thought. Well I suppose it’s harmless enough.

Prentice saw the car take a left turning off the road a few hundred yards ahead of him. Doing the same, he found himself in a narrow, winding lane with tall trees on either side.
The car took another turning, then another, then another. It seemed to be travelling a lot faster than was safer on this kind of road. Perhaps because its occupants realised he was on their tail.
For just a minute or two, as it took the third turning and sped on, the car was out of Prentice's sight. In that time Rayner swung it to the left, off the road and into a little clearing at the edge of the wood that bordered it. He trod hard on the brakes and it screeched to a juddering halt, flinging its occupants forward and then back in their seats.
They could hear the sound of the Lada’s engine. Rayner trod on the accelerator again and the car shot forward, to come to a halt further out of sight behind the trees, its nose buried in a bush.
The Rover passed them. “We’ll have to stay here for the moment or he’ll hear us,” Burckhardt said.
“What if he goes looking for us?” said Swain.
“He’ll wait somewhere, listen out for the sound of our engine, then make a move,” said Thornton. “Try and pick up the trail again."
"Yes," agreed Burckhardt. "That is why it will be necessary to warn him off. In fact, I think we'll have to do more than that. We've got to make sure they leave us alone in future. They've got to know they're dealing with things beyond human understanding."
"What have you got in mind?" Blundell asked, puzzled.
"We're near enough to the shrine to use the power. Just about." His companions staring at him, he clasped both hands to his forehead and screwed up his face as if in concentration.
He began speaking in a guttural, unfamiliar tongue. "Eklo... nim frega volnir…wigod nim eklo Wokir...Wokir..." The veins stood out on his temples and suddenly his features were covered in sweat.
"Wokir...protect us...from...those who threaten...your cause on...on this world..." The words seemed forced from him in short sharp gasps of pain.
"Ni eklo frim morgar…destroy those who would...oppose us...”
Rayner and the others glanced at their colleague in alarm. His whole body was shivering uncontrollably, his hands clenching and unclenching. Cry after tortured cry tore itself from Burckhardt's lips.

Prentice meanwhile had decided to cruise around for a while in case he caught sight of his quarry. If they moved at all, he'd spot them. He'd keep it going for as long as he could. The thought occurred to him that they might have abandoned the car and tried to reach wherever they were going on foot. But if he tried to search for it or them by the same means, he might be putting himself in grave danger.

"Eklo frim nega volnir...."
The men in the Jaguar gasped in horror. A strange, glistening jelly-like substance had formed on Burckhardt's face and hands.
He gave a final weird, anguished cry and slumped unconscious in his seat.

Prentice frowned. A point of red light had appeared in the air above the road, directly in front of him and about a hundred yards ahead. It was growing steadily larger. Because it was coming closer, he realised.
Uncertain what it meant, he swerved to the left, to the other side of the road. It sent a chill down his spine when the point of light changed direction and then rushed towards him again. In little more than a moment it had reached the car. He found himself staring into a huge face, an intensely horrible face that seemed made out of fire. It filled the whole windscreen.
Prentice’s first thought was that he didn’t know if this was real or a nightmare. But he did know he must keep his nerve or he'd crash. He shut his eyes against the terrifying sight and braked hard. Then he reversed rapidly, stopped, and swung the car round, heading back the way he’d come.
It was no good. Almost at once the thing was in front of him again. He wondered what the consequences would be if he tried to drive straight through it. He decided not to chance it and changed direction again.
Continually the apparition harried him, swooping down on the car, rushing at it from every side; it seemed to be driving him back towards the main road. He felt the vehicle lurch and sway violently as if it were being buffeted by some immensely powerful force. The rear window shattered.
Prentice turned onto the A24 and accelerated rapidly in the direction of London, completely ignoring the speed limit. He had to get away from the area as quickly as possible. Then maybe it would leave him alone.
The Lada continued to veer from side to side, other cars swerving to avoid it. Could they see what was going on?
He had to stop the car and get out. But he might be even less protected from the creature outside it, and besides there was nowhere he could safely stop, not on this busy main road fringed on each side by a narrow grass verge beyond which tall trees towered.
Yet again the thing was coming towards him. This time there was no option. Grimly, he drove straight on. Into the oncoming apparition.
The windscreen disintegrated along with the side windows. Prentice realised that his face, hands and neck were covered in blood. Then that it wasn’t just the fragments of broken glass. Something was slashing at his face like a hundred knives, ripping away the skin. The blood was blinding him. He struggled to keep his nerve and drive on. Then he felt the Lada move bodily sideways, into the other lane and the path of an oncoming car. Grabbing the steering wheel tighter, he fought to bring the Lada back under his control but it didn’t respond.


Neither driver stood a chance. The other car flipped over in a somersault and landed on its roof. The Lada shot right off the road, ploughed through a thick hedge and crashed into a clump of trees with enough force to reduce it to a concertina of twisted metal and broken glass. Seconds later it exploded into a blazing inferno.

In the Jaguar, a worried Rayner examined Burckhardt - and found his face and hands completely covered by the jelly-like material. As he watched, it faded and vanished from his skin and after a moment Burckhardt's eyes opened. "Victor, are you all right?" Rayner asked.
Burckhardt rubbed a hand across his face. "Yes..yes, I think I am. Just a little...drained. It takes a lot of effort to summon the creature beyond a short distance of the shrine, without a proper ceremony."
He glanced out the rear window and saw the pall of smoke rising from the trees beside the road. "No matter. We've dealt with them for the time being, I think."

On their tour of the main research block of the Foundation the Doctor and the Brigadier, along with a dozen other VIPs, paused at a double door which bore a sign on it: "Energy Weapons".
A light above the door indicated that it was safe to enter. Charteris led them inside. The Doctor already had some idea of what he would see in the room, and now his supposition was confirmed. On a workbench lay a tubular shape which despite its futuristic, for this period of Earth's history, appearance was obviously a gun of some sort. On another bench, what appeared to be a prototype for a much larger version of it was in process of assembly. One of the technicians working on it looked up with a smile as the party entered. He hesitated, until Charteris gestured to him to continue with his work.
The chief scientist spoke. "You'll all of you recall the Thinktank affair, in which the disintegrator gun featured prominently. Then, it was being used for…let’s say misguided purposes. In the future, I trust it will be used rather to defend, to protect, to safeguard the Earth against those who would seek to destroy or enslave it. It really is a remarkable device, something no other weapon, on this planet anyway, can compare with." The Doctor nodded slowly at this, in tribute to the undoubted genius of the gun's designers.
Charteris smiled. "Though as one of the scientists who worked on it, perhaps it's a little immodest of me to say so."
He gestured towards the larger device. "As a weapon, the disintegrator in its current form is a bit of a white elephant. Apart from its range, it's no different from an ordinary gun except that if you get hit with it there's no body left. Its military value is pretty low. What we need is a much bigger model, with enough power to wipe out a whole army of Daleks."
"Or a city like Moscow," the Doctor muttered. The Brigadier gave him a warning look. The rest of the party cast curious glances in the Doctor's direction.
"That's what we're building here," Charteris continued, unperturbed. "In years to come it'll be a vital ingredient in Earth's arsenal. Unfortunately, it’s possible not all alien species will be harmed by it; some may even thrive on the energies it releases, as was, er...." he coughed, looking slightly embarrassed. "As was discovered when it was attempted to use the weapon against the K1 Robot."
The Doctor grinned wickedly at the Brigadier, who made a brave attempt to look impassive.
Charteris launched into a dissertation on the origins and development of the device, how it worked, how it would be improved and utilised in the future. The Doctor listened with obvious interest, as he did with any new scientific development, but all the same his expression was grave.

A mile or so from Wattlehurst, Burckhardt's Jaguar took a left-hand turning and after a few hundred yards pulled to a halt beside a pair of rusty iron gates set back a little from the road. Beyond the gates a weed-ridden drive led through wooded grounds to a large red brick house dating from around the middle of the last century.
"This is it," announced Burckhardt. They passed through the gates, which hung open, and drove up to the front of the house.
Evidently no-one had lived there for some years. Tiles were falling from the roof, exposing rotten battens with yawning gaps between them. All the windows were boarded up, the guttering was coming away, and although the walls appeared sound weeds were sprouting from the brickwork and ivy was beginning to gain a hold. The grounds were in a state of disarray and trees had grown up around the building. "It's in a bad way, as you can see," said Burckhardt, "but not beyond the resources of Hemmings' company."
Burckhardt produced a key, unlocked the door and led them all inside. The floor was covered in dust, like everything else, and fragments of plaster. A few strips of faded wallpaper clung to the walls and the staircase was festooned with cobwebs. While Burckhardt walked on down the hall, the others stopped and looked at each other.
"There's something funny about this place," said Thornton unhappily. Hearing the remark, Burckhardt turned and stared at him.
"Are you afraid to meet your destiny?" he asked sharply.
After a moment's hesitation Thornton walked on, unnerved by the way Burckhardt had looked at him as much as anything else. He had the impression that if he chickened out now the consequences would not be pleasant.
There certainly was a strange atmosphere inside the derelict building. The air seemed filled with a sense of expectancy, of anticipation, which charged it like some kind of electric current, producing a tingling sensation on the skin. Burckhardt walked on down the hall unperturbed, the look on his face one of rapture.
The door of one room stood open, and they followed Burckhardt inside. It had been used as a study, and the Victorian walnut writing desk, high-backed chairs and bookcase remained exactly as they had been left years before.
Burckhardt crossed to the oak-panelled wall and ran his fingers over a section of woodwork. With a click it swung open, like a door. They found themselves gazing into a further room in which the only item of furniture was a crude wooden altar. Over it was draped a faded, tattered cloth decorated with strange figures, and on top of it rested two huge brass candlesticks, between which had been placed an assortment of objects - an ornate knife, an engraved metal bowl, inscribed with the same unfamiliar symbols as the cloth, several sheaves of corn, some oddly-shaped stones, the skull of an animal, and lastly a human skull. The walls of the room were covered with runic symbols, one the insignia of the former SS. On the cloth and on the blade of the knife were the brown stains of dried blood.
In here the unearthly presence was so strong that it was almost physically overwhelming. Burckhardt fell to his knees, head bowed, and the others did the same.
On the altar a blob of greyish-white, jelly-like substance oozed and slithered...

Bob Pargeter winced as the hammering sound from his next door neighbours' garage rose to a crescendo and, plucking up his courage, strode round to give young Colin Rutland a piece of his mind.
The Rutland family had moved down to Wattlehurst a year or two before. It was nicer here than in the town, they'd thought, and yet close enough to London for one to be able to commute there easily. They hadn't exactly endeared themselves to their fellow residents. The parents weren't the real problem, though they might be the cause of it. The mother was a nice, decent sort of person; just a little on the dim side, that was all. If she'd been brighter she wouldn't have married that sod of a husband of hers, who was never there most of the time; probably living it up with some floozy, Pargeter didn't doubt. Rutland Senior was a pathetic, offhand character who couldn’t be motivated to take an interest in anyone but himself. Indeed he had no time for his family, or any awareness of the need to control his children's often disruptive behaviour, something his wife was too thick to know how to do. The eldest and youngest sons had both grown into nasty pieces of work, frequently in trouble with the police for vandalism, threatening behaviour, and general unpleasantness.
To make matters worse, the family had decided to buy two Alsatian puppies which of course had soon grown into monsters that proved difficult to manage. Alsatians were unpredictable, and Pargeter felt nervous any time one of them came near him. It wouldn't have been so bad if the Rutlands had made some effort to train them properly, instead of letting them run around more or less as they pleased, messing profusely wherever they went.
Colin Rutland, the middle son, was currently out of work. He had recently decided to set up an unofficial car repair business as a way of supplementing his dole money. The constant banging noises from his garage disturbed what was otherwise a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood and had been known to keep everyone awake at nights whenever the rest of his family were away (and when they were here they didn't seem to bother about the nuisance, or at any rate make any effort to curb it). The other thing which rankled with Pargeter was that there had been a burglary in which several precious items of jewellery belonging to his wife had been taken, upsetting her badly. Given what he was generally like, it seemed a reasonable supposition that Colin Rutland was the culprit. The burglar had also taken his late father's old policeman's truncheon, a possession both he and the deceased parent had prized. The thought that it might be being used to commit some crime filled him with rage.
The police had so far done nothing about either the burglary or Rutland's antisocial activities. Morally, Pargeter reasoned that it was better he dealt with the matter himself than that nobody did.
He crossed the forecourt and peered in through the open garage door. Rutland was at an improvised workbench, hammering the dented edge of a sheet of metal back into shape. Pargeter had the impression the rest of the clan must be out. There was no sign of the dogs either, thankfully.
"Colin?" Rutland turned and looked at him questioningly.
"Colin, do you mind keeping the noise down, please?" In other words, stop the whole bloody business. "I mean, it's a bit much, quite frankly. I can't hear myself think."
Pargeter wasn't sure whether Rutland actually replied to this; he thought he heard him mutter something but couldn't be sure. Then Rutland and went back to his work, the banging starting up again, every bit as loud as it had been before.
Suddenly all Pargeter's pent-up rage and frustration exploded. "You slimy little bastard," he yelled, advancing on Rutland with his fists clenched, his eyes narrowed and gleaming. Rutland froze, then backed away slowly, astonished and alarmed at this sudden and unexpected eruption.
"Keep away from me," he shouted, recovering his composure. He snatched up a spanner from the workbench and brandished it high by way of warning. But Pargeter was undeterred. He continued to walk very fast towards Rutland, features set in a frighteningly determined expression.
"Sadie! Max!" Rutland shouted. A moment later the two Alsatians came running in through the connecting door with the house. They skidded to a halt, took in the scene and bounded towards Pargeter, barking and snarling.
"Get him!" Rutland ordered. If the dogs did Pargeter any harm he could always say he made them attack him out of self-defence.
At once the massive animals leaped at Pargeter, who cowered back instinctively against the wall. The thought he was going to be badly mauled flashed through his mind.
The only thing he could do was to will the dogs to go away. He didn't expect it to work, of course. But to his astonishment, it did.
The dogs were unable to arrest their momentum, and he felt their massive bodies crash into him. Their front paws slid down him to the ground. Then they turned and scurried away, whimpering, their tails literally between their legs.
Rutland stared in astonishment. Then he raised the spanner again. And something plucked the tool from his hand and sent it hurtling across the garage, to rebound from the wall like a ricocheting bullet before clattering on the floor at a point almost halfway across the room.
Rutland’s amazement gave way to horror as he realised he was in grave danger. He gave a sobbing cry like a little boy. "Get away from me!" he screamed at Pargeter; fear, desperation and hatred all peaking together.
He saw Pargeter stop suddenly and give a little lurch, one hand going to his forehead.
And a crafty, triumphant smile crept slowly across his face.
Suddenly a hail of tools and other objects was raining down on Pargeter. He felt sharp things stabbing into him.
The thought which filled his mind was that he might not make it out of the door before he was seriously injured or even killed.
There was only one thing to do, and that was to fight back.
A plank of wood rose into the air and smashed itself in two against the concrete floor. The jagged edge of one of the fragments scythed through the air towards Rutland.
It wasn't long before the neighbours became alarmed by the noises coming from the garage; the bangs, crashes, screams and sounds of shattering glass. None of them felt like going to investigate. Someone ran to call the police while the other villagers listened apprehensively to the assortment of alarming noises.
Suddenly the noises stopped. A short while later, a few brave souls ventured inside the garage.
Colin Rutland and Bob Pargeter were motionless on the floor, surrounded by splintered fragments of wood, pots of paint, sheets of metal and an assortment of tools. Their bodies lay in huge pools of blood, horribly mutilated.
The villagers looked round at the scene of devastation in uncomprehending amazement; mixed with fear.

The man who called himself Bruchmann caught the bus from Heathrow into Central London, then took a taxi from the bus station to his hotel, where he checked in. He went straight to his room to unpack and once that task had been accomplished stretched out on the bed and lay looking up at the ceiling, once again turning over in his mind all the things he needed to do in order to carry out the task he’d set himself. He'd brought with him just one suitcase; most of the things he'd need for his mission could not be taken through customs without, to say the least, causing something of a stir. They would have to be obtained while he was here, by fair means or foul. Some could simply be bought in the shops. Some he could make here in his room at the hotel; with the expertise he had gained in his twenty-five years in the Service, it would be an easy task. In the Service, or indeed any other intelligence agency, you learnt how to improvise.
He should have little trouble hiring a car, or in finding the right contacts within London's underworld. And any extra money he might need could be sent him by friends. Other things presented more of a problem; but not one that was insoluble. This was Britain, not America; but by joining the right kind of club, or even by a purchase over the counter, it shouldn't be too difficult to get hold of a gun. As he was a foreign national, some degree of cunning and deception would be necessary if he was to acquire the permits he sought. But when you worked for the Service you learned how to operate in such a way. And to bury any scruples you might have had about it.
He had been born in 1922 into a reasonably well-to-do family from a small market town near Munich. Those who had known him before the war remembered him as amiable enough, if not particularly gregarious; perhaps a little abrupt in his matter. A scholarly youth who loved his books, though he was also fond of outdoor pursuits like walking, camping and swimming. The family environment was close and loving. At the age of nineteen he married the daughter of a friend of the family, and nine months later had twins by her.
His world had shattered into pieces one day in the summer of 1942. He was out fishing that day in the stream which meandered through a wood not far from his home when someone came to warn him what was happening. He hurried home and was just in time to watch in horror from the mouth of the alleyway where he was hiding as his family were herded into a truck by men in the black uniforms of the SS and driven away. It was all he could do to restrain himself. His mother tried to protest and the officer in charge whipped out a pistol and shot her several times. As her body slumped to the ground he kicked it savagely. He barked orders at two of his subordinates, who picked it up and carried it away to dump it roughly at the foot of a wall. His father hurled himself at the man, hysterical with rage and grief. The butt of a rifle was smashed into his face, turning it into a mask of blood. His father reeled and fell, then was scooped up like a sack of rubbish and dumped in the back of the truck.
The face of the man who had shot his mother and beaten his father was from that day on indelibly painted on his mind, to haunt him throughout his waking hours.
For what later felt as if it had been an eternity “Bruchmann” remained in his dark alleyway, frozen with the trauma of what he'd just witnessed. Eventually the horror and pain of it suddenly hit him and he started weeping uncontrollably. Those who heard him crying guessed what it was for, but made no attempt to comfort him, either from fear of the consequences or because they simply didn't care.
When he finally recovered from the emotional exhaustion he realised his priority was to flee. For months he hid like an animal in the forests of the region, scavenging or stealing food from neighbouring houses and farms. For some of the time, his knowledge of the locality and its wildlife enabled him to survive by eating berries from trees or hunting animals. He found shelter in holes in the ground, in trees, in old ruins. All the time the anguish of what had happened to his parents gnawed at his soul. As for his wife and children, he had no idea at that moment what their fate might have been.
Once he was captured but escaped; he recalled the excited shouts as the SS men realised he was free and ran after him trying to shoot at him, accompanied by a few public-spirited citizens. Again he managed to lose himself in the woods, and resumed his trek towards what he hoped was the Swiss border. Once on his journey he saw a party of SS troopers go into an abandoned barn by the road, no doubt taking a break from work to enjoy a smoke and a chat, or a session of cards.
Spotting a large crate standing against the wall of the barn, Bruchmann crept cautiously towards the building. Physically a strong man, he had no trouble lifting the crate and placing it against the door so as to prevent anyone opening it from the inside. He saw that the windows were too small for anyone to get out that way, except for one which was too high up to safely jump down from it to the ground. It wasn't too high for him to lob through it the petrol bomb he'd been able to make from some bits of rubbish he'd fortuitously found nearby; an old bottle, a scrap of newspaper, and a box of matches. As the window shattered he turned and ran. There must have been plenty of hay stored inside the building, for almost straight away there came a "whoompf" as it ignited. He heard screams and yells of alarm coming from within the barn. A minute or so later they stopped.
The next thing which happened to him was that he found refuge with a seemingly kind couple who later betrayed him to the Nazis. He was loaded onto a train which took him to a labour camp near the Polish border. He was fortunate, of course, in being sent there rather than to an extermination camp. The title of "death" camp was often applied to both kinds of establishment, but the appellation was not that inaccurate as conditions in the labour camps were appalling and very few survived them. Bruchmann spent the next three years there, surviving with the aid of a fanatical willpower. Basically the guards' orders were to work the prisoners until they dropped. After one particularly gruelling schedule Bruchmann, who was already suffering severely from malnutrition, collapsed in a senseless heap.
What happened next, whenever he recalled it afterwards, sent a chill down the spine of anyone he told the tale to. The camp guards thought he was dead and dumped him on a pile of other bodies. Later, several more landed on top of him but he was quite oblivious to them. Nearby the doors of one of the camp's massive ovens stood open, the flames within roaring and crackling hungrily. The corpses were destined for cremation, as was the usual practice. Somehow escaping suffocation, he recovered consciousness and while the guards weren't looking disentangled himself from his companions and crept away. Since everyone supposed the bodies were dead, no-one was keeping an eye on him. As he slunk from the room he overheard one of the guards tell another he intended to start burning the bodies in a minute or two, and an idea occurred to him.
A shovel for stoking the ovens had been leaning against the wall of the crematorium. Returning there, Bruchmann waited beside the door for the guard to come and then, his strength to some extent regained, and possessed with a fury and desperation which increased it tenfold, he struck at the man's head with the shovel. The force of the blow left the guard stunned and Bruchmann was able to overpower him.
A few seconds later, the fire of the oven flared up with renewed vigour, and a large cloud of black smoke belched from the crematorium chimney.
By disguising himself in the guard's uniform, Bruchmann was able to slip out of the camp and disappear into the surrounding countryside. There he resumed the existence of a hunted animal, living off the land and darting constantly from hiding place to hiding place.
One day he was creeping through the undergrowth beside a road which he hoped would take him out of Germany and into neutral Switzerland when he heard the sound of a vehicle approaching. Peeking out from behind a bush he saw an Army jeep, a British Army jeep, come along the road. He stepped from his hiding place and hailed it.
It turned out the occupants were not ordinary British soldiers but people like him who had lost relatives to the Nazis and were now seeking to avenge those killings. They told him the war was over and Hitler dead, but certain…loose ends remained to be cleared up. Bruchmann was invited to play his part in doing so, and accepted.
Those were good times. They had plenty of fun riding around the countryside executing vengeance for the sufferings of their people. Several long-standing friendships were forged in those days. And all the time Bruchmann felt an exhilarating sense of liberation, of having struck back at the object of his hatred and the cause of his torment.
None of that, however, could console him when he learned that his whole family, including his wife and children, had perished in the gas chambers at Buchenwald. Words cannot really describe how he felt. The best approximation might be to say that his grief, in the moments when it hit him hardest, was like a terrible, searing pain that burnt like a fire in every cell of his being. The heat suffocated him and made it hurt when he tried to breathe. And it left behind him a terrible sense of desolation and despair, like he was standing alone in a blasted wasteland that stretched, seemingly infinitely, in every direction. Or far enough for him to be in it for weeks, months, years before there was any hope of seeing its end. He could marry again, start a new family, but he felt that would be futile. And besides, he wasn't the man he had once been. He doubted any new relationship would last survive. The sense was of a life, and of a life's achievement, destroyed.
The only way he could gain any peace was by killing Nazis. He went on doing it through the years, first for the Service and then, when they decided things were getting a bit out of hand, on his own account. The Service threw him out in the end, deciding he had become more of a liability than an asset to them. He had been so eager to get his man that he had sometimes killed innocent bystanders or the relatives of those he targeted, whom Service policy was strictly to leave him alone.
So far they hadn’t realised he was still doing it, which was good because he had no intention of ever giving it up. He was still fit enough, thanks partly to the training the Service had given him. And until now he had failed to achieve what would have been his greatest prize. Von Arbenz.
The horrible fear which haunted Bruchmann was that it would take many years to hunt down and punish the surviving Nazi war criminals if it were done the legal way; that by the time they were eventually caught they would be old and ill. What was the point of it if for most of what remained of their lives they were able to live freely and happily? It was hardly any punishment. When they were eventually caught, if they were caught, it would make the whole thing seem ludicrous. And he didn't want the cause tarnished in that way.
Imprisoning them when they would soon be dead already, and at their advanced age would probably find prison relatively easy to bear, was no punishment for killing a young person who'd had all their lives ahead of them. It seemed obscenely farcical. It all meant that doing it the legal way was definitely out, whatever that fool Weitzer might say.
He couldn't let it go. Certainly not when one of those who had still to be brought to account was Heinrich von Arbenz. It was “Victor Burckhardt” – having made his enquiries, he knew the two men were probably the same - he had become convinced, who had murdered his family. And that was why he would never find peace until von Arbenz was dead. The biggest prize was to be denied him because the Service would not upset the British by moving against Burckhardt. They'd been on his trail, but on finding out where he was had abruptly called a halt to the pursuit. Now Bruchmann was going to finish what they, in his opinion, had lost the will to do.

Alan Stedman's laboratory at the Combined Sciences Research Foundation, into which Dr Charteris was at that moment ushering the VIP party, was a huge, brightly lit room with massive consoles, dotted with complex instrumentation, against most of one wall. Behind a glass partition at the far end was a small office with a table, several chairs and a bookcase. The room was dominated by an enormous tubular structure, like a giant cannon, spanning almost the length of the room, with a console at one end. Its size was awesome. "Good Lord," exclaimed the Brigadier. "What the blazes is that?"
"A particle accelerator," replied the Doctor instantly, rather to Stedman's annoyance. "That's right, isn't it Dr Stedman?"
"Yes," said Stedman woodenly.
"What does it do?" the Brigadier asked. Apart from accelerate particles, I mean," he added with a smile, feeling rather silly.
"We're carrying out research into dark matter," Stedman told him. "Dark matter, for those who don’t know, is a kind of matter whose existence seems required to explain the way galaxies cluster together. It's invisible, but everywhere. There is a theory that it, and maybe other kinds of substance whose existence at the moment is unproven, exists in the gaps between the molecules that make up ordinary matter. The inward pressure exerted by the molecules keeps it where it is.
“The accelerator bombards the nuclei of atomic particles with other particles fired at it at very rapid speeds. If by doing that we can cause the atoms to disintegrate we may succeed in releasing the dark matter so we can analyse it.”
"Forgive me for asking, but how is all this going to help us fight off alien invaders?" The Brigadier could see no military value in it whatsoever.
"I think the more we know about the Universe, the less limited our own knowledge is relative to that of the aliens, and the safer we'll feel," Charteris said.
The Doctor poked around the particle accelerator with interest. He seemed rather more happy with it than he'd been with anything else he’d seen so far. He chatted enthusiastically to Stedman about the machine and it was only with some difficulty that Charteris and the Brigadier were able to persuade him to move on.
By now they were coming to the end of their tour. The Doctor happened to glance to his left. "What's in there?" he asked, nodding at where the corridor ended in a thick steel door on which Charteris’ name and the words "RESTRICTED AREA" were stencilled in red.
"That’s my own lab," said Charteris. “I'm working on something very secret in there. More secret even than everything else around here."
The Doctor's curiosity was aroused. "Not so secret that we can't get in on our passes, I suppose."
"You could. but I wouldn't advise it. It's a highly dangerous experiment involving radiation, I can tell you that much." He attempted to usher them on. "I really think we should..."
"Come along, Doctor," said the Brigadier warningly. The Doctor frowned slightly, and for a moment looked like objecting. Then he moved on with the others.
*
From a window of the administration block, Charteris watched the last of the VIPs get into their car and drive off. After a moment he turned away and went back to his laboratory. Once there, he entered the secretly constructed lift and took it down a couple of levels. The door slid open and he stepped out into a vast, echoing, cathedral-like chamber.
In the centre of the huge room stood a tall, thin cylinder with four stabilizing fins at its base. Its bulbous nose almost touched the hatch let into the ceiling of the chamber. A gantry structure gave access to it for maintenance. Massive clamps held it in position and cables and wires ran from an open hatch in its side to a console positioned near one wall of the concrete silo. The base of the rocket disappeared into a vast circular pit, designed to take the blast from its four massive engines, with a safety rail around its circumference. Not far away a couple of technicians were working on a partly assembled console, and other complex equipment lined the walls.
He often came here to stare up at the rocket, wonderingly, lovingly, dreaming of the benefits it would bring not just to his own reputation, his own posterity, but to the human race as a whole. If there was anything in the world worth getting obsessional about, it was this.

Alan Stedman inspected the readings on the particle accelerator's console with satisfaction. They were boosting the particles to greater and greater speeds, getting close in fact to the velocity of light. He couldn't believe he wouldn't come across something interesting soon. His eyes shone with the thrill of what he was doing; discovering a whole new world, a whole new universe of matter. Apart from that thrill, there was the obvious benefit to his scientific career. After working too long in Charteris’ shadow, now would come fame and fortune.
He turned from the console - and immediately stiffened, frowning in puzzlement. In the air before him, four or five feet above the ground, there seemed to be a tiny patch of darkness, roughly the size of a person’s hand. It was a harsh matt black colour, offensive in its impact on the eye. At first he thought it was growing, but after a moment saw it was not so much doing that as writhing, undulating, changing shape.
Stedman stood looking at the strange sight, captivated but at the same time vaguely uneasy. He had the impression it was trying to grow. "Graham?" he asked, his voice quiet. "Graham, do you see that?"
His assistant, Graham Hancock, was absorbed in noting down some readings in a logbook and only just heard him. He, too, turned and saw the little blob of blackness. Eyes widening, he approached it cautiously. "What is it?"
"I haven't the slightest idea," Stedman replied. "At the moment, anyway. I can only think it's something to do with our experiments." His gaze moved to the massive particle accelerator.
Almost involuntarily, Hancock reached out to touch the patch of black. "No," said Stedman, moving forward to stop him. "You never know, it might be dangerous." He stood thinking for a few moments, then picked up a heavy metal ruler from a workbench and gingerly prodded the black patch with it.
He jumped back with a little cry of alarm as in a sudden, sharp movement the ruler was snatched from his grasp to disappear into the blackness, which seemed though only tiny to absorb it entirely. For a moment both men were shaken.
Then Stedman composed himself. His eyes were shining, his face was flushed and he was trembling with excitement. "This is incredible," he gasped, turning to Hancock. "Isn't it?" The same thought was uppermost in both men’s mind. Could this be, literally, dark matter?
"What are we going to do?" Hancock asked. Like Stedman he was worried.
"Analyse it, of course. If we can. I'm going to tell Dr Charteris but in the meantime, we'd better keep it a secret. After all, we’ve no idea at the moment exactly what it means.”
And if truth be told. something about the little splodge of darkness gave him just the faintest twinge of unease.

Clive Rayner, Victor Burckhardt, Sir Guy Thornton, Lord Swain and a man named Colin MacDuggan all stood before the altar, each man wearing sandals and a white robe tied at the waist. They had found these items of clothing in a cupboard in the secret room. MacDuggan was using a taper to light the twin candlesticks on the altar; they flared up, casting an eerie glow over the room and its occupants, and throwing strange dancing shadows on the walls.
MacDuggan arranged the stones, and the grains and sticks of corn on the altar, into a certain pattern. He stepped back and bowed reverently. Burckhardt raised his hands in a gesture of worship, the others doing the same.
"Okrir," Burckhardt cried. "Freema vanir garmor parl!"
"Harg!" shouted the others.
"Eklo nim frega volnir!"
"Harg!"
"Borka nim eenga valnan!"
"Harg!"
"Numa van neeka tormir - Wokir!"
"Wokir!"
"Vornim tunga thel marn - Wokir!"
"Wokir!"
"Venga olgor hgar witak - Wokir!"
"Wokir!"
The hypnotic glow from the candles seemed to fill the entire room. The symbols on the altar cloth and on the walls appeared to dance, shift and change, finally dissolving into mad, whirling patterns. Burckhardt approached the altar, hands outstretched. "See, Mighty One, we have come here to pay you the homage that is due to your Eternal Majesty, and to seek your presence, your guidance, to strengthen us in our task, so that we may do your will on this earth, and establish your most glorious Kingdom here among men. We shall revive the faith, and it will spread until the whole world adores thy name." From the pocket of his robe he took a leather pouch. On the altar, a corn dolly - a figure made from straw and resembling a human being - had joined the other items. Besides the altar was a brazier where a fierce fire burned, adding to the flickering eerie glow from the candles.
Burckhardt held the leather pouch over the bowl and slit it with the knife. Blood rained down until the bowl was nearly filled.
"Receive of us then these offerings. The blood of Life..."
He dipped the little corn doll into the bowl until it was red and glistening.
"The corn which feeds us, that springs from the richness of the earth…"
He sprinkled the corn dolly with earth from a second bowl.
"The Earth itself, our mother…"
He took the little mannikin and cast it into the burning brazier. "All to be consumed in the fire which is the maker and destroyer of all things."
With a roar the fire flared up into a huge pillar of flame, licking and crackling hungrily.
"Therefore come upon us, that we may be strengthened in our faith, and instruct us as to what we must do to fulfil your cause."
They felt the presence grow stronger and stronger, saw the symbols on the walls whirl and spin even faster, the flames from the brazier burning brighter in sympathy. They took up the chant again, swaying to and fro, their faces glistening with sweat, their eyes burning with a fanatical light.
"Neema grondar kell eklo Wokir!"
"Varga nir sorga eklo Wokir!"
"Thurka nim grindl eklo Wokir!"
The name was spoken in a violent burst of sound, a mighty roar of exultation. Burckhardt threw his head back and spread his arms wide in welcome.
As one the congregation gave a great sigh, and all save for Burckhardt prostrated themselves before the altar.
Above it in mid-air floated a ghostly shape. It looked like a shroud of some white material, with the rough form of a human being. There was a sort of face - two black holes for eyes, and a third beneath them for a mouth. It flickered and wavered like a candle flame.
Burckhardt gazed reverently at the figure for a few moments, then turned to face the rest of the brethren. He spoke in a voice not his own, but that of something completely alien - harsh, growling, inhuman.
"I speak to you through the mouth of my priest. You have done well, all of you. Continue your work in this world until all is suffering and chaos, then I shall return to claim it. This place shall be the door by which I will enter.
“I shall appear again when the time is right. You must guard it well, lest anyone try to thwart my coming, but meanwhile continue to hold the ceremony at least once each week. Each time you will receive more power."
On the altar, the jelly-like blob had grown larger and was now the size of a small dog or cat. It pulsed with evil life...

No no Daddy please please don't hurt me Mummy Mummy Daddy's hurting me tell him to stop please Mummy please
Sheila Kingman awoke, her face stained with sweat and tears, and let out a long sobbing cry. She lay in bed, pale and trembling, while the others hurried to see what the matter was.
Someone banged on the door. "Sheila, you OK?"
"Y-y-yes. I...I just had a nightmare, that's all."
"Sounded like a bad one."
She heard Linda's voice. "Do you want me to sit up with you? I'll make us both a cup of tea, shall I?"
"No, it's OK. I'm fine now. 'Goodnight." She turned over, burying her cheek in the pillow. Telling themselves that people did have nightmares, and that there was no sure way of avoiding them, the others withdrew.
No sooner had Sheila gone back to sleep than she was dreaming again.
The world seemed to be filled with dark scurrying figures, creatures that corrupted everything they touched, distorting it into bizarre and disturbing shapes. Their faces were utterly evil, like the croaking and gobbling sounds they uttered as they went about their business. She would probably have woken up again in a moment had not a host of other figures, gleaming and angel-like, appeared and attacked the dark ones, driving them away.
Then she was with a lot of people all of whom were wearing funny clothes; old-fashioned or foreign clothes. Come to think of it, so was she. Everyone was walking towards a vast, gleaming, bird-like shape. They stepped through an opening which had appeared in its side. It wasn't quite clear if they were going of their own accord, or something was forcing them to.
They were walking into the heart of a bright light. The light swallowed them up. She was lying still on a bench, quite unable to move, as strange shapes moved busily about her.
Something was being done to her, and she hadn't asked for it, but she wasn't sure whether it was good or bad. She supposed it must be good, because the aura which surrounded everything was one of benevolence and peace. Finally, they were all standing looking at a huge shape rising up into the sky from the spot where the bird-thing had been. That was the last she saw before oblivion reclaimed her.
When she awoke in the morning she stayed in bed for a long time, thinking over and over about the significance of what she'd dreamt. She wouldn’t tell the others, of course. They’d think she was mad.

"No offence meant of course, but you chaps are our last resort. There's nothing on Earth, that I know of, which could have caused the crash to happen in the way it did. The intelligence community is very worried about the whole business, I can tell you. If I can't get to the bottom of it, we may have a very serious problem."
Sir Roger Secomb, Director-General of MI5, sat facing the Brigadier and the Doctor in the former's office. He glanced uneasily at the Doctor, puzzled and even disturbed by the man's unorthodox appearance, especially since the Brigadier seemed more or less to tolerate it. The bizarre figure flashed him a friendly smile, of a sort which somehow reassured him.
With interest the Brigadier considered the story Secomb had just told them. "So the car just swerved into the other lane and…"
"That's right. It doesn't seem as if the driver collapsed at the wheel. He could have had a heart attack, but it's not very likely. He was relatively young, and according to his last medical report in excellent health. From the eyewitness reports it looks as if..." Secomb seemed uncertain for a moment, then he remembered that the strangeness of the whole incident was precisely why he was here. "It looks as if something took control of the car and pulled it sideways in a single sharp movement, so that it crashed into the other vehicle. People could see Prentice struggling to get it under control, the alarm on his face. They also saw some sort of light effect around the car, like a St Elmo's Fire."
The Doctor spoke for the first time. "And you're certain these Firebird people couldn't have tampered with the car in some way? Could they have known you were keeping an eye on them?"
"I suppose they could. But I don't think the car had been interfered with. Judging by the way it behaved, some… external force was operating it. And what that could be I’ve no idea. Cars don't behave like that when they crash. It’s physically impossible for them to.”
"Yes," the Doctor mused. "I think you're right."
"I expect you've heard from the news about these Firebird people, what they're like." His listeners nodded. "And the sort of things they've been accused of doing. Things we know, of course, have been happening.”
"Everyone seems to be going mad right now," the Brigadier commented. "Blame it on this wretched heat, myself. Wish we could have some rain."
Secomb was clearly worried. “I don’t like to think Firebird could…” He groped for the words.
The Brigadier nodded. "We'll need a certain amount of background information on their set-up. If it’s them who are using…some kind of paranormal power.”
Sir Roger handed him a manila file. "It's all here; biographies of known and suspected members, details of the surveillance we've been carrying out, and of the way Firebird is organised.
"Its members seem to be pretty much a mix. Plenty of middle-class, professional people; teachers, lawyers, businessmen. But just as many dockers and other manual workers. There are also a lot from what you might call the Establishment."
Lethbridge-Stewart cast his eye down the list. "Good Lord!" His eyes opened wide. As always when people like this were implicated in something nefarious, his reaction was one of incredulity.
"All we know is that those people have connections with the leading members of Firebird, even though they're not members of the organisation. Or rather they did have until recently; they seem to have suddenly broken them off, and that in itself looks suspicious to my mind. They've been visiting each other a lot lately, attending the same functions. We've been keeping them under surveillance, tapping their phones. So far, nothing has come up. No firm proof, or we'd have arrested them a long time ago. But enough for us to be suspicious."
"If they've got some supernatural force at their disposal, why haven't they used it before though?" asked the Brigadier. "I should have thought they could bend the whole country to their will."
"It may be something they've only just developed," said the Doctor.
"One thing's clear," the Brigadier said. "There must be something in West Sussex that interests them. If we're going to investigate them, there may be a good place to start. If only we knew exactly where."
The Doctor snapped his fingers. "Sarah said she was going to investigate this organisation. Maybe we'd better wait until she's found out something?"
"That's not a bad idea. I'll see if I can get hold of her, find out exactly what she's planning."
"Tell her what we've learned today," the Doctor said. “And tell her she'll have to be very careful."
"We still have an agent working within the organisation," Secomb told them. "He may be able to give her some assistance. I'll see what I can do. Well, if that's all, gentlemen..."
Lethbridge-Stewart glanced at the Doctor, who said nothing. He rose, and Secomb did the same. The two of them made for the door, the Doctor remaining where he was, completely failing to acknowledge Secomb’s departure. The MI5 director glanced at him briefly before following the Brigadier from the room.
"You've got a terrible responsibility on your hands, Brigadier," Secomb commented as Lethbridge-Stewart escorted him out. "I'm sorry to have to dump it on you. If your friend back there is right, and these powers are something Firebird have only just developed, they may start using them in earnest at any time."
After he had gone the Brigadier returned to the office to find his Scientific Adviser still sitting there. "You might at least show some common courtesy, Doctor," he snapped. There was no reply.
Then he noticed the abstracted look on his old friend's face, and smiled, although it was a grim smile. One thing he was beginning to learn about this Doctor was that his frequent apparent rudeness was often a sign of preoccupation with something very important. Right now, like Sir Roger Secomb, the Doctor was very, very worried.

"She's getting on my nerves. I'm not happy with her about the house. The things she's doing..." Tom was talking about Sheila, of course.
"We can't just tell her to pack up and go," said Linda. "Anyway, she needed a holiday."
"What she needs is psychiatric treatment," grumbled Tom.
"Tom," she said reprovingly, although he could tell she knew he might be right.
"She's still refusing to join in with anything. Although I’m not sure if that isn’t a good thing.”
Gradually Sheila's behaviour had got more and more outrageous and embarrassing, and it was clear there was going to be friction. Gavin was glad he was more or less out of it, buried most of the time in his thesis and therefore able to ignore the ructions going on around him.
Tom noticed Sheila's exercise book lying on the side, and started to leaf through it, wondering if it might give them a clue as to what was going on in her mind. The first drawing he saw showed a strange bird-like shape. A door was open in the side of it and lots of stick figures, meant to represent people, were going inside it. The second, which recurred several times, was an odd shape like a gigantic and slightly misshapen top hat.
It was at this moment that Sheila chanced to enter the kitchen. "Like your drawing," he said, thinking it would please her to be complemented.
"Thankyou," she said.
"What's it meant to be?"
"Oh, nothing really." She seemed almost embarrassed.
"I see. And this funny shape here?" He indicated the "top hat".
"Looks a bit like that hill we saw from the road going down," said Linda.
Immediately Sheila's eyes lit up. "What hill?"
"You can't have noticed it. It's just off the road going towards Cheltham, about a mile west of here."
The others stared at Sheila. She looked like someone who'd just discovered the Holy Grail.

Christine Burckhardt's beloved Mini trundled along the last few yards of the drive to come to a stop just outside the front door of Greenleaves. She paused to look up at the austere Victorian frontage before ringing the bell. There was a web of scaffolding around one wing of the house, on which she could see men working, repointing or replacing bricks. A number of the windows had been taken out and plastic sheeting fixed in place over the openings. From inside the building came the sound of banging, nails being hammered into place.
She gazed round at the gardens and woodland which surrounded the place. It was an attractive setting, all right. But there still seemed to be something about the place which…
She heard the door open and turned to see her father standing there. They came towards each other, smiling. He embraced her in seemed to be genuine affection. She smiled with pleasure, feeling tears come into her eyes.
He held for a moment then stepped back, gesturing to her to enter the building. "Well, why don't you come inside? Take care, it's rather hectic in here at the moment."
The entrance hall seemed full of men in overalls, some perched on stepladders and all busily engaged in taking down fragments of old and crumbling plaster and faded wallpaper. Plastic sheeting covered the floor. The workmen eyed Christine appreciatively; the young woman was tall and of striking appearance, with straight shoulder-length blonde hair and an attractive, fine-boned face. She looked very like her late mother.
"Would you like some tea, or would you prefer to look around first?" Burckhardt asked.
"I don't mind."
"Let's look around, then."
"So, this is going to be a health farm for all the burnt-out executives, eh?" she said as he led her down the hall.
"If you put it like that, yes."
All the most important mod cons had already been seen to; bathrooms, toilets etc. There was one main and several spare bedrooms, each as yet sparsely furnished, and a living room on the ground floor. The work looked to be going ahead at an astonishing pace; within a short time, it would be suited to the needs of a sizeable body of people staying there for a few weeks.
"What's in here?" Christine asked, as they came to a heavy oak door, securely locked. It seemed to be about the only room that wasn't being refurbished. "Oh, nothing," Burckhardt said. "Just an old storeroom. Haven't decided what to do with it yet. The floor isn't safe, so it's best not to go in."
When their tour was complete Burckhardt took her back to the living room, on the way stopping one of the workmen and asking him to fetch them some tea.
"Now, how are you, my dear?" he asked, seating himself in a comfortable armchair.
"Very well, thanks Dad. And you?"
"Busy. That's how I like it."
"The company doing well?"
"Never done better. You'll know from the news that we've just opened two new plants, one in America and the other in Japan. And how's your job?"
"Alright. It pays well, and I'm in with a good crowd."
"And how's that fellow you keep on talking about...what's his name..." Burckhardt gave her a knowing smile.
"Nick? Listen, Dad, we're just good friends OK? I'm too busy at the moment to think about anything serious."
She coughed, bracing herself. "Now...I think we should get down to business.
"You treated Mum very badly. And me. And Michael. He's beyond it now, of course." She closed her eyes for a moment.
"A lot of people wonder why I should want anything to do with you," she went on. "Why I've come here today to try and sort things out."
"Well, why have you?" Burckhardt asked.
"Because I've never really known you, and I feel I'd like to."
Burckhardt looked reflective. "Well..." he began at length. "Well, I suppose I should have been more patient with your mother and brother. Perhaps I expected too much of you all. But you have a lot to make up for, too."
Christine didn't actually think this was true, and pulled a face. It didn't excuse being unfairly criticised just because the person doing the criticising had admitted their own faults.
Burckhardt noted her expression and gave a little laugh. Then his whole manner changed. "Well, I should like you to know I'm sorry for everything."
A startled look came over her. Her eyes widened, her jaw dropped. What he'd said to her on the phone had given her cause for optimism. But this was still a good deal more than she had been hoping for.
He laughed dryly. "Does it cause you surprise that I should say that?"
"Yes, quite frankly, it does."
"Well, I'll let that pass," he declared amiably.
"I'm not one to rub the point in, Dad."
"In any case, what's done can no longer be helped, unfortunately."
"I know. I was just looking for an apology really."
"Well, you have it. I...I don't want to talk about it, what I did." Since he didn't anyway, such a policy suited him fine. "I just want you to know I'm sorry."
The two of them were silent for a while.
"Now," Burckhardt said briskly, pulling himself together. "Now...you say you are happy in your job, that you have no financial worries."
"I guess that's so."
"I am pleased to hear that. But if I can contribute in any way towards your future happiness, I will do so. Of course you are an adult now, with your own life. But if there is anything I can do for you, anything at all, you only have to ask."
All the same, she was surprised and unsettled by her father's sudden change of attitude. It wasn't at all what she had expected and she had the distinct impression there was be some ulterior motive for it. But what could that be?
They chatted together for another hour or so before Burckhardt looked at his watch and informed her that he must check on the progress of the renovation work.
"I'd like to see you again soon," she told him.
"Well, you can call on me whenever you like; but I’d leave it for a little while, to be honest. I shall be tied to this place, I'm afraid, for the next few days; maybe weeks, I'm not sure. Afterwards, I promise, everything will be different."
He suppressed a smile of a kind which would have added significantly to her unease. She couldn't begin to guess how different.
He reached out and tenderly stroked her hair. "Don't worry, liebchen. Believe me, all will be as it should be, in time."
He showed her out. At her car she turned and waved at him briefly. Burckhardt waved back. Watching the vehicle disappear into the distance, he reflected on what had just passed between them.
When Christine was a very small child, she had fallen ill with a viral infection and nearly died. Burckhardt and his wife had been frantic, almost mad, with worry. He recalled her being rushed to hospital, and them waiting anxiously outside the ward for news of her progress, dreading the appearance of a doctor or nurse on account of the news they might be bringing, yet hating the hell of uncertainty they were having to endure. Whenever he thought about the business afterwards, it suggested to him that he must care about her. But in truth he had never felt such concern for her again, until now, and that worried him.
He realised Clive Rayner was standing beside him. "Does she suspect anything, do you reckon?" asked the MP.
"No, I don't think so."
"What are the chances of recruiting her to our cause?"
"Nil, I'm afraid. She doesn't quite share our political philosophy, as you well know." He sighed. "How I could have produced a daughter like that quite escapes me." This was something which continually perplexed him. He often wondered whether some genetic abnormality might not be responsible.
He laughed hollowly, again realising the irony of the whole business. What was the point in bothering about what his daughter, or anyone else for that matter, thought of him or his opinions when in a short time he and his colleagues would be able to make anyone do whatever they wanted.

On entering the laboratory, Stedman and Charteris found that the patch of blackness was still there and didn't appear to have changed in any way since Stedman had last seen it. Hancock was standing over the console. "Any results?" Stedman asked him.
"According to these readings it's a kind of energy. But obviously it also has a physical form."
"Dark matter,” breathed Stedman. He was still quivering with excitement.
“Well it's dark, certainly," Charteris observed. “And you say the ruler just vanished inside it?"
"Uh-huh," muttered Stedman. Charteris frowned. He seemed more worried than excited.
There had been no sign of the ruler since. Either the black stuff had somehow absorbed it, devoured it, or it was some kind of opening. If it was an opening, it could only be into another dimension, another universe. Taking care always to keep several feet away from the hole he walked in a circle around it, slowly. It extended for just a few inches in each direction.
"So all you know about it is that it's a form of energy, but also physical." Charteris bit his lip. “Is it...doing anything right now?"
Hancock looked up. "Not that we've observed."
"Well, let me know if it does. And keep away from it, just in case." He strode out, with Hancock and Stedman gazing after him a little curiously.

The offices of Firebird were housed in a former school in a suburb of south-west London. Sarah saw that the gates were flanked by two hard-faced young men in shirts of a utilitarian, military green, with armbands bearing the Firebird emblem. She thought they verged somewhat on the ridiculous. One of the men hailed her as she approached, and both eyed her suspiciously as she got out of the car and came towards them.
"I'm Sarah Jane Smith," she smiled. "I've an appointment with your Chairman."
"If you wouldn't mind waiting just a tick while I confirm that," one said. He made a call on his portable radio. "Yeah, you're cleared." He waved her on.
In his office, formerly that of the school's headmaster, Colin MacDuggan, Commander-in-Chief of the British Section of Firebird, sat waiting for her. He wore the same kind of uniform as the guards, but with badges denoting his rank. As a former Army officer MacDuggan found the uniforms, the discipline, the marching about and the salutes appealed to him. He also liked the sense of belonging, of companionship; the feeling of being part of a good crowd united in a cause they all believed in. That cause was the preservation of the United Kingdom and its traditional institutions. It gave coherence and purpose to MacDuggan's world.
He also wanted to restore something of the country's greatness. He hated the depths to which Britain had sunk to. Its empire had gone and with it, it seemed, its pride. These days it was laughed at and ridiculed by the rest of the world as the Sick Man of Europe, who had to crawl to the IMF thanks to the financial incompetence of that stupid Labour Government. All because of the damage the unions, who had far too much power and whom the government seemed over-eager to appease, had done to the country's financial position. Then there was the social and moral decline, the tide of filth, the moral depravity; a consequence of the hold all those namby-pamby college-educated liberals had over society.
And above all, there were the immigrants. He hated them because they caused confusion as to national identity. A nation couldn't be strong and confident if it was uncertain who and what it was. Apart from that he hated their looks, their chattering voices, and what he believed to be their sexual and moral depravity. They were an ugly black tide of filth which had already swamped Britain's inner cities and would drown the entire country if no effort was made to check it.
He received Sarah courteously enough. Indeed there was a certain twinkle in his eye as he greeted her; clearly he liked a pretty face.
The two greenshirts who had shown her in remained in the room with them, which she found rather intimidating. But she didn't let her feelings show.
She started by asking him a few questions about the kind of people who joined his movement. They were, he said, from a wide range of backgrounds; there wasn't really anything to distinguish them from other people except that, as well as deploring the state into which the country had been allowed to sink, they were actually prepared to do something positive about it.
"What about people from ethnic minorities?"
"A black or Asian person could be a member of our organisation if he shared our programme."
"But it's noticeable that none are, isn't it?"
MacDuggan insisted that the ethnic minorities were wrong to let themselves be put off joining his party; they had entirely misunderstood its nature and intentions. You know very well that none of them will ever join your lot despite what you say, so you're not causing any problems for yourself there, Sarah thought.
She put it to him that the way the movement was organised, and the agenda it subscribed to, was basically Fascist. It talked about the suspension of parliamentary democracy, with rule by a semi-military dictatorship until such time as the strong measures which would be required to get the nation back on its feet had taken effect. He insisted to a clearly sceptical Sarah that authoritarian rule would not be permanent. But surely, Sarah argued, the British people would never vote for a party like this in any case; they preferred the mainstream ones, as the failure of Mosley's British Union of Fascists before the war made clear. Her implication, as MacDuggan realised, was that since he must know that, being not unintelligent, he must therefore be aiming to obtain power by violent methods, but MacDuggan, although his hackles rose visibly, managed to keep his temper. He replied that in a state of complete socio-economic collapse - such as he believed would shortly occur - the normal laws of politics would be suspended and Firebird would be able to step in and fulfil the role destiny had assigned to it. Until then it would seek to obtain whatever electoral support it could within the current system (which he admitted was not much). But already, he could sense that people were getting sick and tired of the way things were; that they were starting to crave strong leadership, and a surer sense of identity.
He wanted to keep Ulster in the United Kingdom (though so did a lot of other people who weren't necessarily extremists, Sarah told herself). He talked of "making Germany strong", which meant reunifying it to create an economic and political superpower; (though if that should turn out to be the wish of the German people there would be no option but to grant it should the Soviet Bloc ever disappear, which everyone agreed would be desirable, and thus make it feasible). He wanted to bring back hanging, but Fascists weren't the only people who believed that would be a good thing. Or who disliked homosexuality. Sarah claimed that even if some people did have moral objections to the latter they still wouldn't agree to homosexuals being locked up or forcibly treated in hospital for their condition. MacDuggan insisted Firebird had never called for such measures to be implemented, and indeed his remarks on the issue were sufficiently ambiguous as to make it hard to pin him down.
As for the organisation's connection with the recent spate of racial incidents, and the outbreak of industrial unrest which it was said to be exploiting for its own ends, these had admittedly not been proven and Sarah didn't succeed in getting MacDuggan, who certainly denied any involvement in them, to make any throwaway remarks, though he did admit that "we've had one or two hotheads who've overstepped the mark." He was proud to be able to say that in each case the individuals concerned had been expelled from the party immediately.
At that moment, one of MacDuggan's followers entered the room, carrying two cups of tea for them. He was a young man in his early thirties, with short, curly hair and a square-jawed, handsome face. Sarah almost jumped from her seat in amazement; she tried to regain her composure, but feared she hadn’t been entirely successful. The young man also looked surprised.
MacDuggan stared hard at first Sarah and then the young man. He collected his wits. "Ah, Jim, thankyou," he said as they took the cups from him. The acolyte left.
"He makes an excellent cup of tea, that fellow," MacDuggan said, taking a sip from his.
"Well, Mr MacDuggan, if we could now talk about race?" Sarah asked after a moment’s awkward silence.
"If you like. I'm willing to discuss anything."
"You said earlier you thought people wanted a sense of identity. Is it the case that you think that sense of identity is under threat from the growth of the black and Asian population?"
"No, not at all. I'm certain they can be absorbed into the British way of life." MacDuggan seemed surprised, even vaguely offended, by the question. "There is no need to object to their presence here. I think the numbers of people coming into this country should be restricted, yes, but that is for practical reasons more than anything else. The more people come to live here, the greater the strain on economic resources in what is, after all, a small country with an already dense population. I also think there are some ways in which the white population is discriminated against, but I'm sure that problem can be solved without..."sending them back", as some dubious elements in British politics would put it."
Sarah shared his view that there were practical reasons for restricting immigration, reasons which had nothing to do with cultural prejudice. And you had to agree that the race relations lobby did sometimes say and do things which were ill-considered and half-baked. However she felt MacDuggan wanted to go further than this.
"So the immigrants who’ve already been living here for some time…you're committed, you say, to a policy of integration? You don't want to, er, "send them back?""
"Of course not. We have never advocated anything other than voluntary repatriation."
"All right. Let me put it to you this way, Mr MacDuggan. It's quite obvious most of them don't want to go, and you must know that. In that case, what's the purpose behind your advocation of voluntary repatriation? It must have some other motive than just altruism."
"I think if only a few want to be repatriated - and there must be some who do, for one reason or another - it would still be considerate for the government to help them on their way. And why shouldn't we have a policy on the issue? I don't see any particular reason not to, if it matters to even a small number."
"Yes, but the way you keep on talking about it...it tends to reinforce the idea, doesn't it, that they're not welcome here and that it would be best if they were to leave?"
"What exactly are you suggesting?" he asked indignantly. The atmosphere had turned decidedly frosty.
Mentally Sarah took a deep breath. "That it's part of a deliberate strategy to freeze the ethnic minorities out of national life."
"A conscious strategy, you mean?"
"Yes, I do."
"So are you accusing me of racism?"
Sarah struggled to keep a straight face. She wasn't entirely successful. Try as she might, she was unable to suppress a derisory giggle.
It was the feeling of being mocked that finally broke down MacDuggan's composure. He sprang to his feet, his face a mask of hatred. "Right!" he bellowed. "This interview is over. You can bloody well get out of here at once."
Sarah kept her cool. She'd been in situations like this before, plenty of times. "Well, thankyou for agreeing to see me," she said sweetly. "It's been a most interesting little chat. Goodbye, Mr MacDuggan." She stood up and made for the door. The two heavies immediately rose to their feet, intending to see her off the premises. "I think I remember the way out," said Sarah. The men ignored her. She left the room with them, inwardly grinning as she reflected she would now be able to say how MacDuggan had exploded with rage when confronted with a flaw in his arguments.
MacDuggan sank back into his seat, breathing heavily, his face like thunder. A moment later the man called Jim entered the room. "That's not going to look good for us," he said.
MacDuggan gave him an angry look. "I know. But it doesn't matter too much what people like her think, does it?
"By the way, do you know that girl?" he asked, with a trace of suspicion.
"Yes, we were at school together," Jim replied. "I think it gave her quite a turn, seeing me here."
MacDuggan looked hard at him for a moment longer, then his face changed. He appeared satisfied. "Well, you can tell her at your next annual reunion that she'd better be very careful what she pokes her nose into in future. If we get any more trouble from her she's going to end up dead, pretty or not."

Bruchmann spent a good part of his time walking in the park not far down the road from his hotel. During one of his perambulations he had come across an old and rickety shed which he guessed had once housed tools used in the maintenance of the park. It was obviously abandoned, and thus ideal for his purposes. It stood some distance from the nearest footpath, from which it was barely visible, a tangle of weeds and brambles having grown up around it. No-one saw him force his way through the overgrowth to the door and attempt to open it; if they had, they would probably have thought he was one of the park maintenance staff, and that the bag he carried over his shoulder contained the tools he needed for his job.
The lock on the door had rusted solid, but the wood around it was soft and crumbling and it didn't take him long to yank it open. He found the interior of the little building empty save for a few planks of wood and an empty cardboard box.
He unslung the bag from his shoulder and laid it carefully on the floor. Unzipping it, he took out the components of the rifle he'd bought the previous day, each of which was wrapped in a sheet of tough canvas tied with sticky tape. They’d fit together easily when required. Along with them, similarly wrapped, were several lengths of wiring and a stubby metal cylinder about a foot long. He packed all these items carefully inside the box and stacked the planks of wood on top of it.
A few days later he returned to the hut and added a new item to the collection of stuff in the box; a bag containing a number of small, round metal objects.
Now he was checking to see that everything was undisturbed. To his satisfaction, all was as he had left it. He took care not to visit the hut too often, making sure there was a reasonable interval between each visit, as otherwise someone might become suspicious.
Yes, all was going well so far. And as the ingredients of his plan came gradually together a fierce, savage exultation was beginning to grow in him.

Returning from a shopping expedition to Wattlehurst, Sheila Kingman turned off the main road to the village along the lane which led to the house. Soon she was in the remains of what had once been a mighty forest, a mixture of oak and pine trees through which rays of brilliant sunshine slanted. It was a beautiful day, birds were singing cheerfully to one another, the sky was a healthy bright blue and for the first time in weeks she felt truly happy.
As she approached the cottage, she realised something was wrong and stopped the car. Something about the building bothered her. She got out to take a closer look. What happened next was a nightmare, except that it was real, indescribably and horribly real.
At first she thought she’d come to the wrong place. The door of the cottage was half off its hinges and its paint peeling. Bricks had fallen out or were badly eroded. Ivy clung to the walls, draped like a blanket over the ruined building. There were holes in the roof, tiles were missing from it, the guttering was breaking away, the chimney pots were cracked and all but one of the windows were smashed or missing to leave gaping holes like empty eye sockets.
She was certain this was the right place. But what had happened to it? Had she gone through a timewarp, to some point in the past or the future when the building was derelict and abandoned? She shook her head. There must be a reasonable explanation for this.
She tried the door, and the knob came away in her hand. She felt a chill. It couldn’t just be an illusion, there was actually a physical dimension to it. She gave the door a shove and it swung open to reveal the entrance hall, gloomy and partly blocked by a massive sheet of cobweb. A mound of rubbish had been piled against one wall. Enough light was coming from somewhere to reveal crumbling plaster and peeling wallpaper. She heard a door bang.
"Tom?" she cried. "Linda, Gavin? Is anyone there?" No-one answered, and there was no other sound except that creaking door, probably blown by a breeze coming in from outside. She explored all the rooms, all the passages within the building but everywhere was the same. Cobwebs, dust and silence. She had the idea something bad had happened here, something evil.
She hadn’t tried her own room yet. Pushing open the door, she stepped inside and froze as movement registered at the edge of her vision. A large spider was crawling up the wall.
A scuffling, scurrying noise alerted her to a small furry shape with gleaming black eyes. A rat.
Suddenly gripped by terror, she pressed herself against the wall. "Tom! Linda! Gavin!" she screamed. "For God's sake, where are you? Answer me!"
Then the scratching began. That noise she had heard previously in the garage. And it was coming from all over the room, though she could see nothing. A chorus of scratching sounds, from the ceiling, from behind the walls, from everywhere, as if an army of mice had invaded the building.
"No!" she screamed. "No! Go away! Leave me alone! Keep away from me! Go away, please! Don't come near me!" She was completely paralysed, rooted to the spot with fright, conscious of a terrifying sensation that a thousand eyes were watching her.
With a great effort she thrust herself away from the wall. She shook herself to make sure she wasn't dreaming. Then she went very still and very cold. There was a face in the mirror on the dressing-table underneath the window, and it didn’t look like hers.
There seemed to be something strange about it. Drawn by some indescribable fascination, she stepped towards it, peering more closely. The face was aged and creased; a shrivelled, crumpled little face framed by long strands of snow-white hair, with blank, wet eyes and a toothless mouth the skin around which wrinkled as it opened and closed in a disgusting sucking movement.
A lump of plaster fell off the wall. And another, and another. Cracks appeared, enlarging and spreading before her eyes. From them a thick, evil-smelling yellow slime oozed out with a hideous gurgling, bubbling, gobbling sound and flowed across the floor towards her.


She could stand it no longer. Screaming, she shot from the room, down the corridor and out of the building, unaware of the shouts of Tom, Linda and Gavin as they ran after her, wanting only to help.

Sarah was busy typing up her report of the interview with McDuggan when the phone rang. Reluctantly she turfed the cat off her lap and abandoned the typewriter.
It was Harry Sullivan. "I was just about to ring you!" she told him.
"I expect you were, old girl." Sarah winced. But she had long ago given up trying to get him not to call her such things. Besides, she had come to realise that they stemmed from genuine affection rather than chauvinism.
"Must have given you quite a turn, seeing me there," Harry said.
"I guess your bosses must have put you on undercover duty?"
"That's right. I'm keeping tabs on these Firebird chaps, in case I can find out anything interesting. Suppose you were doing the same thing."
"In a different way, yes." She described how the interview with MacDuggan had gone. "It isn't going to show him in a good light. So I think you could say I've been successful. How about you, have you had any luck?"
"So far, no. There seems to be a sort of inner clique, MacDuggan and one or two close pals. He doesn't trust anyone outside that clique, even his own followers. Very secretive about the organisation's future plans. Everything's done on military lines, the CO gives his orders and everyone else jumps to them. However I seem to be trusted enough to be given the run of the place, doing various odd jobs. I've been doing the best to act the fanatical Nazi, jumping to attention and saluting at the right moment. Playing the gorilla who just obeys orders, which after all is the sort of person MacDuggan’s looking for."
Harry told her the Firebird office was kept manned until quite late at night. MacDuggan was paranoid about the possibility of a raid on the premises by the police, MI5 or one of the left-wing groups who were vehemently opposed to Firebird and all it represented, trying to prove it had been doing things it could be prosecuted for. There had already been several attempted break-ins. "They've got a rota system for looking after the office, and it's my turn tonight. I should be able to root about and hopefully find some interesting clues. I think you should be in on it too."
Sarah had no qualms about thus repaying McDuggan's generosity in granting her an interview. "Excellent, Harry. What time should I be there?"
"About half-past ten. The gate guards will have gone home by then. We'll have the place to ourselves."

They searched the woods for her, calling out her name. There was no reply.
“Maybe she’s gone,” said Gavin. “I mean for good. Had enough of us.”
I hope so, thought Tom, subsequently experiencing a pang of guilt at the sentiment.
He stiffened, his eyes focusing on something in the distance. "What is it?"
"Over there," Tom shouted, and broke into a run. Following him, Gavin saw the figure of a young woman slumped at the bottom of a tree, her face buried in her hands. From the clothes and the long dark-blonde hair he knew it was Sheila.
Tom came to a halt beside the girl, and dropped to his haunches. "Are you all right, Sheila?" She took her hands from her face, looked at him for a moment, then gave a curt nod. She was in a terrible state, her eyes wide and staring, her hair in disarray, her clothes ripped, and her face badly cut. She’d gone into the wood at one point to escape them, ploughing through a mass of nettles and brambles.
“Sheila, what was going on back then? First of all you shouldn’t really have gone into everyone’s room without asking. Then…well you just went berserk. Absolutely crazy. There must have been some reason for it. Now if you were to tell us what it is then maybe we could – “
She shook her head fiercely. "I'm all right. It’s gone now, there’s no need to worry about it. Just leave me alone, OK?"
She clambered unsteadily to her feet and started to walk back towards the cottage, her mask-like face still betraying the effects of deep trauma. Gavin and Tom stared at her back and at each other before setting off after her, grim-faced.

Burckhardt was listening to a record of Hitler's speeches when Thornton came into the living room, a set of overalls folded over his arm. Burckhardt lifted the needle from the disc. "How are things going at the workshop?"
"Well. In fact, I came to tell you that the first of our little toys is ready."
"Excellent. Well done, Alex. Now anyone who tries poking their nose into our affairs will wish they hadn't."
"I think I'd like to see it in action first," said Thornton. "Give it a trial of strength. We need to be sure it's working properly."
"Yes, I've been having lots of fun trying to decide who to test it on. I think I've found a suitable subject."
Thornton sat down close to him. "So what happens now? What's our plan? I think we’d all like to know a little more.”
"It couldn't be simpler," said Burckhardt. "We just stay here, that's all. Our presence nourishes Wokir, and it nourishes us. The ceremonies will help. Soon - in perhaps no more than a week or two - it will be strong enough to break through into our world and exist there permanently. The wait will be somewhat boring, I'm afraid, but worth it."
"It frightens me a little," Thornton said. "More than a little, to be honest."
"Don't worry," said Burckhardt reassuringly. "You remember, we have the means to control it if we need to." He glanced at a steel container which stood on a sideboard, his eyes lingering on it for a moment or two. The thing inside it was so important to his purposes that he kept on wanting to look at it, to reassure himself that it would have the effect it was required to when the time came, but the sight of it and the vibrations it gave off always made him uncomfortable. He dreaded having to use it, but there might well be no alternative. He told himself he'd worry about that when it happened.

Alan Stedman returned to his laboratory from his lunch break to see Hancock coming towards him, anxiously. "Dr Stedman?"
"What's up?"
Hancock nodded towards the patch of dark material. It had more than trebled in size since he'd last set eyes on it, and was now about six feet square.
So, it was definitely growing. There was an unpleasant feeling in the pit of his stomach. "Yes, I see," he muttered. "Since we last checked on the thing, has the accelerator been operating?"
"It’s been on all the time. I wasn't sure we should continue with the experiments, but I decided to take the chance."
"I think we ought to shut it down for the time being. If the accelerator caused it to appear in the first place, it may also be making it grow."
Hancock crossed to the accelerator's control panel and initiated the shutdown procedure. The machine's steady hum died gradually down until it was silent. "Maybe that'll do the trick," he said hopefully. "Though we've still no proof it's actually dangerous."
At that moment the black patch began making a nasty hissing, sizzling noise, and the two men jumped back in alarm as a large object shot - was spat, Stedman thought - out of it to land on the floor with a plop. Looking at it, they saw a shapeless lump of grey-white material the size of a football.
"Bloody hell," exclaimed Hancock, quite involuntarily.
Stedman selected a screwdriver and a sheet of notepaper from the clutter of material on his workbench. Squatting, he gingerly prodded the blob onto the piece of paper. Opaque and clouded, it quivered like jelly. Taking a risk, he touched it lightly with the tip of one finger. It felt unpleasantly cold and clammy.
"Well, it seems to be harmless," he decided. The thing had yielded easily to the pressure applied to it with the screwdriver.
"I don't like it," said Hancock. "There's something funny about this. What are we going to do with it?"
"Keep it here. And I think it's best no-one knows about any of this, for the moment anyway."
Stedman turned away, the sheet of paper with the blob on it in both hands. Hancock glanced at the patch of dark matter uneasily, wondering what else might emerge from it. He gave a start.
It wasn't entirely opaque, he realised. Part of it seemed a little less black, though still gloomy and shadowy. Was a faint shape just visible there? More than one?
He couldn’t be sure, but if he stepped as close to the blackness as he dared, and strained his eyes a little, he thought he could make out a number of dark figures massing together, as if preparing for an attack.

Phyllis Dawes, Chairman of the Wattlehurst and District Women's Institute, paused in her regular daily perambulations and glared disapprovingly at the three or four youths in their early teens who were swaggering along on the other side of the road.
She saw them leave the pavement and disappear into the woods. Through the trees she could glimpse the shape of an abandoned cottage. She thought she could guess what they were planning to do. There had been an upsurge of vandalism in the area recently; Phyllis blamed it on people moving into it from the city and bringing all their bad habits with them. The tone of the neighbourhood was being lowered.
The boys must be intending to vandalise old Carden Lodge, failing to appreciate that they would be causing more of a nuisance by damaging something which was still in use rather than an abandoned house out in the wilds about which no-one really cared. It was the mentality of it which most annoyed her, the insistence on smashing things up purely for the sake of it.
So she decided to follow them. After a minute or so had passed she crossed the road and entered the wood, making in the direction they had gone, moving slowly and carefully so as not to alert them to her presence.
Hearing the sound of their voices, she concealed herself in a bush and peeked out cautiously. From here she could see the boys were gathered around the door of the cottage. One lifted a foot and kicked it savagely, trying to get the rotten wood to splinter. Another picked up a stone and drew back his arm to throw it at one of the windows.
"Oy, Pe-er," shouted a third boy. "I'm better than you, I can do it like this. 'Ere, let me show you."
He went up to one of the windows, the pane of which was still intact, and stood looking at it intently. Phyllis Dawes watched him from her hiding place, puzzled.
The window shattered into a number of jagged fragments, some of which fell from the frame and tinkled on the ground. His companions stared at him in amazement. He turned to them with a triumphant grin all over his face. "See?" he said proudly.
"Cor, fuckin' Ell," the boy named Peter gasped.
"I can't do it all the time," he told them. "Only sometimes, and if I think really hard. I know when I can do it 'cos I get this funny feeling." He advanced on them in a mock-threatening manner. "So you'd better do what I say, right?"
They backed away, looking rather startled and frightened.
His action had brought him closer to Phyllis Dawes' hiding place. Knowing as she did what he could do, though she still couldn’t quite believe it, she gave an involuntary whimper of fear.
"Someone's there," said one of the boys.
For a moment Phyllis considered brazening it out, but her nerve failed her. Springing to her feet, she burst from the bush and ran off through the trees and bushes as fast as Anno Domini would permit. No invisible power smashed her violently to the ground, as she had feared would happen, but she could hear the boys laughing wickedly, celebrating their ability to make an adult afraid of them.
Pausing for breath, she leaned against a tree, one hand on her forehead, overwhelmed by the shock of what she'd just witnessed. For a moment or two she thought she was going to faint. Then with a valiant effort she steadied herself and set off homeward, tight-lipped.

Now that they were all settled in at the cottage Gavin Brendon could commence his studies in earnest. His heart was filled with joy as he set off on his quest that bright sunny morning, putting all thoughts of Sheila and her alarming behaviour out of his mind.
He had come to Wattlehurst to see for himself what relics remained there of Anglo-Saxon times, and to decide what light they threw on the way of life and beliefs of his ancestors - for they were his ancestors, he was sure, and he was intensely proud of that. He looked like them, in his view, and tried hard to cultivate the resemblance. With his long fair hair and beard he did indeed remind you of a mediaeval or Old English King.
Gavin was undertaking a little fieldwork as part of the research for his thesis - a thesis which he hoped would form the basis of a book. A book which would be the definitive work on Anglo-Saxon society and culture, dedicated to proving they weren't as brutish and stupid as some people tended to think. A book in which all previous theories would be ruthlessly disproved, and about time too he thought.
Gavin lived, eat and breathed the Anglo-Saxons. They were to him an egalitarian, even communist society, with rights and liberties the fascist Normans had cruelly extinguished - for one thing, in their society a woman could hold property in her own right. And he felt they had been unfairly treated. People spoke of Saxon rule as having been ill-disciplined; that could hardly be true, when in the days of Alfred the Great a woman could walk from one end of the country to another and not be molested. It was true that Anglo-Saxon England hadn’t been really united until quite late in its history, but then unitary nation states were relatively rare in the world until fairly recently on the historical timescale. France hadn't been entirely unified until the sixteenth century, Germany and Italy until well into the nineteenth. In actual fact, the Anglo-Saxon state was the strongest political entity in the Europe of its day.
Altogether the Anglo-Saxons had far more of a pedigree than the Normans, who had basically been a bunch of nomadic Viking pirates. The Normans had undoubtedly ruled firmly, but that was attributable to their desire to hang onto every piece of land they managed to grab; and England had been the juiciest prize of all. No-one could say how Anglo-Saxon England would have developed had the Conquest not occurred. The snobbery and arrogance historians tended to display towards the Saxons, which manifested itself in the belief that English History had only begun at the Conquest and everything that had happened before then was of no account, incensed him. Well, he'd show them a thing or two.
He thought of his disagreements with old Barnaby Wallis at the University. Much spirited debate took place between them on the relative merits of Normans and Anglo-Saxons. "What's often forgotten, of course, is that the Anglo-Saxons had the most efficiently organised state in the Europe of their day..." "But the Anglo-Saxons had so little cultural sensitivity! Their architecture is so crude, so mundane…they put so much value on mere organisational efficiency, they had no time for the finer points of things..." The disagreement was a largely amicable one, but all the same he looked forward to making old Barnaby eat his words.
Gavin's grand ambition was to visit every village in those parts of England where the Anglo-Saxons had held sway, and investigate and record every possible Anglo-Saxon remain, in the hope that something new and interesting might be found to revolutionise our picture of how they had lived. There was some speculation that a much larger settlement even than the present village had existed at Wattlehurst in Saxon times, and it might be a worthwhile exercise to try to work out the original plan of the village and identify any interesting e earthworks. He would call on the area's local historian, and the vicar of the local Church, who was said to have some interesting items preserved in his crypt, and do a little surveying so that a plan could be drawn up showing how the village had developed over the years, how the original settlement could be compared with that of today.
But his first port of call, he decided, would be the pub. He was in need of a drink, and in his view it would help to stimulate his brain cells.
Once he'd finished there he embarked on his tour of the village. To his delight Wattlehurst still had its Saxon church, with that distinctive roof to the tower which looked like a bishop's mitre. The Saxon churches had a lovely, simple, homely feel. In contrast, he found Norman ones to be horrible, austere places.
Like many of the buildings in this and the neighbouring villages it was built from flint. Inside, a flight of well-worn stone steps led down to the huge and echoing crypt, which had been turned into a sort of museum of local history. There he found a glass case containing various Anglo-Saxon relics which had been discovered locally. Among them were a Saxon helmet with its distinctive high crown and cheekpieces, an ornate metal bowl and a stone tablet with some kind of inscription on it. According to the captions the bowl and the tablet, both pre-Christian, were thought to have some sort of religious significance. Both had been discovered on the Wattlehurst Hall estate, very close to a house called Greenleaves. The bowl had probably held the ashes of someone who had been cremated, or blood used in the pagan ceremonies. It was the tablet that attracted Gavin's interest most of all. It was badly worn, and the inscription was barely legible. Only the letters W, K and R could be made out; it was thought to be the name of the deity in whose honour the shrine had been erected. Above it was an image of the god; whether the details were original or had been marred by the erosion of centuries was impossible to tell. It seemed to be a crude human figure with holes for the eyes and mouth.
He struck up conversation with the Museum curator, an elderly volunteer who although a bit doddery still had his marbles. From the old man he learned that the Local History Society had folded, as happened to many small voluntary organisations from time to time, but this chap had been the Chairman and there was a lot he could tell Gavin.
Gavin explained the purpose behind his visit. "It strikes me that the Wattlehurst settlement hasn’t yet been fully investigated. I mean to get in there first, before anyone else comes along and interprets the evidence in terms of the familiar, hackneyed concepts."
"I take it you're familiar with the basic history of the place?"
"Yes. I've read the entries in all the county histories, and in the censuses and such like."
"Then there's no need to go over them. What nobody does know for certain is how big the original settlement was. But it was certainly a place of some importance. There must have been several large farms, a watermill...and, what's most interesting of all, a pagan shrine."
"So I gathered,” said Gavin eagerly. Pagan religions happened to be one of his special fields of interest.
"This area is rich in such sites, of course. As you'll know, Sussex was one of the last strongholds of pagan worship in this country.”
"Has anyone got any clues to where it was?"
"Nothing definite. Very often the church will be the site of the shrine, as when Christianity became accepted many of the old sites were simply taken over - but that isn't always the case. The vicar isn't sure. There is a theory that the shrine was where Greenleaves is now. Those relics being found near the place make it much more likely. Greenleaves is the house on the old Wattlehurst Hall estate, a little way to the northwest of the village. You can see it from Ash Lane." He produced a battered Ordnance Survey map and showed Gavin the location. "It was built by Lord Gleeson in 1925, after the Old Hall burnt down. A disreputable character, was one of Mosley’s Blackshirts before the war and is said to have conspired to make a negotiated peace with Hitler. And they say he dabbled in strange religious practices."
"And his house was built on the possible site of the shrine? That's an interesting coincidence."
"I agree. It was always said that he practised Black Magic. However, there's some suspicion that it was the old pagan religion; that he tried to revive it, though it was a secret thing...it's reckoned quite a few people from the village were involved. They held strange ceremonies. I never found out exactly what was going on. His family didn't like it, found it rather disturbing. Eventually they deserted him and he lived there on his own until his death. He was the last surviving member of the cult. For many years the house wasn't touched, because nobody could bear to go near it."
"They thought it was haunted or something, did they?"
"Even when Lord Gleeson was living there, the place was said to have a funny atmosphere about it. That's why the family left. They thought the old Earl's strange rites were responsible for the trouble; that he'd conjured up some evil force. Nobody has ever…seen anything, that I know of. It was just the feel of the place."
"That's all very interesting," said Gavin. "But I guess there's nothing left of the shrine now."
The curator gave a laugh. "Well, as a matter of fact they say he incorporated the remains of it into the house, that there's a room there with the old stones rearranged the way they would have been when it was in use. I can't confirm it, though."
"And what's happened to the house now?"
"Well, as a matter of fact Lord Gleeson died only a month or so ago. He’d still been living in the house even though it was falling down around his ears. I think the place must have been sold, though I don't know who to. A few days ago I noticed it was being done up; there was scaffolding around it and a "Private: Keep Out" sign. I made some enquiries, but all I was able to find out was that it had been bought by a businessman from London; someone quite famous, they reckoned."
"I suppose there's no way I could visit the house and have a look at the shrine?" He answered his own question. "No harm in asking them, I guess."
He paused. "That atmosphere you were talking about, that made people afraid of the house. It's often been reported at places where pagan shrines or burial sites, are thought to have existed - or where something unpleasant’s supposed to have happened."
The old man nodded. "The woods around Greenleaves are said to be haunted. Several people claim to have seen strange figures in the woods. In the 50s a couple of the local Teds decided to spend the night there - part of a drunken wager, I've no doubt. They were trying to show they weren't afraid of ghosts. Both disappeared without trace. And only a few weeks ago a farmer vanished after he went in there to look for a fox that was killing his chickens. Police searched the area quite intensively but nothing's ever turned up.
"I'm not sure about ghosts myself," he added. "I tend not to believe in them but it's better to keep an open mind, I suppose."
"I think I'll take a look at the place tomorrow," said Gavin. "The house, I mean. Like I said, there’s no harm in asking.”























THREE
Bruchmann looked uneasily round the room in which he found himself, and at the man sitting opposite him. His grim expression stemmed from his distaste at having to demean himself by associating with such filth. But it was necessary if he was going to have his peace of mind. He no longer had the infrastructure of an intelligence agency to support him; to do what he'd come to Britain for, he needed the help of men like Rod Patterson.
The room was quite well-furnished, with framed photographs adorning the walls and the mantelpiece, one of a woman who Bruchmann guessed must be Patterson’s mother taking pride of place on the latter. Thick, acrid smoke curled upwards from an ashtray in which lay the squashed remains of several cigarettes. Just behind Patterson, his brawny arms folded, stood the massive figure of one of the crime-lord's minders.
"So, what's this job you want me to do for you?" asked Patterson curtly, irritated by the man's hesitation and his obvious dislike for him. He hadn't stated it openly, but Patterson could pick up the vibrations. On top of that he looked like a Jew, and Patterson didn't like Jews. The fact that one of the Krays - who were Jewish, or thought to be - had once done something extremly painful to him with a snooker cue didn't endear him to the Children of Israel. He told himself to curb his hatred. What mattered was that the man paid well. "Wet one, is it?"
"I'm sorry, I don't..."
"Do you want me to kill somebody?" asked Patterson impatiently.
"Yes."
"Who?"
When Bruchmann told him, Patterson gave a start. "Burckhardt?"
"Yes. Victor Burckhardt. Although that, you may be interested to know, is not his real name." He told the story.
The gangster snorted, his enthusiasm for the job beginning to evaporate. Burckhardt was dangerous. He had his own underworld connections, and if the attempt should fail they'd probably come looking for those who had made it.
"There are plenty of people with a motive for killing Burckhardt," Bruchmann reminded him. "There is no reason why this business should put you and your...organisation in any more danger than its activities normally place it. Besides, it may be possible to do it somewhere where it won't attract attention. Burckhardt has a house in the country where he is currently spending most of his time, working on some business project or other. If I can find out where it is, then we'll make the hit there."
Patterson saw that he was right. Besides, if it was a wet job it would be fun. Wet jobs always were.
"There is one other thing you must know. I intend to be there when you do it. I want to see the man die myself; if possible, to be the one who kills him. I have a gun of my own and will bring it with me.
“Once I am sure he is dead, I will pay you on the spot. It is not my intention to remain in this country for any length of time once the task is completed. If I am not there, you may consider the deal off."
"If you're not there, you can be sure we'll be after you fast," warned Patterson. Those who crossed him tended to regret it for a long time afterwards, assuming they lived. More often they ended up buried beneath someone's patio extension.
"That is fair enough by me," Bruchmann said with a shrug.
"Is there gonna be anyone else in the house?"
"There may be. But they are not important. They will probably be scum like him. Now, will you be ready to carry out the killing at short notice?"
"Should be," Patterson grunted. "How short?"
"A few hours."
"Well, I'm not happy, but if I can do it I will."
"Excellent." Bruchmann scribbled the telephone number of his hotel on a scrap of paper, together with his false name, and pushed it towards Patterson. "This is where you can get in touch with me if you need to." Then with a smile he rose to his feet. "If you'll excuse me, I have a very important task to see to."

Alan Stedman gazed deep into the Blackness, as he had come to call it; wishing that he could unlock his secrets, that he could gain some idea of what he was dealing with. Since they'd shut down the particle accelerator it had grown at a much slower rate. The worrying thing was that it still was growing.
"I just don't know what to do with it," he had told Hancock. "Unless it decides to go away, we're going to have to abandon this room."
Stedman turned to look at the blob of jelly which had been ejected from the black hole and which for the past few hours had been sitting on the bench inside a glass container doing nothing in particular, awaiting analysis as soon as anyone was free to do the job (he supposed it was more a matter for a chemist than a physicist).
He breathed in sharply. The little blob had gone and in its place was a blackened and twisted lump of metal. To his astonishment he recognised it as the ruler which had disappeared the day before. It looked as if it had been exposed to an intense source of heat, although the temperature around it was normal.
Stedman found that this made up his mind for him. He snatched up the internal phone and dialled Charteris. His superior soon agreed with him that the best course was to evacuate the laboratory, hereafter keeping an eye on the Blackness in case it did anything alarming. A spare lab was soon allocated to them, and they set about transferring their equipment to it.
Stedman paused in the task of getting everything together to take one more look at the Blackness. Hancock at that moment was out of the room.
There was no sign of the shapes his assistant claimed to have seen there. But some indescribable, irresistible compulsion drew him closer toward it, to stare fixedly at its smooth dark surface.
Then he heard a sound emanating from the blackness. A soft murmuring that sounded like a…
Yes, that was a voice alright. And it was speaking to him, promising him knowledge. Promising him power. Telling him things he found far more interesting that anything he had been doing here up until now.

Gavin came up the drive of Greenleaves whistling cheerfully, his hands tucked into the pocket of his leather jacket. Nice house, he thought as he approached it. They seemed to have almost finished the renovation. The grounds were still a little overgrown, and the grass a bit brown from the drought.
He sauntered up to the front door and rang the bell. A minute or two later it was opened by a fair-haired young man with plump, rather pig-like features.
"Hi there," Gavin smiled. "I'm doing a thesis on Anglo-Saxon religion. I don't know if you knew it, but there happens to be the site of one of their shrines in the grounds of your house. I understand the remains were incorporated in the building. I wonder if I could take a look?"
The man eyed Gavin in a suspicious, distasteful fashion. The long hair and scruffy clothes clearly met with his disapproval. "Well, I haven't seen anything," he muttered.
"Perhaps I could spot things you couldn't. I mean, as I've made a special study of it..."
"I'm sorry, no," the young man snapped, breaking the awkward silence.
"Are you sure? I've come a long way, and it's absolutely vital for my thesis that I actually see what's left of the shrine."
"I said no, didn't I?" The door was slammed in Gavin's face. The young student glared at it for a moment and then turned away.
Gavin was deep in thought as he trudged back down the drive. He wasn't going to give this up. Not only that, but he didn't care for the rude manner in which he had been rebuffed. He decided he wouldn't take no for an answer. But as always with Gavin, a little voice was whispering in his ear to the effect that it might not be a good idea.
He recalled the way the man had looked at him. For a moment, he had been sure he could actually feel the man's dislike, his hatred, like a wave of heat sweeping over him and singeing his flesh.

The figures of the number branded onto David Aronson's wrist stood out starkly in the glow from the ultra-violet lamp beside which he was working late that night in his London flat.
The cause of exposing organisations like Firebird was one he couldn't fail to believe in passionately. It took up most of his time. Nowadays the principal victims of their blind hatred were blacks, not Jews. Nevertheless he continued to devote a large part of his small salary towards the running of the anti-Fascist pressure group he'd started a few years ago, because in them he saw exactly the same kind of evil, the same kind of ignorant prejudice, that had led to the extermination of millions of his people and might for all he knew do so again.
At the moment he was working on an article for the group's magazine, the subject of which, needless to say, was Firebird. The organisation had been causing him and his colleagues so much concern in recent months.
He looked up on hearing a vehicle pull up to the kerb in the street outside; right by the house, it sounded like. It was too big to be a car. He frowned in puzzlement, then after a moment returned to his work. The vehicle's engine died.
A large van was now parked next to the Victorian terraced house. The driver got out and went round to the back of the vehicle, unlatching the rear door and lowering it. He touched a control on the black box which was clipped to his belt.
A minute later Aronson started in alarm as the front door of the flat burst open with a crash of shattering glass and splintering wood. His first thought was that the people he had dedicated his life to exposing were having a go at him; it wasn't the first time that had happened. He leaped to his feet, dashed to the phone and snatched up the receiver.
He could hear the thud of heavy footsteps in the entrance hall. The intruder was moving slowly, ponderously; no doubt some sick way of heightening his victim’s fear and terror.
Aronson dialled 999 and waited. To his horror he got the monotonous “out of order” tone. His blood ran cold at the realisation this had been planned; somehow they’d cut him off. And that must mean they weren't just intending to frighten him.
He turned to run, and saw the figure standing in the doorway of the living room. It was wrapped in a bulky overcoat and a broad-brimmed hat was crammed on top of its head. It came forward into the light and he gasped in horror as he saw the face beneath the brim of the hat.
He recovered his wits. The bastards were just trying to frighten him, dressing up like that. “What is this?” he demanded, getting to his feet. “Who are you?”
The figure moved with astonishing speed despite its massive bulk, and in a second it was almost on top of him. It raised one arm high above its head. Desperation lent Aronson a speed and agility that belied his years. He vaulted over the table and sprinted for the window, just as the creature's arm descended in a savage chopping blow which gouged a massive hole in the solid wood of the table where he’d been working. Finding the table in the way, the figure smashed it to one side, shattering it to splinters.
Aronson was fumbling frantically with the catch of the window. It came open and he began scrambling through the opening. He was halfway out when a hand that felt made of solid steel seized him by the shoulder in a bone-crushing grip; he gave a piercing scream as he felt something break. Then he was being pulled back into the room, struggling in vain to break the creature’s grip.
Its other hand came down again, descending on his neck with savage force and shattering the bones in an instant. He felt a brief, excruciating pain, then nothing.
The creature let Aronson's body slump to the floor. Then it scanned the room carefully, its head moving slowly from side to side. Among the remains of the table, it saw the scattered papers of the article Aronson had been writing. Swiftly it gathered them up, then stalked from the room and down the entrance hall. It had to be away from here as swiftly as possible; Aronson's screams and shouts for help would surely have alerted his neighbours, and soon the police would be on the scene.
The creature lumbered towards the removal van, whose driver stood waiting beside it. It climbed up the ramp and the driver raised it. Then he jumped in the cab and started the engine. There were few other vehicles about at this time of night and soon all chance of getting a fix on the van had gone. Before long it was well on its way home.

In the hot summer night, the windows of the cottage had been left open, and a cool breeze blew into Sheila Kingman's room, ruffling the curtains. She moaned and stirred in her sleep.
Her eyes sprang open and she jerked sharply into a sitting position, pulling the bedclothes out of place. She threw them back and swung her legs off the bed.
Tom wasn't quite asleep, and heard the stairs creak as she descended them. Having supposed someone was answering a call of nature, he frowned when he heard the back door open. Gavin or Sheila? Sheila, most probably. Why the heck would anyone in their right mind want to go out at this time of night? He considered going to investigate, but decided he couldn't be bothered. Linda was well away and didn't seem to have heard anything.
Sheila gently swung the back door to, leaving it slightly ajar, and set off across the yard towards the woods. Still wearing only her nightgown, and apparently oblivious to the cold, she moved among the trees, walking in a stiff robotic fashion as if hypnotized, her eyes fixed on a point somewhere ahead of her.

Sarah's car pulled up a few hundred yards from the entrance to Firebird’s headquarters. As she approached the gates she saw Harry coming forward to meet her out of the darkness. She gave him an affectionate hug.
“Harry, we’d better be careful,” she told him. “You know what these people are like.”
“Of course I do, I’ve been living with them these last few months. But you say the Brig’s in on this?”
"Yes. They reckon there's something out of the ordinary going on and Firebird are mixed up in it. It should help us if we do get into any trouble.”
Harry opened the gates, then unlocked the front door of the building and ushered Sarah in. "Are you enjoying being with MI5?" Sarah asked on their way down the corridor to MacDuggan's office. "I guess it's what you always wanted to do, isn't it?"
"Sure is," Harry grinned.
"Only I would have thought..." She checked herself, looking uncomfortable. Not for the first time in her life, she'd been thinking out aloud.
Harry paused, and looked her straight in the eye. "I'm not quite the fool I often seem, you know."
"I never said you were," said Sarah softly.
They searched everywhere carefully, making sure everything was put back in its proper place afterwards. They found a lot of Nazi memorabilia, including a portrait of Adolf Hitler tucked out of sight at the back of a cupboard. Sarah got out her camera and began photographing what she felt to be the most incriminating items.
In a drawer she found a collection of pornographic magazines. Sarah didn't approve of such things, feeling them to be degrading to women, but all the same she laughed.
She also found an Ordnance Survey map of the part of Sussex around Brighton and Worthing. Spreading it out on the desk, she saw that a ring had been drawn around the village of Wattlehurst, with a smaller one inside it encircling the black square which represented a building of some kind.
In a cardboard box Harry came across a batch of anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant pamphlets. He wasn’t particularly surprised, but drawn by some indefinable compulsion, began to leaf through them. After a moment he shuddered, then hurriedly replaced them in the box and closed the lid. He didn't want them to have the effect they'd been designed for.
Next he pored over a stack of books, most of them on the occult. There was one section in which McDuggan, or someone at the offices, had a particular interest, as he'd placed a marker in it. He showed what he had found to Sarah, who proceeded to photograph the relevant pages, having done the same with the map.
"I think we've got enough to go on," Sarah decided. She glanced at Harry, to find him gazing regretfully at one of the porn mags. She shot him a look of disgust. “Come on, Harry. Put those back where you found them, and then we’ll be going. I don’t think I want to hang around this place any longer than I have to.”
*
Even in the dark the hill stood out for miles, its distinctive silhouette starkly outlined against the moon. But at this late hour there were few people around to see it. And certainly no-one tended to visit the place itself, not at one o’clock in the morning. Normally, anyway.
Of course there was no shortage of people interested in such an unusual feature of the topography. There were archaeologists and local historians who would speculate endlessly on its precise origins, and modern-day witches and druids who came from hundreds of miles away, if necessary, to carry out strange rituals at dawn and midnight.
And Sheila. She sat cross-legged on the ground staring fixedly at it. She hadn’t the slightest idea what she was to do next but was sure somehow that she ought to here. For she had seen that shape before, she was certain of it. In the dream.
*
The following day Alan Stedman took a trip up to Yorkshire, to the small country village where he had lived as a child. There he turned off the main road onto the winding lane that led up to the wooded crest of a hill where there stood the gaunt, crumbling hulk of an old woollen mill. At the top he stopped the car, got out and walked the rest of the way to the ruin. With any luck, what he was looking for should be there. And he was unlikely to be disturbed; very few people ever came here, because they found the spot too depressing.
The impressive burnt-out shell of the complex dominated the overgrown site. The mill had gone out of use around the turn of the century following a slump in the economy of the region, and ever since then general neglect along with several bad fires had taken their toll. Stedman had to fight his way through thick undergrowth to get to it.
Here and there, rusted pieces of discarded machinery poked up through the weeds and brambles. Ahead of him appeared the broken fragments of the walls of the ancillary buildings, and then the mill itself. Its roof was gone, and what remained of the internal woodwork was in danger of collapse. The fire-blackened timbers could be glimpsed through the empty window openings. To the west stood the engine house with its tall chimney pointing a gaunt finger at the sky.
The density of the surrounding foliage plunged all into darkness. Stedman paused, gauging the atmosphere. The crumbling walls, jutting fragments of twisted ironwork, and vegetation run wild gave to the whole dank, dark scene a sense of unutterable decay. A sinister brooding aura of menace.
But the place didn't affect him in the way it would most other people. It gave him a thrill - an uneasy thrill, perhaps - of the sort that comes with the discovery of something new. He stepped through a doorway into the mill. The interior of the building, like the outside, was fast becoming overgrown, with creepers trailing down the walls and bushes sprouting from the earthen floor. The massive weaving machinery, driven first by water and then by steam, had long been removed and sold for scrap. He thought of the place as it must have been in its heyday, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; of the poor, ragged, starving men, women and children who had toiled there miserably. Did their ghosts still linger here within these fire-blackened walls?
Yes, you could feel it; a tingling on the air and on the skin. As if it were charged with something akin to an electric current.
He began to have an uneasy sensation that he was not alone. There was someone, or something, standing not far away from him. He looked round and saw the ragged, pitiful figure of a young boy, a dirty, bare-footed lad with long black hair hanging down past his shoulders. A hallucination, an image somehow projected from the past? Or a miserable spirit trapped forever in time?
It held out his hands and began to walk towards him, its lips mouthing words that never came. And then Stedman saw that it had no eyes. Just blank, gaping, empty sockets.
"Go away," said Stedman. "Go back to your own time.” As if it understood what he said, the figure vanished into nothingness before his eyes.
Stedman put down the bag he was carrying and took from it the machine the voice from out of the Blackness had told him how to construct. It consisted of a black box to which a metal tube like the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner was attached by means of a flexible lead. Touching one of the buttons on the box, he began passing the nozzle backwards and forwards over the nearest wall.

In his office the Brigadier was studying the photograph of the map Sarah and Harry had found at the Firebird offices. "Well, that's obviously highly significant," he remarked. "There must be a link."
"Then we found these books on the occult and stuff," Harry said. "Most of it seems to be about some pagan god or other called Wokir."
The Doctor's eyes lit up. "Tell me more about that." Harry pushed the photographs across the desk towards him.
There were several pages on Wokir, illustrated with sketches and photographs of ancient stone carvings and figurines, all depicting the same crude but sinister figure with the sticklike limbs, blob of a head and rudimentary features. The Doctor read through the information, absorbing its salient points, with amazing speed. "Wokir. God of corn, fire and blood. He's supposed to live on another world and when his followers have prepared the way he will come to this one and rule over it.
“Wokir or Wogar was worshipped throughout the entire Germanic world; in some places, for several centuries after the Christianisation of the rest of Europe. He is said to have accompanied and protected the Anglo-Saxons on their journeys from what is now Germany to settle in the British Isles. Latterly he was an aggressive and cruel deity, tolerating worship of no other gods. His followers practised the vilest things, and waged a campaign of terror and murder against the other pagan cults as well as Christian missionaries. Wokir is said to be imprisoned in the underworld, from which he will return to rule all Creation following a time of great chaos and suffering..."
Putting down the book, the Doctor assumed the air of a benign schoolmaster. "Now then, everyone. I trust it's clear to us from past experiences that the gods of Earth's mythology are often alien beings from other planets or dimensions, with powers far greater than any human being’s. So much so that people worshipped them as deities."
"Like the Daemons," said the Brigadier.
"Yes. And the Osirans. And a great many others who you people haven't heard of."
"So you think we're dealing with the same kind of thing?"
"It's a possibility we shouldn't ignore." He stood up and began walking around the room with his hands in his pockets, another habit which annoyed the Brigadier. "It isn't unprecedented for Nazis to take an interest in the occult," he mused.
"I read somewhere that Hitler had his own personal astrologer," said Sarah.
"So pagan Germanic deities would be just the kind of thing to excite them," the Doctor said. "You know, the letters "SS" are runic figures from the old North European alphabet."
"And the marriages of SS officers were conducted according to ancient pagan rituals," said Harry.
"Those are just a few examples of it. Anyway, I think it's time for us to take a look at what's going on in Wattlehurst."
"I've just remembered," chipped in Harry. "Wattlehurst is where that farmer chap disappeared. Just in case there's any connection."
The Doctor thought for a moment. "Atmosphere," he said loudly, making the others jump. "What counts in this business is atmosphere."
"I'm sorry, Doctor?" asked a bemused Brigadier.
"We must look for places that are supposed to be haunted. Or at any rate, supposed to have a bad feeling about them. Hauntings are often evidence of unusual psychic phenomena or alien activity."
"Why don't I go down there and see if I can find out anything?" said Sarah briskly.
"May I point out, Miss Smith, that the possible danger..." The Brigadier checked himself. He'd begun to realise there was no point in trying to dissuade Sarah from undertaking potentially hazardous assignments and that if he did, she would only see it as male chauvinism.
"You were saying, Brigadier?" Sarah grinned, guessing his thoughts.
"Oh, nothing," replied Lethbridge-Stewart stiffly.
"She's right, Brigadier," the Doctor said. "We mustn't lose any time over this. You and I will need to investigate this murder in London. In the meantime, Sarah can poke around in Wattlehurst and see what she comes up with. We'll join her there later." He glanced at the Brigadier, seeking his agreement. Lethbridge-Stewart gave a curt nod, annoyed as always by the Doctor doing his planning for him.
"Is there anything you can do, Sullivan?" he asked Harry.
"Wish I could help, Sir. But I'm wanted to generally keep tabs on Firebird."
"You know I've just realised something," declared the Doctor suddenly. "That place is right next to the Foundation, give or take a mile or so."
The Brigadier gave him a disapproving look. "I doubt very much that Dr Charteris and his colleagues are involved with a gang of political extremists, somehow."
"Oh so do I, so do I, Alastair. But possibly something that's going on at the Foundation is having strange side effects. Just a thought."

The Reverend Derek Haynes stood looking out across the Downs from a window on the upper floor of the Vicarage, reflecting on his life and the reason why he came to be here in Wattlehurst.
It was a pleasant enough place to live, he thought. He wouldn't mind spending the rest of his days here. But something tugged at his heartstrings, kept on telling him he ought to be elsewhere. The city; that was where you found most of the drug-taking, the prostitution, the crime. That was where God was furthest away from human hearts, where all the work needed to be done.
He decided that if he could get a transfer to an inner-city parish he would. But in the meantime, he had his job to do here and he'd do it well.
He heard the doorbell ring, and went to answer it. Two sturdy middle-aged ladies were standing outside.
"Ah, good morning, Mrs Watts - Dorothy, isn't it. What can I do for you? Oh, and Phyllis too."
"Vicar - "
"John, call me John."
"Do you think we could come inside? We wanted a word or two in confidence."
"Of course, of course." He ushered them in. A few minutes later the three of them were sitting in his study, literally having tea at the vicarage.
"I don't know if you've noticed anything yourself, John, but there's something not quite right in the village," began Dorothy Watts. "Is there, Phyllis?" Phyllis nodded.
The vicar thought for a moment. "I hadn't so much noticed it as sensed it. Everyone seems...afraid of everyone else." Though life had to go on the atmosphere was changing, become one of unease. There was a sense of waiting for something to happen, some kind of explosion.
He shook his head in bafflement. "I must admit I was wondering if I could broach the subject in my sermon next Sunday, but I haven't yet decided how."
Phyllis gave him a summary of all that had been happening. Not just the disappearance of Joe Hogden but the deaths of Carson, Rutland and Pargeter, the farmhand’s terrifying hallucinations, what she herself had witnessed at Cardon Lodge yesterday. And many other incidents. "Nobody's liked to say anything because, you know, they're all afraid of being thought round the bend. But it's all gone too far. Something funny is going on, and we've got to find out what it is. We were wondering what you thought the cause of it might be."
"You think it could be some kind of visitation?"
"I don't know what to think. But it's not good. If it is a visitation…you know, something Satanic, then you're the obvious man to deal with it."
"Of course, of course. Well whatever the cause of the trouble, I think I should be involved." A Christian couldn't ignore a problem like this. They had to care about whatever troubled their fellow humans. "I take it you were planning on holding some kind of public meeting?"
Dorothy and Phyllis nodded in unison. "And the sooner the better, by my reckoning," said Dorothy. "In fact I was thinking about tomorrow night. You can leave it to us to let everyone know."
"In the church hall?”
"Yes. There's a WI meeting on then, but since we are the WI that's neither here nor there. I don't think anyone would mind anyway. They're all too worried about everything."
A crisis, here in his own little backwater, for him to resolve. He felt his spirits lift.
"Oh, and...John?"
"Yes?"
"If we can sort it out ourselves, without having to bring in anyone from outside…”
Haynes nodded. "That would be for the best."

The Brigadier's staff car was negotiating its way carefully along the little street where Aronson's house was situated, avoiding the other vehicles parked on either side of the thoroughfare. The building and a section of the road and pavement had now been cordoned off with lengths of tape strung between metal poles, and uniformed police were on the scene. One was busy attempting to ward off curious or ghoulish members of the public.
"Aronson was exactly the sort of person a neo-Fascist organisation would want to kill," the Brigadier was saying. The Doctor nodded gloomily.
The passers-by saw the big, gleaming car pull in to the kerb and flooded towards it, eager for a glimpse of its occupants. The policeman shooed them away. As the Doctor and the Brigadier got out a detective from Special Branch came up to them. The Brigadier introduced himself, then turned to indicate the Doctor, but the Time Lord was already engrossed in studying the shattered window. "Whatever broke that was very big and very heavy. And judging from the way the glass has shattered, I'd say it was roughly the shape of a human."
The policeman stared at him, struck by the confidence in his manner. "You can tell that straight away, without taking a proper look?"
"Yes, I can. Aren't I clever?"
"Did anyone see anything?" asked the Brigadier, hurriedly changing the subject.
"Well, just about the whole street heard screams, things breaking. Several people say they saw a van parked outside the house and a big bloke getting into the back of it. Then the van drove off. It was dark so no-one could get a look at the number plates. They've probably changed them by now anyway. We've put out an appeal for information, but so far nothing of any interest has come up."
They stepped into the house, the Doctor's huge eyes scanning everything with their penetrating gaze. The Brigadier whistled as he surveyed the damage. "Just look at that table."
"Anything interesting upstairs?" he asked the policeman.
"We haven't carried out a proper search yet. We were leaving it until you people had taken a look. Looks like all the action took place down here, though."
It didn't take them long to establish that the policeman's supposition was correct. In fact there was nothing anywhere in the house to suggest who, or what, the killer might be. The Doctor shook his head. “Nothing to go on just yet, I’m afraid.”
"We'll be in touch if necessary,” Lethbridge-Stewart told the detective. “In the meantime, you'd better carry on with your own investigations."
The commanding officer of UNIT and his scientific adviser got back into their car. "Well, Doctor, what do you think we're dealing with?" asked the Brigadier, as he'd done on so many occasions over the past few years. "Something like the Robot? Or it could be an Auton."
"Either’s possible, Alastair. Then again it could be something else entirely. Better tell your organisation to keep a general look-out for anything unusual. In particular, investigate any suspicious-looking businesses, and find out if any advanced electronic equipment has gone missing."
He'd said "your" organisation. The Brigadier's heart sank. But at the same time, did he also feel a certain sense of relief?
"I'll see it's done. Meanwhile, we may as well get on down to Sussex and see if we can turn up anything that end."

It was late afternoon by the time Sarah reached the building indicated on the map they'd found in MacDuggan's office. She left her car in the village, making her way to her destination on foot; if anyone at the house, or whatever it was, should notice the vehicle parked nearby it might cause suspicion.
As she walked past the gates she glanced casually in the direction of the building, as one might innocently do. It appeared the place was deserted; there was no sign of any car parked near it.
From the map she knew there was a public footpath through the woods that bordered the house on its eastern side, used by walkers to get to the Downs a mile or so away. Sure enough, a few minutes later she saw the sign at the roadside, pointing to the left. The path was narrow and muddy.
She guessed she wasn't supposed to leave it, and indeed as she came round a bend in it a notice warning her in a peremptory fashion not to do so loomed up on her left. Completely ignoring it, she waited until a break occurred in the vegetation that bordered the path and then stepped through it, making in what she judged must be more or less the direction of the house.
It wasn't, and when she reached the edge of the wood she saw open, rolling downland. But it was a simple matter to follow the tumbledown wire fence until she saw the house through a gap in the trees.
Moving carefully so as not to make too much noise, she hunted until she found the best spot from which to watch the house. Concealing herself in a large bush, she parted the leaves and peered out. She had a clear view of the house and the drive.
She crouched down low and waited for something to happen. After a while her heart leaped and her eyes lit up as she heard the sound of a car. Hurriedly she unzipped the bag lying on the ground beside her and took out her camera, now fitted with a telephoto lens. It wasn't sunny, so there would be no chance of a flash of light off the lens giving her away.
She saw the car come into view and stop just outside the house. There were about half a dozen men inside it. She kept the lens trained on the vehicle as they disembarked. The first to step down from the vehicle was a large man with grey hair, heavy features and bushy eyebrows. She almost dropped the camera in excitement. It was Victor Burckhardt; the man who, according to Solomon Weitzer, was in reality Heinrich von Arbenz. Her heart beat faster and she was barely able to stifle a little cry of excitement. The thought of being able to give Weitzer what he wanted filled her with joy. If this von Arbenz was actively trying to foster a new Nazi movement, that was another matter. She was glad to have an excuse to expose him.
She pressed the shutter, repeating the action every time one of the men stepped into full view. She gasped in astonishment each time. One was MacDuggan; well, that was no surprise. But the others; all were famous in some way or other. The dark-haired young man was Clive Rayner, the notoriously right-wing Conservative MP. An older man, white-haired and moustached, was General Sir Neil Blundell, the former Chief of the General Staff. A man in his forties with curly hair and glasses had to be Professor Derek Swain. Another, slightly younger man was the broadcaster Colin Thornton.
Sarah watched them disappear into the house, grinning delightedly. Got them now, she thought. Then with a sinking feeling, she realised that she still didn't have proof.
At least this showed they had an interest in the area, she thought as she crept away. And by so doing, it would help to tighten the noose around their Nazi necks.
She stopped, frowning. On her left the wood thinned out somewhat, giving a clear view across a large field towards the village. About a hundred yards from where she stood, near the centre of the field, a tall, thin, scarecrow-like figure was walking in quick jerky movements. It seemed much too tall and slender to be a human being. As she watched, it reached the edge of the field and disappeared into a thicket.
Sarah frowned, trying to decide what the apparition might have been, whether it represented any kind of threat. After a moment she shrugged her shoulders and moved on. She hadn't gone far when something she glimpsed amid the surrounding vegetation made her stop. Was that a...She caught her breath. Only a few feet away, framed by the leaves of the bush out of which it was staring at her, was a face. It was there long enough for her to tell it wasn't human. It was oval in shape, framed by long hair, and the huge, sad eyes seemed to take up almost the whole of it. They gazed into hers for a brief moment, then with a swift, rustling movement the apparition was gone, vanished into the thick foliage.

In the past, Nick Randall and Christine Burckhardt had often supported each other against difficult or tyrannical superiors. As a result, a firm friendship had been forged between them. They often met each other socially, and every now and then dined together at a pub and restaurant which was often frequented by people at the office. He had suggested another such meeting a few days ago, and she had accepted, feeling she’d like to talk to him again. So now a pristine Christine was seated opposite him at a table in the restaurant section and they were tucking into a delicious meal.
"Well, did it help?" he asked, referring to her visit to her father at Wattlehurst. He was about the same age as her, with medium fair hair and a pleasant, slightly rogueish face.
"I guess so," Christine replied. He noted her frown and asked what was wrong.
"Well..." She told him what had passed between them and of her suspicions that there was some ulterior reason behind his rapprochement. "If I knew what it was I'd be a lot happier. I got the impression he was doing it because it wasn't too much trouble; that he didn't really care whether he did it or not. That's what's worrying me. If I could only be sure it really meant that much to him."
She shrugged. "He's a funny sort, my Dad."
Nick knew that Christine and her father had been estranged from each other for some time, but had never got the full story. "I'd be intrigued to know more about the Burckhardt family feud, but I don't suppose it's any of my business."
Christine hesitated. He was a friend, at least, and she felt she needed to talk about it to someone. "He treated me, my mother and brother very badly, right from when we were very young. He had very strict standards where dress, where everything, was concerned, and wouldn't tolerate the slightest slipping from them. It made life almost impossible at times. And we all had to do as we were told. When my mother objected, he'd just shout her down. Even hit her a few times.
“It all had a very bad effect on her. In fact I'd say it destroyed her in mind and body. If he hadn't abused her so badly, both emotionally and physically, I'm sure she'd still be alive. Of course it was an accident, a tragic accident, that killed Michael. But his father made what little he had of life hell. So now I'm left without a family, apart from Dad.” For just a moment, she looked as if she might be about to cry. Nick felt he should make some gesture of sympathy and placed a consoling hand on her forearm.
"It got worse as I got older. He was always trying to control my choice of boyfriends. If one of them had hair slightly too long he'd veto the relationship, although of course we'd still find ways of seeing each other. By liking the guy I was behaving in what he thought was a decadent fashion. Then there was the way he blew up at me because I didn't want to join his company; because I wanted to start out on my own."
"Independence matters to you, doesn't it?" he remarked.
"Yes, it does. And I'd had enough of him ordering me about at home; I didn't want him doing it as my boss."
"I can understand that."
"You can guess the kind of things he said. "After all I've done for you...I've showered you with presents, with advantages a lot of people don’t have; sent you to one of the country's best schools; given you money to spend as you pleased; helped pay for overseas holidays, a pony of your own..."
"And it's true. He did spoil me. What he's never understood is that there are things more valuable than money. Like love, kindness, consideration...
“It's not that he didn't care for me, in his own way. It's just that he wasn't prepared to bend. Had to have everything done the way he wanted, because that was the right way, the only way.”
She took a little book of photographs from her pocket and opened it, showing it to Nick. He saw a black-and-white snap of a little blonde girl being dandled on the lap of a man with dark hair and bushy eyebrows. Both were smiling happily.
"When Mum died, and we all knew why she wasn't still with us, it was the last straw. I told him he was a - well, I don't think you want to hear it - and I would make damn sure I never saw or heard from him again. It was a long time before I could bring myself to get in touch, to go back on my resolution. Perhaps I should have done it a long time ago. If I'd only tried..."
"I don't think you've got anything to blame yourself for," he said. "You've done well by trying to bring about this reconciliation. I'd have kept to my promise. So would most people, I reckon."
"As I told you before, I wanted to know him. He’s never spoke much about his past, about his life before he came to England.”
She lost herself in her thoughts for a moment. "Another thing…he didn't seem to like it whenever I showed interest in a black boy, or got friendly with anyone who wasn't what you might call a WASP. He was quite cold with them, quite rude. If I told him we were just good friends it made no difference at all. He said he didn't want me to have anything to do with them."
"He's not exactly doing a lot to dispel the rumours about him, is he," Nick said, and then regretted it. He'd been trying not to mention them.
But to his relief Christine agreed with him. "No. He certainly isn't."
"What do you...what do you think of them? The rumours, I mean?" It seemed it was safe to broach the subject, though he had no particular reason to do so other than mere curiosity.
"Who knows?" she said after a while, pursing her lips. "I'm inclined to say anything's possible with him, he's such an odd cuss. But he's my father, for God's sake, whatever he may have done to me. You don't go accusing your father of being a Nazi unless you've got some proof."
"Well, I can't see him objecting much to me," said Nick. "After all, I look Aryan enough."
"That's not the reason why I like you."
There followed a lull in the conversation. "You've managed all right, considering all the troubles you've had in the past," he told her.
She smiled. "I want to be successful. And I want to be happy. Question is, which of the two's more important?"
"Oh, well, happiness obviously. Although the two can be the same.
“Look, Chris, only time will tell if your father's serious about reconciling. If he isn't...well, I'm sure you're good enough to manage without him."
"You're so sweet," she beamed.
She changed the subject slightly. "I wonder just what he's doing at that place in Sussex. I mean, I suppose it's important in its way, but the obsession he seems to have with it is really weird."
"You did say he was a funny old cuss."
"He is that." She thought of the room her father had said wasn't safe to enter, and whose door was kept very firmly locked. She frowned, and gave a slight shiver. "I don't know if this sounds funny, but there's something not right about the place. I can't put it into words. Something...oh, I don't know." For a brief moment, the word was on the tip of her tongue.
Something evil.

After finishing at the woollen mill Stedman drove back from Yorkshire as fast as he could. Instead of returning to the house on the outskirts of Horsham which he'd bought on being told of his assignment to the Foundation he made his way to the latter place, where he drove to the Georgian farmhouse which had been incorporated into the complex when it was first built, and where Charteris now lived.
He guessed Charteris would be working late; he usually did. Sure enough, as his Range Rover turned onto the forecourt of the house he glimpsed his superior poring over books and papers at the drawing room table. The man looked up, saw him through the window and went to let him in.
"George," he panted excitedly, "there's something I've got to tell you about."
"What's happened?" Charteris asked. "Is it something to do with that thing in your lab?"
"Let's just go in, shall we?"
They sat down in the drawing room. "There's some kind of intelligence inside the...the hole. Yesterday it spoke to me."
"What is it? What does it want?"
"I don't know. But I think we can learn a lot from it. It lives in a totally different dimension from ours. And that means it knows things which until now have been beyond our understanding.
"It knows what ghosts and that sort of thing really are," he continued. "The truth behind poltergeists and other supernatural entities. It says it's all to do with the mind. The visible phenomena are images somehow imprinted on the atmosphere by latent psychic energy. Apparently there are things called elementals which are forces generated by the mind during periods of intense suffering and stress. They’re full of this psychic energy and it can move solid objects, or destroy them, if it’s powerful enough and properly channelled. Never mind sound, laser beams or disintegrator guns. This is what we should be using as a weapon.”
He dumped his briefcase on the table and took out the machine he had constructed earlier. "The…intelligence told me how to collect the negative impulses and store them." He described his experiences at the woollen mill. "In a place where there's been a lot of hardship, the energy produced can be phenomenal. The voice told me psychokinetic energy had a habit of entering solid matter and remaining there. Built up over many years, it can permeate stonework, or any other substance, until every atom is charged with it. It remains there for hundreds of years. The negative impulses are all here inside this box." He tapped it. "I can release them at the touch of a button.”
Charteris seemed to consider. “Venturing outside your usual territory, aren’t you,” he observed. The remark was made in order to give himself time to think. He was fascinated, but nonetheless something gave him profound misgivings about the whole business. "So..these elementals are like tiny fragments of our minds, released when we're angry or excited and our emotions are out of control?"
Stedman nodded. "In a sense the force trapped within the machine is alive. It thinks. And it hates. It's malignant, it wants to destroy, because it was bred by hatred. Therefore it is hatred, mindless and destructive. The possibilities are tremendous. Properly amplified and directed, it could smash an entire city, tear a tank to pieces, knock planes out of the sky...and surely there are peaceful uses too. The psychic energy, if properly controlled so it merely impels rather than smashes, could drive every single power station in the British Isles."
“And this…creature told you how to build the machine?”
“That’s right.”
"And why did it give you this information? What do you suppose it wants?"
"That doesn't matter. The point is that this discovery can be of enormous value to us. Once we've found out how to control and harness it..."
Charteris was looking unhappy. "If it's alive in some way, and its prime motive is hatred, surely it's going to be very dangerous. It might get out of hand and cause all sorts of havoc."
No, he didn't like the sound of it. "I suggest we wait for a bit before we explore this any further, Alan. All right?"
Stedman's face fell in disappointment. It was clear Charteris wasn’t going to take it any further, despite appearing to hedge his bets. His courage was failing him, preventing him from taking the wonderful opportunity they’d been presented with. For Heaven’s sake, thought Stedman, what were they in business for if it wasn’t to extend the frontiers of human science, human knowledge, as far as possible?
“Alan?” said Charteris again.
Stedman didn’t answer. He was still gazing into space and looking crestfallen.
On a sudden impulse, he pressed one of the buttons on the machine. Charteris's yell of horrified protest came just an instant too late.
An unearthly screaming and howling assailed their ears and the door flew open. One by one the windows shattered and an icy wind blew through the room. Objects rose into the air and flew through it in all directions, colliding with each other and smashing.
Some invisible, irresistible force flung Stedman and Charteris from their seats and pinned them to the floor.
The diabolical screaming grew louder and louder. God, thought Charteris as he struggled to stand, that’s coming from the depths of Hell itself. A series of terrifying bellows and snarls rang out as a monstrous shape began forming in the doorway. It was little more than a shadowy outline at first; then rapidly it solidified, and Charteris gasped in horror.
Covered in reddish-brown fur, it stood like a man, on two legs, but its head was like that of a fox or a shrew – it was hard to tell which – with high pointed ears and a long whiskered muzzle. The tiny, deep-set red eyes burnt like glowing coals, and had no pupils. Its massive claws, raised threateningly, and gleaming dagger-like teeth looked razor-sharp. With a series of hissing, snarling noises it looked slowly round and saw them.
Charteris and Stedman were still stuck fast to the carpet by the strange force which all around them was playing havoc with everything in the room. Out of the corner of his eye Charteris saw the thing in the doorway move towards them, snarling horribly. From it emanated an aura of sheer malice and hatred.
"Switch off the machine!" he heard Stedman yell. "It'll suck...the impulses…back inside..."
Charteris saw that the device lay on the floor a few feet away from him, along with other objects which had been whipped from the table by the negative energy storm. He struggled to reach it, but couldn't budge an inch.
No…it was possible to resist the force, though only just. The effort causing his face to screw up in pain, he began to inch forward.
All the time he could sense the monster bearing down on them, coming closer all the time. Another few feet and…
The box was too far away. He’d never get to it in time. But lying roughly between him and it was a heavy metal ruler. If he could grab that…
Gasping and grunting, he reached out an arm. With a supreme effort of will he managed to slide the ruler underneath the box and with a desperate burst of energy used it to flick the machine towards him. It landed a fraction of an inch from his nose.
The monster was almost upon them now.
Just one more, relatively small effort was required to turn the machine off. "Which button is it?" he shouted.
"The...the red one," Stedman gasped.
Charteris’ palm came down on the button. Immediately the unearthly howling ceased and the objects which had been flying through the air crashed to the floor. He felt the force pinning him down abate and then die away. Looking up, he saw that the monster had vanished.
He wasn't sure what, but somehow he knew that something extremely unpleasant would have happened if the creature had managed to reach them. Shaken, the two men struggled to their feet and surveyed the scene of devastation around them.
"You shouldn't have done that," Charteris snapped, glaring fiercely at his deputy. "Well, this just proves what I said, doesn't it?"
He pointed at the box. "Get rid of that thing.”
"I was just foolish, that's all," Stedman protested. "I told you, if it's properly controlled..." Then he thought of the horror he'd just experienced and decided Charteris was right.
"Get rid of that thing,” repeated Charteris. “The question is, how?"
It had to be done safely. If the box containing them were destroyed, the negative impulses might escape, and they didn’t want another incident like the one that had just happened. Next time they might not be so lucky.
"I think I’ll know. I'll see to it." Stedman picked up his machine and headed for the door.
"I'll make sure that you do," Charteris said, hurrying after him.

Nick looked at his watch, then at Christine's glass, which was more than two-thirds empty. "I think I ought to be going," he told his companion. "Do you want to stay a bit longer?"
Christine shook her head. "Better not. I need to be up fairly early in the morning."
"OK." He went to the counter and paid their bill. Christine rose, slung her bag over her shoulder and followed him out.
Two of their work colleagues, regular visitors to the pub, stood at the bar watching them as they left.
"Do you reckon he's scored with her?" asked one.
"Lucky sod, if he has."
"Yeah…she's not a bad sort. It's odd, really, the way she's turned out. Considering what her father's like."
"Funny things, genes."
"I'd say she gets her better qualities from her mother."
"I can't see why the woman ever married Burckhardt," the other said disapprovingly.
"People do tend to make strange choices. And the ways of women are something we blokes are fated never to understand."
Outside in the car park, Nick and Christine had arrived at the former's Cortina. The cars were all packed quite closely together, and as Nick opened the door of the Cortina it came within a few inches of scraping the paintwork of the vehicle next to theirs. Its driver noticed this, and took exception.
"I'd be careful if I were you, mate," he said menacingly.
"Are you threatening me?" said Nick, angered by his nastiness.
"What's it to you if I am?"
"Leave him alone, you lout," said Christine.
"Who are you calling a lout? You'd better watch it, darling."
"Why, what are you going to do?" She went to stand in front of him, her arms folded. "People like you make me sick. Go back to the Stone Age where you belong."
The man erupted in an unbelievable torrent of obscenities while Christine eyed him nonchalantly, her arms folded. Her expression was one of fascinated interest, as if she were studying some particularly intriguing zoological specimen. She stood there entirely unperturbed, knowing he wouldn't go so far as to hit a woman, whatever he might be; knowing also that that frustrated him, and thinking it served him right. As for words, they could mean anything or nothing.
"Sticks and stones," she said to the man before getting back into the car.
"Uh? What you talking about?"
"Oh, you wouldn't understand."
It was only a short drive from the pub to her house. "That was good, wasn't it?" he commented as they pulled into the kerb.
"Yes. I've thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thanks for everything, Nick."
"Er..." He hesitated, biting his lip. She smiled, knowing what he was going to say.
"Do you want to do it again sometime?"
Christine knew very well what his ultimate motive was. "I...I don't know. Let me think about it, alright? But it was very nice of you to ask."
"Fine," he said. He held out his hand. She shook it, and to his pleasure gave him a peck on the cheek as well. Then she turned away and went into the house, pausing at the door to look back and wave to him.
Returning the gesture, he got back into the car and drove away, thoughtfully. It certainly wasn't a decisive rebuff.

The Doctor and the Brigadier sat in the bar of the village inn at Wattlehurst waiting for Sarah to join them. The three of them had booked into a local guest house earlier that evening. The Doctor was his usual Bohemian self but the Brigadier wore a sports jacket and tie. He’d packed his uniform in case he needed it, but felt it might create a certain barrier between them and the locals, civilians sometimes finding it intimidating.
The mood inside the little pub was warm and convivial, and the air rang with cheerful chatter. The Doctor however seemed preoccupied, staring ahead into space. He hadn't ordered any drinks, though drinking was something he did very rarely in any case. The Brigadier decided to try and winkle him out of his shell.
"You look as if you've got a lot on your mind, Doctor." The Doctor made an incomprehensible noise.
The Brigadier lowered his voice. "And I think I can guess why."
This met with no response. Lethbridge-Stewart persisted. "I mean, you'll be leaving us soon, won't you? As soon as this business is sorted out? Leaving us for good."
The Doctor turned to look at him. "Brigadier, there are things in my nature I can't escape from. You forget, I'm a Time Lord...our personalities change with each regeneration."
“I understand that, Doctor. But don’t you think it’d be a pity if – “
Suddenly the Brigadier’s attention was diverted by a row which seemed to have broken out in a corner of the bar, where a group of people were sitting. Two couples in their thirties were confronting each other in what seemed to be a feud between inlaws. The amused looks of the other customers turned to unease and embarrassment as they realised the anger was genuine.
"Your mother's always been slagging off me and Margaret," a ferrety man in a leather jacket was saying. "You don't want to listen to her."
"Yeah, she's just a stupid old cow," declared the woman sitting beside him. Immediately her expression changed and she fell silent, unwilling to apologise but aware she might have gone too far.
"What did you say?" gasped the man opposite them, stiffening. He was big and powerful-looking with a squarish, rugged face.
The woman said nothing.
"I asked you what you said," he hissed, even though he had obviously heard it. She smiled nervously.
"Oy, you leave her alone, Mr Richards, all right?" snapped her husband.
"Are you threatening me?" Richards stood up slowly. "Because I wouldn't, Bob Holt. I wouldn't."
The Brigadier tensed, preparing to intervene. The Doctor was observing the argument with a casual, unconcerned look. Suddenly his mood changed and he leaned forward, eyes wide and peering keenly at the protagonists.
Making up his mind, the Brigadier started to get up. Immediately the Doctor shot out a restraining arm. Lethbridge-Stewart glanced at him quizzically.
The two men had risen to their feet and were glaring at each other, eyeball to eyeball. It was clear from their posture and expression they were gearing up for physical violence. The barmaid, now seriously alarmed, ran off to fetch the landlord.
There was a strange kind of atmosphere in the vicinity of the two men. The other customers had noticed it too. They were drawing away, their faces expressing a fear that had more to do with just apprehension at the possible physical violence.
The two adversaries continued to glare at each other.
Suddenly Richards seemed to feel Holt's anger sweep over him like a wave of heat from a blast furnace. It was an almost physical - no, it was physical - sensation, one which also affected the onlookers standing nearby, as the looks on their faces showed. They recoiled in fear.
Richards flinched. He passed a hand across his forehead, as if unwell, then, his face drained of colour, returned to his seat, losing all interest in the argument.
There was a very ugly and frightening look on Holt's face. He moved to stand over Richards as if intent on pressing his advantage, using the power he seemed to have over the man for some unpleasant purpose. The other customers cowered away from him in terror.
Again the Brigadier made to get up. "I shouldn't, Alastair," the Doctor murmured. "I've a feeling you'd only get yourself hurt. Or worse."
Ignoring him, the Brigadier strode up to Holt and placed himself firmly in front of the man. "Now just stop this," he said.
Holt looked up at him. He knew he could get the better of this man despite his size and strength. But somehow, the authority in the Brigadier's tone dissuaded him. The look on his face still rather sinister, he turned away from Richards, rejoining his companions.
The Doctor and the Brigadier looked at one another.
A moment later the landlord came in and looked around. Seeing that all now seemed to be well, he left.
Holt seemed a little worried by what had happened. Frowning, he fell silent and started playing with the handle of his beer mug. His wife drew a little apart from him, uneasy now in his presence.

Cautiously, Stedman approached the patch of blackness that hovered in mid-air before him, drew back his arm and threw the machine into it. It was the only safe way. He watched it disappear with something like relief.
He studied the Blackness, now roughly the height and width of a person and almost touching the floor, closely. “I think it’s stopped growing. Could be the accelerator had a cumulative effect, which has expended itself now the machine's been shut down."
Hesitantly, he moved a little closer to the Blackness, and addressed the unseen being that lurked within it. "We've…abandoned your experiment. We…we need some answers. What are you? What do you want?"
There was no reply.
Stedman shrugged. “Well if it’s not growing any more it’s not a problem, as long as we keep clear of it.” He didn’t know what would happen if someone came into direct physical contact with it and didn’t wish to find out.
"Is there no more you can find out about it?" Charteris asked.
"No, I told you it defied all analysis. That is, it seems to be a kind of energy but even that’s just a guess. There’s nothing in previous scientific experience comparable to it.”
“And the ruler?”
Stedman showed him its remains. Besides them lay a notepad with some scribblings on it, which Stedman read. “Graham did some tests. The whole molecular structure’s been changed, distorted. The best comparison’s with exposure to some source of fire. Something that had a destructive effect, as heat does above a certain intensity.”
Charteris looked at the Blackness and shuddered. He didn’t like to be in here with the thing. “We’ll just have to keep an eye on it. Whatever's in there, it's not only intelligent but also highly dangerous." He sighed. "Well, that's that taken care of for the moment, hopefully. See you in the morning."

"Yes, I felt it too," said the Brigadier.
He and Sarah were with the Doctor in his room at the guest house, where they’d retired to discuss what had happened in the pub earlier. The Doctor was perched back-to-front on a chair. "I think we know what the problem is now," he said. "I'd say we're dealing with latent psychic abilities, starting to emerge. Our Nazi friends, whom Sarah confirms are resident in the area, have found a way to use it."
"Unfortunately we can't arrest them," sighed the Brigadier. "Firstly, there isn't enough proof. Secondly, if they are worshipping some ancient pagan god, they've got a perfect right to do that. We have freedom of religion in this country. Thirdly, it would be safer if we first knew more about what we were dealing with."
"It isn't just Nazis who could do a lot of damage with it if it fell into their hands,” said the Doctor. “The human race isn't equipped to handle that sort of thing."
"What could have caused it?" Sarah asked.
"Well," mused the Doctor, "we must think of anything which might have happened in the area recently, that might possibly have triggered it off."
"The Foundation," said the Brigadier immediately.
"Yes," the Doctor replied. "The Foundation. I suggest we concentrate our efforts there and leave Sarah to investigate in the village."
"And with that," he said, yawning and stretching, "I think it's time to turn in."
*
Like Sarah Jane Smith before him, Gavin Brendon made his way furtively through the woods bordering the Greenleaves estate. After a while he found the fence which separated the wood from the property. He reasoned that it must stretch for some considerable distance, as the grounds of the house were extensive. It would be difficult to maintain it in good condition all the time, and from what he gathered the property had been abandoned and neglected for quite a while. Sure enough, he eventually came across a section it that had partially collapsed. He stepped over it.
The house was too far from the fence for his liking but hopefully, if he managed to keep out of sight behind all those trees, nobody should spot him from it.
There was definitely a funny kind of atmosphere here. What struck him was the total absence of birdsong; indeed of any evidence of wildlife altogether. It was eerie.
He emerged into a large clearing and saw ahead of him, almost completely smothered by vegetation, the grey ruins of the Old Hall. He decided to take a closer look. As he approached, he noticed that a path had been made through the woods to the ruins, wide enough to take a vehicle. And recently, by the look of it. He frowned. The place was no more than a fire-gutted shell, so why would anyone want to…
He shrugged.
He heard the sound of a car, or van in the mid-distance, but thought nothing of it. He wandered around for a bit, then decided there wasn’t anything here of relevance to his research. Meanwhile the sound of the vehicle he had heard earlier had grown much and he suddenly realised it was coming along the path towards the building.
At once Gavin hurried away. But the vehicle didn’t sound far off and its occupants, alighting, might see him through a break in the trees. Finding a suitably dense thicket, he concealed himself in it, deciding to wait until he was sure whoever this was had concluded their business and gone.
He heard the vehicle’s engine cut off. Overcome by curiosity, he peered out through a gap in the leaves and saw a big furniture removal van parked a few yards from the ruins.
Two men climbed down from the cab and went round to the back of the lorry, lowering the flap. They went inside and re-emerged a few moments later carrying a heavy wooden crate between them. They carried it towards the Old Hall.
Then a third figure appeared from inside the lorry, carrying a second crate entirely by itself and with effortless ease. It was massively built and must be incredibly strong. Despite its size it moved with a smoothness and precision which seemed unnatural, not like a human person at all. Gavin felt an inexplicable shiver of dread.
He watched from his hiding place, intrigued, as the three men carried the crate into the ruins. Eerily, they suddenly seemed to sink out of sight beneath the ground. A cellar; there must be some kind of cellar there. But why were they taking the crates there? This looked interesting, very interesting.

"This is the last batch," panted Rayner a little later as he emerged from the hatch in the ground with MacDuggan and crossed to a crate which stood on its own beside the van, their huge companion standing guard beside it.
"I shouldn't think we need it," said MacDuggan. "Do we?"
"You never know. Just in case anything goes wrong. It's as well to be sure."
At that moment Rayner happened to glance in Gavin’s direction and frowned, uncertain whether or not he saw someone hiding there amid the thicket, watching them. Seeing Rayner was looking more or less at him, Gavin felt distinctly uncomfortable and tried to change his position. It was a bad decision. Unfortunately, the two Nazis heard the rustle of the foliage and stiffened. The pattern of the sounds suggested they'd been made by something bigger than an animal or bird. "Oy!" MacDuggan shouted. He started walking very fast towards where Gavin crouched, Rayner following.
For a moment Gavin wondered whether he should leg it or try to bluff things out. On an impulse he sprang to his feet and took off, crashing through the undergrowth towards the other side of the grounds. MacDuggan ran after the tall figure, but soon lost it among the dense greenery. Rayner came up beside him. "Leave it," he suggested.
MacDuggan shook his head fiercely. "If he saw us, saw our friend here, then he's seen too much. We know what to do.”
"We don't want to draw attention to ourselves," protested Rayner.
"There'll be no problem," the Scotsman replied. His fingers played over the buttons on the control device attached to his belt.

Gavin was already well on his way towards the perimeter of the estate when he heard something very big and very fast crashing through the bushes behind him. He thought of the strange figure he’d glimpsed a few minutes before.
Whatever it was, it was moving frighteningly fast for its bulk. Gaining on him. He ran even faster, but from the sound of it the thing was keeping pace with him. Soon he could feel his legs starting to ache from his exertions.
He couldn't go much further, not without at least a brief rest. But if he stopped for one, or ran until he was exhausted, his pursuer would catch up with him. Somehow he had an idea it wouldn’t tire.
Unable to take any more, he staggered to a halt and stood there gasping, trying to get his breath back. Gradually he felt his energy return. The sounds of pursuit grew louder still and Gavin looked round for a glimpse of whatever was chasing him, overcome by a fearful curiosity.
A massive figure, seven or eight feet tall, stepped into view from behind a tree. Gavin could hardly believe his eyes. It was bigger than any normal man and it wore the grey-green uniform of a World War Two German soldier, though it carried no weapons. Beneath the distinctive helmet, integrated with the head, was a skull-like metal face with glowing red crystals for eyes and a grille-like mouth. He saw the fingers of its hands elongate into long curved talons; cutting weapons.
Gavin nearly jumped out of his skin. For a moment or two he could only gaze at the creature, or robot, or whatever it was in horror, paralysed by fear. With a terrifying speed the thing lunged towards him, almost covering the whole of the distance between them. A sweeping blow from a metal arm missed him by inches, gouging a chunk of wood from the bark of a nearby tree.
Adrenalin overriding his exhaustion, Gavin turned to run, but as he did so sobbed in despair, knowing he couldn't possibly escape from the creature now.
There was a nasty swish of displaced air as the creature lashed at him again. Its clawed fist brushed his cheek finely. It struck a tree again and its talons became lodged in the wood. It pulled itself free with hardly an effort, but the momentary delay gave Gavin an advantage and he ran off again, heart pounding furiously. The creature lumbered after him, snapping off a low-hanging branch which barred its way with a savage chopping blow.
The wood around them had now become denser, and both hunter and quarry found their progress slowed. The creature could deal with obstacles such as branches with ease, but it still had to turn aside for the huge oaks and other trees. Gavin was more able to avoid running into them than his bigger and clumsier pursuer, but the creature could still manage a frightening turn of speed. Always it was never far behind him, judging from the sound of splintering wood as it smashed through saplings and ploughed through bushes. The latter, if dense enough, retarded its advance to some extent.
Gavin wasn't aware when the wood came to an end and he was running in a jerky, stumbling fashion across an open field which sloped down towards the village. Eventually he halted, panting furiously, and looked behind him. The creature had come to a halt some distance behind, at the edge of the wood. He could see the skull face through a gap in the trees, the red glowing eyes seeming to regard him with malice.
They bored into him for a moment longer. Then the creature swung round slowly and went back into the wood, disappearing from sight.
A few minutes later MacDuggan and Rayner saw it emerge from the trees and come towards them. "Where's the body?" asked Rayner anxiously.
A rasping electronic voice issued from the robot's mouth-grille. "MY INSTRUCTIONS DID NOT INCLUDE ELIMINATION OF TARGET."
"I was only trying to scare him," explained MacDuggan. "He won't be coming back here in a hurry, and he won't tell anyone about it because he won't want them to know he broke into the property."
"You said he'd been here before. Couldn't he be from MI5?"
"If he was, he would have made sure to dress less conspicuously. Not like some kind of hippy. And he'd have made a better job of avoiding being spotted."
They decided to inform Burckhardt of what had happened. Their leader told them they had acted correctly. All the same, he decided they'd better take steps to improve their security.

It was some minutes before Gavin had fully recovered from the experience and could begin to make sense of it. One thing was clear. Something funny was going on at the Old Hall, and it wasn't intended anyone should know what it was. But what could they want with an old ruin like that? Anger at what had happened only made him more determined to find out. The trouble was, he didn't want anyone to know he'd been trespassing, and they would know if he told the police his story. Either that or they simply wouldn't believe him.

A little yellow car had joined the others in the car park of the Foundation.
"I must make absolutely sure that something you’ve been doing here isn't causing these incidents," the Brigadier was saying. He and the Doctor were questioning Dr Charteris in the Director’s office. The Brigadier was in uniform and peaked cap again, thinking it might help to reinforce the message.
"What sort of something did you have in mind, Brigadier?" Charteris asked.
"A side-effect from one of the experiments going on here, perhaps," said the Doctor.
"I assure you that they’re always conducted with the utmost care."
"Yes, of course, of course. What I'm getting at is that the technology you're dealing with is very revolutionary and untried. All sorts of things could happen, no matter how carefully you've prepared. You might not even know they were happening."
"In the public interest, I must insist that you allow my scientific adviser and I to search the premises," the Brigadier said.
"I repeat, Brigadier, there is absolutely no danger. I can if you like order a full review of safety procedures, and if necessary suspend some of the experiments."
"I must point out that the Doctor and myself have first-hand experience in dealing with extra-terrestrial and paranormal phenomena. I really think we should be involved."
"Yes, I'm well aware of that. But I don't think there's anything to worry about. I do know that if we can sort it out there won't be a problem. Just leave it to us and it'll be alright."
The Brigadier's eyes narrowed; the banal reply was an insult to the intelligence. "If necessary, I shall return and search the place with troops," he warned.
"Have you any authority to do so, Brigadier?"
"At present, no. But I shall certainly seek to obtain it."
The Doctor leaned forward, and his bulging eyes stared uncomfortably into Charteris's own. "You know, we're all on the same side, old chap," he said reassuringly. "So what would you be so uncooperative for, if you didn't have something to hide, mmmmm?"
"Goodbye, Dr Charteris," said the Brigadier frostily. "I have a feeling that we will be seeing each other again soon."
As soon as the Doctor and the Brigadier were gone, Charteris picked up the phone on his desk and dialled a London number.
"Look, two things. The Doctor's in this area. He and the Brigadier have just called at the Foundation. Listen, you'd better move fast; the Brigadier's threatening to get authority to search the place. All of it. That means he'll find out about the Project." As well as what was going on in Stedman's laboratory. "Can you stop that?"
"I'm not sure," said the voice at the other end. "Maybe. But we’ll try. We've been preparing for this for some time. The personnel and the equipment are already in place. All we need now is a phone call or two."

Sarah reflected that the Doctor had been quite right to warn her to take care while looking for clues in the village, bearing in mind what she'd seen the night before. However she somehow didn't think there'd be any danger at the museum, which would be her next port of call; it seemed reasonable to suppose something in the local history of the place could give them the answers they needed.
She wandered around the museum, picking up all the information she could about Wokir. She bought a guide book, intending to take it back to the guest house to read. She also decided to engage the duty guide in conversation in case she might learn something. "Do you get many visitors?" she asked.
"As a matter of fact we had someone here yesterday, doing just the same sort of research as you. Said he was in the area doing a thesis."
Sarah's interest was immediately kindled. "Did he leave his name and address?"
"I'm afraid not. But I got the impression he was planning to be in the area for some time."
Sarah thought. It might be worth contacting this person and seeing if he had found out anything of value. A local historian was just the sort of thing she needed. She considered how she might best find him.
"What did he look like?" The woman gave a description.
"I'll keep an eye open for him," said Sarah. She said goodbye and left. On returning to the guest house she found a note waiting for her from the Brigadier, to say that he and the Doctor had had to return briefly to London on what was described, to preserve secrecy in the event of the wrong person seeing the message, simply as "urgent business."

"Well, Doctor, what do you think?" asked the Brigadier.
"I've already said what I think." As far as the Doctor was concerned he'd said what needed to be said at the meeting with Dr Charteris. "There's obviously something there he doesn't want us to see." He sank back into one of his moods.
They turned a corner, and almost immediately the Doctor trod hard on the brakes, bringing Bessie to a screeching halt. A few yards in front of them, slewed at an angle with its nose buried in the undergrowth at the verge, was a crashed car. The windscreen had shattered and a body sat slumped in the driving seat.
"Oh, Good Grief," exclaimed the Brigadier. The two of them got out and cautiously approached the wrecked vehicle, mindful of the possibility that the petrol tank might be leaking.
It was the Brigadier who first realised something was wrong, probably because the Doctor had so many other things on his mind. If the car had gone out of control and crashed, there should be skid marks on the road; but there weren't. And the front of the vehicle should be rather more damaged than it was. The car hadn't crashed, it had been placed where it was. And people didn't do that sort of thing unless...
"Get down, Doctor!" he yelled. He dived face-down on the ground, pulling the Doctor down with him. Bullets flew through the air above their heads as figures in black uniforms and berets appeared from the hedges on either side of the road and ran towards them. All carried rifles.
The Brigadier had his trusted Webley pistol with him, but they were hopelessly outnumbered. "Back to the car!" The Doctor shouted. Moving in a half-crouch, they scrambled back towards Bessie.
The Doctor wasn't quite fast enough. A bullet took him in the shoulder and he collapsed. With anguish the Brigadier realised he'd have to leave him.
The Brigadier ducked down behind Bessie, using the little car as cover. He jumped up once or twice, getting off a few shots with his Webley, and saw several of the black-clad soldiers stumble and fall. But immediately bullets were bouncing off the car’s bodywork. They weren’t doing much damage; at some point the Doctor must have had it armour-plated. But the enemy were advancing steadily forwards, determined to winkle him out as they must do before very long. He wondered if it wouldn’t be more sensible to surrender.
"Brigadier!" he heard the Doctor gasp. "On the dashboard...green button..."
The Brigadier reached up and yanked open the door. Keeping his body as low down as possible, he scrambled in and threw himself across the two front seats, below the attackers' line of fire. From his prone position he scanned the dashboard, spotted the green button and reached up.
With a click Bessie’s hood came up to form a canopy over the car, protecting its occupant.
"Hyperdrive!" The Doctor shouted, gritting his teeth against the pain from his wound. "Use the Hyperdrive!" He fell back.
Bessie's Minimum Inertia Hyperdrive was clearly indicated on the dashboard. The Brigadier was about to press the button when he remembered the car blocking the road and realised he’d better reverse first. He straightened up and groped for the right control. He heard a bullet ricochet from the hood and knew that it, too, must be bulletproof. He grinned at the technical wizardry of the Doctor's previous incarnation. Nonetheless, a sustained fusillade might test the fabric to destruction.
Bessie shot back a few yards, stopped, executed a full circle and then raced off at an incredible speed. In a few moments she had vanished into the distance, out of shooting range. The Brigadier risked a brief glance back; it was too far away to be able to tell for sure, but he thought he saw the black-clad soldiers march over to the Doctor and drag him to his feet.
Aware that he was going much too fast, and seeing a T-junction just ahead, he stamped hard on the brakes. To his alarm, Bessie continued to hurtle along at Brands Hatch speed. He realised the Hyperdrive was cancelling the effect of the brakes, and switched it off, confident he was out of danger now. Bessie gave a lurch, then started to slow. She stopped just as the T-junction was reached, and the Brigadier swung her to the left, towards London.

"Well, what happened to you?" asked Tom, eyeing a dishevelled and still shaken Gavin.
"Let's just say I've been somewhere I shouldn't have," said the historian, his tone making it clear he didn't want to discuss the matter any further.
"Well, you're not the only one." Tom nodded towards Sheila.
"Do you have to keep going on about it?" snapped Sheila. "So what if I want to go out for a walk? You won't let me be myself, will you?"
"Yeah, but don't you think it's a little bit crazy to go for a stroll at that hour of the morning?"
"Everyone's different."
"I was concerned for your sake, that's all. You go wandering about the countryside in a nightdress and anything could happen."
"If this is going to be a proper holiday for me, I'll have to be allowed to do what I like."
"Just let's not bother about her," sighed Linda. "If she wants to act in a silly fashion, let her."
But Tom persisted. "Sheila, there must be some reason why you're doing these things. Is there anything wrong?" No reply. "If there is, I really think we should talk about it."
"I'd rather not, thankyou," said Sheila. Suddenly her temper flared up. "I was really looking forward to coming down here." Her voice rose to a shriek. "Now you're all bloody ruining it for me!" Tom stepped towards her, arms raised placatingly, his voice calm and soothing. "Sheila, Sheila..."
Her face frightening in its expression of rage, Sheila stormed out of the kitchen, knocking him aside. He made to follow her, but Linda held him back. "Can't you see she doesn't want to discuss it? We're only making matters worse by pressing the issue. I said, if she wants to act crazily then let her. It's her own silly fault if she comes to any harm."
"We can't let her," said Tom firmly. "She's lucky she hasn't caught something after last night's excursion. And what if someone had raped or murdered her?
"It seems to be getting worse. This morning I found her sort of cowering away from something, her hands over her eyes. Until she realised I was there she was in a state of absolute terror. I tried to ask her what was wrong but she just ignored me."
Wearily he collapsed into a chair. "We have just got to do something about that girl."
He noticed that Linda was looking at the plate she had been wiping, a puzzled frown on her face. There was a huge jagged crack right across it. "I could have sworn that plate wasn't cracked a minute ago. Now look at it. And I swear I didn't drop it."
She continued to stare at the plate, trying to work it out. It must have cracked at about the same time Sheila was having her tantrum.

The Doctor regained consciousness to find himself slumped in a chair in an empty room with walls of bare brick. He guessed it was a storeroom or a laboratory, but had been emptied of all equipment in case he found something he could use to try and escape. The only furniture was a single chair.
He felt weak and groggy but seemed to be in one piece. There was no pain, although his side and shoulder were uncomfortably sore. By the door, regarding him impassively, stood one of the Black Soldiers.
"Hello, there," the Doctor smiled. "Do you think I could have something to read? I mean, if I'm likely to be here for a while..."
The guard rapped on the door with the butt of his rifle, then resumed staring woodenly at his captive.
"Something not too heavy, if you please." The Doctor's tone hardened a little. "I hope the Brigadier's all right. If you've killed him I shall be very cross, you know. I mean, he does have his faults. He may be a pompous, irritating, self-opinionated, overbearing idiot, but..."
A moment later, not entirely to the Doctor's surprise, Dr Charteris entered the room. "Ah, Doctor," he smiled. "How are you feeling? I thought you'd recover fairly quickly. We treated the wound, extracted the bullet, and your Time Lord bodily processes did the rest, without necessitating a full regeneration this time. I should say we weren't aiming to kill you, by the way."
"Very kind of you, I'm sure. Now what's going on here? Why did you kidnap me, and what's happened to the Brigadier?"
"You'll be pleased to know the Brigadier managed to escape us. I'll answer your other questions in a moment. But first, let me caution you against withdrawing yourself into one of your comas. If you do, we will kill you. Put yourself to sleep, and you won't ever wake up again."
"I wouldn't be of much use to you dead, you know," pointed out the Doctor politely.
"You wouldn't be of much use to us in a coma."
"True," the Doctor conceded.
"We have furnaces here, Doctor. They would destroy your body entirely. There'd be no chance of you regenerating then, would there?"
"It'd be possible," the Doctor lied.
Charteris laughed. "I don't think so. We know all there is to know about regeneration."
"Yes, I was going to ask. Who told you about that? I thought it was supposed to be a closely guarded secret."
Charteris sat down. "It doesn't take a lot of intelligence to work out that something interesting has been going on these last few years, Doctor. Villages being taken over by armed troops, mass evacuations. Strange hallucinations, supposedly caused by bacteria in the water supply. And all manner of mysterious deaths, viral outbreaks. The longer it goes on, the more suspicious people get. It's obvious something funny happened at Devesham, although the staff there have been told not to talk about it. And now the Atterbury incident. There've been plenty of theories put forward to explain what was happening. The most incredible, and the one that took some time to be accepted, was that the aliens were real, and that the authorities had been carrying out a massive exercise in disinformation. Now over time things have a habit of leaking out, for one reason or other.”
“But you knew all that already,” said the Doctor. “You’d have to have been let into the secret.”
“There’s more to it. Because he looked like a human, like one of us, it took a bit longer to realise that UNIT's Scientific Adviser was himself an alien. We did suspect there was something unusual about you, though. It became quite obvious after a time, no matter how well UNIT tried to cover it up by pretending you were a Soviet defector and making you the Brigadier's personal responsibility."
"The regeneration must have made it particularly difficult to hide," said the Doctor ruefully.
"It certainly did. When you first helped UNIT you were a lot shorter than you are now. You can't successfully disguise yourself as someone of a different height.
“I knew the full truth before anyone else did. Some time ago I had a visit from another member of your race. He called himself Masterson, Professor Masterson, although I imagine that wasn't his real name."
The Doctor sat bolt upright in his chair. "The Master," he breathed.
He studied Charteris's reaction to this. "Yes. I don't know what disguise he was wearing when he came to see you, but he was the Master; the fellow the authorities were always warning people about at that time. A super-criminal who lost no opportunity to sponsor war, terrorism, crime and violence for his own ends. He calls himself Master because he likes to dominate. Because he thinks he's superior to everyone else and should therefore be allowed to rule them." He supposed the Master must have made contact with Charteris some time between that business with Kronos and the Doctor's most recent encounter with his old enemy, which had taken place far into Earth's future.
Charteris was clearly unsettled by the Doctor's words, but nonetheless continued with his story. "He was aware I was one of the world's leading physicists, and said he had knowledge he wished to share with me, knowledge he was sure would be of interest to one of my calling. He showed me his TARDIS. I realised almost at once he was genuine. Because the proof was staring me in the face, and because I never swallowed all that rubbish about the reported alien invasions being due to mass hallucination, I could be sure he wasn't mad when he told me he was an extra-terrestrial and that he could travel in time. You can imagine how I felt.
“He told me he couldn't remain on Earth for long, that he had urgent business elsewhere..."
"Meaning that he didn't want to hang around in case the authorities caught up with him," the Doctor said.
"But he stayed long enough to start me on the path I have been following ever since. He said it was vital to the survival of the human race; to its fulfilment of its destiny. He confirmed all our suspicions of you, and told us that you might be able to help us, willingly or unwillingly."
"We tried to get hold of you before now, but without success. Your movements had become increasingly unpredictable, you were a law unto yourself. We couldn't secure either you or your TARDIS because you tended to disappear in it. Most of the time you just weren't around. But now, it seems we've finally got lucky."
"It's about time I asked. Who's we?"
"We are a body of people who care deeply about the protection of the human race. And it's never been in greater need of protection. It's not essential you know the full details about us, only that you understand the need to co-operate with us totally."
"You realise the Master was simply up to mischief, don't you? Whatever he was doing, he wasn't acting out of altruism. What was he doing, anyway?"
Charteris smiled. "Let me show you." He nodded to the guard, who opened the door of the room to reveal, standing just outside, two more slab-faced men in black uniforms and helmets, devoid of insignia. Both carried guns.
The Doctor stood up stiffly, and the three of them filed out of the little room. "I should advise you that I took the precaution of confiscating your sonic screwdriver," said Charteris. "That's a handy little gadget, by the way. A lot one could do with it."
Two more of the slab-faced soldiers were standing just outside the door. The five of them set off down the corridor, the three soldiers - if that was what they were – walking one to either side of him and one behind.
They stopped at a door, and Charteris pressed a button on a control panel. The door slid open and the group stepped through it into the vast underground room. Immediately the Doctor caught his breath, staring up in amazement at the towering shape of the immense rocket.
“Oh, I've seen quite a few rockets in my time," he said dismissively, but wasn't quite able to hide the awe in his voice.
"This is different from other rockets," said Charteris. "It's reusable, and it's programmed to return to Earth once it's accomplished its task."
"What is its task?"
"I'll let you guess, shall I?"
The Doctor glanced from the rocket to the diagrams and charts on one wall. He went to study them, his captors moving with him. The diagrams explained the workings of the rocket and the charts were star charts…no doubt the Master had either supplied the equipment and information himself, having perhaps stolen it from Gallifrey or some other civilisation more advanced than Earth, or told Charteris how to build it.
It didn't take the Doctor long to work out what it all meant. When he did he was staggered. Surely not...
He turned to Charteris almost accusingly. "You're going to send that rocket into a black hole?"
Charteris smiled, and a light appeared in his eyes which the Doctor didn’t care for. "Yes,” he nodded. “And gain for Earth the powers of the Time Lords."

Tom glanced at the door of the living room, where Sheila was watching some cartoon or other on television. "We've got to do something for her," he said. "I don't like to think of her being…ill like this, and not just for our sakes. I think we should try and force the issue.” He looked at the others. "If we call in a doctor..."
"We can't really do that unless she wants it," objected Gavin.
"I've half a mind to ignore that consideration," said Tom.
"Well we can try, at least," Gavin said.
Tom came to a decision. He opened the door of the living room and went in. Sheila looked up with a scowl, annoyed by the interruption.
He took the bull by the horns. "Sheila, I really think you need medical help."
"I told you, I'm all right now."
"Maybe. But what if it happens again? This looks like a recurring thing."
"It won't happen again."
"Do you know that for sure?"
"Yes."
"How?"
"I can't say, really. I just know."
Tom thought she was just making it up. "Look, we're all very worried about you..."
"Don't you believe me, Tom? I said I'm all right."
"I don't think you are."
"Look, I don't need any help! Why don't you just leave me alone!” Angry not just at them, but at something else too. "Just stop bloody harrassing me, will you?"
Tom's patience exhausted itself. “Suit yourself," he snapped, and stalked off.
He rejoined his friends. "No luck?" Linda asked.
"Did it sound like it?" Tom replied irritably. "Look, this can't go on. We - "
He broke off as a crashing, shattering noise came from within the living room. She stormed out past them and up the stairs to her bedroom.
"Has she gone and broken something?" The three of them went to investigate. Lying on the living room floor they found a set of horse brasses.
"Linda, I'm sorry, but this has just got to stop," said Tom angrily. "If that had been something fragile..."
Linda didn't answer. She was looking down at the mess on the floor thoughtfully. "I don't think it was her fault, Tom," she said. "It must have fallen off."
"How do you know?" Perhaps Linda was just trying to protect Sheila by making out it wasn't her fault after all.
"Look at the thing. It's far too heavy for someone to just throw it down like that."
"Well, she did seem pretty angry. And maybe the nail was loose."
"It wasn't. I checked the other day when I was cleaning." Linda realised she was knocking a hole in her own argument. They stared at each other.
Gavin scratched his head, intrigued but also unsettled. There was no way, it seemed to him, that Sheila could just have ripped the horse brasses from the wall and flung them onto the floor. Unless perhaps she hadn't been using her hands at all.

"This must have cost an awful lot of money to build," said the Doctor, his gaze once again travelling up over the rocket. "And a lot of bother to keep secret."
"The people I am working with have influence,” Charteris said.
"You'll need clearance for the launch. It's going to scupper your plans just a little if the rocket collides with an airliner."
"Oh, we have our ways, Doctor. If necessary we can get all flights over the launch area suspended or redirected away from it."
"For this period in Earth's history, it's a remarkable achievement," commented the Doctor, with genuine admiration. "But you wouldn't have been able to do it without the Master's help." It had been a combination of that factor and the brilliance of a scientist whose intelligence was clearly exceptional on his home world - leading him to design the disintegrator gun among other things.
"No, human brainpower and technology cannot by themselves see the thing to its culmination. That needs the knowledge and abilities of a Time Lord."
"Like me, for instance. The Master wasn't able to finish the job himself so he pointed you in my direction. You tried to kill the Brigadier at the same time because you were afraid his enquiries would lead to your little project being found out. How near is the thing completion?"
"It just needs a power source," said Charteris. "To enable it to reach the Black Hole in a reasonably short time. It's no good if we have to wait years, we may all have been wiped out by then. It needs something like warp drive, and the technology of warp drive is very similar to that of time travel. You can help us."
"Even if I wanted to, and I don't think I do, I'm not sure I can actually. It's not quite clear how Omega - the Master will have told you about Omega - managed it. That's the thing about the Time Lords, they're not quite sure of their own history. A chap called Rassilon had something to do with it too, but no-one seems to know what exactly."
"The Master told me Black Holes were essential to the plan. The rocket had to be fired into one. He himself wasn't quite sure; he was still learning. However I'm confident I can fill in the gaps, based on his notes and my own calculations."
The Master must have thought so too, the Doctor supposed. Or maybe the rocket would blow up or something and take the planet with it. Either way, his hatred would be satisfied.
Charteris nodded at one of the astral maps. "This one is in a galaxy relatively near to Earth. It seems to meet all the requirements."
"Wouldn't the rocket become trapped inside it?"
"He seemed to think that problem could be overcome somehow. God knows how; it all seems to defy the known laws of physics."
The Doctor looked once more at the rocket, then at the star charts, and finally at Charteris. He shook his head slowly. "Drop it, Dr Charteris. Drop it. If nobody's quite sure how it was done, then the result could be disastrous. Of course it could be the Master knew more than anyone else, that he worked out what really happened all those years ago. Or was some way towards doing so. He's technically brilliant, and he's learned a lot in the course of his activities. But the whole thing’s too risky."
"I fully appreciate the danger, Doctor," Charteris said. "But with another Time Lord helping us, surely there won't be any problems."
The Doctor looked him straight in the face. "No. The human race isn't ready for time travel yet. Look at the misuse it’s already made of science. The war, the pollution its technology causes. With time travel it'll destroy not only itself but countless other species as well."
Charteris shook his head, smiling benignly. "I can't accept that, Doctor. Look at the Time Lords themselves. They've managed, and yet according to the Master they're a small-minded lot. Not that different from Earth humans, in many ways."
"But they acquired their knowledge at the price of stagnation. Gallifrey had to be ruled by an elite, overcautious and obsessed with bureaucracy, because that elite alone understood how it all worked and had the qualities necessary to use it properly, despite their faults. It would be a shame to see that happen to Earth. And I'll say it again; it's obvious to me the Master's motives were entirely perverse. He started you on this particular path because he knew it would end in disaster." The Master had always liked to cause trouble on Earth, because it amused him to play around with what he considered an inferior species and because Earth was the favourite planet of the Doctor, his arch-enemy. Eventually he had tired of his sport. But before shaking the dust of the planet from his feet he had inflicted the ultimate peril upon it. By giving time travel to those who would be most likely to misuse it, he was spiting the Time Lords as well as the Doctor. Considering the likely consequences, which might effect the entire universe, he must have been mad, thought the Doctor. The effects of many accelerated regenerations, necessary in the Master's case in order to disguise oneself from the galactic authorities, could have a harmful effect on a Time Lord's mind.
"Whatever the Master's motives in giving us the information, there's no doubt we need it," Charteris said. "The Earth has been under constant alien attack during the last few years, now that we've drawn attention to ourselves with all those space probes and moon landings. And there's no reason to think the attacks won't continue. I know the attitude of the authorities is starting to change. But the new technology being developed here may not be ready in time to help us. With control over time, however, we can do anything, wipe out any galactic power that tried to destroy or conquer us.
“The Time Lords themselves know Earth is important. Why else would they have exiled you here in the first place? The risk of it being destroyed outweighs that of what might happen if it gains control of time travel."
The Doctor was silent for a while, staring into space. At length Charteris interrupted his musings. "Well, Doctor, are you going to help me or not? I'm not proposing to force you to. After all, you could pretend to be helping me when in fact you were setting the equipment to self-destruct, or something. Of course I'll have to kill you if you refuse. You can't be allowed to leave here alive, knowing what you do about my little project."
"I came here to investigate a neo-Nazi organisation and an occurrence of potentially nasty paranormal phenomena," the Doctor reminded him. "How do we know that's not what the Time Lords want me to do?"
"Doctor, I keep telling you. Once we have knowledge of time travel no threat, wherever it originates from, will be beyond our power to overcome."
Charteris had sensed a degree of uncertainty in the Doctor's manner. "Shall I leave you to think about it, Doctor? I'll have to lock you up while you do, of course." He nodded towards the door through which they’d come, and the guard gestured to the Doctor with his rifle.
The Time Lord allowed himself to be escorted back to the empty laboratory which served as his prison. Charteris gazed after him thoughtfully. It would be a great pity if he did have to kill the Doctor. But...well, in the last resort he'd simply have to manage without him. The project would take rather longer to complete, that was all.
He wondered if he should tell the Doctor about what was happening in Stedman's laboratory. But the black substance was no longer spreading, and the project was so near to completion. Once it was finished all their troubles would be dealt with. Even, presumably, what lay within the Blackness.

As soon as he was out of danger the Brigadier had informed the civilian police about the wrecked car. The Doctor's disappearance, he explained, had to be left to UNIT to investigate since international security was involved. The police had now towed the vehicle away and put a cordon around the area. Other than that, they'd been told not to touch the scene of the crime.
A UNIT Land Rover pulled up just outside the cordon and the Brigadier and CSM Benton alighted from it. About half a dozen UNIT soldiers scrambled out after them. The policeman at the barrier saluted the Brigadier, who returned the gesture.
"Who was the poor fellow in the car?" the Brigadier asked.
"A local farm labourer. Nothing suspicious about him, so far as we can tell. Seems to have been just an ordinary bloke."
"So they killed him just in order to set up a trap for us," the Brigadier said disgustedly.
"Looks like it."
"Well, let's see if we can find out any clues." The policeman lifted the barrier and the UNIT troops filed through. A little sadly the Brigadier retrieved the Doctor's hat from where it had fallen. The next thing which caught their eye was a dark stain on the surface of the road, about a foot across. The Brigadier knelt down to inspect it. "That's blood, all right. And it looks like the Doctor's." It was a darker red than a human’s would normally have been.
"Doesn't seem to be a lot of it, Sir," Benton observed, looking around for any further stains. "Reckon they wanted him alive."
"Yes," said the Brigadier thoughtfully. "If they'd just wanted to kill him, they'd have left the body lying in the road, or at the side." He scanned their surroundings carefully, but from where he was standing could see no sign of a body.
Benton turned to the soldiers. "All right lads, get moving. Spread out and search the area."
The Brigadier turned over the implications of what they'd found so far. "Going by the amount of blood there, I'd say he was seriously wounded but not fatally. From what he's told me in the past, I gather it would take more than that to kill him beyond regeneration."
"I'd say we're dealing with a pretty nasty bunch, Sir," said Benton, thinking of the murdered farmhand. "Probably doing all sorts of rotten things to the Doctor."
"Yes, well let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?" the Brigadier snapped.
They returned to the Land Rover and sat there in silence, waiting, until Corporal Adams came up to the vehicle and saluted. "No body, Sir. And no other clues. We found some tyre tracks but they just lead back to the road."
"All right. Get the men back inside." The Brigadier dismissed Adams with a curt nod. "Probably an unmarked van," he said to Benton.
On the way back to Headquarters they recapped again. "Let's not assume the worst until we have a reason to do so. Now; if the Doctor is alive, if they've kidnapped rather than killed him, what have they done with him? Where is he?"
Benton whistled through his teeth. "Well, Sir...one thing occurs to me. They could have waylaid you to stop you getting approval from the Minister to raid the Foundation."
The Brigadier wondered whether Dr Charteris would really go that far. "Perhaps. But I don't see why they would have taken the Doctor."
"It's too much of a coincidence, Sir. It happened so soon after you told Charteris you were going to see the Minister." Benton looked suddenly doubtful. "But then how could they have got into position so quickly?"
"If we are looking at some kind of high-level conspiracy, it’s obviously highly organised. And judging by my one encounter with them, they're using professional soldiers. Mercenaries, I'd say."
He fell silent. Intuition, if nothing else, told him that the Doctor's disappearance had something to do with the Foundation. If he was anywhere, he was there. As the Doctor was so indispensable to Earth, a raid on the place was justified. But he still had no authority to carry it out. There'd be a nationwide search, of course, but he doubted it would turn anything up.
Though he didn't like to admit it, the Brigadier was saddened. Mixed though his feelings might be towards the current Doctor, he felt no less respect for him than he did for his predecessor. His concern for Earth was genuine and it was only through his intelligence that they had been saved from annihilation or conquest in the Robot business, or by the Kraals, the Krynoids. Though all they’d had to do in the latter case was call in the RAF, even if it was a close-run thing. Typical, he thought. The one time we meet an alien menace that isn’t immune to conventional weapons, I’m not there.
As always when suddenly left without the Doctor's services, Lethbridge-Stewart felt a sense of panic. Things were going on that he didn't understand and without his old friend's help he had little confidence in his ability to deal with them. Because it did look as if they were going to have to handle this one all on their own.
Of course they’d do their best.

In an upstairs room of a building occupied by a prestigious London club about a dozen or so people sat talking earnestly. It really was a smoke-filled room; most of the smoke originated from a man who kept puffing away at a briar pipe, to the annoyance of several of his colleagues.
The man generally recognised as the group's leader was just finishing a short speech. He was a distinguished-looking, white-haired gentleman with a cultured English accent.
"On the whole, the cover-up was orchestrated quite well. However, our sources indicate that there is still considerable disquiet over the affair. Bombing a virus from the air is not a very sensible way of destroying it. Most likely, it will only spread it over a wider area. The public may not realise that, but the experts will. Questions have already been asked, in the House of Commons, in Congress; as they have been asked before. The probability of public disclosure of the truth must therefore be considered relatively high."
He asked his listeners if they agreed with his evaluation of the South Pole and Atterbury affairs. There followed a collective murmur of agreement.
He sat down. "Our various sources indicate that both the United Nations and the national governments are seriously considering making the alien threat public knowledge. They're simply fed up with having to hide the truth. And indeed, it isn't always going to work. Enough trouble was caused when UNIT occupied Devil's End. Now the question facing us is, do we give our support to that initiative or do we try to prevent it?
"It is a question," he went on, "of whether the mass panic that might be caused by telling the truth is a worse thing in the long run than subjugation by alien invaders. The threat can only be fought if everyone is aware of it. That is apart from what seems to me to be the sheer impossibility of keeping up the disinformation forever."
Again a chorus of nods and murmurs.
"I suggest we take a vote on the matter."
There was no opposition to this proposal. "All those in favour of supporting the Secretary-General's initiative." Everyone raised their hands except the man with the pipe. Then, after a moment or two, he nodded his agreement curtly.
"That looks to me to be unanimous. Very well. What we must do now is ensure that the announcement is made in the proper way, that release of the information is controlled. That task is already in hand.
“The other consideration is the continuing protection of this planet. We all know that the UNIT organisation is to be reorganised, which is good. Then there is the research being carried out at the Foundation, most important of which is the Project."
"Which is now under threat because we failed to kill the Brigadier." It was the man with the pipe who had spoken, the first time he had done so in quite a while. His voice sounded American, but with a hint of another, unidentifiable accent beneath it.
"I feel obliged to point out that the attempt on the Brigadier's life was not authorised," said White Hair, a distinct edge to his voice. He regarded the man with the pipe with suspicion, mingled with distaste. Personally, he couldn't stand the fellow. His methods were often dubious and there was always an unsettling suspicion that he was following his own agenda. "It may mean that the Doctor, although he is now in our hands, will be indisposed to co-operate with us."
"He's got no choice," said another of the group's members, a thickset, heavy-faced man who looked like, and probably was, a Mafia don.
"From all accounts the Doctor is not the sort of man you can bully. However, it may be that he will be happy to co-operate once he understands what is at stake."
"But what about the Brigadier?" insisted the man with the pipe. "If he finds out about the Project, what's he going to tell his superiors? We've no guarantee the rest of the world will be happy about it. Even if he doesn't get permission for a raid, he'll remain interested in the Foundation. If the experiments there really are having some weird side-effect."
"Another attempt to kill him would be unwise," the white-haired man cautioned. "Besides, he'll be on his guard."
"The security of the Project is of prime importance," said the man who looked like a Mafiosi, meaningfully.
White Hair nodded. "Yes, I agree. But let's deal with any further threat as it comes. I suggest we remain in this country for the time being, ready to meet as soon as it becomes necessary."

"No luck I'm afraid, Benton," sighed the Brigadier, tossing his cap onto the desk. He quoted the Minister. ""Dr Charteris is a highly respected scientist. You're going to have to produce rather more evidence to connect the disturbances at Wattlehurst with the Foundation before I can authorise a comprehensive search.""
"I guess our priority’s to search for the Doctor, then," Benton said.
"Yes. But I've a feeling it's a case of two birds and one stone. I'm almost certain the Doctor is at the Foundation, most likely in that room we weren't allowed to go in. Judging from plans of the building, and what we saw of it on our visit, it's the only place they could hide him. If only I could prove it.
"I'm not going to spend my time doing things I know are pointless,” he said, scowling. “I'm going to tighten the screw on Charteris, even if it means being a little naughty."
He explained what he had in mind. "Should be a nice little job for our old friend Harry Sullivan, if we can borrow him for a bit."

There was nothing more on the television that was worth watching, so Christine Burckhardt turned it off and sat back with her arms folded, thinking of the conversation she and Nick had had in the pub, and of other things too.
What annoyed Christine most about her life at the moment was that she didn't have a past. Her German relatives were all dead, and of the family she'd had in this country only her father, until recently estranged from her, remained. And she wasn't convinced he was really reconciled with her. Perhaps he'd only agreed to meet her to get her to stop bothering him. Certainly she’d not been able to make contact with him since, phone calls to either the headquarters of the company or the house in Sussex either going unanswered or being met with the response that Mr Burckhardt was very busy at the moment and would ring back as soon as he was free. In the meantime, perhaps she’d like to leave a message, etc etc.
His refusal to talk much about his life in Germany meant she knew virtually nothing about her antecedents. And without a past she had less of an identity. She was often afflicted with a sense of emptiness; of not really belonging anywhere. But should those feelings really bother her that much? It wasn't the past but the present and future which mattered. And that future looked fairly bright. She had a decent enough job, and every prospect of it lasting. And although she'd never asked for any money from him, not since she'd walked out on him after her mother's death, her father's wealth would be an advantage. In the recent past any share in it had been denied her by their estrangement, but if that breach was now healed, though she was starting increasingly to doubt it, it should again be forthcoming to her.
She decided that marriage, and a child, would do her a lot of good. Founding a new dynasty was the best way of giving her that sense of belonging, even if not in quite the same way.
It was that which had brought Nick to the forefront of her mind. Were they really only just friends, or was there something more to their relationship which she wasn't fully aware of? She certainly liked him a lot; and his loyalty and sensitivity to her needs would make him a good husband.
She knew you could be thinking about someone you knew and liked, and then suddenly something just clicked and you found yourself in love. It would have to happen soon, or their relationship would crystallise in the form of friendship - nothing more than that - and stay that way forever.
She had just decided she was too tired to think about these things now, and was getting up from the sofa to go to bed, when the doorbell rang. She frowned. Who could it be, at this time of night? She'd half a mind to ignore it.
On a whim more than anything else, she decided to go and see. Turning on the hall light, she glanced towards the door. A dim figure could be made out through the frosted glass pane.
She opened the door as far as the chain would allow and peered through the gap. "Er...yes?" she asked nervously. "Who is it?"
She jumped back with a cry of shock as the door was thrust wide open with a force that broke the chain, and backed away in terror as a stockily built figure forced its way in and hall and bore down on her, levelling a double-barrelled shotgun at her chest.
A harsh, rasping voice stabbed through the air at her. "Do not move," ordered Bruchmann. "And do not scream. Do exactly as I say, or I will kill you where you stand." With his free hand he reached behind him and shut the door.
Christine eyed the intruder fearfully. He appeared to be somewhere in his middle years, but powerfully built and obviously still fit and strong. She found the intense look on his face very frightening. "W-what do you w-want?" she asked him.
"I'll tell you in a minute." She noted that his accent was Central European, very like her father's.
He told her to go into the kitchen. White-faced and trembling, she obeyed. A couple of minutes later she was sitting against the wall, her wrists and ankles tied with sticky tape.
He seated himself in a chair opposite her and levelled the gun at her again. “It took me a while to find you,” he said. “And now I need to find your father. I would be very grateful if you could tell me where he might be just now.” His manner seemed calm and reasonable, polite. But this gave her no comfort. If anything it made him seem all the more chilling.
"W-why do you want to know?" She knew that there were probably a good many people who'd have liked to do her father some injury, even kill him. She must try to stall, and hope that before long someone would realise something was wrong and come to her rescue.
His voice hardened. "I asked you a question, Miss Burckhardt. You will please answer it." She saw his finger tighten on the trigger.
"I-I-I don't know." It was a truthful enough statement. Presumably the man had come here because he had enquired elsewhere and got no luck. Her father might be at the place in Sussex but she couldn't be sure of that. And she didn’t actually know the address of his house in London; it was significant that he hadn’t offered to supply her with it, though promising that he would.
Her captor’s eyes drilled into her. "You are not telling the truth," the cold voice accused. "You are trying to protect him."
"Well, I would, wouldn't I? But I am telling the truth. I just don't know." Her voice was steadier now. Not wanting to seem cowed, she had decided it was time to rally her spirits.
Bruchmann frowned. If she was lying, and he failed to press the matter, he might lose any chance of fulfilling his lifelong goal, of quenching the burning desire for revenge that would otherwise give him no peace. If she was telling the truth, well that was just too bad.
"I will give you one last chance," he said. "I am quite prepared to kill you if I have to." She knew at once that he meant it. "The gun is silenced. Your neighbours will hear nothing."
Christine's head sunk to her chest. "He might be at a place in Sussex," she said miserably. "I don't know where it is exactly, I've only been there once."
"Tell me where it is. If you are playing for time..."
"I wrote down the directions on a bit of paper. I think it's still around somewhere. Probably in the front room..."
He took her by one arm and lifted her to her feet. He dragged her with him into the living room where he dumped her roughly on the floor and proceeded to rifle through the room's contents, pulling out drawers and emptying them of their contents. Christine could only watch him from where she lay, terrified at the thought of what his next move might be once he'd found what he wanted.
At length he found it; a scrap of lined notepaper with the words "Dad's Place" underlined above a crude map showing Wattlehurst and its location relative to London. He breathed out in satisfaction, and Christine's heart leaped.
Tucking the bit of paper inside his pocket, he turned to face her. "Now, Christine, we are going on a little journey," he smiled. “You are coming with me because I don’t want you telling anyone what I’m up to before my plans have reached fruition.”
He produced a roll of sticky tape, cut off a piece and slapped it over her mouth. Then, untying her feet, he motioned to her with his gun to stand up. He hustled her from the room and down the hall to the door. Keeping a tight grip on her, he opened it and peered out cautiously. Yes, he'd timed the kidnap well; at this late hour the little street was entirely deserted. No sound reached him from any of the houses.
They went to where his car was parked, and he told her to lie down on the pavement. He tied her feet again, then opened the boot. Scooping her up, he laid her almost tenderly inside.
Once again he warned her not to make any sound. Then the lid slammed shut, plunging her into darkness, and in a moment he was driving off into the night with his unwilling passenger.

Some food - the time-honoured chunk of bread and glass of water, plus an apple and a thermos flask - had been placed on the table at which the Doctor sat, but he hadn't touched them. Nor had he made any use of the crude bed which had been fashioned for him from an old mattress and some moth-eaten blankets. He'd spent all his time since being taken back there the previous night thinking carefully.
The Time Lords had immobilised the TARDIS because there was something vitally important he had to do here on Earth, before he resumed his intergalactic meanderings. He knew Earth was reckoned to be crucial to the universal scheme of things, though in what way was not fully understood. Was he meant to give Earth people time travel so that they could protect themselves against the alien invaders who so often seemed to want to destroy them?
But equally, his mission might be to investigate the paranormal occurrences around Wattlehurst, along with the Firebird organisation if the two things were connected. Unless the Time Lords indicated otherwise, and so far they hadn't. The trouble was, the Doctor often wasn't sure if a particular event or its failure to happen was due to their activities. Maybe he was meant to help Earth gain the secrets of the Time Lords and so defend itself against alien invaders. He hadn't been told that he wasn't. So he must decide whether or not to give Charteris the assistance he sought, preferably before the scientist got impatient and did something nasty.
Eventually he got up and knocked on the door. The guard opened it and stared at him impassively. "Yes?"
"Tell Charteris I've made up my mind," said the Doctor. "I've decided to help him with the project."

Sheila Kingman looked up from her sketching to see Tom, Linda and Gavin all standing before her. "What's this little delegation in aid of?" she asked grumpily.
Linda sat down. “Sheila, we don't like to see you so miserable. This should be a happy time, shouldn't it? But you're spoiling it, for yourself and for us."
"What do you mean, I'm being miserable?" said Sheila, looking bemused. "What do you mean, I'm spoiling it? I don't understand." She went back to her drawing.
"It's obvious you've something on your mind. It's making us miserable, too. If you don't care about your own happiness, that's fine by me – well it’s not, but it seems there isn’t a great deal we can do about it. But you might at least have some consideration for other people."
"For God's sake leave me alone!" shouted Sheila. Again she had lost her temper with frightening suddenness.
Sheila sprang to her feet, crumpling up the drawing and thrusting the ball of paper into her pocket. As she made for the door he put out a hand to stop her.
"Get off me!" she yelled, thrusting him aside with surprising force, so that he stumbled against the wall. She stormed out, slamming the door behind her, and they heard her run up the stairs very fast. Her bedroom door slammed shut and a moment later they thought they could hear sobbing from behind it.
They looked at each other and sighed communally.
"Well, I've had enough of trying to sort out her problems," sighed Linda. "If you'll excuse me."
"Are you all right?" Tom asked anxiously.
"Yeah. Just a bit tired, that's all."
She mounted the stairs to her and Tom's room, and there lay down on the bed. She needed a rest, worn out by the strain of having to cope with Sheila. Feeling drowsy in the summer heat, she sank momentarily into the oblivion of sleep.
And had a dream.
A baby clutched in her arms, she was running along a street of some city, pursued by the...the things which were swarming everywhere. People disappeared under heaps of the dark figures, and when the creatures all disentangled themselves and moved away, the people were just like them. Her only thought was to get home, where somehow she hoped they might be safe.
Next she was in the house and the creatures were trying to get in. They pounded on the door, clawed at the windows, put their faces through the glass and leered at her.
The door didn't resist their efforts for long. It fell from its hinges and they came flooding in, clawed hands reaching out for their victims. They seized the child and plucked it from her.
"No! My baby!" She ran to snatch it back but two of the creatures seized her and held her, giggling and snickering at her distress, while their fellows clustered excitedly round the child.
One of them reached down and touched it with its thin crooked fingers. As she watched the baby’s skin turned black, its limbs thin and stick-like, resembling those of the creatures themselves. Its mouth became a red hole filled with long protruding pointed teeth, and its eyes slanted and cruel.
At this something in her slumbering brain decided she had had enough. She woke, whimpering in fear and distress. She blinked round the room, at first not quite sure, like all people who have awoken in the midst of a bad dream, if she was awake or still asleep. She decided she was the former, immense relief flooding through her like a tide that cleansed her of her fear, leaving her to absorb the shock of the nightmare.
Then she saw them, on the wall. Shadows, dozens of them, in the shape of roughly human figures, with round blobby heads, evil slanted eyes and sticklike arms and legs.
They were real. Shadows…images, from the far distant past, maybe even the very dawn of time, but seen in consciousness not sleep; projected by something real. And she knew, without being able to say why, what they were. They were what the human race would have become if the force which had invaded this planet long ago had had its way. What it could still become. She stared at them in silent horror, until fear and dread overcame her paralysis and she cowered away, trembling.
"Oh God, no,” she sobbed. “NO!”

The Doctor sat over a table piled with sheets of paper on which he had scribbled a spaghetti tangle of complex equations. A couple of armed guards stood a short distance away, watching him while he worked. Charteris seemed more or less convinced that he was sincere in his desire to help, and wouldn't cause any trouble. After all, the Doctor had told him that he’d decided he was meant to be doing this. But some lingering, subconscious doubt made Charteris keep a watch on his movements.
He looked up from his labours as the Foundation’s Director came in. "Hello there, Professor," he cried. "I think I've worked a few things out." He extracted a complex diagram from the heap of papers. "It looks as if this mechanism here is meant to be extruded."
"When the rocket is inside the black hole?"
The Doctor grunted by way of an affirmative. "But what its purpose is, I don't know." He started pacing about the room. "Omega is supposed to have created the power for the time travel facility by turning a star into a supernova. Exactly how, no-one’s quite sure. And I can't see where black holes fit in, other than that they're what results when a supernova occurs."
"Well, as far as reaching the black hole is concerned, you've got more or less the right equipment," he went on. "But it'll need to be modified. Can you do that here?"
"We've got all the facilities." Charteris nodded towards a door in the far wall, which the Doctor presumed led to some workshop or laboratory.
"Good. Now if I'm to get the job done fairly quickly, I'll need my sonic screwdriver."
Charteris frowned, and stood there looking awkward. "You still don't entirely trust me, do you?" the Doctor said wryly.
"We must hurry with the project," he said, evidently worried about something.
"Why, what's up?"
Charteris sat down beside him. "Doctor, as someone who knows the Brigadier, do you think he'll understand what I'm trying to do here?" Now that the project was nearing completion, Charteris' fears that something might happen to jeopardize it seemed to have mounted. If somehow the Brigadier managed to get his permission to raid the Foundation, or if his search for the Doctor should lead him there...he'd a nasty suspicion it already had. Someone had just turned up unannounced from the Ministry of Health, asking to do a quick check of the place in order to make sure it conformed to all the health and safety regulations. He'd seemed particularly interested in what lay behind the door to the secret part of the complex, and had made a fuss when refused access to it, whereupon he'd been sent packing. It seemed obvious the incident must have a sinister, to Charteris, significance.
"Well, he'll have to inform his superiors," said the Doctor. "It's hard to say what they'll do. They may just think you've gone mad and cut off your research grant. Or they'll be too scared by it and call a halt."
"We must keep UNIT out," said Charteris, his gaze going to the guards standing by the wall.
"Dr Charteris, if I'm going to be involved in this at all, I'd rather there wasn't any bloodshed."
"It may be necessary, Doctor."
The Doctor appeared to lapse again into deep thought. Charteris, who would much rather he was getting on with his work, gave him an irritated look. One of the guards moved towards him threateningly.
The Doctor noticed the movement and gave a charming smile. "It's all right, old chap. I was just thinking." He turned back to Charteris. "You're working on a sort of sonic gun, aren't you? I saw it when I came down with the Brigadier."
"Yes. Building a larger version of your sonic screwdriver, for military purposes, was always something that interested me. You're suggesting we use it against UNIT?"
"Yes. I think it can be used to knock soldiers out without harming them in any lasting way. We can repel UNIT with no casualties on either side."
"But it's still at the experimental stage. We'll have to use your sonic screwdriver as a model, duplicate it somehow. What effect does it have on living tissue?"
"The sonic screwdriver was designed for use as a tool, not a weapon. At the moment, it only opens doors and short-circuits electrical equipment."
"Overloads circuitry? So it is a weapon."
"If you like. It can be used as such; there's a difference. It can produce distress in certain of the lower animals, but not humans at present. Still, it shouldn't be too difficult to adapt it. You'll need my help, though."
"I'd rather you got on with completing the rocket, actually."
"I really think I should be allowed to do it, old chap. You see, I'm just not sure I'll be able to finish these plans for you before someone realises what's going on here and tries to stop it."
Charteris considered. There were certain parts of the job he could do himself, without the Doctor's assistance. If he concentrated on those for the time being, the Doctor could help him with the rest once he'd finished with the sonic device.
"All right, Doctor. I'll have the necessary equipment brought down here." Questions would be asked, but he could find some explanation. As Director he had the freedom to allocate equipment however he chose.
"You'll give me back the sonic screwdriver, then?"
"No, Doctor. You may work on the plans, but not on any actual sonic device. Will that be sufficient?"
The Doctor thought for a moment, then nodded. "If you insist. I'll just have to work a bit faster, that's all."
"Right. I'll go and get those plans for you."

A journalist had to have a good memory for details, and Sarah had soon memorised the museum guide’s description of Gavin Brendon. In the hope he might be staying at the guest house, Sarah wandered about the place for a while before supper trying to spot him. She had no luck, and nor was anyone matching his description to be seen among her fellow diners that evening. The receptionist didn't think the person she was looking for was currently among the establishment's clientele. At the same time she gave Sarah another message from the Brigadier, to the effect that she was to phone him immediately.
She had rung him from the telephone booth in the foyer, making sure there was no-one about who might be listening. What he had to say horrified her.
Sarah was instantly concerned for the Doctor. "What does it mean? Who could have done it?"
"I've no idea, Miss Smith. But finding him is a priority. I'm having a nationwide search organised for him. Meanwhile, you carry on with your own investigations."
"Will do. Listen, Brigadier, there's definitely a history of pagan worship in the area. And ghosts. I'd say it's all starting to fit into place."
"Good work, Miss Smith. I just hope we can find the Doctor. Even if we know what's going on down there, I don't fancy trying to deal with it without his help. Take care, won't you."
Returning to her room, Sarah sat down on the bed. The Doctor had been in situations like this before and always he'd been all right in the end. It strengthened her confidence that he'd be OK this time too. Wouldn’t he?

Gradually the village hall began to fill up. The atmosphere was tense, largely because everyone was hoping that something would come out of it, some means of solving the problem. On the platform at the front stood a long table at which sat the vicar, Phyllis Dawes, Dorothy Watts and an assortment of other village worthies. Derek Haynes studied his audience; they seemed to be a mixture of the older rural class and the more sophisticated types who'd moved here from the city.
When the room seemed to be full the vicar, who had been asked to chair the meeting, rose to speak. Everyone looked at him expectantly.
"We have called you here today because of the strange events which have been taking place in our community recently. I have been informed of what is happening. And what I suspect - in fact I have very little doubt - is that you are wondering if there is some supernatural reason for what has happened. I think you want me to say whether that is the case.
"The truth is, I don't know." Before he could go any further, a shrill old voice piped up from the front row. "Sins...it's our sins," said the elderly lady forthrightly. “We're being made to answer for them." A few others muttered darkly in agreement.
The vicar raised his hand. "It may not be that. Why should we be punished and not anyone else? There is no indication that these events are happening elsewhere in the world."
"It could be End," someone said. "The Apocalypse." Uneasy muttering filled the air and a palpable mood of alarm swept through the audience.
"Please," said Haynes, his arms raised in an appeal for calm. "We must be careful not to jump to conclusions. I admit that the world seems a violent enough place just now..." There were more murmurs of agreement. He wished he hadn't made the remark, and winced inside himself.
"Maybe He's starting here," suggested a woman. "I mean, He's got to start somewhere."
"When the End is near, we will know it. There is no proof that the incidents mean what you say. There may be some entirely natural cause, some, er, phenomenon we don't yet understand."
Nothing could shake Derek Haynes' belief in God and Jesus. But he believed God's universe worked in an essentially ordered way; which, after all, was what one would expect from Him unless He were a criminal lunatic, something Haynes could not and could never believe was the case. Science was a way of understanding that order, although of course it had its limits. He was of that school which believed there was no incompatibility between it and religion. There was every sense in finding out whether the mysterious events in the village could be brought within the orbit of scientific understanding, and so properly understood and dealt with, before calling in God.
The statement was met by a chorus of groans. He sensed the mood of a section of the audience turn hostile, and knew that the hostility was directed towards him. It was particularly strong among the older villages.
"I'd hoped for better from you," growled a burly middle-aged man named Fred Mace. "You going to explain it all in this fancy modern way? You're supposed to be a man of God, vicar."
"And indeed I am. Obviously in a situation like this we should pray for the Lord’s guidance. But not everything that happens in His world means what one thinks it does. The explanation may be something - scientific. If that is the case, there is no need for anyone to carry out an exorcism. And if they did, it might not produce any result. We might not, after all, be dealing with any, er, demonic forces at all." He was motivated by one thought, one fear. If an exorcism was held and it produced no result, the church would be left looking silly. He could imagine the atheists sneering about it.
The hostile mood was unchanged.
"What I want to know is, what are you doing about it?" said Mace.
"I am here precisely because it is my duty as the representative of the Church to take an interest in the needs and problems of the community. But it may be that it's a task for a scientist to sort out rather than a churchman."
Dorothy Watts turned to him. "Vicar, I wonder if I might ask. What exactly are you proposing?"
"That we contact the relevant authorities and ask them to investigate."
"They'll lock us all up," someone shouted. "We can't have that."
Immediately there was uproar. "We aren't standing for that. It's a divine visitation, that's what it is. You or one of your friends in the Church has got to perform an exorcism."
"And it's getting worse," someone cried. "I know people who are moving away from the village because of it."
"If it is the end of the world, if these things have got to happen, the exorcism wouldn't work anyway," pointed out the prophet of doom.
Derek Haynes pressed on regardless. "One thing is clear to me. From what I have been told, from all that I have found out, the problem is being made worse by our own fears and hatreds, our animosities towards each other. That's what seems to be triggering it off." He wasn't in his job without getting to hear all the local gossip, knowing who was who and what they were up to. And how it seemed to be connected with the disturbing phenomena currently troubling the village.
"What have those bitches been telling everyone?" someone shouted. There was a growl of anger, and hostile eyes stared turned to Phyllis Dawes and Dorothy Watts.
"You're pussyfooting around," growled Mace. "Anyway, whether these things're making it worse or not, you take the cause of it away and it won't happen."
And then a sheaf of papers was whipped from the desk and scattered throughout the room.
"You see?" said Haynes. "It's our fear, our anger, our out- of-control emotions, which is causing it. Making it worse."
"Then do something about it!" Mace shouted. "If you want me to be honest, vicar, I don't think you're sure of your own faith."
The vicar suddenly exploded in anger. "You just won't admit that it's your own hatreds, your own jealousies, which are causing all the trouble! Your own…sins…”
There was an equally violent response from the audience. A chorus of angry shouts and yells rang out. Vicars weren't supposed to actually start lecturing their flock on their iniquities. They were supposed to tell them what they wanted to hear.
The vicar flinched as if struck physically, and his chair lurched backwards. It rocked and tipped over, depositing him on the floor. There were more shouts and screams as the woodwork of the table suddenly split and fragmented, sharp splinters flying from it to rain down on the vicar as he struggled to rise. He screamed in agony as they thudded into his flesh, his eyes. Phyllis Dawes and the other people seated around the table scrambled away from the horrible scene as Haynes writhed and twisted before them, covered in blood.
The hall echoed to the sound of many pairs of hurrying feet as people leaped from their chairs and ran for the exits, knocking into and over each other in their haste to get out of the building. And leaving Derek Haynes lying where he had fallen among the debris, quite dead.

When Christine Burckhardt didn't show up for work her colleagues at Dickson Knight were puzzled and uneasy. She'd always been punctual in the past, or, if anything was likely to prevent her turning up on time, had always rung in to let them know.
Repeated telephone calls to her house met with no answer. And she had no relatives with whom they could check, apart from her father who was currently incommunicado at some place deep in rural Sussex. Such was Nick's concern that he volunteered to go round to her house during lunchbreak and establish that she was safe and well, something he'd resolved to do in any case. The request was granted by an equally disquieted supervisor.
The remainder of the working morning was hell for him, and his work began to suffer no matter how hard he tried to push his fears to the back of his mind. His boss decided that for his own sake and that of the efficient conduct of the business he should get on with the search without further delay.
He drove over to Christine's flat to find the door shut. He banged on it and the ground floor windows repeatedly, shouting out her name at the top of his voice. A retired neighbour of hers, a Mr Leary, came out of his house and approached him to say he hadn't seen or heard her leave for work that morning when she normally did, which he found a little worrying. As it happened, he and his wife'd been starting to wonder if they should call the police.
It transpired that Christine had entrusted to him a spare key to her house, which she if she lost her main one, or anyone else who needed to get in for some urgent reason, could use. Nick's obvious distress at her apparent disappearance, plus the fact that Christine had mentioned his name once or twice in conversation, convinced Leary of his good faith. So Leary let both of them in.
The broken chain confirmed Nick's worst fears. He'd always known there was a certain danger of Christine being kidnapped, either by one of her father's many enemies wanting to get back at him, or someone hoping to extract from him a handsome sum in ransom money.
And if this was instead a case of burglary, the intruder had evidently been surprised; whereupon he'd either have overpowered her and tied her up, or...
If he'd tied her up she would probably have managed to free herself by now, he reasoned. Was she lying somewhere in a pool of blood, her head beaten in?
His fear mounted as he saw the mess in the living room. Everything was in a state of utter disarray, with books, papers, and other things scattered on the floor or tossed onto chairs and sideboards. "Oh, my God," he groaned, cold sweat breaking out all over his body.
Leary waited while he frantically searched the rest of the house, once more yelling out Christine's name with all the breath in his body. "Christine! Chris! Can you hear me? Are you all right?"
He found no more signs of criminal activity. And none of Christine either. White-faced, he went back downstairs. “No sign of her,” he reported. “We’ll have to call the police. It’s alright, I’ll see to it.”
While waiting for them to arrive, he looked sadly round the room. A photograph album caught his eye and he found himself leafing through it. It constituted a record of Christine's life; scenes from her early childhood and schooldays, holidays, social events and family gatherings. Pictures of a normal, happy girl doing all the things which normal girls did; relaxing in the pub with some friends, looking cool in T-shirt and sunglasses on the terrace of a cafe on a summer afternoon. Dancing at a disco, chatting with colleagues at an office party. On the beach at some exotic foreign resort, her nubile, healthy young body clad in a brief string bikini.
He supposed he shouldn't really be looking at them, but somehow it felt appropriate. After all; though the thought seemed too horrible to contemplate, for all he knew he might never set eyes on her again. Alive, that was.

"There you are," said the Doctor, pushing the plans he'd drawn up for the improved sonic screwdriver across the table towards Charteris. "You basically need to alter the shape of the lithium crystal the way I've shown. Then it should work perfectly."
"Thankyou, Doctor." Charteris took the plans and turned to the technician standing beside him. The man wore a black uniform rather like that of the guards. "Will these be enough for you?"
The man nodded. "It shouldn't take too long to machine the crystal." He hurried away.
The Doctor returned to his work on the rocket. "Now let me see," he muttered. "If we reposition this circuit here like so, and cross-connect a few of the wires here..."
Charteris left him to it.

After Christine's abduction there had followed a long drive through the night, during which she was uncomfortable, cramped, and terrified on both her father's account and her own. What, in the long run, did her kidnapper intend to do to her? Would he let her go once he'd finished the job, or was he too scared of the police tracking him down? It'd been impossible to gauge his intentions, but there was something highly sinister in the emotionless way he'd gone about the whole business.
Other than that they were heading south, towards her father's house in Sussex, she could know nothing of her surroundings. Several times the car stopped, and she had waited with pounding heart to see what happened next. She could have tried to work the gag loose and shout for help, but decided it was too risky.
Nothing unpleasant happened, however. On the first occasion she heard him leave the car and then return to it shortly afterwards; no doubt he'd simply been to relieve himself. On the second he was away for much longer, and she concluded they'd stopped somewhere where he could grab a late night snack.
On the third he untied her and let her out, telling her she could walk about for a bit if she liked. Much to her relief, she was able to get some fresh air and restore the circulation to her wrists and ankles. He kept his gun on her all the time, in case she tried to make a break for it. She tried to work out where they were, but it was just a clearing in the middle of a dense wood, with trees blocking the view on all sides, and could have been anywhere in the whole of Surrey and Sussex.
After a few minutes he told her to stop walking and stand still. She felt him come up behind her, and a pad of some soft material, impregnated with what must have been chloroform, was pressed over her nose and mouth. For a moment her head swam with its thick, cloying stench, then everything dissolved into an all-engulfing blackness.
Bruchmann had been feeling tired, and wanted her out for a while so he wouldn't have to keep an eye on her and could therefore get some sleep. He tied her up again, replaced her in the boot, and settled down in the front passenger seat, head lolling onto his shoulder as he let the fatigue overcome him.
When he awoke a few hours later he felt refreshed and happy. Everything was going well. During one of their stops he had rung Patterson from a public phonebox near the service station to let them know how things were proceeding. The gang boss had not been pleased on hearing that he had to go all the way down to "fucking Sussex," and at this time of the morning. Bruchmann reminded him curtly that he was being paid handsomely for his part in the operation. He gave him precise directions to Burckhardt's house, whereupon he'd rung off with a grunt.
It only remained for him to find some place not far from the house which he could use as a base of operations. He checked on the girl to find her just starting to come round. Ignoring her request to be told what was happening, he thrust the gag back into her mouth and slammed down the boot.
Dawn was just breaking by the time they reached Wattlehurst. He drove around the area for twenty minutes or so, studying his surroundings carefully. From one of the unclassified roads near the house several lanes, shown on the map simply as tracks, branched off towards the house.
Suddenly, up on his right loomed the slightly sinister outline of a derelict windmill. It looked well and truly abandoned, and the nearest habitation seemed to be some distance away, only just discernible through the adjacent clump of trees. Glancing at the map, on which it was represented as a clothes peg-like symbol, he saw it was close enough to Burckhardt's house to be suitable for his purposes. He turned off the track into the field where the mill stood, bringing the car to a halt just outside the building.
Christine felt the car shudder to a stop. Her feeling was principally one of anger and boredom; why did they have to keep on stopping like this, with him not bothering to tell her what he was planning? She was also, she realised for the first time, very hungry.
Any fear she felt was largely for her father. They couldn't be far from the house now. She had to find out what this man intended, and talk him out of it. If he meant to kill Dad, and succeeded, any chance of ever finding out the truth would be gone forever.
As before, she heard him leave the car and then return after a minute or two. He opened the boot and the early morning light streamed in, almost blinding her. He reached in and yanked her out. Immediately she began mumbling agitatedly beneath the strip of tape. Again ignoring her protests, he slung her over his shoulder and carried her into the mill, rather as if he were the old miller with a sack of corn. She recognised the building from her visit to her father, having glimpsed it from the road on her way to the house.
Her blood turned cold and her heart rate doubled. The house; they must be less than a mile from it.
Finding the opening at the top of the ladder too small for him to pass through with her on his back, he untied her and forced her to mount the shaky wooden steps. When they had reached the last but one floor, he motioned to her to stop.
She winced in pain as he peeled the plaster from her mouth a little too roughly.
He told her to sit against the big wooden shaft in the centre of the floor with her hands behind her back and it. Then he bound her to the shaft with several lengths of a stout twine. She saw him take out a small portable radio and extend the aerial. "Everything is prepared," he said into the receiver. "Get down here as quickly as you can. About mid-day? Very well then, if you must. You know where to meet me."
The line went dead and he pocketed the radio. "Who were you calling?" Christine asked anxiously.
"Some people I have hired to assist in this operation."
"What operation? Why are you doing this? Why have you kidnapped me?"
"Well you see, Christine, your father did something very bad to me a long time ago. It is important that he should pay for it."
Christine knew her father had done some pretty rotten things in his time. She had never entirely approved of his business methods. Had he sacked this man unfairly, or driven him out of business by sharp practice and ruined his livelihood?
"You mean you're going to kill him?"
"That is correct."
She made a little noise somewhere between a sigh and a whimper.
"W-w-what did he do?" she asked.
Bruchmann smiled slowly. "Your father is not who he claims to be," he said, and paused for effect.
A cold uneasy feeling crept slowly through Christine. She thought again of the man's accent, how closely it resembled Dad’s. Connections were forming in her mind. "What do you mean?" she said. "Please, tell me."
The smile broadened. "Victor Burckhardt is Heinrich von Arbenz."
He seemed to relish the look of shock and horror which appeared on her face.
"Yes, that's right. A wanted criminal. Wanted for the murder of ten thousand people during the last war. My entire family were among his victims." He told her the whole story. “Against you I bear no grudge. But as for your father, justice must be done.”
Christine stared up at him, all the colour vanishing from her face. "No," she gasped. "It's not possible." Despite never having categorically dismissed the rumours about her father, as she'd indicated to Nick, she found now that they seemed to be true she didn't want to believe it. In fact it was like a massive punch to her head. It left her with a sick giddy feeling which lasted for several minutes, after which she found herself in a dazed state where nothing seemed quite real.
“I'm afraid it is possible, Christine. I could prove it to you, but that would take time, time which I do not have." He waited for her to fully absorb the shock. It took a while longer before she could collect herself enough to speak. She looked up at him pleadingly. "Why can't you go through it the legal way? Why kill him? Why kidnap me?"
"Because life imprisonment would be no punishment for him. He would at least be still alive. My mother, my father, my wife and children...none of them have that."
"He's...he's still my Dad. Please, let him live." She was surprised to find it mattered so much to her.
Bruchmann snorted. "He showed no such mercy to my loved ones."
"Let him live," she repeated. "For my sake, if nothing else. I'm sorry about your family, OK? I never wanted them to die. You do understand that, don't you?"
"Yes," he told her flatly. "I understand.” The tone of his voice changed. “When I have finished with your father the police will receive an anonymous message telling them where to find you. By then I will be out of the country. Until then I am afraid you must put up with some discomfort. Goodbye now.” He tore off a strip of cloth from a grubby handkerchief and gagged her with it. Then with a last brief glance at her he left. A little later she heard him shut the door of the mill. Then car’s engine started and it drove off.
At first she didn’t know what to think. Then she gave a muffled sob of despair. In a hour or so, she guessed, the only family she’d ever had, such as it was, would be destroyed. And there was absolutely nothing she could do about it.

Sarah had decided to try the pub as her next port of call. Pubs were useful sources of information; you could learn a lot in them. And maybe she'd find her researcher there. So, after a morning spent lounging about waiting until the place would be open, she made her way down the High Street to the Green Dragon, a half-timbered building whose sign swung gently in the summer breeze. She went in and sat down, feeling rather selfconscious. Pubs were still very much a man's world. She got looks either of hostility, or lasciviousness.
A young man in a business suit dropped into the chair beside hers. "And what are you doing down this way, then?" His intent was pretty obvious.
Sarah sized him up almost immediately. A sophisticated city type, down for the weekend. She knew just how to deal with him.
She put on the broad Liverpool accent she'd spoken with as a child. "I was just waitin' 'ere for me friend, likhhhhe. 'Ow about you? 'Ey, what d'yer think of the beer they brew here? Terrifikhhhh, yeah?"
The man's face changed instantly. "Er, ah, excuse me," he muttered, and with a feeble smile got up and made for the bar, looking the picture of disappointment. When he’d gone Sarah gave a scornful "Hah!"
She cast her eyes round the room. If her researcher came in, or were already here, how would she recognise him? What sort of person would he be?
She was just starting to get bored when the door opened and a man somewhere in his twenties came in. He immediately caught Sarah's attention, and that of everyone else in the room. He was tall and gangling, with long blond hair that grew down past his shoulders and a blond beard. He wore jeans, an overcoat emblazoned with Heavy Metal badges, and a pair of rather grubby shoes. A few of the older villagers turned to stare at him disapprovingly.
Sarah eyed him thoughtfully as he crossed to the counter to order a pint of beer. He matched the description given by the museum guide exactly. And he obviously wasn't local, she reasoned, going by the way the older customers were treating him. If he was a regular fixture their disapproval of him would be manifested in just ignoring him, rather than giving him the evil eye.
She went to where he had taken his seat. "Excuse me," she said pleasantly, "are you the chap who's down here doing a thesis?"
Gavin sat bolt upright, astonishment and delight in his face. He liked the look of Sarah. And she seemed to be interested in him. "Er, yeah," he replied. "I'm Gavin Brendon." He offered his hand.
"Sarah Jane Smith. I'm a journalist." She lowered her voice. "I'm working on a story, and it involves knowing something about pagan religions. Which I gather are your forte, Mr Brendon."
Gavin supposed he'd better lower his voice too, though he had no idea why there was such a need for secrecy. "Call me Gavin," he said. "Oh, right. Who put you on my trail, then?"
"The people at the museum. I didn't think it would be long before I spotted you."
Gavin looked down at himself wryly. "Hmmm, yes. I guess I do tend to stick out a bit. So, about this story..."
"I gather there have been some funny things going on down this way. I don't know if you've noticed anything?"
"What funny things?"
"Disappearances. And things which might be, well, unsettling. Frightening. Things one might call, um, supernatural."
Sheila, Gavin thought. But it didn't seem right to tell this stranger about that. All the same…
The others thought Sheila was just being her usual barmy self. But if what Sarah said was true...
He was momentarily distracted by these thoughts. "Are you alright?" Sarah asked.
"Er, yeah, yeah," he replied, putting the matter of Sheila to one side for a moment.
Sarah continued, telling Gavin all that had brought her to the area, editing the account so as to leave out any mention of UNIT or the government. "My theory is that it's something to do with the old pagan religion. My belief is..." She chose her words carefully. "My belief is that these pagan cults represent not ghosts, not aliens, not gods or demons, but some kind of very powerful...force that we don't yet understand, and which can manifest itself in a variety of weird ways. I don't know if you'd agree with me there?"
Gavin gazed reflectively into space. "Once when I was an undergraduate, we held a Black Mass. I was pretty well into the occult then, but it was meant to be a joke, a rather silly joke." He looked rather awkward. "To be honest, it was the sex aspect which interested us the most."
Sarah laughed. "That doesn't surprise me, knowing men. Carry on."
"Nothing actually...appeared, but...well, it was just the horrible feeling I got. I felt sick afterwards, and never got involved in that sort of thing again. Several of the others experienced it too, and one had a breakdown. We felt there was something in the room with us, something...dark...
“So I think I can believe in these forces of yours, yes. Or keep an open mind about them. The disappearances I'm not sure about. You think there could be a connection?"
"I don't know. That's one of the things I'm trying to find out. They seem to go back a long way according to the people at the museum. I thought that with your knowledge of the area you might be able to help me. For instance, I'd be keen to know something about Wokir."
"Yeah, sure." Gavin launched into his favourite subject with enthusiasm. "Wokir's interesting, in that he's different from the other Anglo-Saxon deities, like Tiw, Woden, Thunar and Frig. He was worshipped in Germany, like they were. Only when the transition was made to England, the nature of the cult seemed to change. You got a pen?"
Sarah fished a felt tip from her pocket. He took it and began drawing something on a beermat. "The depiction of the deities changes from Germany to England. In Germany it's like this." Sarah watched him sketch a tall, thin, stick-like figure with a round head, framed by what looked like long hair, and two huge eyes. It looked familiar. "From not long after the Saxons settled in England, he looks like this."
Gavin drew a second figure, cruder than the first, and, Sarah decided, rather nasty-looking. It was stunted and twisted with slanted eyes and mouth, like the pictures she'd seen in the book in MacDuggan's office at Firebird.
"What that represents, why there should be this change, nobody's quite sure. I was hoping to find that out.
"Now the Anglo-Saxons had their faults, but religious extremism wasn't one of them. They don't seem to have taken their religion that seriously at all. That's why they converted to Christianity quite easily. They never attempted to persecute the missionaries. Nor was there any antagonism between the different pagan cults. I think they saw all the gods as being different expressions of the same reality.
"It wasn't just the pictorial representation of the figure which changed after the Saxons settled in Britain. The nature of the cult changed too. It got brutal, violent, quite unlike the other Anglo-Saxon religious cults. Originally Wokir was a protector, seen as benevolent. Now he became a cruel destroyer. He ordered the persecution of the followers of other cults, and Christian missionaries too. His followers carried out human sacrifices, usually of unbelievers, and committed all kinds of horrible atrocities.
"Worship of Wokir seems to have been confined to one small part of the country - namely, here. It seems as if there was a shrine to it, near a settlement located in what is now the grounds of Greenleaves. And it's near the shrine that some of the hauntings have been reported."
He paused for a moment or two. "Er, can you keep a secret?"
"Yes, of course," she assured him. The one thing any responsible journalist did was to protect their sources. Apart from the professional disadvantages of acquiring a reputation for untrustworthiness, it was grossly unethical and inconsiderate to betray the trust of anyone who'd helped you with your research in any way.
"I went there to check it out, but the people there wouldn't let me look around. So I..." he looked sheepish. "Broke in, not to put too fine a point on it. And then...." He told Sarah all about the incident at the Old Hall.
"Something about the way it moved wasn't quite...well, human," Gavin said. "I haven't told the police about what happened, of course. I didn't want them to know how I'd come to be there." He noted that her glass, like his own, was almost empty. "Hey, shall I get us some more drinks?"
"Don't worry, I'll do it," she said, getting up and going to the bar.
Gavin drained the last few dregs from his glass and sat back, thinking. He was unaware that the group of people at the table nearest to theirs were not drinking, and had fallen silent, staring at him with a disturbing intensity. They waited for Sarah to rejoin him.

The device was complete now; it was bigger than the Doctor's own sonic screwdriver, about the size of a standard army rifle. And the test was about to begin.
The first technician, Charteris and the two black-clad guards were all wearing headphones. The second technician's ears were unprotected. "You'll be quite unharmed," Charteris assured him. "Just knocked out for an hour or so." The man nodded.
Close by, the Doctor stood watching. He had told Charteris that his own brain would be unaffected by the sound waves.
"Once you've proved it works, all you need to do, in the event of UNIT trying to storm the Foundation, is amplify it over the PA system," he explained. "Anyone coming near the place will be instantly knocked cold."
Charteris nodded to the first technician, who pointed the sonic pistol at his colleague and pulled the trigger. The man's face contorted in pain and he staggered for a few moments before collapsing senseless on the floor.
So did everyone else in the room apart from the Doctor, despite the headphones. They jerked and writhed briefly, then lay still.
The Doctor looked down at them with a grin. "Sorry about that," he said to the unconscious men. "I must have made a mistake with the plans. A thoroughly accidental mistake, you understand. Not deliberate at all, No Sir."
It had, in the end, seemed rather unlikely to him that the Time Lords would permit their powers to be shared with anyone, particularly the humans. The mere fact that the Master had inspired it suggested the consequences of Charteris' project could only be disastrous. They'd go far beyond anything the Time Lords - who for all their faults, always knew what should be allowed to happen in the Universe and what shouldn't - would be comfortable with.
Grinning at his own cunning, he went in search of his own sonic screwdriver. Charteris and the others should be out for at least half an hour, which should hopefully be long enough for him to find it. He eventually located the device in a drawer, and used it to unlock the door into the main complex.
He'd designed the sonic rifle to knock out all those within the secret part of the complex. Outside it everyone should be unaffected.
He considered carefully before making his next move. He ought, he supposed, rejoin the Brigadier as soon as possible and get him to storm the Foundation. But it occurred to him that he should take the opportunity to search for the cause of all the trouble in the locality, which for all he knew might be something every bit as bad as what Charteris was trying to do. Besides, he'd always been incorrigibly inquisitive.

"There was something funny about the bloke who opened the door to me at Greenleaves," Gavin was saying. "The way he looked at me."
Sarah thought of the Doctor and the Brigadier's experience in the pub the day before.
"Well, Gavin, you're proving most useful," she said. "How about us joining forces?"
"Suits me," said Gavin, a certain twinkle appearing in his eye. Sarah saw it, but didn't react. He'd soon find out she wasn't the sort who pulled easily.
"So what's our next move going to be?" Gavin said enthusias-tically.
"Well, if we could somehow visit one of the dodgy places, and see if we can find anything interesting..."
Gavin's face fell. "I'm not sure about that. I don't fancy going back to Greenleaves, and there doesn't seem to be anywhere else. We've reached a dead end."
He saw Sarah look up in alarm, and followed her gaze.
The other people in the room were crowding threateningly round them. Their suspicions of the two strangers had been increased by the fact that the two of them had been talking in voices barely louder than a whisper; they obviously didn't want anyone to hear what was being said.
"What are you two up to?" one man demanded in a gruff voice. "Eh?"
"Er - what do you mean?" asked Sarah, though she could guess why the villagers' suspicions had been aroused.
They could feel the hatred and suspicion like an almost physical force, as the Doctor and the Brigadier had the other day. Sarah tensed, and felt Gavin do the same.
"There've been a lot of queer things happening lately. How do we know you aren't the cause of them? You’re not from round here.”
Indignantly Gavin rose to his feet. "Hey, hang on. Just because we're strangers that doesn't mean we're responsible." He was angered by the man's conclusion that since he was an outsider, he must be up to no good. But both he and Sarah sensed another emotion mixed in with the hostility; fear.
"We've got nothing against you," Gavin continued. "There's no need to get nasty."
"What if you're lying?" said the man menacingly.
The woman beside him joined in. "How come you were talking so quiet, like?" she asked, her tone accusatory.
The questions came at them like a fusillade of bullets, leaving them no time to reply. "Who are you?" "You anything to do with that place down the road? We reckon that might have something to do with it." "Are you one of that crowd who've just moved into the cottage? Maybe we’d better pay them a visit.” "They could be from Greenleaves. Lot of people moved in there recently, didn't they?"
"You'd better answer us," another villager said. "Because if you don't, it might just look as if you've got something to hide."
Sarah felt sure that at any moment things would get physically nasty. She looked around for the landlord and saw him looking on from behind the bar, making no attempt to intervene.
She took a deep breath, and slowly stood up. "I'm from the government." It wasn't quite accurate, but it'd do for their purposes. "We understand some very strange things have been going on round here and we're trying to find the cause of it." She turned to Gavin, whose startled look would have been noticed by the villagers. "We're meant to operate secretly. That's why I didn't tell you."
There followed a few moments of silence as the villagers considered this revelation. The first man seemed placated by her statement, though they could still sense an undercurrent of suspicion. He drew back slightly.
"You're trying to find out what's causing them?"
"That's right."
The villagers glanced at one another. Evidently they weren't convinced.
"You get right out of here, or you'll wish you'd never showed your faces," someone snarled.
"No, that ain't good enough." The leader of the group loomed threateningly over Sarah and Gavin. "You tell us just what you're up to, or we'll have to hurt you. Hurt you real bad.”
"We've already told you the truth, mate," said Gavin. "Would you be any happier if we said something that turned out to be a lie?"
There was no way of reaching the door in time. He braced himself, quite prepared to fight his way out if he had to.
"Hang on," a man said. "These things have shaken us all up. I say give 'em the benefit of the doubt. If there's the slightest chance they can sort it out...and if they do, it'll be the better for all of us."
"That's right," said Sarah. "You've got no choice but to trust us. If you do us any harm, you'll just get yourselves into trouble."
Muttering, they withdrew a few paces, the atmosphere easing a bit. "Now," said Sarah, speaking in a tone of calm authority. "What things exactly have been happening?"
"People seeing things," replied Fred Mace. "Acting odd, doing things they shouldn't, like someone's been messing about inside their heads."
"Don't you come here and take us all away," cried an oldish woman suddenly.
"Tell us more," said Gavin. The villagers each related their experiences. God, thought Sarah. Things were even worse than they'd thought. "Why didn't you tell anybody about this before?" she asked.
"'Cause we were afraid you'd take us away." The old woman again.
"They might have to, unless we can find out what's causing it and stop it,” put in one villager, more reasonable than the rest. “I mean, someone's bound to notice eventually, aren't they? And what if it starts to spread?"
"We thought it might be that new place down the road," said Mace again.
"Perhaps," said Sarah. "Or it may be something to do with the old religion."
The villagers were impressed by this. They regarded her curiously.
Sarah was assessing the situation swiftly. Obviously things were rapidly building up to an explosion. The Brigadier had to know about this right away.
"A few of us were thinking of going round to the new place and sorting them out," someone said.
"Don't do that, whatever you do," Sarah urged. "We don't know for sure that the cause of the problem is there, and anyway you'll just get yourselves into trouble. The same with Greenleaves." Judging by Gavin's experiences there, the villagers might be putting themselves in danger if they marched on the place. As would she and Gavin. "Leave my...my boss to sort it out."
For now the Brigadier would have his hands full investigating the Foundation. And if they went to any other authority, they might not be believed. There has to be something useful we can be doing in the meantime, Sarah thought. "We were intending to look round all those places in the area which had a bad reputation. Now is there anything else you think we should know? Any other place where we should look?"
An old man who had been sitting by himself in a corner, taking no part in the proceedings, suddenly piped up. "I’ve heard tell Budgen's Mill was a funny place. People used to say it was haunted..."
"Ah, that was just the owls," someone said dismissively. "The noises they made. And they can look pretty scary if you see them at night."
A third villager shook his head. "Must have been haunted, 'cos I saw a luck-stone in there. Folk used to hang 'em up to scare off the bad spirits. Still there, as far as I know. I used to work in the mill, you see, a long time ago."
"You could always ask Mrs Hogden if you could take a look inside," someone suggested. "Although you might be able to just walk in. The place is right out of the way, and all gone to rack and ruin. I don't reckon she'd mind."
Sarah glanced at Gavin. "Why don't we do that?"
"Suits me," he nodded.
"OK. I'll just make that call to the Brigadier, then we'll be on our way there." Though still uneasy, the villagers stepped aside to let her pass. It seemed they were prepared to give the two of them a chance. Well, Gavin thought, we’d better not let them down.

Her face encrusted with dried tears, Christine stared blankly at the wall of the mill, the pattern of the wooden boards etching itself into her mind. She was going through a silent Hell. Every moment was a nightmare, because it might be the one in which her father was getting his brains blown out.
She was angry on her own account too, because of the stress she was being put through. It wasn't fair she should be made to suffer for her father's crimes like this.
And on top of that, there was something about her prison which bothered her. Maybe it was the state of mind she was in, but she could sense a strange atmosphere inside the mill, which seemed to grow steadily stronger.
Until she was sure there was something evil in here with her.

The Doctor strode along the corridors of the Foundation nodding and smiling at anyone he met. A few gave him odd looks, and one or two people challenged him, whereupon he produced his UNIT pass and they seemed satisfied. Most people remembered him from his previous visit with the Brigadier, and so knew him to be some sort of VIP.
He encountered none of the black-clad guards. It seemed Charteris' mysterious colleagues hadn't yet taken over the entire Foundation, preferring for the moment to conceal themselves in one small part of it.
He'd searched Charteris's lab briefly, but hadn't found anything which by his reckoning should cause the locals to develop psychic powers. Whatever he was looking for wasn't there.
He started looking for anything out of the ordinary. It wasn't long before he got lucky. Turning a corner, he found his way barred by a tape stretched the width of the corridor. To it was attached a sign warning one not to go any further.
From his recollection of his previous visit, it seemed he was somewhere near the laboratory with the particle accelerator.
"Now why is this part of the place cordoned off, hmmmm?" he said to himself. Completely ignoring the notice, he ducked under the tape and walked on. He tried the doors of two of the labs within the cordoned-off area, picking the locks with the sonic screwdriver. He searched each of them thoroughly, but found nothing of any interest.
The third lab was Stedman's. He wondered if anything had gone wrong with the scientist's experiments into Dark Matter. Cautiously he stepped into the room.
As soon as he saw the patch of black oil-like material in the air before him, undulating like a wave, his suspicions were confirmed. "I don't like the look of that at all," he said to himself. "There's definitely something funny going on here. Do you think there's something funny going on here, Doctor? Yes, Doctor, I do. Something decidedly funny."
He studied it for a moment, then cautiously approached it. "Now what are you, I wonder?"
Tentatively, he went up to the thing and inspected it closely. At first sight it had appeared to be solid blackness, allowing in no light, but as he looked closer he realised he could actually see into it. He saw weird, twisted shapes, outlines of what that looked like structures of some kind, whether artificial or natural he couldn't tell, but whose forms were crazily distorted. Everything was wreathed in a murky kind of mist which gave off a sense of utter gloom and depression. There seemed to be figures moving about there, as nightmarish and distorted as the structures around them. The thing radiated an aura of total evil. He considered trying to step inside the Blackness, but somehow thought better of it. Gingerly he touched it with the tip of his finger, and snatched his hand back with a cry of pain as the black substance burnt the flesh like acid.
He looked into the black hole again, and got an impression of human-like forms with evil, snarling faces, clustering together. They seemed much more distinct this time. He had the unsettling feeling that they knew he was there and wanted him.
They rushed forward in a single seething mass, clawed hands reaching out for him. The obscene gobbling cries from within
the Blackness rose to a hate-filled crescendo.
He stepped back hurriedly. The patch of dark matter was undulating with renewed fury, contracting and shrinking in rapid succession as it struggled to enlarge itself. He somehow knew it was his soul it was hungry for. As he watched in horrified fascination it extruded tentacles of darkness which lashed towards him viciously, as if trying to seize him.
He jumped back, but didn't move quite fast enough. One of the tentacles wrapped itself around his arm, causing him to cry out in pain at its burning touch.
Next second he was being dragged inexorably towards the Blackness, which seemed to open wide to receive him like a huge, hungry mouth.

















FOUR
Well, the Doctor thought, it looked like he was going to see inside the thing whether he liked it or not. At least his curiosity would be satisfied. But he didn't fancy the idea at all. Whatever was in there, he was sure, wanted to destroy him, or make him like itself.
The tentacle grasping him felt quite solid, and both hot and unpleasantly clammy to the touch. The Doctor's face twisted in revulsion. With a desperate effort he wrenched his arm free, but no sooner had he done so than another tentacle was curling round his ankle. It gave a sharp tug which yanked him off his feet, with the result that he landed heavily on his behind. The tentacle started to drag him across the floor towards the Blackness. Its movements were savage and frenzied, as if it required an effort to pull him along.
The Doctor had the idea that he shouldn't just try to resist the thing physically. He struggled with all his mental and physical energy to resist the tentacle's efforts. It seemed possible to do so, though only briefly. Slowly but surely he was being pulled towards the heaving, pulsating patch of darkness. Other tentacles were extruding now to join the first, reaching for his arms and other leg.
As he slid past a workbench, the Doctor grabbed it and heaved it over, spilling various objects onto the floor. Able to exert astonishing strength when he needed to, he lifted the bench and hurled it into the Blackness. The dark substance closed round it and started to draw it in. For just a moment or two the tentacle's grip slackened slightly, enough for him to tear himself free. Bit too much for you to chew on all at once, he thought.
The other tentacles were flailing about furiously. The Doctor scrambled away as one tentacle whipped towards him, missing him by a fraction. He felt his back thud against the wall of the laboratory. The bench disappeared and the tools and other items that had been spilled onto the floor when he upended it started to follow.
The tentacles were only inches away from the Doctor, and all the time struggling furiously to reach him. Keeping himself pressed as tight against the wall as possible, he sidled along it towards the door, until he came into contact with the handle. It was fortunate the door opened outwards, as he was to the right of the handle and he’d have to move out of the way to give it clearance, bringing himself closer to the tentacles than he’d have preferred. He flung open the door and shot out of the room like a scalded cat.
Slamming and relocking the door, he fell gasping against it, shaking from his ordeal. Now it was even more important he got out of here.

Crouched in a dense thicket a quarter of a mile from Greenleaves, his shotgun beside him, Bruchmann awaited the arrival of Patterson and his men. His heart was beating faster and a delicious electric thrill travelled through his veins at the thought that in an hour he and his family would be avenged.
From his pocket he took out a faded black-and-white photograph of a woman and two small children and stroked it lovingly, tears pricking at his eyelids. "Soon," he whispered softly. "Soon."
In the bag were a number of old newspapers and empty milk bottles. The plan was to set fire to the house by throwing petrol bombs, forcing the occupants to flee it, whereupon they would be shot down by Patterson's men. Bruchmann hoped it would be his bullet that killed Heinrich von Arbenz. He was prepared for the possibility that the Nazis might have guns, although he'd told Patterson it was likely they wouldn't in case the gangster decided the venture was too risky. He was happy to die while killing their kind, and if Patterson or any of his colleagues suffered any casualties, well that wouldn't be much of a loss to the world.
If he used the grenades, they might barricade themselves in a cellar or something, with guns if they did have them, leading to a shoot-out in which it might not only be they who got killed. So he'd leave the bag with the grenades tucked under a bush, in case he needed it later.
He heard the rumble of a car engine, and glanced round to see a car approaching him along the drive. It stopped, and Patterson and his three sidekicks, all big and fearsome-looking characters like the ganglord himself, climbed out. Each of the men carried a double-barrelled shotgun.
Bruchmann came forward to meet them. "All is ready. There are security cameras, but I can deal with them. It may take a while."
"Let's just get started," Patterson said. He signalled to his men, and the five of them started to creep towards the house.

A sound from below told Christine someone was opening the door of the windmill. Assuming it was Bruchmann coming back from having killed her father, she moaned in distress.
She listened with a morbid attentiveness to the footsteps mounting the stairs. As they came closer, she realised they belonged to two people, not one. Perhaps the other was one of her kidnapper’s accomplices. But why had he returned? He’d said he was going to do the job and then bugger off. With a pang of terror she wondered if he’d decided to kill her to help cover his tracks, deciding it was better to be safe than sorry.
She twisted her head to look at the opening in the floor. A bell of dark hair and an attractive heart-shaped face came into view. The eyes in the face saw Christine and widened in horror.
With a gasp, Sarah Jane Smith scrambled up the last few feet of the ladder onto the floor. A moment later Gavin appeared behind her. They made straight for where Christine lay.
Glancing at the girl, Sarah saw that her pale face was stained with tears. She mumbled something urgently from beneath the gag; crouching down beside her, Sarah set about removing it.

"And that's what she said, Benton?" On receiving Sarah's call to UNIT HQ, the switchboard had patched it through to the duty NCO. That NCO had happened to be Benton, who'd gone straight to the Brigadier's office.
"Yes, Sir. Things are about to get pretty nasty down there, she reckons. We could have a serious public order problem on our hands."
"Hmm..." There was a grim smile on the Brigadier's face as he reached for the phone. "Let's see what the Minister has to say about that."
In his eyes was the glimmer of battle, in his nostrils the scent of action.

Sarah unravelled the last of the knots that held the gag in place, and tore the strip of cloth from Christine's mouth.
"My father - he went to the house to kill my father!" Christine was almost gabbling in her panic.
"The house? You mean Greenleaves?" asked Gavin.
"Yes!" she shouted. "For God's sake call the police, now! And I think he’s got some other people there with him, he made a call on a radio and…"
Gavin was already scrambling down the stairs. "You stay with her!" he yelled to Sarah.
Sarah rested a consoling arm on Christine's shoulder. "It's all right," she said softly. "We'll soon have you out of this." The girl nodded dumbly.
"Now what's this all about?" Sarah asked once she’d finished untying Christine.
The girl remained sitting against the base of the shaft, gradually recovering her composure. Shakily, she told her story. "Sounds like a script from a Hollywood movie," Sarah commented.
"He could come back here anytime," Christine said worriedly.
"Does he mean to harm you, do you think?"
"I don't know. I don't think so. But you can't be sure. I think he might be mad."
“Well hopefully we’ll be alright now,” said Sarah.
Then her eye fell on the finger of white matter protruding down through the gap between the ceiling and the wall, clinging to the boards. It looked to her like solidified cobweb. "What's that?"
Christine looked up and saw it, letting out a cry of alarm. "I thought there was something funny in here. You can feel it."
"Hold on," Sarah said. She scrambled up the ladder to the next floor - and paused in astonishment. The white stuff was everywhere. The timbers and machinery and walls were covered in a thick coat of glistening jelly, forming stalactites which hung down like icicles. It looked like a fairytale scene, but although it was beautiful that beauty had something indefinably evil mixed in with it. Cautiously Sarah touched a protruding lump of the jelly, and shuddered at its feel.
There was the luck-stone, in the midst of all jelly-like matter. There was no sign of any owls, she noted. Whatever strange and sinister phenomenon this was had scared the birds away.
She scurried back down the ladder. "What's up there?" Christine asked.
Sarah described what she'd seen. "I'm not sure whether the stuff's dangerous. I think we’d better keep an eye on it.”
“Overall I’d rather get out of here as quickly as possible,” Christine objected.
“Best to wait until the police get here.” Meanwhile, if Christine’s kidnapper saw one of them standing at the door of the mill, he would conclude that someone had found his captive and that the authorities had probably been called. Then, hopefully, he would make himself scarce. There was a danger that he might take one or both of them hostage instead, but Sarah was prepared to risk that. After all it was equally likely they might bump into him on the way back to the village, returning from doing what he’d come here for. Certainly she couldn’t leave Christine here on her own. And indeed someone had to keep an eye on what was happening upstairs, because she didn’t like the look of it at all.

Dr Charteris levered himself shakily to his feet, the others in the room doing the same, to find that the Doctor was nowhere in sight. "He tricked us," Charteris snarled, angry with both the Doctor and himself. "We've got to get him back." He pressed a red alarm button on the wall, and a moment later the leader of the Black Troops, Hogan, came running in.
It didn’t take them long to establish that the Doctor was nowhere within the secret part of the complex. "This isn’t good,” commented the Hogan.
"We know what we’ve got to do,” Charteris replied. “Let's just hope he's still on the premises." A wall-mounted telephone bleeped and Charteris hurried to answer it, fearful lest this might be more bad news.
"Listen, you're in big trouble," said the caller. "Lethbridge-Stewart's managed to get permission to raid the Foundation. All those weird goings-on in the neighbourhood are causing too many problems. You can bet he'll be down there in no time."
Charteris managed to remained calm. "Thanks for the warning. We’ll take the necessary measures.” He told Hogan what the caller had said. "We've no choice now. Everyone will have to be taken hostage. We don’t know if the Doctor’s told anyone what’s going on here.”
“Leave it to me.” The three Black Troops followed their leader out. Returning to the office next to the launch silo, Charteris went to his desk and sat down. From now on he'd have to spend all his time in here, not leaving the place unless it was absolutely necessary. It was imperative he gave the Project his full attention. And he was going to have to do it with or without the Doctor.

It had been a quiet week at Horsham Police Station, though that was to be expected in a relatively quiet, largely rural area. Not much in the way of crime went on around Wattlehurst. When Gavin's call came the news almost struck the duty officer dumb with astonishment.
Although it wasn't thought likely the procedures would ever be used, everyone knew what they were. The duty officer told the Inspector in overall charge of the station, who immediately rang the Chief Constable of Sussex to ask for an armed Response Team to be sent to the scene. "I reckon we'll need about a dozen men, just to be on the safe side," he told the Chief Constable.

The Doctor hurried towards the stairs that led down to the ground floor. There was no time to warn anyone here what seemed to be happening, he had to get back to the Brigadier as quickly as possible.
From close by he could hear shouting and the sound of running feet. A moment later it began coming at him from other directions. The sounds were between him and the stairs.
He paused, then ran back towards the evacuated area. In the ceiling of one of the labs there had been a skylight. He dashed into the room, grabbed a heavy table and dragged it into the centre of the floor directly beneath the skylight. Standing on it, he was just able to reach the skylight. Heaving it open, he jumped up and grasped the edge of the opening. He pulled himself up and wriggled through onto the roof. He closed the skylight after him in case it told his pursuers where he’d gone.
Now, if he could somehow get down to the ground. He crossed to the edge of the roof and looked down, but saw no sign of any fire escape or access ladder. It was the same on the other side. If there was one it must be at the far end of the building, two hundred yards away.
A sound made him look round and he tensed. The skylight was starting to open; his enemies were covering all possibilities. Once they were through it they'd see him. He glanced around in search of a hiding place.
A moment later the Black Soldiers scrambled out onto the roof. They stood looking at one another for a moment. No sign of the Doctor. Either he'd climbed down to the ground or he was still inside the building. Clambering back through the skylight, they resumed their search.

The tannoy announcement had informed the Foundation's staff that the establishment was under attack from terrorists and everyone was to proceed to their normal place of work, if they were not already there. They must then remain there until instructed otherwise.
The buildings of the complex began to fill with the mysterious black-clad troops. While some of them continued to hurry along its corridors, no doubt in search of the terrorists, others stationed themselves outside the laboratories and workshops, telling those inside to bang on the door if they needed permission to leave for any reason.
They didn't seem to belong to the regular British army or to UNIT. In fact no-one had any idea who they were, due to their total lack of identifying insignia. Another disturbing thing was their emotionless, almost robot-like demeanour.
They refused to say what was going on - indeed didn't speak at all unless they were spoken to - and anyone who protested, demanding an explanation, was simply shouted down or, if that didn't work, threatened with being shot on the spot.
Everyone was thoroughly unsettled. They began to suspect that the "terrorist attack" was imaginary and a cover for something else, something they didn’t understand.
Anyone who tried to ring the police or the Ministry of Defence found that the line had gone dead. The internal phones had not been cut, however, and Dr Stedman was able to ring Charteris' office. He wasn't there so Stedman tried the special line that had been installed to the room where Charteris worked on his secret project.
"Have you any idea what this means?" he asked, alarmed.
Charteris hesitated for a moment. Then, although Stedman couldn't see his face, a smile spread slowly across it. "I'm doing something very important here, Alan. Something I haven't told you about until now. I’ll arrange for you to see it, shall I?" He signalled to a nearby soldier. "Would you be so good as to bring Dr Stedman down here."

An angry crowd had gathered at the gates of the Foundation, shouting, waving placards and demanding entry. The sentries, for the moment still Ministry of Defence people and not Black Troops, were concentrating on trying to keep them out, not yet aware what was going on inside the building. At the moment all the sentries were doing was brandishing their rifles and submachine guns by way of warning and eyeing the protestors uneasily. They wondered if it would be enough. They had the impression the crowd wasn’t intimated by the weapons and indeed one or two of the villagers were carrying guns themselves. The message was clear that when the time came, they’d be quite prepared to use them.
It was with the utmost relief that the sentries saw the convoy of UNIT vehicles, headed by two Land Rovers, turn into the drive. At the sight of them the crowd drew back, its mood changing. They waited expectantly as the vehicles drew to a halt and the Brigadier, now in combat fatigues like his men, stepped down from the lead Land Rover.
Lethbridge-Stewart turned to address the crowd, speaking through a loudhailer. "Ladies and gentlemen, please go back to your homes. The disturbances are being investigated. There is no point in your remaining here. Please go." The authority in the powerful booming voice seemed to have the desired effect; quietly the crowd began to disperse, making its way back down the drive to the road.
When they had gone, the Brigadier spoke to one of the sentries. The man lifted the barrier and the vehicles drove on into the car park. The troops alighted from the lorries and for a moment stood looking around them, gauging the feel of the place. There was an eerie silence everywhere. Each man had the uncomfortable sensation that he was being watched. The Brigadier thought he saw a figure standing on the roof of one of the buildings, before it disappeared from view behind a ventilator cowling. He considered for a moment, then selected a couple of men. "Benton, Adams, come with me. I suppose it'd be polite to let Dr Charteris know we've arrived." He turned to a third soldier. "Sergeant Palmer, you stay in charge here."
The Brigadier and his two subordinates started to walk towards the main administrative block. The Brigadier trusted the presence of Adams and Benton, both of whom were armed, would show Charteris he wasn't going to tolerate any nonsense.
He heard an amplified crackle from the Foundation's PA system and stiffened as as voice issued from it. "Brigadier! This is Dr Charteris. You'd be well advised to step no further. We are in control.”
The two soldiers looked at one another. Then Benton whispered in the Brigadier's ear, and pointed towards the roof of the main block. A group of armed men in unfamiliar black uniforms had appeared there, rifles pointed straight at the UNIT force. Then more came out into the open from behind the buildings of the Foundation, lining up in front of the complex. Windows were opened and gun barrels thrust out. There must be several dozen of them, thought the Brigadier as he took in the situation grimly. At least. "Blimey, Sir," said Benton. "He's got a whole bloody army with him."
"So it seems," muttered the Brigadier. He could see at a glance that they were outnumbered. The UNIT troops had immediately reacted on taking in the situation and had brought their own weapons up to cover the enemy. But so far, no-one had given the order to fire. The Black Troops suspected they didn’t need to, and for his part the Brigadier had no wish to risk the lives of his subordinates in vain.
Charteris appeared from the main block, flanked by two of the Black Troops, and walked a short distance towards the Brigadier and his men before stopping. "There are more of my troops inside. I have the entire establishment under my control. Back off, Brigadier, or I'll start killing the staff. Go back to your vehicles, all of you, and pull back beyond the gates."
"Retreat!" shouted the Brigadier. “You too,” he told the MOD sentries. They did as Charteris had ordered, withdrawing to a point about a hundred yards back from the entrance. In his Land Rover the Brigadier held an urgent conference with Benton, Palmer and Adams. They needed to think up some kind of plan for taking the Foundation without causing the hostages any harm. "There must be some kind of secret entrance somewhere,” said Lethbridge-Stewart. “Otherwise I don't see how they could have got all those troops in without someone noticing. Benton, take a squad and have a scout round. First we’ll pull back a little bit further, so they can’t see what we’re doing. Fletcher and his unit will stay here to keep an eye on things.”

A hatch in a water tank on the roof of the Foundation slid open, and the Doctor's head emerged, his wet hair plastered to his forehead. He grinned through the water streaming down his face, and started to clamber out and down the short ladder that gave access to the interior of the tank. At its foot he stood in a huge puddle of water, shaking himself and sending a spray of water through the air from his hair. He began wringing out his sodden clothes.
It had been a simple matter to suspend his respiratory functions temporarily, so he didn't need to breathe, and hide in the tank. He looked this way and that. A group of the Black Troops appeared to have stationed themselves near the edge of the building, behind the low parapet formed where the wall rose up beyond the level of the roof, but their backs were to him and they seemed intent on looking out over the complex and its approaches rather than behind them.
Hoping he hadn't caught a cold, the Doctor resumed his search for a safe way out of the Foundation. He crept past the soldiers, then after a few moments went to the edge and peered down. There was a fire escape beginning at the next level down and going right down to the ground. He crouched down out of sight behind the housing where an internal ladder gave access to the roof, and waited until his shoes were fairly dry. Then he crossed to the edge again, turned round, squatted, and lowered himself over it, hanging from the eaves of the roof by his hands. Bracing himself, he let go, dropping down onto the top landing of the fire escape, making sure he landed squarely on the steel platform so that his still wet soles didn't slip on the metal. Moving very slowly and carefully, he started to descend.

Burckhardt and his colleagues were sitting in the living room of Greenleaves, drinking glasses of sherry, champagne or whatever took their fancy from the drinks cabinet Burckhardt had had installed. "Once the power is strong enough, Wokir and its people will be able to cross over to our dimension and exist here permanently," Burckhardt was telling the others.
"Are you sure the creature will agree to be controlled?" asked a worried Thornton. "I don't trust it. It frightens me."
"Of course we can control it. Believe me, we shall be able to govern the world exactly as we like."
The precise shape of the future world order they sought to create was a matter they often discussed enthusiastically. "On that subject, I think perhaps we could allow the European nations some measure of independence," Burckhardt said. "I think that once they realise how efficient, how well-organised, the new Reich is they will want to emulate it."
"What about America?" Roper asked. "I can't see them just standing by and doing nothing."
"With Wokir on our side, it doesn't matter if they don't," Burckhardt reminded him.
His smile froze on his face as the sound of wailing sirens cut through the air. They looked at one another in horror, a single thought in all their minds.
"The police..." Rayner was too shocked to think of anything to say but the obvious.
From the sound of it they were coming towards the house. The faces of everyone in the room turned deathly white. NO! At this stage in the proceedings, when their plans were almost complete...it couldn't be. It just couldn't be.
Burckhardt was shaking his head in angry disbelief. "But how...how could they have known?"
"That guy who tried to break in here yesterday, maybe he did tell them after all," suggested MacDuggan.
"We've got to do something," spluttered Thornton, close to panicking. It was safest to assume the police were here because they had been tracked down, their connections with Firebird exposed. If they had arrived in force, it must be to arrest the house’s occupants. Whatever the reason, he didn't want them here. If they should find out what was going on at the house immediate arrest would follow whether it had been the intention or not.
"A ceremony. We need another ceremony," Swain urged. "We must get the creature to stop them."
"There's no time," Burckhardt snapped. "The power isn't strong enough yet, and it'll take too long to build up.”
“It stopped that MI6 man.”
“And the strain almost killed me in the process.” Burckhardt
yanked open a desk drawer and pulled out the black control box. "The robots. We'll have to use the robots."
His fingers darted rapidly over the buttons on the box.
In the cellar beneath them, the robots which had already been completed rose stiffly from the benches where they lay. With eerie clanking noises they marched over to a line of racks and took down their weapons; futuristic-looking rifles with long slender barrels and a kind of power pack attached just above the butt. Then, one by one, they mounted the steps to the door.
As Burckhardt fed further instructions to them via the control device, they filed out and turned to the right, marching down the corridor and out of the house, their massive metal bodies swaying gently from side to side, their weapons held rock steady before them.
In the study Burckhardt was hunched over the bank of monitor screens built into his desk. Through them he could see what was happening outside through the eyes of the robots. The complex also included a radio by which he could issue instructions to the robots, and a computerised map of the house and its environs allowing him to see the positions of both the robots and the intruders, represented by points of red light.
His burly form quivered with excitement as he sat down to watch developments. This, he knew, was going to be fun.

Bruchmann, Patterson and the rest of the gang had almost reached the house when the strident blaring of the police sirens stopped them dead in their tracks.
Patterson swung round on Bruchmann, lips drawn back from his teeth in an animal snarl. "You bastard! You tricked us! You led us into a trap, didn't you?"
Bruchmann just stood there, white-faced, struggling to control his panic. "No, that's not true!" he shouted. "I don't know how this could have happened." Someone must have found Burckhardt's daughter, he thought.
Through a gap in a hedge they saw the police vehicles, two cars and two vans full of armed men, screech to a halt in front of the house. The occupants got out and the Inspector in charge of the operation issued his instructions. The team began to spread out through the grounds.
"Let's get out of here!" whispered Patterson fiercely. In a moment they would be spotted, if they hadn't been already.
Two of the policemen, Collis and Gregson, hurried towards the house to inform the occupants what was happening. They rang the bell repeatedly, but could get no response.
Bruchmann and his allies were running as fast as they could towards the car. Suddenly a shout rang out. "Hey, you!"
Patterson swung round and fired, face twisted with hatred. The policeman who had challenged him dived to one side, the shot narrowly missing him. Then a massive gun battle broke out. Not all the gang were brave enough to stand and fight. Two of them, Morris and Hodges, turned and ran, along with Bruchmann whose quarrel after all was not with the British police. Behind them one of the policemen twisted and dropped, half his head blown away. Another succeeded in injured one of the gang, who fell to the ground, moaning and clutching his injured chest. The police took cover behind a low stone wall, then resumed firing. The man next to Patterson was blasted backwards, blood spurting from his chest.
Patterson aimed the gun at the policeman who had fired the shot and was just about to pull the trigger when from out of the woods that bordered the garden marched four massive metal figures. The gun almost fell from his hands in his astonishment. Then it came up again. Whatever they were, they were carrying weapons, and he could tell their intentions towards him weren't benign. They had seen the gun in his hand, identified him as an enemy and thus a target.
He fired at one of the strange soldiers, but the shot didn't seem to harm it, although the massive figure staggered a little. Realising he couldn't harm them, Patterson turned and ran. He had covered no more than a few yards before the laser rifle drilled a hole straight through his body. He lurched, staring down stupidly at the smoke pouring from inside him, then keeled over and died.
By now the police had registered the presence of the robots and their killing of Patterson. They hesitated, regarding the advancing robots uncertainly. The hesitation proved fatal. In a moment two of them had been cut down.
Meanwhile Collis and Gregson continued to pound on the door without any response. They went round the back of the house. They swung round at a fierce rustling of vegetation, and stared in utter horror at the two robots stalking towards them. Before they could recover their wits they had been blasted into eternity.
At the front of the house their colleagues were being rapidly massacred. Pinned down behind the wall, one officer was yelling furiously into his walkie-talkie. "Listen, we're being attacked!"
"I'll get the back-up squad sent in."
"We don't want the back-up squad, we want the bloody army! I don't know what's going on but these are soldiers - lots of them! They're wearing some kind of special armour! Our bullets just bounce off it!"
"Jesus! Right, I'll call them."
They might just get there a fraction too late. In a few more minutes all but a few of the police had been eliminated, the survivors pinned down behind an ancient garden shed from where they blasted away ineffectually. Dead or dying bodies lay scattered about, and the stench of burning flesh and clothing drifted on the wind.

When the sounds of gunfire began, coming from the direction of Greenleaves, Christine glanced towards the house in horror, the blood draining from her face. “He’s started,” she cried. She made a move towards the stairwell in the middle of the floor.
Sarah held her back. “You could just get yourself killed. Let the police deal with it.” As she spoke she could hear a vehicle bumping its way across the field. “Looks like they’re here.”
But Christine wasn’t listening. She must find out what was happening to her father. She broke free and in a moment was scrambling down the stairs backwards – the only safe way to descend stairs in a windmill – while Sarah hung back uncertainly.
From the van Gavin and the three policemen saw Christine burst from the mill and run off into the woods bordering the Greenleaves estate. A moment later Sarah shot out of the building in pursuit, having decided she should at least go with Christine to help make sure she didn’t come to any harm. “What the bloody hell’s going on?” exclaimed the driving policeman, treading on the brakes.
The occupants of the van had heard the gun battle too. Gavin realised what Christine had intended. Sarah, who likewise had now disappeared into the trees, had gone after the girl, either to stop her or to help her, and since Gavin had taken a bit of a fancy to the journalist he didn’t relish the thought of her coming to any harm. “We’ve got to stop them!” he shouted, unfastening his seatbelt.
“I’m afraid we can’t get involved, Sir. Now the Army are on the scene we’d better leave it to them, we’ll only mess things up if – “
On an impulse Gavin flung open the door and jumped out, sprinting for where he’d seen Sarah and Christine go into the wood. A policeman shouted something after him and made to follow, then checked himself. If they wanted to all get themselves killed, that was their business.

The Brigadier's enquiries had elicited the information that a concealed exit from the Foundation had been provided for use in the event of an attack by hostile forces. Behind a clump of trees on a patch of ground adjacent to the complex which was owned by the Ministry, Benton's squad found an opening in the ground within which a flight of steps descended to a heavy reinforced steel door. The CSM tried the door but found it securely locked.
"This must be it,” he declared. He radioed the Brigadier and told him what he'd found. "We'll need cutting equipment, Sir. Oxyacetylene torches and that sort of thing."
When the equipment arrived a UNIT sapper proceeded to cut out the area around the lock. It fell away with a clatter and they put their shoulders to the door, forcing it open.
Benton swore softly to himself. A few yards down the corridor widened and there a number of the black-uniformed soldiers were standing, their rifles aimed and ready to fire.
There were more of them than Benton could hope to overcome…
For a moment the two forces confronted one another. The leader of the Black Troops smiled at Benton. "Go back, soldier, or the hostages might just get hurt."
"Whatever you say, mate," said Benton. He signalled to his men to retreat. “No good, Sir," he told the Brigadier over the radio, once they were a reasonable distance from the concealed entrance. "They've got it covered."
"I was afraid of that. All right, Benton, you’d better rendezvous with me back at the gates. I’ll send for some reinforcements, though that won’t solve the problem of the hostages. We may just have to settle down to a long siege.”

Charteris and Stedman stood gazing up at the rocket, the latter still in a state of stupefaction. It was a while before he managed to speak. "So the whole Foundation was just a cover for...for this?"
"Not entirely. The other projects may still turn out to be useful, particularly if anything should go wrong with what I'm doing here. But I rather hope it doesn't. Our whole destiny rests on the rocket."
"And are you behind all these strong-arm tactics?" He indicated the guard standing nearby. "You are, aren't you?"
"I couldn't be sure the authorities would agree with what I was doing. They might have decided it was too dangerous."
"I'm not sure it isn't," said Stedman worriedly.
Charteris ignored him. His eyes were gleaming, and there was an exultant look on his face as he surveyed his invention proudly. Suddenly his ego got the better of him. "When I've finished this I'll be a hero, you know that? Earth's Rassilon."
"And I'll be forgotten?" There was anger in Stedman's voice. "You realise that if you're right everything else we're doing here, including my own work, will probably be rendered pointless?"
"A necessary sacrifice, believe me. Nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake."
"You couldn't have done it all on your own. Who's been helping you?"
"That would take a long time to explain."
"And I suppose I've got to stay in my lab and behave myself like everyone else while you get on with it?"
"Of course. The project is far too important to allow anything to delay or disrupt it."
"Control of time," Stedman breathed. "After that, what else will matter?" He lowered his head, filled with a sense of unutterable sadness.
Charteris swung round towards him. "Nothing at all will matter if we can't protect this planet from its enemies. And we'd better hurry to get the project completed. I doubt if we can keep the Brigadier out forever.” He hesitated. “There’s also that stuff in your laboratory. But it'll be no good if it swallows up this place before we can finish the rocket."
“It’s not causing any trouble at the moment.”
“No, it’s not. But it won’t matter anyway if we can get the rocket finished first. We’ll just be able to move time back to before it appeared, or create a zone of timelessness about it so that nothing it does can have any effect.”
He eyed Stedman keenly. “So are you with me or not?”
“Well if it really is true we’ll be able to do all that you say…” Stedman sighed. "Yes, all right. I'm with you."
"Good. You check on the, the Blackness. I'll be busy down here." Nodding at the guard to indicate he was dismissed, Charteris went into the little office and resumed his planning. The Doctor's escape was a disappointment, but it probably didn't matter that much in the long run if they failed to recapture him. The Time Lord had already shown him most of what he had to do.
Stedman went on his way. He unlocked the door of his former laboratory and cautiously stepped in. The Blackness was the same size as it had been when he’d last seen it, but the floor was strewn with the twisted and blackened shapes of the objects it had sucked in and then disgorged. Stedman frowned; something had happened here, he could tell. But what? The Blackness seemed to have been absorbing things and spitting them out at an incredible rate and with a terrifying fury. It seemed to seethe with constant, suppressed rage, its edges all the time quivering and undulating. He sensed it had been struggling to enlarge itself but without success. There was resentment there, as if it had been cheated of some particularly choice and challenging prize whose presence it sensed and was excited by but which it couldn’t get at. A sound like a low, menacing growl was coming from within it.
Stedman moved closer, gazing wistfully into it. It was all over now, of course. Or was it? Would there still be some point in continuing with the research into dark matter, even after control of time was within humanity’s grasp? It was still important, surely, to know as much about the Universe as possible. He guessed Charteris understood that at heart. Though could it be the case that, mastery of time notwithstanding, some things were best left alone?
This time he stepped closer to the Blackness than perhaps was safe. Suddenly it bubbled and seethed, convulsing violently, and billowed towards him causing him to scrambled back in alarm. He didn't quite move fast enough. He gave a terrible scream as the stuff flowed over him, first his legs, then his torso and arms, and finally his head disappearing completely into the heaving black vortex.

The Doctor had managed to reach the ground without being spotted. He couldn't see any of the Black Troops, but the whole place seemed to have gone strangely quiet and there was a palpable tension in the air. Something was up.
Whatever it might be, he wasn't taking any chances. He darted from cover to cover, continually glancing in all directions. There were soldiers about, stationed in groups around the complex, but instead of actively searching for him they had taken up position in certain places and were staying there. He managed to reach the perimeter fence surrounding the complex without incident. Taking one final look round to make sure nobody had seen him, he got out his sonic screwdriver, made a few adjustments to its setting and switched it on, first muting the sound so it wouldn’t be heard. After a moment he reached out and cautiously touched one of the strands of the fence; nothing happened. De-electrified. He made another adjustment and the screwdriver, now converted into a cutting tool, began to describe a large enough hole in the fence for him to slip through.
It took him some twenty minutes to work his way round to the front of the complex. Seeing the UNIT vehicles grouped there, he knew he had confirmation of what was happening. The Brigadier, Benton and several others were standing talking to one another by one of the Land Rovers. They turned on sensing his approach.
"Doctor!" exclaimed the Brigadier delightedly, pleased he was safe. "What..."
The Doctor clapped him affectionately on the shoulder. "Good to see you again. I suppose you must have persuaded the Minister after all."
"What's been happening?" Lethbridge-Stewart asked curtly. "Where have you been?"
The Doctor nodded at the buildings of the Foundation. "In there, mostly. Brigadier, we've got to get inside the place somehow. Something's going on there which can only be of immense harm to this planet."
The Brigadier struggled to understand the Doctor's description of Charteris' rocket and its purpose as best he could. "So we've got to stop that thing being fired?"
"We certainly have."
"I'm afraid he's taken hostages. The entire staff."
"They may just have to take their chance, I'm afraid,” the Doctor said grimly. “I can't say I like the idea of risking their lives, but..." He sighed, his face lengthening even further. "And there's something else here, too." He told them what he'd seen in Stedman's laboratory.
"It never rains," the Brigadier groaned. "Well, we'll cross each bridge when we come to it.”
"What’s Sarah doing right now?”
“She hasn’t been in touch. I can only presume she’s busy with her investigations.”
“I'll see if I can find her. May I borrow your Land Rover?" The Brigadier nodded, and handed the Doctor his radio.
"Your main objective will be to secure the rocket room,” the Doctor told him. “And keep an eye on that thing in the laboratory. But don’t get too close to it.” He climbed into the driving seat of the Land Rover, turned the keys in the ignition and roared away.
Lethbridge-Stewart turned to his number two. "Look, Benton, he said that rocket was pretty near to completion. We may not have time to think of a way to get in there without endangering the hostages."
"And it doesn't look as if there’s a crafty way of sneaking in," Benton said morosely. "We've found that out already."
The Brigadier fell moodily silent, trying to balance conflicting objectives. He came to a decision. “I'm going to give it another three hours. Then we're going in, regardless of the consequences."

The usual members of the coven had been joined by a handful of other Firebird members, who Burckhardt had brought in previously as a means of increasing the energy available to Wokir. Again the corn dolly was dipped in the blood-filled bowl, sprinkled with earth, and then tossed into the burning brazier.
The flickering shape of Wokir materialised above the altar. It looked like a huge, wavering flame, with dark areas where eyes and a mouth, which presumably they were meant to represent, would have been on a human face. They constantly undulated, contracting and enlarging.
Burckhardt stepped forward to greet the creature, explaining why they had summoned it. "We need to keep the shield in place until the rest of the robots are activated. I'd feel safer if it extended as far around the house as possible."
The booming, guttural voice issued from the creature's mouth. "That will require power. There is not enough yet. And I cannot remain bodily within this dimension for long. I will expend enough energy as is consistent with maintaining the shield in being for a reasonable amount of time."
"Very well," nodded Burckhardt. The ghostly shape faded and vanished.
They took off their robes and stood looking at one another. "The robots won't last long against tanks or bazookas," Rayner said.
"I know," replied Burckhardt. "As long as we can buy ourselves some time, that’s all that matters."

From somewhere close by Ernst Bruchmann hear a car start and drive off as the two surviving gang members made their escape. A short distance ahead he caught sight of his own vehicle, parked where he had left it.
He staggered to a halt beside it, chest heaving painfully. As soon as he’d recovered his breath he jumped in, started the engine and drove down the little lane as fast as he safely could, the many ruts in the ancient track slowing him down. At the first opportunity he must find somewhere to lie low until he could make another attempt to kill Burckhardt; or, if that did not seem possible, get out of the country in case the police arrested Patterson’s men and they gave him away. He couldn’t stand the thought of going to prison again for who knew how many years, after the time he'd already spent in Buchenwald, especially without having ensured justice. Though maybe the British authorities might be lenient on account of why he’d done it.
A hundred yards in front of him a young woman with blonde hair came running into view. On seeing the car she stopped, her body language showing hesitance, then darted off the track into the wood. That suggested to Bruchmann it was Christine Burckhardt; someone had found and released her. She’d gone to try and warn her father rather than alert the authorities, which might lead to them finding out who he was. At least, he hoped she hadn’t told the authorities. He wondered if he should try to recapture her, then told himself it was better he put as much distance between himself and the scene of the crime as he could.
He drove on. A minute later he saw a young man and woman in civilian clothes running along the lane towards him. Since there was no immediate reason to suppose they presented any threat to him, he ignored them.
They stopped to glance uncertainly at him and at each other, then ran on.
Bruchmann continued on his way towards the main road. Suddenly the car juddered to a halt, and the windscreen shattered into a thousand fragments, showering him with broken glass. He heard a bang and a hiss of escaping steam.
It was as if he'd come up against an invisible wall, stretching right across the road. Swearing savagely, he scrambled out of the car and surveyed the damage. The front of the car was crumpled and twisted as if it had been in a crash and smoke was pouring from under the bonnet. Not only that, but the two front tyres had burst.
He could see nothing which might have caused it to stop so suddenly, and stood for a moment or two in puzzlement. What could have…
One thing was clear; the vehicle would have to be abandoned. He collected up anything which might lead the police to him and stuffed it into his bag of equipment. Shouldering the bag, he set off down the lane on foot.
He didn't get more than a few steps before a sharp pain all down his front made him recoil with a yell, hands clasped to his face. He felt like somebody had slashed at him frenziedly with a thousand razor-sharp knives. A warm wet liquid was trickling through his fingers. The flesh of his face and hands was red and sore, and covered in tiny scratches.
He tried to reach the road through the woods, then by going across a field, but the same thing happened. He had no wish to get hurt again and decided it was safest to assume that the barrier, or whatever it was, extended all the way round the estate. Shaken by his experience, he considered his options for a moment then turned and headed back towards Greenleaves. He might find some clue there as to what the hell was going on. And if at the same time he could settle accounts with Victor Burckhardt, so much the better.

A perplexed Dr Charteris hurried along the corridor leading to Stedman’s old laboratory. It had been some time since Stedman had been to check on the condition of the Blackness. Why had he failed to report back? Charteris had worked on his own project until he needed a break then after grabbing a bite to eat had gone in search of the man. Finding the laboratory door unlocked, he opened it and ventured cautiously inside. "Alan? Alan, are you there?" No-one answered, nor was there any visible sign of his deputy. Better make an announcement over the PA system, search the whole complex if necessary.
Something on the floor caught his eye. He stared at it in astonishment. A round blob of grey-white matter slightly bigger than a tennis ball was working its way across the floor, leaving a trail of glistening slime behind it. It heaved and convulsed, propelling itself forward in a similar manner to a caterpillar. He got down on his knees and prodded it with a pencil.
There seemed only one place it could have come from. He glanced towards the Blackness.
On Stedman's workbench was a plastic cup and a plastic plate off which he ate his lunch. Carefully, Charteris used the plate to scoop up the little glob and deposit it in the cup. He placed the plate over the top.
He hurried off in search of Dr Banks, the Foundation's chief chemist. All the way he could feel and hear the cup shaking about with the movement of the thing inside it. Banks was busy with his usual work when Charteris, without knocking, entered his laboratory. "I want this analysed, if you wouldn't mind." He held up the cup with the glob inside it, Banks regarding it in astonishment as the lump of jelly wriggled about within its prison as if alive.
He tipped the glob out onto a workbench. "What is it?" Banks asked, his voice hushed with awe.
"That's what I want you to find out, isn't it?" the Director replied curtly.
"I mean where did it come from?"
"You don't need to know," said Charteris, turning on his heels. "Just analyse it." He paused and looked back over his shoulder at Banks. “Do as I say – or else.”
Banks thought of the sinister, hard-faced soldiers with whom the place was now swarming, and wasn’t inclined to object.

Christine could hear a rustling, scuffling sound and knew that someone was making their way through the wood in her direction. She hid behind a tree and listened.
Their breathing was coming in ragged gasps, suggesting pain or exhaustion. Perhaps not a threat, then. She peered out and saw the injured policeman stumble blindly through a mass of shrubbery, trip and fall. She left her hiding place and ran to him. His uniform was tattered and smoking and there was a large burn mark down one side of his face.
She knelt down beside him. "Can you hear me?"
With an effort the policeman rolled over onto his back, raising his head. "You...you'd better get me to a hospital."
“What happened?" she asked fearfully.
"God, it was awful...soldiers...like robots...in funny uniforms. They had like...like laser beams. Couldn't stop them...guns just didn't...didn't hurt them...killed all my mates..." His eyes closed as consciousness slipped away.
She bit her lip. She needed to help her father if at all possible. But this man looked as if he would die unless he received medical help, and fast. It didn’t seem right to seal his fate because of a…Nazi. Did it?
She did what she could to make him comfortable. Then, reluctantly, she ran back to the road. She saw Sarah and Gavin and went to meet them.
“What’s the situation?” asked Sarah. “Do you know?”
“No. But we’ve got to find a phone box and call for an ambulance.” She told them why.
“I think that’d be best,” Sarah said. “It sounds as if we ought to leave what’s happening at the house to the Brigadier.”
They set off back down the lane towards the village. A few minutes later Gavin stopped suddenly, crying out. “What is it?” Christine asked.
Gavin probed the air before him with his fingers, to snatch the hand back with another yell of pain. “There’s something in the air. Like a…” He searched for the words. “Force field. And it hurts.” They saw him wipe the blood from his fingers with a handkerchief. He picked up a fallen branch and held it in front of him at arm’s length. There was a sizzling sound and the end of his makeshift stick crumbled and disintegrated, leaving a blackened and charred stump from which thick smoke curled.
“Jesus Christ, this is getting weirder by the minute,” he remarked. With Gavin always testing the air in front of them with a stick or a branch they tried another direction, and another, only to find that the invisible barrier seemed to encircle the whole of the estate. They were trapped.
“There’s no choice now,” said Sarah. “We’ve got to go to the house.”
“I did what I could for that man,” said Christine, aware it was probably too late now for the dying policeman. By the time they found out just what was going on here…
“We’ll take him with us,” said Sarah. She hoped Christine could remember exactly where she’d left him.

A patrolling robot strode up and down outside the window of Burckhardt's study, its laser rifle at the ready, its head swivelling slowly from side to side, the electronic eyes scanning the view before it for anything out of place.
In the study Burckhardt was looking at the battery of monitor screens, Thornton looking over his shoulder. "Have we dealt with all the humans within the shield, apart from ourselves?" Thornton asked.
“See for yourself.” One of the screens showed a computer map of the estate, seen through the electronic mind of the robot. On it a number of blips had appeared, glowing points of light one of which was flickering erratically, as if its source was weak. “There are five of them still alive, but the robots will soon track them down. They can't escape."

The road leading past the entrance to the drive to Greenleaves had been cordoned off and a number of police and Regular Army vehicles were parked at each end of the restricted zone. Inspector Marriott was talking to a young Major named Strickson. “I really don’t know what to make of it,” he was saying. “But there are things about this case which are…unusual. We went into the windmill to look for clues and found some sort of…stuff everywhere. We’ve cordoned off the place and put a guard on it.”
“Well we can take over there now.”
A platoon of soldiers came through the gates and approached them, a policeman taking down part of the barrier to allow them through. The Corporal in charge saluted Strickson. “You won’t believe this, Sir,” he said apologetically. “There’s some kind of force field around the place.” He nodded to one of his men who held up a heavily bandaged hand, peeling away the wrappings to expose the badly lacerated fingers. "All you have to do is touch it, and look what happens."
Strickson scratched his head, trying to take stock of things. "When something like this happens, something we don’t understand, we're supposed to contact an organisation called UNIT.”
"Rather them than me," said Marriott.

The injured policeman lay moaning softly on the bed of leaves Christine had made for him, drifting in and out of consciousness. He barely heard the thudding footsteps of the robot as it approached.
It looked down at him for a moment. Machinery clicked and whirred inside its head as it evaluated the situation, sending a message to its controller. On Burckhardt's desk console a light flashed. He tuned himself into the visual circuits of the robot and on one of the monitor screens an image of the wounded man appeared.
Obviously this one isn't going to be of much use in any capacity, thought Burckhardt. He regarded the spectacle in disgust. The very sight of a sick man filled him with revulsion.
He fed a series of instructions into the robot's command circuit. Half a mile away it stepped back, levelled its rifle and fired.

Gavin stopped suddenly, looking about him. "What is it?" Sarah asked.
"I just had the feeling someone was watching us." After a moment he shrugged and walked on.
Suddenly a figure stepped out of a bush a few yards away, making them to jump. It was pointing a revolver in their general direction. Bruchmann had heard them coming.
Christine give a little gasp, and drew back in fear.
It was obvious who the man was. Sarah studied him keenly, picking up the sense of suppressed energy, of tense alertness, he gave off. “It's all right," she said nervously. "We don't mean you any harm."
The man smiled at Christine. "It's all right, I'm not going to hurt you. I think we're all in the same situation now. We should stick together."
Sarah knew he was right. They needed his help, just as he probably needed theirs. She looked at Gavin and Christine, who nodded. "All right, then," Christine said reluctantly, ill at ease in the man’s presence.
"You will be pleased to know that I failed to kill your father," he told Christine. Her shoulders slumped in relief.
His attention transferred to Sarah and Gavin. "Who are you?"
They introduced themselves. "Are you going to tell us who you are?" Sarah said.
"I would rather you did not know. But what concerns us most at present is how to get out of here. There is a kind of – barrier around the estate.”
“We know,” Gavin told him. “There doesn’t seem to be any way through it. We thought there might be some answers at the house.”
“There’s a policeman lying injured somewhere,” Christine said. “We really need to get him to hospital. If we go to the house – “
“We can force the people there to remove the barrier, if somehow they are responsible for it. And maybe they can give him medical help.” He seemed to think for a moment. “We will leave the question of what happens to your father until later, Miss Burckhardt.” He knew he had to defuse any cause of tension which would prevent them co-operating effectively.
“Do you think you could remember where you left this man?” he asked Christine. He could tell from the look on her face that she wasn’t sure. “I tried to memorise the route…”
“We can’t just keep wandering the woods until we get lucky,” Bruchmann scowled. “There are…creatures about. Robots…”
“We know,” Sarah said. “I think the Nazis built them.”
“So before we do anything else, I suggest we obtain some more weapons."
"And just how are we going to do that?" Christine asked.
"I have some hidden not far from here." Shouldering his rifle, he set off to the left. “Come.”
“What about the policeman? We’ll lose time, time he hasn’t got.”
Bruchmann turned on his heels and stared hard at Gavin. “It will serve no purpose if we merely get ourselves killed. In my profession one learns to be ruthless.”
They decided not to ask any questions.

Burckhardt looked up as Swain came into the room. "How is work on the robots proceeding?"
"As quickly as possible. But I'm worried that it'll take too long."
"You must hurry. We need the robots to keep them out until the power is strong enough to create a permanent force field."
"In any case, the robots won't stand up to a high-intensity artillery barrage," Rayner said. "As soon as they start using their heavy equipment..."
"I know, I know," said Burckhardt irritably. He began pacing up and side down, a thin film of sweat on his forehead. The little finger of his right hand was twitching convulsively.
"And that shield won't last forever," said Blundell.
"We need another ceremony," said Thornton.
"The psychic effort will be too great," Burckhardt replied.
He became aware of the ghostly shrouded figure of Wokir floating beside him. "The shield has collapsed," it said. "I will be unable to reinstate it for some time."
Burckhardt thought hard. Then he returned to the console and spoke into a grille. "Your instructions are amended. You are to capture all humans within the specified area and bring them here. They are not, repeat not, to be killed. Confirm you understand order." A series of red lights, each representing one of the robots, blinked in response.
They needed hostages.

Charteris stalked into Banks' laboratory, uninvited, one of the Black Troops at his side. "Well, what have you found?" he demanded.
The workbenches were cluttered with equipment - test tubes, pipettes, bunsen burners and bottles of chemicals. Banks was gazing perplexedly at a sealed glass canister in which sat the blob of jelly, now motionless apart from a slight, barely noticeable pulsing movement.
"Exactly what it is I can't say. But it behaves like a living organism, and I'm inclined to say it is one. It reacts to a wide range of stimuli. What I find remarkable, and a little scary, is that it seems totally indestructible. You can't cut it with a scalpel, and heat doesn't have any harmful effect. Or acid, or electricity, or immersion in water. I've also tried a wide range of chemicals on it, without any result. Oh - and for good measure, I can't classify it either chemically or biologically." He paused. "It really would help if I knew where it came from."
Charteris looked unhappy. “I really can’t say at present,” he mumbled. Then he seemed to recover a little of his confidence. “If there is any danger you can be assured it will be dealt with effectively.” He nodded at the soldier beside him.
"Is it harmless?" he asked, indicating the thing in the canister.
“As far as I can tell."
"I want it kept under observation. Report any change in its condition or behaviour immediately." Charteris and the soldier stalked off.
In the meantime, they didn’t want any panic, and there might be panic if the staff knew about the thing in Stedman’s old laboratory, why that part of the complex had been cordoned off. In fact, of course, Charteris’ refusal to answer Banks’ questions only made the scientist more uneasy.

The Doctor had made enquiries about Sarah at the village, and had established that she had gone with some fellow called Gavin to an old windmill looking for ghosts. What worried him was that it had been some time ago that they had set off, and there’d been no sign of them since. He had just got back into the Land Rover, intending to go to the mill straight away, when the radio bleeped. "Greyhound Leader calling the Doctor. Doctor, are you there?"
"How could I answer you if I wasn't?" replied the Doctor reasonably.
The Brigadier was in no mood for jokes. "Yes, quite. Doctor, I've just had a call from the regular army. Something funny's going on at a house called Greenleaves. That's the place where Miss Smith says our Fascist friends have their hideout. And at an old mill just down the road from there.” He repeated what Major Strickson had told him. “All this business about war crimes and psychotic Nazi hunters isn’t our concern. But the police say the Burckhardt girl ran off to try and warn her father. Miss Smith and Brendon went after her and haven’t been seen since. They could be trapped inside this force field thing.”
He gave the Doctor the approximate locations. "I said I was rather tied up at the moment over here. Is there any chance you could investigate? I've told the Army to stay on the scene for the time being, until we’re ready to take over. They'll give you all the help they can."
"I’ll be there,” said the Doctor solemnly. It seemed Sarah might just have landed herself in trouble again. If so he could only hope she’d come out of it alright, unless perhaps there was anything he could do to help.

"How far to go?" Sarah asked Bruchmann.
"Not far," he replied. "About a few hundred yards, I think." From his knowledge of fieldcraft, he'd recognise the spot where he'd left his equipment easily enough.
Not for the first time Sarah wondered what would happen if and when they succeeded in overcoming their enemies, though that seemed itself a hopeless enough venture. She guessed Bruchmann wouldn't be entirely happy about people knowing what he'd come here to do.
"Listen," she said, stopping dead. They froze. The sound of things crashing through vegetation - big, heavy things - was coming from all around them. It looked like they were surrounded.
"They've found us," said Gavin.
"I have the gun," said Bruchmann. "Let me take care of them. The rest of you hide." He knew it was suicidal to try to hold off the robots on his own. But it was better to die fighting what you hated than let it overwhelm you.
Sarah, Gavin and Christine split up, each selecting a bush and concealing themselves as deeply as possible within it. Left alone, Bruchmann glanced around in search of cover. His gaze alighted on a nearby tree. With an agility which belied his age, he took hold one of the lower branches and began to climb it. He stopped climbing when he was high enough to be able to get a good view of his surroundings, and stretched himself out along a branch.
Like human soldiers, the robots would be vulnerable to a lone sniper, with a gun that has sights, in a way they would not be to a group of soldiers moving about. He hoped so anyway.
He guessed the eyes must be the most vulnerable parts of their anatomy. They must be made of some sort of glass-like material, though he had no idea how tough it was.
He saw about four or five of the robots come into view and march straight towards his tree. It was as if they’d known he was there. They spoke in their harsh booming voices. "SURRENDER AND YOU WILL NOT BE HARMED! SURRENDER! YOU MUST SURRENDER!"
"Shut up, you Nazi swine," muttered Bruchmann. He had no faith in any promises made by the kind of people who had built machines like these. The harsh lines of the skull-like faces seemed full of cruelty and hatred.
He aimed the rifle at the face of the nearest robot and pulled the trigger. With a crack the crystalline material of its eye-lens shattered, smoke and flame pouring out as the delicate circuitry behind it was smashed. To his delight the robot jerked back, pulling the trigger of its rifle in a kind of reflex action before collapsing, and one of its fellows keeled over and crashed to the ground in a smoking heap. Briefly the robots hesitated, then one of them raised its rifle and fired. The laser beam sliced through the branch Bruchmann was lying on and he fell to the ground. He lay on his side, moaning and clutching his bruised chest and stomach.
One of the robots moved towards him while the others split up and went in search of Sarah, Christine and Gavin. With dogged efficiency they would search every inch of vegetation. Unlike human soldiers they would not tire or lose concentration, and their electronic vision could spot things which would be concealed to human eyes. But as with Bruchmann they seemed to sense their quarry’s presence almost at once, heading directly towards their hiding places.
Gavin decided to run for it, but other robots soon appeared and surrounded him. Realising the game was up, his companions came out from their bushes and raised their hands in surrender.
Looking up, Bruchmann saw the robot advancing towards him. He reached for the rifle, intending to strike one last blow - or to take his own life. The robot's heavy boot stamped down on the rifle, splintering the butt and squashing the metal barrel into the ground. It reached down, grasped him by the arm and hauled him roughly to his feet. Like a child's doll, he was dragged over to where the robot's fellows were rounding up Sarah and the others.
One of the robots spoke. "None of you move. Do not attempt to escape or you will be killed immediately." They herded the four humans tightly together, then set off with their captives in the direction of the house.

Rayner studied the screen; no more of the red dots representing the heat signatures of human life forms had appeared on it. "They don't realise the shield has collapsed," said Blundell, looking on.
"Let's hope it's some time before they do," replied Rayner. He turned from the screen. "We've got work to do."
He radioed the workshop. "How many of the robots are ready?" he asked Thornton.
"About two dozen. The rest will be activated within the next four hours."
Meanwhile, Sarah and her companions were being led through a side door of the house and down an oak-panelled corridor. Bruchmann had now more or less recovered from his fall, though his bruised ribs still ached painfully. "So, you talk do you?" he said to the robot beside him. "I don't suppose Mr Burckhardt - or should I say Herr von Arbenz - is available to visitors right now?" The robot said nothing; he guessed it wasn't programmed to respond when addressed unless it was considered necessary.
"Well, you can send him greetings from the man whose family he killed." Again the robot failed to reply.
The robots halted at a heavy oak door, forcing their prisoners to do the same. One of them opened the door and gestured to them to enter.
At his desk, flanked by two more robots, sat Victor Burckhardt. At the sight of Christine his eyes bulged from their sockets and his jaw dropped. He stammered out his daughter's name.
Bruchmann regarded him for a brief moment then launched himself forward, intending to leap over the desk and attack him. Alarmed, the object of his hatred drew back sharply, almost overbalancing the chair he was sitting on and causing it to topple over backwards. A robot grabbed Bruchmann and slammed him against the wall, momentarily driving the breath from his body. He stood there gasping while the robot kept a tight hold of him. As soon as he had recovered, he began yelling a stream of obscenities at Burckhardt. Christine looked on impassively.
"Shut up or I'll have the robots kill you," Burckhardt snapped. "You know, they can crush a man's head to jelly in seconds. Or I could have them do it slowly, whatever you prefer." With a great effort Bruchmann forced himself to be silent. But the look in his eyes sent a cold shudder through Burckhardt's body.
"Now, then, my dear, how exactly did you come to be here?” Burckhardt asked Christine. “A social call?"
"Yes, that's right," she lied. She had a very good idea what would happen if she told the truth. Understandably she had no great liking for Bruchmann, but despite all he'd done it didn't seem right to expose him to her father's wrath.
"I didn't expect to find you playing about with these…" She regarded the robots in some awe.
"Yes," smiled Burckhardt proudly. "Wonderful creations, aren't they? The Germans developed them towards the end of the war, but lost before they could be completed. A pity...just think what we could have done with them. Fortunately the parts were saved and taken to South America before the Allies could discover them. They were kept there in storage in case they could ever be used in the establishment of the Fourth Reich. When I found out about them through my contacts there, I had them smuggled into this country where my company completed them, at the same time adapting them using the latest modern technology. That technology, coupled with the original design which was considerably ahead of its time, makes a formidable combination. But now I have allied myself with a power that is even more devastating."
"What do you mean?" Christine asked.
"He means Wokir," said Sarah.
Burckhardt looked at her in surprise, his bushy eyebrows lifting. "You know?" He shrugged his shoulders. "Oh well, I suppose it doesn't matter that you do, or how. Not now."
"Dad, just what the heck is going on here?" asked Christine. "What's Wokir?"
"I'll explain it all to you in a moment." He focused his attention on Sarah. "You're that journalist girl, aren't you?"
"I'm Sarah Jane Smith, yes."
"You know," he said thoughtfully, "a journalist is the last person I want around here right now."
The cold eyes transferred their gaze to Gavin. Gavin stared back at him, equally coldly. He knew what he thought of Fascists. The fact that they shared his interest in pagan Germanic customs didn't make any difference to his feelings.
"You've been here before, according to my colleagues. I must say I didn't expect you to return. I thought the robot would have scared you off. But you have returned, and in the company of a well-known investigative reporter. Just what is going on, I wonder?"
Next his eyes alighted on Bruchmann. "I came here to kill you," said the Israeli, unafraid.
"I gathered you had some kind of grudge against me," said Burckhardt. "Well, you failed. As a matter of interest, why do you want to kill me?"
"Because you murdered my family." Bruchmann elaborated, his voice unnaturally calm. When he had finished there was no trace of remorse on Burckhardt's face. "I know what I think of your kind," he said, unmoved.
Sarah felt Christine stiffen beside her, saw the anger and distress in her face.
Bruchmann spat on the ground a foot or so in front of Burckhardt. The Nazi merely smiled nonchalantly. Then something clicked in his brain, and he looked from Bruchmann to Christine. "It seems to me there's something funny about the two of you chancing to turn up here at the same time. I'd say there must be a connection. Do tell me, what is it?"
Christine sighed. "He kidnapped me. He broke into my flat and forced me to tell him where you were. Then he brought me here." She told him all that had subsequently happened.
The muscles in Burckhardt's face tightened in anger and he jumped up from his chair, making to strike Bruchmann. He paused halfway towards the man, regaining his self-control. "No matter. You'll be suffering enough an hour or two from now."
He addressed Sarah and Gavin. "I'm afraid you're both going to have to die. In a way, I'm sorry to have to kill you. But it will be dying in a very good cause, believe me."
"I seem to have heard that one before," Sarah said drily.
A shiver ran through Gavin's body, but he managed to suppress his fear. Sarah was altogether more composed, if only because she'd been in this sort of situation before. That didn’t mean she’d necessarily get out of it.
At a gesture from Burckhardt the robots led Gavin, Sarah and Bruchmann away, save for the two who had been flanking their controller, and who now moved to stand on either side of Christine. Burckhardt seated himself comfortably behind the desk. "Now, liebchen, we have much to talk about."
"We certainly do," she said. "You're Heinrich von Arbenz, aren't you?"
"Did he tell you?"
"Yes. And you didn't deny it when he said you'd killed his family in the war."
"Yes," he said, suddenly proud, "I am Heinrich von Arbenz."
Her eyes closed and her head drooped at the final confirmation. She gave a sound somewhere between a sigh and a sob and staggered, clutching at one of the robots for support.
"Are you all right?" asked her father, in his own way genuinely concerned.
"No, I'm not," she said angrily. "And it's all your fault."
"You should be proud to be my daughter."
"Well, I'm not. Just embarrassed.” His face twisted in both pain and anger. “Do you realise...do you realise how I felt when I found out? Everything just collapsed, Dad. It shouldn't matter to me, I shouldn't feel guilty on account of it, but I can't help it. By living a lie all these years, you've given me a false past. And now I know it's false, everything's been taken away from me." Her control finally broke down and she burst into tears.
"Oh, Christine, don't cry." He made to comfort her but she drew away sharply.
He went on undeterred. "What I've been doing all these years is for the good of humanity, believe me. We'll build a much better world. More ordered, more rationally organised. With less of this moral corruption which is ruining it." It was particularly important that she, flesh of his flesh, understood the rightness of it all.
"Do you honestly think you can convince me? You know I've never had anything to do with your politics. You don't like the world because of all the instability, the strikes and everything. Dictatorship's just as bad - worse. What happens when the power goes to your head and you start to kill people for all kinds of silly reasons?
“And as for all that rubbish about the "lesser races"...it’s caused too much trouble, too much bitterness. Far better to just accept that people are different and try to live together in peace.”
Burckhardt smiled benignly. "In time you will see that you are wrong, Christine." Hands clasped behind his back, he began to pace the room. "You accuse me of destroying your past. Let's look not to the past but to the future. You asked what I was doing here. I am bringing into existence in this world a power that will help me establish the Fourth Reich.
“I have long been interested in...certain subjects. In...oh, how can I put it? The worlds that lie beyond this one, where creatures live that have powers we cannot possibly conceive. I came to England after the war because my research had shown there was something here I wanted; a way of making contact with one of those beings, their leader.
"I continued with my research in my spare time. Your absence from my life made it easier for me. No-one except a small band of associates knew what I was doing. Eventually I was led to this house. Its owner shared my politics and my interest in the occult. Not long before his recent death, he told me he'd sensed the forces here were growing stronger.
“He had willed the house to me on his decease. I came here with my associates and revived the cult. Held ceremonies, made contact with the creature: with Wokir. I found I could utilise the force to prevent anyone discovering what I was planning. It's growing stronger, nurtured by the power of my mind, of my faith in it. And when it is strong enough, I can use it to bend the whole world to our will."
Christine found her head reeling. On top of the robots, and the revelation of her father's true identity, it was all too much. "Dad, listen to me. Whatever you're doing here, the robots apart, is evil. I think I knew that when I first came here. If my opinion on anything has ever had any value to you..."
"It's gone too far us to stop now. We are so close to victory. Just another few days, at the most. You should join us, Christine. As your father, I urge you to."
"As your daughter, I'm asking you with all my heart to give up this whole crazy business. I'm not asking you to turn yourself in. If you just stop all the killing and hating, you'll be part of the way at least towards becoming a human being."
"You're deluded like all the others," he said sadly. "Oh well; you'll see I'm right when our plans are complete. Until then you'll have to stay here, I’m afraid. You'll be well treated, as long as you behave yourself and don't interfere."
"While you kill the others? What are you going to do, use them in some experiment? I don't want any special treatment, thanks."
von Arbenz addressed one of the robots. "She can stay in one of the downstairs bedrooms."
"I'll go with the others, thank you."
"You will do exactly as you are told," he thundered, as if she were a four-year-old child.
Then his manner changed. She clearly couldn't be relied upon, and it was probably better they were all kept together in one place. "Oh, all right then. You can go back to your friends, if that's what you want. In any case, you won't have the pleasure of their company for much longer."
"One last thing, my dear," he said as the robots escorted her out. "If you do give me any trouble...well, it won't be my fault if you get hurt. And it's not as if there's anything you can do to stop me."
She didn’t reply, and then the door closed behind her. von Arbenz stared at it for a long time, then with a sigh and a shake of his head went back to his work.

"But it's ruining our holiday," said Linda to Tom. "We've spent enough time just talking. We’ve got to do something about it."
"I thought you were the one who - "
"Like I said, it's gone too far."
Tom sighed. "Let's have another go."
They found Sheila in the living room, watching television. Tom crossed to the set and turned it off, causing Sheila to look up sharply in annoyance. She saw them both standing before her.
"Sheila, I'm sorry." said Linda. "Things have gone too far. We're giving you an ultimatum. Either you stop acting strangely and decide to talk to us about what’s wrong, or we're going straight home."
"You can stay here if you like," she went on. Tom gave her a look; that was one thing they hadn't agreed on. He didn't like to think what Sheila would do to the place, left here on her own.
"I don't want to go home," Sheila said firmly.
"Well, it doesn't seem to me that you're enjoying yourself here. For one thing, you're obviously not well..." Tom sighed as he said these words; it was about the third time he'd done so.
Sheila flared up suddenly, pointing at Linda. "You think it's me who's going crazy! What about her, then? She had a funny turn herself earlier on, didn't she?"
After that she just sat there staring zombie-like at the wall, totally clammed up.
Tom glanced at Linda. As there seemed to be no reasoning with Sheila he went out of the room, beckoning to his girlfriend to follow him.
"What did she mean? Linda, are you..."
Linda bit her lip. Steeling herself, she told Tom about her dream.
"Perhaps it's catching. Perhaps she...perhaps she made me have it." She wondered if she was clutching at straws, desperate to prove she wasn't going crazy too.
“But it’s worse with her," Tom said.
"Do you suppose she could be causing all these things because she's angry? That's what they think happens in a lot of these poltergeist cases."
"Well, one thing's certain," said Tom darkly. "Whatever it is, it's getting worse. Something nasty’s bound to happen, and soon. I’m sure of it.”

Banks' laboratory was deserted for the moment, the scientist having gone to the canteen. The door was locked.
Inside its canister the blob of jelly writhed and pulsated furiously. Suddenly and rapidly, it expanded to several times its previous size. With a loud crack and a tinkling of broken glass the canister shattered.
The jelly flowed over the edge of the table and down to the floor, where it formed a glistening puddle several feet across. Heaving and convulsing, it inched its way towards the door.

The robots led Sarah, Gavin and Bruchmann to a small room, more or less empty, in what had once been the stable block. They closed the door and locked it. The three captives sat on the floor against the wall, hugging their knees.
"We've got to think about how we're going to get out of this," Bruchmann said practically. They gave some thought to the matter.
A little later Christine joined them. The robots slammed the door shut and relocked it. "I tried to talk some sense into him," she said, describing what had passed between her and her father. "But I'm afraid it didn't work."
Bruchmann was looking at her suspiciously. She caught his gaze and sighed. Just because I'm his daughter, he thinks I must share his politics, she thought bitterly. He doesn’t trust me.
"What exactly is he planning to do here?" Sarah asked.
"Like you said, it's all about something called Wokir. Some sort of pagan god who Dad thinks is going to help him establish the Fourth Reich, I'm not quite sure how. I can't say I understand it all, but whatever it is it's obviously not good."
"What do you think they're going to do to us?" said Gavin.
"Well, I should think I'll be all right," said Christine, a trifle guiltily. "But you lot..."
Sarah knew Bruchmann was the most vulnerable. She guessed he wouldn't be staying alive for much longer, unless perhaps the Nazis intended using him in some ghastly experiment.
Christine slumped at the base of the wall, like the others.
Sarah shuffled across to her. "You were shocked when you found out the truth about him?"
"I loved him," she sighed. "And I guess I still do. After all, he is my father. You do understand, don't you?"
"Of course." Gavin nodded to show he understood, too. Bruchmann’s face showed no emotion.
"I mean, if it's your father, you don't think about all the rotten things they've done. Especially when you don't know about them in the first place. And believe me, there were times when he really did show affection for me. When he really did care."
"We've got to get out of here," said Bruchmann impatiently. They scanned the room. It took only a few moments to see that there was nothing in it they could use to force the lock or break the window. And even if they did they didn't imagine they could get past von Arbenz and his henchmen, human or robotic.
Christine had thought it best not to mention something else her father had said to her. You’ll be suffering enough in an hour or two anyway.

Broad rivulets of the jelly-like substance were seeping from under the door of Banks' laboratory.
The jelly flowed out into the corridor. It pulsated, heaved. A part of it swelled and rose into a glistening column four or five feet tall.
It seemed to be taking on a shape.

The police had gone, no longer being required. Waiting for the representative from UNIT to arrive, Major Strickson looked round at the sound of a vehicle. A UNIT Land Rover came hurtling along the road, apparently heading straight towards him. He jumped out of the way and it screeched to a shuddering halt just a few feet from where he stood.
The Doctor leaped out, his scarf streaming behind him. They noted that he wore it, and all his other clothes, without any apparent discomfort despite it being the height of summer. There was an enormous toothy grin on his face. "Good afternoon, gentlemen! I understand you have a little problem."
The soldiers stared at him as if he were some kind of apparition. "Er...you are the chap from UNIT?" asked Strickson.
The Doctor brandished his UNIT pass at them. "I'm the Doctor. UNIT's Scientific Adviser...well, unofficially, loosely, sort of, for the time being. Now then, the Brigadier's filled me in on everything but I thought I’d better see for myself. Now I understand one of your men hurt his hand when he touched the shield?” The Major nodded to the soldier in question, who stepped forward. The Doctor unwrapped the bandages from his injured hand and examined it. “Nasty,” he muttered.
“Before I do anything else I think I’d better take a look at that stuff in the windmill,” he told Strickson. “Come with me if you want. Do you have troops there?”
“We thought it wise to put a guard on the place, yes. It seems to be spreading, though not very fast. Have you any idea what it all means?”
The Doctor jumped back into the Land Rover. “I might have once I’ve seen what’s in the windmill. So let’s go.”

There were so many of the Black Troops about the place that no-one could seriously have attempted anything not to their liking. Accordingly it was permissable for the Foundation staff to make short journeys on their own to answer calls of nature or fetch equipment that wasn't normally kept in their laboratories but might be required for some experiment.
A technician walking along the corridor on one such errand turned a corner and stopped. For a moment she stared transfixed in horror at the thing coming down the passage towards her, then she screamed. The scream brought one of the Black Troops running. She cannoned into him as she ran.
"What is it?" he demanded.
"There's...there's some kind of thing..." She pointed.
The guard gaped in amazement. Lurching towards him was something approximately the size and with the rough outline of a human being and composed from a glistening white jelly-like substance. It was completely featureless, like a crude plasticine figure; hands and feet were shapeless lumps on the ends of its limbs, and it had a round blobby head with holes representing eyes and mouth in a crude parody of the human face. Altogether it looked not unlike an ectopic, malformed baby.
Deciding to take no chances, the guard raised his rifle and fired. The bullets passed straight through the jelly-like matter of the creature's body, the holes they made closing up instantly.
"Go to your lab and stay there!" he yelled at the technician. "We'll take care of it." While she hurried off he ran to gather together a few of his comrades.

At the windmill the Doctor stood looking at the mass of white gelatinous material clinging to the wall, and clearly not liking what he saw. He produced a penknife from his capacious pockets, intending to take a sample for analysis, but found the substance was impervious to the pressure of the blade. “Can’t be cut,” he murmured. “Interesting.”
“Well?” demanded Major Strickson. “Do you know what it is?”
The Doctor turned away. “That stuff is obviously coming from somewhere. I want your men to keep it under observation. To answer your question, Major – no I don’t know what it is, not yet. For a proper test I’ll need advanced equipment which is in my laboratory at UNIT HQ. I’ll have the Brigadier send it down. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at that force field.”

Four of the Black Troops came running down the corridor towards the jelly-creature, Dr Charteris close behind them.
The creature was moving in a slow, hesitant fashion, as if uncertain of its ability to co-ordinate itself. Finding its way blocked by the five men, it paused, and stood before them swaying gently. Cautiously Charteris took a few steps towards it.
"Careful," shouted one of the guards.
"It's all right," Charteris said. Something told him they had nothing to fear from it. It was making no move to attack them; indeed he had the impression it was only dimly aware they were there. He stared at it in astonishment, guessing what it was.
"I don't think it's dangerous," he told the soldiers. "Let's get it to Dr Banks' laboratory. Then we can keep it under observation."
Hesitantly, they each took it by a blobby arm and walked slowly off with it. It offered no resistance. It felt light to the touch, weak and malleable.
Banks had finished clearing up the remains of the canister and was once again engaged in trying to develop a metal impervious to energy weapons. Straightening up from his microscope, he gave a start of shock on seeing the jelly-creature. "What is it? What is it?" he repeated mechanically, then caught his breath as realisation dawned. “Is that…”
"That's right," said Charteris. "Our little problem has grown - if it is a problem,” he added hurriedly. “Get some of the stuff off that bench, would you?"
Banks cleared the workbench of equipment and they laid the jelly-creature gently onto it. A little later the creature was tied firmly to the bench by thick leather straps around its body and legs, while metal clamps secured it by what passed for its wrists and ankles. "Now keep an eye on it," Charteris ordered Banks.
"All right. But if you wouldn't mind, Dr Charteris, I should still like to know what - "
One of the black guards eyed Banks threateningly, and raised his rifle as if to strike him. "You just do as you're told."
Scowling to preserve his dignity, Banks returned to his work. Charteris and the black guards left. A few minutes later he heard the crackle that preceded an announcement over the Foundation's PA system. "The disturbance that has just occurred, of which you may have heard, has now been dealt with. There is no cause for alarm, we have the situation under control, I repeat under control. Please continue with your work." Banks shrugged, and did as the announcement had instructed, stopping from time to time to glance uncomfortably at the thing in the room with him.

In the living room at the cottage Sheila Kingman was still staring intently at the wall. Suddenly something on it seemed to frighten her. She clasped her hands to her head, twisted her face in an expression utter terror and sprang to her feet, mouth opening in a silent scream.
All around her, familiar objects were turning into something evil and frightening, their shapes becoming bizarrely distorted. Out of the corner of her eye she glimpsed something strange at the window. Turning, she thought she saw a birdlike face there; whether a cruel face or a kind one, she couldn't tell. It moved away.
She reeled and staggered about the room, everything around her rushing together to blend in a confused, whirling, spinning jumble of shape and colour, the images from both outside and inside her head, the visual and the mental, hopelessly mixed up.

Bruchmann might have prayed for deliverance from their predicament, but he had long ago stopped believing in any form of God and just sat with his knees drawn up to his chin, his face totally expressionless. It was hard to say what exactly he must be thinking. Christine, Gavin and Sarah were talking, more to pass the time than for any other reason.
"So, you're from the government?" Gavin glanced uncertainly at Christine and the other two captives, but Sarah told him she didn't feel it mattered in the circumstances.
"In a manner of speaking. I am a journalist, but I'm attached to a government organisation. It deals with, shall we say, threats to international security that may be of…an unusual kind."
"And you're investigating…weird things. Paranormal occurrences."
"That's right."
"Well, it must be pretty serious if the government are involved,” Christine remarked.
"From my experience, it could be very serious indeed," Sarah told her.
Gavin seemed to hesitate over something, then make up his mind. "Then in that case there's something I guess you should know." He told her about Sheila.
"It sounds like the sort of thing that's been happening in the village," Sarah said.
"Yes, but with her it's a lot worse. She seems to be more badly affected."
"Not that we're going to be able to do anything about it, stuck in here," Sarah observed. She went to stare gloomily out of the window. A moment later she turned away from it with a slightly worried expression. "Something seems to be happening out there. I've no idea what to make of it."
They all went to look. Rayner, McDuggan and several of the robots were building some kind of structure using thick blocks of stone, constructed around a huge pile of timber and leaves. "I don't like the look of it somehow," said Sarah.
Gavin drew back from the sight, deathly pale. "Oh no," he said. "Oh no, oh no, oh no. I just don't believe it." He shook his head.
"What are they doing?" Sarah asked.
"Do you really want to know?"
"Please."
"They're going to sacrifice us to Wokir. It's one of the cult's old traditions. One of the nasty practices that distinguish it from the other religions of Anglo-Saxon England." Gavin was swallowing, trying hard to suppress his fear.
Sarah paled. "You mean..."
"Yes, I do. That's our funeral pyre out there. They're going to burn us alive."

“This was about where we ran into it,” said the army Corporal.
Like Gavin Brendon before him, the Doctor was moving forward
a step at a time, holding an experimental branch out in front of him. The group of soldiers were keeping well back, not wishing to undergo the same experience as their colleague.
Some minutes later they came to a halt. So far, nothing had happened. The Corporal scratched his head, puzzled. “I could have sworn that…” He turned to Major Strickson. "It's gone. The force field's gone."
The Major’s eyes lit up. "Then we can move in and..."
The Doctor didn’t want soldiers clumping about all over the place, causing problems, when even he didn’t quite know what was going on, not yet. To Strickson’s disappointment he shook his head furiously. "No no no, old chap. That might be dangerous...far too dangerous. We don't know exactly what's going on at that house. If something can generate a force field with the effect on human tissue that it has, I wouldn't like to say what else it can do. You may be leading your men into grave danger."
"They're accustomed to that sort of thing, I assure you," Strickson snapped.
“This is supposed to be a UNIT matter, remember. Look, I tell you what; I’ll have a go myself and if I’m not back in a couple of hours, by all means go in and do your stuff. How’s that?” The Major had to agree it was a sensible strategy. “All right,” he grunted.
The Doctor gave Strickson his wavelength. “Call me if you need me.”

The Brigadier glanced at his watch. He'd hoped that some means of solving the problem of the hostages might occur to him, but unfortunately it hadn’t. He glanced at where several more Land Rovers, each full of with troops, were drawing to halt a few yards away. The reinforcements had arrived.
“Took them a while to get here,” he muttered. “You know, Benton, I’ve a feeling someone at the top has been putting obstacles in our way.”
He stepped right up to the gates and raised the megaphone to his lips. "Doctor Charteris, this is your last warning. You have an hour and a half in which to surrender. If you do not, my men will attempt to storm the premises. If any harm comes to the hostages as a result, you and you alone will be responsible."
He turned to Benton. "You stay here. I'm going over with a party of men to see if I can help the Doctor."

The Doctor was moving stealthily through the trees towards the rear of Greenleaves, constantly on the alert. He'd already assessed the situation he was in. He was dealing with robots, evidently of a very advanced kind for this planet and time zone. They might have equipment which could detect him at a distance. It was essential he found cover as soon as possible, and kept behind it all the way to the house.
There was a mass of overgrowth to his left, and it went on for quite a distance. He moved between it and the perimeter fence, scurrying along in a half-crouch. Every minute or so he glanced down at the ground, looking out for twigs which might snap beneath his feet and alert a patrolling guard.
From somewhere close by he heard heavy footsteps, and went very still. After a moment they seemed to change direction, heading more or less for where he stood. When they continued to do so, he decided their owner must know he was there. But if it couldn't see him...
It must be homing in on him through his body heat. For a moment he considered the possibility that it could detect his brainwaves, but that kind of technology didn't yet exist on Earth and as far as he knew, these robots were home-grown.
If it knew roughly where he was, it could shoot at him. He threw himself flat on the ground just as a blast of heat charred a large section of bush into black ash, an inch or two from his shoulder. He was about to dash in search of new cover when he changed his mind. Instead he stayed roughly where he was, keeping as close as was comfortable to the blazing mass of foliage. The robot's pounding footsteps grew louder, but it didn't fire. As he'd anticipated, the heat trace from the burning bush had blended with and obscured his own. The robot either thought it had killed him, or was intending to make sure.
By now it was in range of the sonic screwdriver. Its kind seemed pretty advanced but if, as he suspected, they were of contemporary Earth manufacture he should be able to disable them with the device. Their designer wouldn’t have expected anyone on this planet and in this time zone yet to have developed sound as a weapon.
He switched on the device and grinned as he heard a loud bang followed by a fierce crackling. Carefully he parted the leaves of the bush and looked out through the gap. The robot was lying on its back, its weapon on the ground beside it, jerking and twitching spasmodically. Smoke was pouring from the sleeves and collar of its uniform. With a triumphant grin, the Doctor crept on his way.
The robots' computer-brains immediately registered the destruction of one of their number. Evidently, it had come up against an intruder with dangerous capabilities. The three nearest to its position when destroyed proceeded to converge on that spot, seeking strength through numbers.
The Doctor heard them approach, and guessed at their reasoning had taken. Unfortunately he was now in quite a large open area with some distance to go before he reached any obscuring vegetation. At the same time the robots were too far away for him to see exactly where they were, and so judge whether they were on the verge of spotting him. And the range of their weapons seemed considerable. They might shoot him before he had a chance to use the sonic screwdriver.
There were no bushes within a safe distance, but a few yards away stood a sturdy elm tree. The Doctor ran to it and hauled himself up onto the lower branches, concealing himself among the mass of leaves.
The robots had detected him from his heat trace, but he'd moved since they had first done so. At the moment, he might not be within the range of their weapons. But soon...
One particularly useful aspect of the Doctor's Time Lord biology was that he could suspend his metabolic functions. If he did that, the robots wouldn't be able to pick up the heat trace. Should he immobilise himself totally, though, he might lose time. And he couldn't be sure the robots wouldn't just search patiently until they found him.
With concentration, he could suspend some of his physiological functions while leaving others intact, and also control the moment at which they returned. It was another skill he'd learned from his old teacher back on Gallifrey. He closed his eyes, relaxed, and mouthed an incantation in the ancient Gallifreyan tongue.
He shut down everything except his auditory and reasoning faculties, and listened as the robots moved closer. They marched on past the tree; having detected no thermal images from it, they had assumed no-one was hiding there. They reacted suddenly, swinging sharply towards it, as the heat trace flared into life right beside them. In that same moment the Doctor switched on the sonic screwdriver.
Two of the robots jack-knifed, their arms and legs flailing, smoke pouring from their joints. There was a muffled explosion from somewhere within the third robot's workings. Its eye crystals shattered and exploded, flames licking from them, and it staggered and fell like a toppling oak.
After a moment the Doctor dropped down from his tree and looked around cautiously. He saw the three smoking, wrecked, robots and took off his hat in mock salute, putting on a solemn expression. Then he hurried on towards the house.
He saw the pyre under construction and drew back into cover, then moved on again, this time to the right. Fortunately, the robots hadn’t noticed him; it seemed you had to be fairly close for them to detect your heat trace. Alert for any sight or sound of them, he went on until he reached a safe distance from where most of the activity seemed to be going on. An outhouse screened him from the view of those building the pyre. He crept up to the wall of the house and worked his way along it, looking for a side door, one that wasn’t normally used much, through which he might enter the place without being seen. And look for clues to what all this was really about.

In his laboratory Banks toiled on, completely absorbed in his work. So absorbed that he had ceased wondering what Charteris' precise connection was with the mysterious black troops - for that he was in league with them was obvious. Or keeping a check on the condition of the thing tied to the bench a few feet away.
Until now the substance of the creature's body had been opaque, almost transparent. Now it was solidifying and becoming dark in colour. In its flesh nerves, muscles and blood vessels were beginning to form. They did not look like those a human being, or indeed any known life form, would have possessed. The shapes were strange and convoluted. Thick black liquid flowed sluggishly along the veins, bubbling as if boiling.

“I'm not...I'm not...ah-huh...ah-huh...ah-huh..." Sheila Kingman staggered around the room, her hands to her head. "It's not my fault," she sobbed. "It's not my fault." She closed her eyes, threw her head back and screamed up at the ceiling, "IT'S NOT MY FAULT!"
Outside Tom and Linda listened in horror and pity. "Oh God," whispered Linda.
What's not her fault? Tom wondered.
In the room Sheila gazed at the china owl on the mantelpiece as if fascinated by it. Its image burned into her brain. She swung away from it as the raging madness engulfed her mind once again. She heard a medley of voices, some soft and whispering, others loud and harsh, demanding, and all speaking in a strange incomprehensible language. Odd, uncomfortable sensations filled her one after the other. Again images from her dream of the night before blended again with the scenes from her early childhood, of her father coming into her room, taking off his belt and...
Tom and Linda continued to hover indecisively, just outside the door. "I'm not standing for any more of this," said Tom decisively. "She's dangerous. If we leave it much longer there's no telling what she could do."
"God, listen to her!" Sheila's voice had risen to a hysterical shriek that sliced through the air like a knife. They could no longer make out what she was saying; the words were garbled, incoherent.
Mixed in with it they heard a series of banging and crashing noises.

For the fifth time Gavin glanced uneasily from the window at the pyre, now almost completed. "They must be crazy!" It was both a statement and an appeal.
"They're Nazis," said Sarah.
"Oh, a lot of Nazis are perfectly sane, believe me," said Bruchmann.
"You don't suppose he'd do it to her too, do you?" Gavin said uncomfortably, indicating Christine. "His own daughter?"
"I don't think so," she answered. "I think he's still hoping I'll become a good Nazi."
"Well, he's going to do it to us," snapped Bruchmann. "We've got to get out of here."
“So you keep saying,” Gavin said. “What can we do? I don't fancy tangling with one of those robots."
"Well, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to let anyone burn me alive without a fight," said Sarah spiritedly. "We've nothing to lose, have we?" She caught Gavin’s eye, and both of them grinned.
There was no doubt Bruchmann would endorse the sentiment. “What about you?” he asked Christine. “Are you with us?”
"Of course I'm with you," she snapped, eyes flashing.
"As soon as that door opens, we rush them, OK?" Sarah said. The others nodded. Each took up their position, hearts beating furiously. They stood a few feet apart, eyes fixed on the door.
Suddenly they heard someone moving about in the corridor. And frowned; the footsteps were hesitant, furtive, as if the person making them didn’t want to be seen. Sarah and her companions glanced at each other, puzzled.
The footsteps came up to the door, and the handle started to turn. Slowly the door opened, and the Doctor appeared. Sarah’s face exploded in delight and she ran to embrace him. “Oh, thank goodness you’re here!”
The others stared in astonishment at the Bohemian figure who stood grinning in the doorway. "Who are you?" demanded Bruchmann.
"Who indeed," replied the Doctor vaguely, not entirely caring for his tone.
He explained how he had found the shield down. "Is the Brigadier here?" Sarah asked.
"I'm afraid not, he's urgently occupied elsewhere. I managed to sneak in here on my own. Fortunately everyone seems to be busy building bonfires."
He regarded Sarah's companions with interest. "Good gracious, what an assortment.” His manner became serious. “Sarah, do you know what these people are up to?” He needed to have as much information as possible before deciding what they should do next.
“It’s what we suspected. They’re in cahoots with this being from…another world, Burckhardt said. Once it’s strong enough its powers will help then take over this one. That’s about it. There’s also – “ She started to tell him about Susan Kingman.
The Doctor waved a hand to silence her. “Not just yet,” he whispered, deciding they’d better keep their voices down. “We can deal with that later. Right now we've got to get well away from here before they come for us."
Quietly they left the room and moved slowly along the corridor to the door through which the Doctor had come in. He opened it a crack and peered out. Finding no-one in sight, human or robot, he beckoned the others on. They managed to reach the woods without being spotted.
The Doctor breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, it looks like we're safe for the moment."
"Thank goodness for that," gasped Sarah, contemplating the fate from which she'd just been rescued.
"I think the purpose of the sacrifice was to generate psychic energy. The fear of the victim, the lust for blood of the faithful. The aim must have been to restore the shield. There must be a limited amount of power coming through from wherever this creature normally lives. They must get some at each of the cult's ceremonies, but this time they'd have had an additional boost.
"Each time they hold a ceremony, the psychic energy they get nourishes Wokir," the Doctor continued. "It's a two-way process. I imagine that once it's got enough power it'll be able to journey to our world and stay there as long as it likes.”
“Doctor, there’s this old mill where we found some sort of …jelly stuff…”
“Yes, I know. Ectoplasm," the Doctor muttered. "It has to be. Wokir must be an extra-dimensional being. And this windmill, and the house, must be places where the barrier between its dimension and ours is weak. That's how, within limits, it's able to manifest itself here - usually with the help of a certain degree of psychic energy. Sometimes, things passing into one dimension from another exist there at first in ectoplasmic form, until they're able to acclimatise themselves."
"Like the spirits people claim to have conjured up at seances?" Gavin suggested.
The Doctor nodded. "Something's coming through the crack in the dimensional barrier into our world. Since this hasn't happened before I can only presume some other factor is operating to make it possible." He thought of what he’d seen in Stedman's laboratory at the Foundation. Connections were beginning to form in his mind; strands of a web to weave together.
"What about that MI5 chap's car crash, and all the other paranormal stuff?" Sarah described what she'd learned from the villagers in the pub.
"Wokir obviously has some highly destructive powers, and the Nazis can make use of them. It's also possible the power leaks in some way, and the villagers have picked it up."
“So there may be a connection between…”
“Wokir and everything else? Possibly.” He stared rather penetratingly at Gavin. “Sarah was going to tell me something about a friend of yours.”
“Alright,” said Gavin, as they made their way through the woods to rejoin Major Strickson. “Well it all started when…”

Sheila's screams and tantrums appeared to have subsided for the moment. Briefly Tom considered doing nothing, then shook his head. "Let's lock her up before she starts again. The state she's getting into, she could do one of us an injury, or worse."
Linda's mind was already made up. "I suppose there's nothing else for it." She would have gone into the room earlier but for fear of what Sheila might do to her. "That spare room will be the best place. There's a key for it in the kitchen."
"You stay here a moment." Tom dashed off, returning a half-minute later with the ancient and rusty key in his hand.
"Are we going to call the police?" Linda asked.
"We'll have to. Maybe an ambulance too, I don't know. Let's see what they say."
He went up to the door and paused. He swallowed, bracing himself. "Are you ready?" he asked, glancing at her. "I've a feeling it'll take two of us."
"Yes," she answered nervously. He squeezed her arm in bid to reassure her.
"God, I hate to do this," he sighed. Breathing in hard, he twisted the doorknob.
They flung open the door and rushed in. Sheila was sitting in a chair, staring in what looked like horrified fascination at something invisible to them. Their sudden entry took her by surprise. She looked up, realised what they were going to do and made to rise. They seized her by the arms and pulled her to her feet.
Set off again, she began screaming, shouting and yelling horrible obscenities at them. They dragged out of the room and into the hall, gasping with the effort. It was like wrestling with a crazed tiger. Sheila kicked and twisted and thrashed. Her strength was alarming, and several times they almost lost their grip on her. They reached the door of the spare room just as Linda thought she could hold her no longer. Tom had to remove one hand from her in order to open it, and she managed to tear herself partly free from them. In a desperate burst of strength he grabbed her and flung her through the doorway. He saw her stumble and fall to her knees, sobbing, and for a moment felt his heart tear in two.
They slammed the door and locked it. A moment later it vibrated furiously as she began kicking it, again screaming at the top of her voice.
"Phew..." Tom fell against the wall and slid down it, exhausted.
He picked himself up and headed for the kitchen. "Right, let's go and make that call." Linda followed. The further away she was from Sheila, the safer she felt.

Breaking off work for a moment, Banks turned to look at the creature on the bench.
He started in horror. Its entire body was now covered in a fine down of black hairs, through which the bulging, knotted muscles and spidery tracework of nerves and veins could be made out seen. In one or two places the hairs sprouted more thickly. In the hollows in the face rudimentary eyes of a pale, milky colour were beginning to form. The mouth had enlarged considerably and was filled with tiny pointed teeth.
Whatever it was changing into, he didn't like the look of it at all. He banged on the door for the guard.

"Owls, you say," the Doctor mused. He had paused while he considered everything Gavin had told him. “And pictures…pictures of people in old-fashioned clothes going inside a spaceship…”
His head jerked bolt upright, his eyes gleaming. “I’m beginning to understand what’s going on now. I think this might provide one or two clues. And alter the complexion of things a bit. I'd better get over there as soon as I can.” Knowing he’d need protection from the robots while he was still within the grounds, he reached for his walkie-talkie. "Major Strickson? I'm going to need your help."
“It’s out of our hands now, Doctor. I’ll put you through to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.” The Doctor waited, and after a short delay heard the Brigadier’s voice. “Doctor, we're in charge here now. Army are still mounting a guard on the windmill. What's the situation?"
“Sarah and the others are safe with me. Now the force field’s down there’s nothing to stop you storming the house and arresting Burckhardt and his friends. But you’ll have to take them by surprise, before they can use the power to repel you. And watch out for those robots. You’ll need grenades, shells, anything that can pierce armour. By the way, what’s happening at the Foundation?”
“We’ll be going in there shortly. Over.”
“Excellent. We’ll join up with you in a little while. Over.” He cut the Brigadier off. “Now we must be careful to avoid being caught in the crossfire if the shooting starts before we reach the Brigadier,” he told his friends. “For his part, he’ll try to make sure we aren’t harmed.”
He frowned, realising someone seemed to be missing. "Where's the chap with the glasses?"
"I think I know," Sarah said. "He's staying here to do the job he came here for. To kill von Arbenz."
Christine tensed. "I can't let him do that."
And if Christine was staying, Sarah thought, she and Gavin would have to too, in order to protect her from danger. The Doctor sensed the uncertainty in the air. “It’s your choice,” he told them. “But whatever you decide, I’m afraid I’ll just have to leave you to get on with it.” There was no knowing what might depend on his safe arrival at the cottage. Because only he understood the wider significance of what was happening there.
“If our Nazi friends should recapture you it needn’t be the end. They want live sacrifices, so the robots won't be shooting to kill. And hopefully UNIT will be along before the barbecue begins." He took the sonic screwdriver from his pocket and gave it to Sarah. "It's all I can do. You know how to use it, of course?"
Sarah nodded. "Good luck, Doctor.”
"Good luck, Sarah Jane." Without another word, the Doctor hurried off. Sarah wondered how many times in the past they'd had that kind of exchange; and if they ever would again.

In his secret office next to the launch silo Dr Charteris snatched up the phone. "Yes, what is it?" he snapped, annoyed at yet another disturbance. He was sure now he could complete the rocket without the Doctor’s help, but the work still needed care and thought.
He listened as the guard described what was happening to the creature in Banks' laboratory. He decided he wasn't going to let anything interrupt him again unless it was absolutely unavoidable. "With any luck the straps will hold it. Call me if they don't." He slammed down the receiver before the guard could say anything more.

“I don’t like to say this, but it’s for your sake that I’m doing this,” Gavin told Christine. He sounded uncomfortable. “Not your father’s. I mean, if he really did what this chap said he did then – “
Christine shook her head impatiently. “Let’s just get on with it.”
“With any luck we won’t have to die in the process,” Sarah said, holding up the sonic screwdriver.
Gavin studied the device. “It’s a weapon, yeah?”
"Of a sort. But it only works against electronic equipment. It should stop the robots, but not Bruchmann."
"And he'll kill us if we get in the way," said Christine. “At a guess.”
"Do we head for the house or search the grounds?" Gavin asked.
"Best make for the house, I should think,” Sarah decided. “After all, that’s where Bruchmann will be going. That’s where Burck – where von Arbenz is. Let’s go.”

A few hundred yards away, Bruchmann knelt down and brushed away the earth and leaves beneath which he had concealed the satchel. It was there, all right. He slung it over his shoulder and set off towards the house, darting from cover to cover.

Sheila stared intently at the locked door, willing it to open, but nothing happened. She could feel the power growing in her, but it wasn't quite strong enough yet. For the moment it seemed to have exhausted itself.
She fell sobbing against the wall. She didn't want to be locked away in a home; please no, not that. She was terrified at the thought of what they might do to her. They would decide she was dangerous, maybe kill her.
Go away, this thing that’s happening to me, she thought. Go away. Or if you won’t do that, at least tell me why you’re doing this. Why…

A guttural, animal snarl caused Banks to turn from his work in alarm. He stared at the creature on the bench, frozen in terror.
It was now entirely transformed. Its body was completely covered, from head to foot, by the shaggy black hair and sharp talons sprouted from its fingers and toes. High pointed ears sprang from its skull. There was no nose, and long yellow fangs protruded from a gaping red mouth.
The slanted eyes opened, and Banks took an involuntarily step backwards. They were a bright red, and within them burnt an intense, unearthly light. There were no pupils.
Roaring and snarling, the creature thrashed about furiously and he saw the strap around its chest start to tear. He ran to the door just as the guard flung it open and strode in, alerted by the noise.
Banks thrust past the guard and shot out of the room. Registering the horror on the bench, the guard made no attempt to stop him. The man's slab face paled in fear at the sight of it.
Without thinking, he aimed his rifle and blasted away at it. The bullets simply bounced off its body, ricocheting from the walls, without leaving a mark. The strap broke and came away. The others followed a second later. Then the creature flexed its limbs and the metal clamps flew off, with such force that one punched a deep dent in the wall and the other shattered a rack of test tubes. The guard turned and ran, slamming the door shut behind him.
With a savage cry of exultation the creature swung itself off the bench and made for the door, its movements now purposeful and co-ordinated. It flung it open with such violence that it came off its hinges.
Banks was already out of sight but the creature could still see the guard, tearing down the corridor ahead of it. Covering the distance between the two of them in seconds, it sprang at him and bore him to the ground. He only screamed once; the second scream died in his throat as it filled with blood. With a savage, almost insane fury the creature proceeded to tear him to pieces. In less than a minute his remains were smeared over a large area of the walls and floor.

von Arbenz was bent over the monitor screens on his desk console, which he hadn't left for a long time. Through the eyes of a watcher robot, he saw that the development they had dreaded had finally happened. Soldiers were moving towards the house.
He called Rayner on his CB radio. “We’ve got problems. The Army are here. Is everything ready for the sacrifice?"
"Yes. I'll go and fetch the prisoners. Can the robots hold them off until the shield’s back in place?”
"They'll have to," said von Arbenz curtly. He began programming them with a new set of instructions, directing them to engage the UNIT troops. The light-blips on the screen converged as they came together to form a single group.
Rayner came running in. "They've escaped!" he gasped.
"What?" bellowed von Arbenz. "How?"
"I don't know. Someone must have got into the house, picked the lock and released them."
von Arbenz forced himself not to panic. The situation called for quick thinking, and for that he had to keep calm.
"There's one chance," he said.

Once or twice on its way to its destination the Wone encountered one of the scientists or Black Troops, who ran from it in terror. It made no attempt to pursue them, because right now they didn’t interest it. It had only killed the guard because he had been going in the same direction as itself, and it thought it might as well take him in on the way.
It came to the door of Stedman's laboratory and smashed it down. Entering the room, it crossed to the console from which the particle accelerator was operated.
Its clawed hands moved about the controls, pressing buttons and flicking switches. Using the knowledge of the human it had once been, the knowledge of Alan Stedman, it was boosting the machine's power up to maximum.

So far the Doctor had been fortunate not to encounter any of the robots. Probably most of them were occupied in hunting down his friends, he thought grimly.
Meanwhile the UNIT soldiers were moving cautiously through the grounds towards the house when a robot stepped into view a few yards ahead of them. Immediately each man turned sharply towards it, his rifle raised.
The Brigadier was about to give the order to fire when he realised the robot was unarmed. It occurred to him there must be some kind of reason for that. "Hold your fire," he barked, after a moment’s hesitation.
The robot was just standing there, making no attempt to harm them. It spoke in its grating electronic voice. "We have taken hostages and will kill them unless you leave immediately. I repeat..."
von Arbenz watched on his monitor. He could only hope the Brigadier didn't realise that in fact the "hostages" were, for the moment, still at liberty.
For a moment Lethbridge-Stewart didn’t respond. It occurred to him that it might be lying. "If you don't mind, I'd like to confirm that," he said, and reached for his radio. The robot didn't react. "Doctor? Doctor, are you there?"
"I've got one of those robot things here and it's saying you’ve been captured."
“I’m alright, but I’ve had to leave the others. I imagine it’s them it’s talking about.” And for all the Doctor knew it was telling the truth.
He explained about Sheila Kingman. "Brigadier, it's imperative I reach that cottage safely, whatever happens. We'll have to worry about Sarah and the rest later. Once I’m out of immediate danger you can go in and rescue them.”
"Message understood. Will comply, over." Lethbridge-Stewart addressed the waiting robot. "I have reason to believe that a government scientist who I came here to protect is still at liberty within the area. I will comply with your instructions provided he is allowed to leave unharmed."
von Arbenz and his comrades were listening to the exchange over the robot's audio circuits. "That must be the person who released the prisoners," said Blundell.
von Arbenz looked at the others, who nodded. He sent another set of instructions to the robot. "Your request is accepted,” it told the Brigadier. “He will join you here, then you will all be permitted to leave safely. The situation will be reviewed in six hours’ time.” By then the force field should be back in place.
"Let me just confirm with him." Lethbridge-Stewart radioed the Doctor and told him what had just been agreed. “I guess we’ll have to honour that,” the Time Lord said. It was less then he’d have preferred. He only hoped that by having to join up with the Brigadier first before going to the cottage, he wouldn’t lose valuable time.

This time they didn't bother to ring him first. The leader of the Black Troops burst into the secret office. "That thing has got free!"
"Can't you stop it?"
"No,” said Hogan. “Bullets don't harm it. It's already killed one of us; just tore him to pieces like wet cardboard. What the hell is it?"
Charteris struggled to remain calm. "What's it doing right now?"
"Last we saw it was heading towards C Block. It's not attacking people unless they get in its way."
“I want it kept under observation. Meanwhile if the staff should find out there are creatures like that roaming around the place they may panic. Word may already have got around." And for all he knew there might be more of the creatures swarming from the hole in Stedman's laboratory. "They could become unmanageable."
He made up his mind. "Let them go. You'll have to hold the Brigadier off by force. Let him deal with that creature, if it falls to him to do so. With any luck it'll keep him occupied while we're finishing our work down here."
The black-clad soldier nodded, then hurried from the room. Charteris resumed his work, working at a frantic speed. He stared hard at the figures and diagrams scrawled on the sheet of paper before him, his brain going into overdrive.
Something clicked inside it, and in a sudden burst of inspiration he understood them. So that was what Rassilon had done. That was what the equipment inside the rocket was for. He gaped in amazement. It wasn't possible, surely...and yet it must be, if these calculations were accurate.
He felt a wetness in his eyes. Even the Doctor, a Time Lord, didn't know exactly how the time travel facility had been acquired. And he did. If any confirmation that he was worth his reputation, worth all the praise that had been showered upon him, had ever been needed this was it. There could be no doubt that Dr George Charteris was the greatest scientist on Earth. Perhaps in the whole universe.

Inside the windmill the blobby jelly-like creatures milled around, aimless for now. There were about half a dozen of them, and more ectoplasm was forming on the walls and ceiling. Globules of the stuff broke away and dropped to the floor, swelling to human size and sprouting limbs. Rudimentary faces began to appear, already twisted in expressions of hatred and malice.

The Doctor broke into a warm smile at the sight of the Brigadier. A friendly smile. He can be charming one moment, virtually ignore you the next, thought Lethbridge-Stewart. Of course I’m forgetting the last one wasn’t always sweetness and light. Sometimes the antagonism between he, Lethbridge-Stewart, and the prickly and autocratic third Doctor had seemed to amount almost to animosity.
“I’ve just heard from Benton at the Foundation,” the Brigadier reported. “They’re letting the staff go. The deadline was about to expire anyway. So we’ll be launching the attack pretty soon.”
The Doctor nodded gravely, thinking of all the soldiers, on both sides, who would be killed in the fighting. The UNIT party turned and moved off, the robot gazing after them until they had disappeared from its sight before heading back towards the house. Once they were clear of the property the Doctor scrambled into the Land Rover and set off for the cottage, following the directions Gavin had given him.

von Arbenz waited until the Doctor and the soldiers had withdrawn beyond the perimeter of the grounds, then turned away from the monitor screen. With any luck they were safe for the moment. As long as the authorities believed the Doctor’s friends were in his clutches they were likely to think carefully about what they did.
Wokir appeared beside him. “The shield is back in place.”
Von Arbenz stared at it. “But surely we need another ceremony…”
“There are other ways of increasing my power. They will ensure that when the time comes, the authorities will be unable to resist us. Believe me, all will be as it should.”

From behind the door of the windmill came a chorus of inhuman snarls and growls. The Army troops guarding the building glanced at one another, wondering if they ought to investigate. The sergeant in charge decided he ought to call Strickson, and got out his radio. “Sir…”
Then the door was smashed from its hinges and sent hurtling some twenty feet. Six hairy, red-eyed forms lurched from the mill and saw the four soldiers. “Stay where you are!” shouted the sergeant, struggling to control his fear, the aura of evil the creatures gave off unsettling him like nothing else ever had in his military career. Ignoring him, the Wones rushed forward. Automatically the soldiers opened fire, peppering them with bullets, but it didn’t deter the creatures in the slightest. Three of the soldiers were torn to pieces. The fourth…well, perhaps he would have been better off dead.
The Wones set off in search of more prey.

The Wone in Stedman’s laboratory watched in satisfaction as the pulsating black hole in the air continued to grow, throwing out more and more writhing tentacles. It had almost doubled in size, and was spreading in all directions, at the rate of a few feet a minute.
In the kitchen at the cottage Tom and Linda sat listening to the sound of Sheila banging on the door of the spare room. Was she doing it physically, Linda wondered, or with the power of her mind?
The police were taking a long time to arrive. "The cops should be here pretty soon," Tom said reassuringly. He squeezed her hand.
Linda nodded absently. She was still wondering uneasily if they really had any right to lock Sheila up as a danger, when she herself had that horrible dream a couple of nights before.
The dream…

The radio on the passenger seat bleeped and the Doctor took the call. “What is it now?” he snapped, irritable because he was worried about Sarah.
“Sergeant Palmer’s squad are doing a recce, trying to find out if there’s any way they can sneak in and get the hostages out safely before the main attack. And there’s something happening at the windmill. Major Strickson’s lost contact with his men there but the last he heard they were under attack from some kind of…creatures.”
“Can’t you deal with it?”
“I’m overstretched enough as it is,” said the Brigadier. “I’ve got men at the Foundation, men at Greenleaves…there’s no-one to spare.”
“I’ll do what I can,” promised the Doctor, and cut him off.
He turned into the lane that led to the cottage, and a few moments later pulled up outside the entrance. As he got out of the Land Rover he heard a sound from somewhere in the distance; a series of growling and snarling noises, like a pack of wild dogs. And it was coming steadily closer; heading this way.
He looked round and saw them, scampering across the fields towards the cottage, their long spindly limbs giving them the appearance of giant spiders. "Wones," he muttered to himself, suddenly remembering their name.
At the speed they were going they'd be here any minute. Unaware of Linda’s face peering at him from a window, he ran up to the door of the cottage and banged on it furiously. "Let me in!" he shouted.
”It’s not the police. I’ve no idea who he is. Some funny man, a tramp maybe…”
“Fine time for this to happen,” Tom snapped.
"I say! Let me in! You’re in serious trouble, you know! I’m here to help!”
Tom looked out of the window but couldn’t see the Doctor from this position. He ran upstairs, Linda following, and opened an upstairs window. Leaning out, he looked down and saw the oddly-dressed figure pounding on the door. “What do you want?”
The Doctor glanced up. “To help you!”
“Look, we’ve got a problem on our hands right now…”
“That’s nothing to what you’ll have in a moment or two.”
Tom sighed and started to turn away. Whoever he was, the police would sort him out when they came.
Then the pack of Wones burst from a hedgerow and came scurrying towards the house. One wore an Army beret on its head at a rakish angle and carried a rifle which it fired repeatedly into the air, while cackling and giggling wickedly. Saliva glistened as it drooled from jaws working in hungry anticipation.
Tom’s jaw dropped. Galvanised into action, he sprinted down the stairs and down the hall to the door, yanking it open. The Doctor tumbled in and Tom slammed it shut.
"The girl called Sheila - the girl who's been acting strangely," panted the Doctor. "Where is she?"
Tom didn't stop to wonder how he knew. "We had to lock her up."
"Did you send for the police or anything?"
"Yes, they should be here soon. What..."
"Is there anyone else in the house?"
"My girlfriend. Those things outside, what the bloody hell are they?"
"Nothing the police can deal with, I'm sure of that."
Linda appeared, alarmed by the unearthly noises coming from outside, the hideous gobbling laughter. "What's that noise out there? Who are y - "
At that moment the door was burst in with a shattering crash. A Wone stood in the opening, and after a moment another appeared behind it. The creatures’ eyes gleamed in fiendish anticipation and the tone of their voices changed to a low, sneering growl.
Linda screamed in horror as she recognised the things from her dream.
Such was the destructive aura emanating from the creatures that things in their vicinity shattered. A vase exploded into several fragments, a patch of wallpaper was slashed into strips.
"Get behind me," the Doctor told the terrified couple. They obeyed, somehow reassured by his calmly authoritative tone.
The Doctor placed himself in front of them, arms spread wide. Slowly he backed away down the hall after them. It was as if he was acting as some sort of shield.
The Wones halted, snarling and muttering in those low, evil voices. They clustered together, seeking strength in numbers. They could sense the sheer goodness emanating from the Doctor, and it made them uncomfortable. If he went down he would do so with difficulty. They resented this and growled malevolently, spitting and raking the air with their talons. They were steeling themselves, gathering their energies, preparing themselves to rush at the three humans and overcome them.
The Doctor knew they couldn't hold off the Wones for long. There were five of them, enough to get the better of him however pure at heart he might be.
"What are they here for?" shouted Tom. "What do they want?"
"To kill us, basically," snapped the Doctor. "The girl called Sheila. Let her out! You’ve got to let her out!”
"Do it, Tom!" urged Linda. They couldn't leave Sheila trapped in the building with these things rampaging about the place.
"The key's in the kitchen!" Tom yelled back.
The three of them shuffled further along the hall, towards the kitchen. Slowly, cautiously, the Wones started to advance.
At any moment, thought the Doctor, they might pluck up their courage and attack.
They heard the wail of police sirens. The Wones eyed one another for a moment, then turned and ran out of the house, eager to feast on someone who was not quite so protected as the Doctor.
Tom ran for the kitchen. "Upstairs!" the Doctor shouted to Linda.
Outside, the two policemen had just got out of their car leaving a third at the wheel, and were walking towards the house. They froze in shock as they saw the Wones emerge from the building and scurry towards them, jaws slavering, red eyes glinting.
They hesitated, uncertain whether the creatures were real or just some bunch of sickos in fancy dress. One realised the truth and ran back to the car, yelling to his colleague to do the same.
The other policeman hesitated just a moment too long. As the Wones bore down on him he felt a thousand invisible needles pierce his flesh. Blood was running into his eyes, blinding him. He stumbled this way and that.
For a moment the creatures argued over whether to absorb him or kill him. Then he screamed as their claws ripped through his flesh, a fountain of blood spurting high in the air.
In the bedroom the Doctor and Linda listened in horror to the hideous sounds as the policeman was torn to pieces. Linda clung to the Doctor and sobbed, fully expecting that she’d be next.
In her prison, Sheila Kingman listened terrified to the roars and snarls from the yard. She started to hammer on the door.
The second policeman reached the car just too late. The Wone with the rifle shot him with it, laughing madly.
The policeman in the car started the engine and reversed the vehicle prior to turning and driving away. Two of the Wones were still fighting over the mangled, partially dismembered corpse of his colleague. Another had seen him trying to escape and was charging the vehicle. He trod hard on the accelerator, driving straight at the creature. He heard the thud as the vehicle slammed into the Wone's body, sending it flying through the air to smash into the wall of an outhouse. Almost immediately it was on its feet again, completely unharmed by the impact, and running after the car.
The policeman drove as fast as he could down the drive. Glancing briefly through his rear mirror, he saw with a shiver of horror that the Wone had almost caught up with him.
Next moment, a scraping noise from above told him the thing was on the roof. He fought desperately to stop himself panicking. With a sound of rending, tearing metal the Wone ripped a hole in the roof of the car and thrust a clawed hand through it. It swiped at the policeman, tearing a chunk of flesh from his face.
The car swerved sharply to the left, the Wone still sprawled across the roof like a monstrous toad, and left the road to smash into a wall and flip over. The Wone was thrown off by the impact, to land on the ground several yards away. Then the car landed on top of the creature and burst into flames. A second later the petrol tank exploded, turning it into a massive fireball.
With a snarl the Wone threw off the burning car and ran back up the drive to the cottage, eager not to be left out of the feast. It was badly singed and much of its hair was burnt off but otherwise it was unharmed.
Tom was running round to the back of the house, the key in his hand. He had just reached the annexe where the spare room was when he felt a hand, or something like one, grasp him by the shoulder. He looked down, saw the hairy, clawed black talons and screamed. One of the Wones had seen him going round the side of the building and gone after him. The talons bit painfully into his flesh, and to his horror Tom saw it begin to blacken and change.
He found he couldn’t concentrate on the task in hand. Strange thoughts, dark and disturbing thoughts he knew he shouldn’t have, that shocked and horrified him, were infiltrating his mind, establishing themselves there. With a savage effort he managed to insert the key in the lock and turn it. Sheila pushed open the door and stepped out.
She saw the Wone grasping Tom, saw what was happening to him. She screamed and cowered back. Then she seemed to rally. A look came into her eyes as if she knew what the Wone was. She stepped towards it purposefully, took hold of the hand gripping Tom by the shoulder and tried to pull it away.
Becoming aware of her presence the Wone looked at her, its repulsive face staring straight into her own. On it was a look of amused contempt. It leered at her, a hideous chuckle coming from deep in its throat.
The chuckle died away. There was something in her eyes it didn't like. It relaxed its grip on Tom and backed away.
Sheila advanced slowly towards the creature, staring at it fixedly. She knew this thing was evil. It had to be fought, destroyed. She also knew that she could not destroy it unless she suppressed the anger and hatred in her own mind, because then she wouldn't be that much different from it.
With a mighty effort she concentrated all her will on it. She stretched out an arm and pointed.
Some immense force hit the Wone and knocked it backwards. It rolled head over heels along the ground until it collided with a wall. It picked itself up slowly, glaring malevolently at Sheila, then with one last look of pure hate and resentment it scurried off. Back where it had come.
Tom was slumped against the wall of the garage, shivering violently. There was a red glint in his eyes and tiny black hairs were sprouting from his flesh as she watched. He seemed to be struggling to suppress the medley of little animal-like snarls and grunts that issued from his mouth.
Sheila heard crashing and shattering noises from within the house and cocked her head, as if listening. She could drive them away. She knew that. She could protect her friends. But they weren't her friends. They'd done nasty things to her, locked her up.
No. She shouldn't think like that.
A Wone was clambering up the wall of the house towards the window of one of the bedrooms. Brushing past Tom, Sheila hurried towards the building, through the shattered door and up the stairs.
In the bedroom the Doctor and Linda were huddled on the floor, the Time Lord's arms clasped protectively around the Earth woman. The Doctor wondered feverishly what would happen when the Wones broke into the room. If they couldn’t make him one of them, they would destroy him. As for Linda, she didn’t stand a chance.
Linda screamed as the window erupted in a shower of broken glass and a hair-covered, sinewy, long-taloned arm reached into the room. They scrambled away from it. The Wone clambered through the broken window and dropped to the floor At the same time, the door was torn from its hinges and the other Wones came flooding in. They fell over each other, spitting and snarling, scratching and biting in their eagerness to get at their prey.
For a moment the four of them stood there, relishing the waves of fear and terror emanating from Linda. Then they all charged at once.
Some invisible, incredibly powerful force, which felt to the Doctor and Linda like a gust of cool wind, swept through the room. The Wones, arrested in their mad charge, gave shrill high-pitched screams of fear and pain. They abandoned all interest in the Doctor and Linda and dashed for the window like scalded cats. In seconds they had disappeared through it.
Unable to harm the people in the cottage they vented their fury on the buildings, smashing up everything in sight. Soon all the windows were shattered, the roofs stripped of their tiles to reveal bare rafters. When they had expended their negative energy they scuttled off after their comrade.
Linda was crying hysterically. The Doctor continued to hug her, whispering soothingly in her ear. "It's all right. You're safe. Your baby's safe. We're both safe."
He noticed Sheila Kingman standing in the doorway, and smiled at her. "Thankyou very much indeed." She took a few steps into the room, studying them thoughtfully.
Tom came staggering towards them, and Linda screamed. His eyes were now pupilless red coals, his skin was completely black and his nails had elongated into long curved talons.
Sheila stepped up to him calmly and placed both hands on his shoulders, staring into the red glowing eyes. A shiver ran through his body and he convulsed violently, going rigid. She went on gazing fixedly at him. As they watched, the glow faded from his eyes and they returned to normal. His nails receded to their normal length and his skin returned to its normal colour, the down of black hairs disappearing. He collapsed as if suddenly exhausted.
Linda hurried to see to him. "Tom, are you OK? Tom?"
With an effort he managed to speak. "God, I feel sick...it was terrible. I wanted to hate...wanted to kill and hurt...and I knew I couldn't stop it. I knew it was going to win whatever I did."
"Well, I think you have cause to be very grateful to this young lady," said the Doctor, nodding at Sheila. "Not least because it must have taken her a lot of effort. The transformation isn't fully complete yet, I'd imagine."
Tom lapsed back into silence. The Doctor guessed he was suffering from delayed shock, and examined him briefly. "He'll be all right."
"What were those things?" Linda asked.
"Creatures from another dimension," said the Doctor. "Beings of pure evil. If my memory serves me correctly, they're called Wones."
"Will they come back?" Linda asked.
"Not now they know she's about the place," the Doctor said, indicating Sheila, who was looking at Tom and Linda with a triumphant, gloating expression. "Besides, I suspect they can't exist in this dimension for very long. Not with the limited amount of energy available to them at the moment. They'll revert to ectoplasm, then go back through the hole in the dimensional barrier and stay there for the time being."
"I see," Linda replied shakily.
Just then Sheila Kingman spoke. "He's right," she said. "I just saved your lives. You ought to be bloody well grateful." There was a note of menace in her voice which made Linda feel distinctly uncomfortable.
"It seems to me I can do rather a lot," she said. “There are…possibilities.” She looked at the painting on the wall; it split in two and crashed to the ground. An engraved glass bowl on the windowsill cracked clean across.
Laughing, she strode from the room.
Linda decided she needed some more answers. "Um...who are you?" she asked the Doctor.
"I'm the Scientific Adviser to UNIT, and I've got some very important work to do here. Now, a friend of yours has told me all that's been happening here."
From downstairs they heard the sound of breaking crockery, the occasional exultant laugh.
"Gavin? Where is he? We were beginning to get a bit worried about him."
The Doctor decided not to alarm them by revealing what was happening at Greenleaves. "He's around investigating Anglo-Saxon relics. Now then, I really need to know -"
Suddenly Linda froze as the delicacy of their situation hit her. "She's angry and she's got those...those powers...she may use them to kill us…I don't know what to do we've got to do something we've got to..."
Gently the Doctor placed his hands on her shoulders. And gave her a look which said "don't worry. Leave this to me. Everything's going to be all right."

“So the shield’s back in place, Palmer?”
“Yes, Sir. We can’t get anywhere near the house. What shall we do, Sir?”
“Stay there and keep an eye on the place, that’s what. Any developments, report them to me immediately. Over.”
The scientific and domestic staff had now gone, apart from a few who were still being interrogated by UNIT Intelligence in the command tent the Brigadier had set up just down the road. There was no sign of the Black Troops, but they had to be in there somewhere, waiting, keyed up to repel their enemy.
The Brigadier turned to Benton. “Well,” he said quietly. “I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go in.” Relief that they would not be bringing about innocent deaths had been replaced by the knowledge that they'd soon be engaged in a pitched battle which some of them would not survive.
The Brigadier surveyed his men. He couldn't be sure exactly how many of the Black Troops there were, though presumably there wasn't an inexhaustible supply of them. So he'd got together the maximum amount of soldiers he had at his disposal, along with some Regular Army reinforcements. As far as the size of his force was concerned, he'd done all that he could. Of course what would make it effective was the way it was deployed, and not just numbers.
What tactics would the enemy adopt? That to a certain extent depended on their own strength, which was another unknown quantity. If there were a lot of them, then unless they relied totally on numbers - never a wise thing to do - they might choose to break up into a number of fairly large, or small but highly compact and disciplined, groups which would be able to put up a protracted resistance.
His own force was big enough to allow him to do that. He split it into four sizeable segments. If the enemy force was fairly small, it could then be mopped up easily. If it was large, then they would at least be on equal terms.
He remembered his own encounter with the Black Troops the previous day. "All right, men. You're dealing with a bunch of highly trained, highly disciplined and very effective soldiers. Like yourselves. They seem to fight like robots...almost as if they're not quite human. Now that's not too different from how a soldier does fight, most of the time. Because a soldier has to be like that, otherwise he's no good at his job. But that’s how I want you to fight today - like robots. Only a little more than you normally would. But you've also got to think. A soldier who can't do that isn't much good either. If he's just a mindless automaton, he can easily be out-thought, and out-fought, by someone who isn't. Our enemy must know that, and will be able to think as well as fight. So, therefore, must we.
“There is also an alien, and probably hostile, life form at large on the premises." Dr Banks had warned them about the Wone. "If it attacks you you are of course free to fire on it. Otherwise leave it alone."
The Brigadier took charge of one squad, which would take the main administration block, Benton another. The remaining two would concentrate on the laboratories and auxiliary buildings. They'd already familiarised themselves with plans of the establishment, and knew where to go.
At a signal from the Brigadier, they began moving slowly towards the complex.
As soon as they were through the gates the Black Troops erupted from their hiding places, on top of roofs and from behind corners, and the shooting started.


















FIVE
Ernst Bruchmann concealed himself in a patch of undergrowth close to the house, his bag of equipment beside him. He scanned the building carefully through a pair of binoculars, hoping that the man he hated would appear at one of the windows.
Not far away, his former companions were moving steadily towards the building, trying to keep to the paths in case the rustling of vegetation alerted the robots. "We can't go too near the house or we may be seen from it," Gavin whispered.
“Then we may as well give up,” said Christine. “Bruchmann will be going pretty close to the house. He’ll have to if he wants to kill my father.”
“So the plan is we just sneak up on him unawares and jump him?”
“I suppose so,” said Sarah, her face showing that she didn’t think it stood much chance of success.
They could have warned von Arbenz, but to do so would risk being captured by him. Besides, he was probably on his guard already. And indeed, just then Bruchmann wasn’t having much luck. He put down the binoculars with a sigh; Arbenz had failed to show. Most likely he was keeping away from the windows, knowing Bruchmann was on the loose and out to get him.
If he waited for much longer there was a danger the robots would find him. He'd have to go over to the attack soon.
He could hear the sound of bodies moving through the vegetation around him. But it didn't sound like the robots. Must be the others; Burckhardt’s daughter, the journalist girl, and that Brendon fellow. In a moment they’d find him.
A few hundred yards away, the keen ears of one of the robots had also picked up the sound. Changing direction, it lumbered towards its source. A moment later another joined it.
Bruchmann's hand was forced by the arrival of Sarah and Co. He reached into the satchel, took out a grenade and flung it at one of the windows of the house. The sound of shattering glass was followed by a dull roar as the grenade exploded within the room, a cloud of smoke billowing from the window opening. Inside the building von Arbenz and his associates were running about in alarm.
Bruchmann reached for another grenade, anxious to cause as much devastation as possible before the others stopped him. Before he could take it out Gavin had flung himself on top of him. The two men struggled fiercely, rolling over.
Sarah ran to them and separated them. “The robots! They’re here!”
"Do not move!" grated a mechanical voice. "Do not move or you will be shot!"
Gavin leaped away from Bruchmann, letting him take the grenade from his bag, just as the two robots marched into the clearing. The grenade landed on the ground between them and exploded, blowing both of them to pieces. Robot arms and legs flew everywhere, spitting sparks.
Christine and the others turned and ran.
A third robot appeared, then a fourth, a fifth. A sixth. Bruchmann threw himself down and rolled for the cover of a nearby thicket, laser beams slicing through the air above his head. From it he continued to hurl his grenades. On his screen von Arbenz saw two of the red lights wink out. He keyed into the visual circuits of one of the robots and a picture appeared of Bruchmann hurling another grenade. The screen went dead as the explosive struck its target’s chest and detonated, blowing off the robot’s head which rolled along the ground towards Bruchmann. Decapitated, the robot staggered blindly all over the place letting off laser bolts and cutting down more of its fellows as they converged on their target. One of them raised its rifle and blasted it away, eliminating the threat.
Knowing he couldn’t avoid getting hit forever, Bruchmann rolled to one side, out of the thicket, as a laser beam struck it and set it on fire. Throwing another grenade as cover, he sprinted for a new hiding place.
The robots continued to advance, despite the fact that they were getting blown to pieces. Bruchmann guessed their controllers were trying to force him to use up his ammunition, sacrificing them in the process. Well, if that was what they wanted.

The battle for the Foundation was proving a fierce one. Black Troops appeared on roofs and from behind the angles of walls, blazing away at the UNIT soldiers. The Brigadier's men responded with equal ferocity. The enemy fell through skylights and off roofs, were smashed to the ground by a hail of bullets.
As the Brigadier and his squad approached the main building, a shot rang out from it and the man next to Lethbridge-Stewart fell dead. Immediately the Brigadier threw himself to the ground in the lee of a wall, the rest of the squad following suit. Looking up, they saw that about half a dozen Black Troops had positioned themselves at one of the windows and were firing through it. The Brigadier lobbed a grenade at the window and a second later heard the roar of the explosion. The window was blown out and the bodies of several of the enemy were hurled through it, grotesquely mutilated.
As the smoke cleared, the two surviving Black Troops appeared in the opening and began firing. They were soon shot dead by the UNIT riflemen, slumping forward over the jutting fragments of broken glass.
Not far away, approaching the Foundation from the rear, Corporal Adams and his squad found themselves pinned down by another party of Black Troops. But Sergeant Benton and his men had by now managed to gain entry to the complex, and attacked the defenders from behind, speedily wiping them out and allowing Adams' force to enter.
Once the fighting had moved inside the Foundation itself it wasn't possible for either side to use grenades without bringing roofs and walls down on top of them. Now both attackers and defenders were able to advance much more speedily.

The Doctor found Sheila Kingman in her room, sitting in a chair gazing pensively out of the window.
"I need to talk to you," he said.
"Oh yes?" she said casually. "What about?"
"I understand you've had some...frightening experiences."
"I suppose I have. But right now I feel...fantastic. Absolutely fantastic."
"You're turning into something very strange and wonderful. The trouble is, it's happening much too soon."
She didn't seem to hear him. "I haven't decided what to do with it yet," she said. "But I know I'm going to have plenty of fun."
"They couldn't have kept me locked up for very long anyway," she added scornfully.
"You could destroy the whole world if you're not careful," the Doctor warned her.
"And why shouldn't I? It's a nasty rotten place." Her voice rose several decibels. "People ruin your childhood by saying "don't do this, don't do that."" Another vase shattered.
"They decide you're "weird", a creature from outer space, and try to make your life a misery." A table broke in two.
"And then when you grow up they won't let you enjoy your freedom..." A chair shattered into jagged splinters.
"Who are you, anyway?" she asked, abandoning her destructive tirade for the moment.
The Doctor explained. "I need to know how what started these changes in you, and whether it's connected in some way with the creatures that attacked us just now. I'm sure you're interested in how you acquired your new powers. Aren't you?"
"Do you know?"
"I may be able to find out. But you're going to have to help me."
"Why? How do I know you aren't going to take it away from me somehow?" She eyed him distrustfully.
The Doctor studied her carefully. "Will you excuse me for a moment or two?" he said. "I need to talk to someone about something."
"What something?" she asked dubiously.
The Doctor knew it would only make her more suspicious if he refused to tell her. "About whether there's anything in your past which is making you so...so angry about things."
"At least you're honest. So, you weren't going to talk to me about it. Wouldn't it have been more polite if you had?"
"Well, do you want to talk about it?" said the Doctor.
She was silent.
The Doctor grinned. "There you are, you see?" He made to leave the room.
She snorted. "I bet you're just like all the others. Any-way...you think I'm crazy, just look at the way you dress."
"That's eccentricity, not madness," the Doctor protested.
"So do you think I'm mad?" she challenged, moving threateningly towards him.
He looked her straight in the face. "No," he said sincerely. "I don't think you're mad at all. Look, it's most unlikely I can hurt you. I'm rather more worried about what you might do to me. And others."
"So you should be," she muttered. She turned her head as he
went out. "Don't be too long. I might get bored with hanging around in here and decide to try out some of my new abilities."
"I'll bear that in mind," the Doctor smiled.

Tom, now recovered from his ordeal, was helping Linda restore the cottage to some semblance of tidiness. They worked in silence, concentrating on what they were doing so it would keep them from worrying. Any moment, they feared, Sheila could do something frightening and dangerous. That very consideration meant they didn't like to turn their back on her, regardless of what might happen if they stayed here.
The Doctor found them in the kitchen, sweeping up broken crockery and collecting together the various things which the Wones had strewn all over the place. "I need to know a bit more about her," he explained. "About her past. Is it possible you can help me there?"
Tom considered. "Hmmm...where do I begin? She's always acted strangely, on and off. Since as far back as I can remember. Difficult, paranoid, always suspecting everybody was doing her down. Very short fuse. From what I can gather, there was a lot of discussion about whether she should be sent to a special school. When she started having hallucinations and going on those crazy midnight excursions, we just assumed she was being her usual abnormal self."
"Have you any idea what caused it all in the first place?"
Tom lowered his voice, stepping closer to the Doctor so he could hear him. "Well, I can't vouch for this, but..." He gathered his thoughts. "She never talked much about her family, never seemed to have much contact with her parents. And the few times they came down to see her, she always seemed nervous with them. Especially her father. We thought...well, my theory is that even if he didn't...interfere with her, he may have knocked her about a bit."
They became aware that Sheila was in the room with them. She stood with her arms folded and a mischievous expression on her face. Linda drew away from her with a gasp, her whole body shaking like a jelly. Tom moved protectively in front of his girlfriend.
"Do go on," said Sheila sweetly. "Don't let me interrupt."
"We're trying to help you," said the Doctor. "Not just for your own sake but for others’."
"I don't need any help," Sheila said savagely. "Not with the powers I've got."
The Doctor went up to her, unafraid. He took her hands in his and said gently, "Yes...you have power. But I think what you want most of all is to be loved, isn't it? And you won't be loved if you use the power to destroy. Will you?"

The Wone in Stedman’s laboratory waited until the patch of dark matter had spread far enough for nobody to be able to reach the particle accelerator and turn it off. Though soon it wouldn’t matter anyway, because the process had acquired a momentum of its own.
Its task accomplished, the Wone stepped into the Blackness and vanished, reabsorbed into it. It had thought of venting its bloodlust on the soldiers, but just now they appeared intent on killing each other, and it thought it might as well let them get on with it. Humans were good at that sort of thing.

Bruchmann reached for yet another grenade, and realised that the bag was empty. He threw himself flat on his stomach and wriggled forward a few feet, laser beams stabbing into the ground around him, until he was in the cover of the woods. Then he sprang to his feet and ran. A laser bolt missed him by a fraction, slicing off a branch which fell smoking to the ground. Then he had vanished from the robots’ sight. The wood here was particularly dense and he was hoping that that and the zigzagging motion in which he ran, as far as the closely packed trees allowed, would prevent them seeing or shooting him.
He decided to settle his account with von Arbenz later.
Christine, Gavin and Sarah were running towards the lane which led to the windmill. Suddenly Gavin was knocked backwards, as if rebounding from…from an invisible barrier. He lost his balance and fell. When he got to his feet the others saw that the skin on his face and hands was badly bruised.
"The shield!" Christine sobbed. "The shield's back in place!"
"We've got to find somewhere to hide," said Sarah. She scanned the area, but could see nothing. Or anything they could use as a weapon against the robots, either.
They heard Bruchmann running towards them and turned. "One of the robots is after me!" he panted, too concerned with his own safety to wonder for the moment why they'd all stopped running.
"Listen, I've got an idea," said Christine.
When the robot emerged from the trees it saw that Christine was standing in front of her friends with her arms spread wide, shielding them. Biting her lip, she stepped forward. She knew her father would not want the robots to harm her. All the same, it took every ounce of courage. Her whole body was trembling and for a moment or two her courage faltered.
von Arbenz glared at the view on the screen, and slammed his fist down hard on the console. This was making things difficult.
The robot stopped, as did the three which had just appeared behind it. It had been programmed to recognise this particular human by sight. Her age, ethnic group, sex, height, build, hair and eye colour, complexion, facial profile, all conformed to the data that had been committed to its memory banks.
"I'm afraid you may have to be ruthless," said Rayner.
"Shut up," snapped von Arbenz, glaring at him. "We can outflank them, once more robots are ready."
The robot began to move round the group, constantly forcing them all to change position. Soon, they would begin to tire.
“Where’s the journalist girl?” asked Swain.
Then Sarah stepped out from behind a bush, the sonic screwdriver pointed at the robot and switched to maximum intensity. The robot convulsed and threw up its arms, smoke pouring from its workings. For a few moments it staggered about in a macabre dance then collapsed in a sparking, twitching heap.
Sarah grabbed its laser rifle from where it had fallen. "This should come in useful. Now, we've got to find a safe hiding place until the Doctor and the Brigadier can find a way to get through that shield. Come on!"

"What right have you got to gossip about things that don't concern you?" said Sheila Kingman.
But her voice held a note of uncertainty now.
The Doctor moved towards her. "But they do concern us, Sheila. With the powers you've got you could do an awful lot of harm. Or good. I needed to know why you might want it to be harm. What sort of anger could harness the power to destroy."
While Sheila's attention was focused on the Doctor, Linda whispered into Tom's ear. "I think we should get out of here."
The Doctor overheard her words. "She'd kill you before you got very far."
He turned back to Sheila. "Would you rather just talk to me, or can the others stay?"
"Have I said I wanted to talk to anybody?"
"No, but I think you do want to talk to someone. Because in your heart you know destroying everything in sight will give you no peace."
Aware that he might be taking all their lives in his hands, the Doctor thought for a moment, then took a deep breath.
"You mustn't harm us, because you need our help. You're angry and disturbed, aren't you, and you have been for a long time. I think I know why. Your father did some very bad things to you when you were a child. You grew to hate and suspect a world that could have permitted them. At school you sulked and wouldn’t play with other children. They didn’t like that, so they picked on you. Of course that only made things worse. The problem stayed with you when you grew up. And because it poisoned you so much you could never really relate to other people. You couldn't be happy in their company.
"You don't like to admit it, do you? You think it would mean confessing to a weakness, an imperfection. And losing your self-esteem as a result. But if you did admit to it, you wouldn't be demeaning yourself. If anyone else, your friends here included, had had your experiences they'd probably have turned out the same as you, and I think they know that at heart. If they don’t it’s only because they’ve never had to face the issue.
“But they'd have been scarred, damaged, in such a way that they wouldn't want to talk about it, if it had happened to them. They're just lucky it didn't. And often luck is the only thing which distinguishes some people from others. Those who are…whole, who are fulfilled, and those who aren’t.”
“Um…well I guess that’s true,” said Tom helpfully. And it was, if you thought about it.
“Getting so angry, so violent, wanting to destroy things, maybe hurt someone...it's wrong, all wrong. But there's really no need for you to assume you're anything different from other people...or that anyone's saying you are."
For a long time Sheila said nothing. Tom and Linda waited, hardly daring to breathe.
Then she laughed. But it wasn't a mad laugh, not really. The tension in the room suddenly evaporated. Sheila smiled, and the others found themselves smiling with her.
She sat down on a chair, looking a little uncertain as to what should happen next. Suddenly her whole body convulsed, a shiver running through it. She staggered, face contorted as if in pain. She held her arms out before her, a surprised look on her face. A sheen of radiance had appeared on her skin and was growing brighter. The silvery glow spread outwards until her whole body was suffused with it. The others drew back, covering their eyes against the light's intense glare, which with a rushing noise expanded to fill the whole room. It flared up, then suddenly faded.
Slowly they removed their hands from their eyes, and stared in amazement and awe at what was standing in the centre of the room.
Sheila Kingman's entire body was bathed in a glowing golden radiance which enveloped her like a cloak, rippling and flowing. Beneath it the outline of her body, still human in form, and the fabric of her clothes could dimly be made out, somehow blended with it. It merged with her hair, turning it into red-gold waves, like streamers of fire. Her eyes had become brilliant, gleaming sapphires. The Doctor wondered if this was what an angel looked like. Or a soul.
Tom and Linda backed away in amazement. Something made them almost want to fall to their knees in reverence.
The Doctor's face was alive with delight. He nodded to Sheila in a manner which Tom and Linda felt conveyed respect. "Greetings, Sheila Kingman," he said. "First of the Endowed."

In Stedman’s laboratory the Blackness quivered, and something began to pour from it, something slightly more solid than its own substance. A thick black sludge which steamed and bubbled as it flowed across the floor of the lab to the door, swallowing up everything in its path.
A solid tide of the material flowed out into the corridor, moving at the rate of a few feet a minute.

The Doctor was studying the drawings in Sheila Kingman's scrapbook; the owls, the bird-like shapes, and the hill. He nodded to himself, and looked up. "Now tell me about this dream you had."
The silky tones in which Sheila spoke had an ethereal, distant quality, as if she were speaking from thousands, millions of miles away. "I saw a light in the sky, a brilliant light. A shape like a great bird coming down out of it. Then everyone was going towards the bird-thing…going inside it. There was a wonderful feeling of peace and calm. Then I saw the, the shape going down out of sight into the very earth."
"And pushing up enough soil to make a decent-sized hill," mused the Doctor.
"It was the last thing I saw in my dream. The hill where the ship had been."
"Sounds to me like a race memory," the Doctor said. "I don't suppose you know quite where this hill is?"
"Yes, actually I do. It's only a mile or so away from here. I can show you if you like."
"According to Gavin it’s supposed to be artificial," butted in Tom. "They’re not sure who built it or why. Only Glastonbury Tor and one other like it in the whole country."
"Hmmmm..." The Doctor sat down on the sofa, deep in thought. After a moment he began to speak, reciting his words like a litany.
"The Legion Of Evil. No-one knows from whence they came. They appeared suddenly, swarming within a short time over half the known cosmos. Millions of planets were laid waste, their populations slaughtered or absorbed into the ranks of the Legion, their very soil polluted and blackened and poisoned. A Council was held of all sentient beings, and its members agreed that the only way to destroy the Legion, since they represented nothing less than pure undiluted evil, since that was their strength, was with a force of supreme Good.
“The battle raged over many years and many galaxies. It was the fiercest conflict the universe had ever seen. At length the Legion Of Good defeated the Legion Of Evil and drove them from this universe into another. The battle drained the Legion's strength, killing many of their number and weakening the rest. They put themselves to sleep, until such time as the universe would need them again. For it was feared that some day, somehow, the Legion Of Evil would escape from the realm in which they had been imprisoned and return to wreak chaos and suffering throughout the cosmos.
“The Legion Of Good – the Schthori - put themselves into a deep slumber to renew their strength. Fearing that there would not be enough of them, after the losses they had sustained, to destroy the Legion should it again seek to conquer the universe they sowed the seed of their powers amongst the people of a small planet then at a primitive stage of its development, for they believed that this people would eventually become a great civilization, worthy of assuming the mantle of defenders of Good against Wokir, leader of the Legion of Darkness, and his Wones.
“The identity of this planet has never been revealed to this day, lest others who might seek to swamp the universe with evil should hear of it and destroy it and its people."
"How do you know all that?" Tom asked.
"It's an extract from the folk legends of my planet." The Doctor turned to him and Linda. "I suggest you leave this area as soon as possible. Pretty soon there's going to be an enormous battle between good and evil, and I'm not sure which is going to win."
Tom surveyed the scene of utter devastation which surrounded them. "Well, we certainly can't stay here." He sighed. "Everything’s wrecked. God knows what Auntie Raine is going to say about this."
"We'll leave a note for Gavin, in case he ever decides to come back," Linda said. "He'll just have to make his own arrangements for getting home."
She suddenly remembered something. "I should have told you. The things that attacked this cottage, I saw them in a dream." She glanced at Tom.
"Has anything else happened to you that I should know about?”
“Apart from all the business with Sheila…” Linda looked at that person apologetically. “No. Um...will it, do you suppose?"
"Eventually, yes. It looks as if the breaking-out process doesn't always follow the same pattern. Some individuals are affected sooner than others, or not quite as traumatically."
"What shall we do?" asked Tom anxiously.
"Contact UNIT. You should be able to reach them through the Ministry Of Defence. They'll probably want to keep you under observation. Just co-operate with them; I'll make sure you're treated well."
"OK." They turned to Sheila Kingman. "Um...goodbye, Sheila. Er...come and look us up sometime."
"I'd be delighted," she said.
"Well, you can't say it hasn't been an eventful holiday," Tom declared as they went off to pack all their belongings.
The Doctor was left alone with Sheila. "I think you and I should take a look at that hill next.”
"Well, that's fine by me," she said. “Let’s go.”

It wasn't proving an easy victory for UNIT, but they were winning. In the Foundation's Security Section, Dr Charteris and the leader of the Black Troops were watching the scene on an array of monitor screens. "They'll be all over the place in a minute," sighed Charteris. He could hear the sounds of fighting only a few corridors away.
"No sign of that creature," he said. Then something on one of the screens caught his eye. "What's that?"
He saw the black sludge oozing slowly along the corridor from Stedman's lab. “It must have come from – “
His mind raced. "We've got to launch the rocket before it overwhelms the place. Or before the Brigadier can stop us. Is the way to Lab 57 still clear?" The soldier consulted another monitor. "Yes. But how long that'll stay the case I wouldn't like to say."
The solid mass of black now filled the whole of the screen. Charteris called the rocket section. "How near are you to completing the light phase accelerator?"
"It'll only take another hour or so."
"Stay where you are until further notice."
"Right, let's move." Charteris picked up the crowbar that lay on his desk and smashed it down on the nearest monitor, shattering the screen. Smoke and flames erupted from its workings. He set about wrecking the others.

Behind the Brigadier and CSM Benton the corridors of the Foundation were strewn with black-uniformed bodies.
"It looks like they've given up, Sir," Benton said. They'd reached the centre of the complex by now, and for the last few minutes had seen none of the black-clad figures.
"We can't be sure," the Brigadier replied. "Might be a ruse." They couldn't regard it as a victory unless the whole of the Foundation was in their hands.
They heard the sound of feet running towards them and flattened themselves against the wall. A black-clad soldier appeared round a corner and took aim at them. They both opened fired instantly with their rifles, cutting him down before he had a chance to pull the trigger.
The Brigadier's radio bleeped. "Adams here, Sir. We've secured C and D blocks. I think the enemy have all scarpered through their secret tunnel, what's left of them."
"Harris, Sir. A Block now in our hands." The calls continued to come in.
Soon the four groups met up. "Looks like we've won, Sir!" grinned Benton.
"More or less. Benton, I need to find out how the Doctor's getting on. I'm leaving you to mop up here. Once you've dealt with any pockets of resistance you need to get down to that rocket silo and make it secure. But don't touch any of the equipment, not until the Doctor's had a chance to look at it."
"Very good, Sir. I guess the other priority is to find Dr Charteris."
The Brigadier nodded. "And keep an eye on that stuff the Doctor was talking about. Keep me informed at all times." They exchanged salutes, and the Brigadier hurried off. Benton's radio bleeped. "Greyhound Leader."
"Adams. We've captured the security section, but someone's smashed all the cameras."
"So we don't know exactly who's still in the complex and where they are. All right, Corporal. You'll just have to tell the lads to take care."
“Right. I’ll take a man with me and check out that laboratory. It’s only a couple of corridors from here, on the level above.”
Accompanied by Private Lorrimer, Adams climbed the stairs to the second floor and headed for Stedman’s laboratory, the two of them moving slowly and cautiously. They turned a corner and stopped. A tide of what looked like black mud was travelling towards them, filling the height and width of the corridor. It made a horrible slithering, gurgling sound and heaved and shifted as if alive.
Adams swore softly. Experimentally, he raised his rifle and fired a few bullets into the sludge. They disappeared into it without having the slightest effect.
Suddenly, as if sensing their presence, the black tide surged forward towards them. Alarmed, the two soldiers turned and ran back the way they'd come.
Lorrimer wasn’t quite fast enough. A tentacle lashed out from the sludge and wrapped itself around his leg, yanking him sharply back so that he fell over. The sludge flowed over him. Adams heard the scream from just behind him, but of course he couldn't stop. He just concentrated on getting as far away from the thing as possible.
Meanwhile on the same level one of a group of soldiers searching for any enemy troops who might still be on the premises opened the door dividing one section of the building from another to find himself confronted by a wall of heaving, pulsating blackness. The scream choked in his throat as it sucked him in.
Outside in the compound Benton stood watching his men load the bodies of the Black Troops who had been killed into a van. A Corporal came towards him. "They don't seem to have any ID on them, nothing. It's really weird."
Benton nodded, his face a study in puzzlement. Then he saw Adams hurrying up to them. "What did you find?”
Adams told him what had happened. "Looks like it's on the move. Some sort of black slime, seems to be alive. I think it got Lorrimer.”
"And with the monitors out of action, we can't keep an eye on it. How fast is it moving?"
"Not very fast. A few inches at a time. Until it works out you're there; then it goes for you."
Benton made a call. "Sergeant Harris, have you secured the launch silo yet?"
"Yes. There's this massive big rocket, and lots of equipment I can't make head or tail of. There were some technical people there, all dead. I think they must have been with the enemy. Looks like they shot themselves when they realised we'd won." Obviously their mysterious adversaries had imposed a culture of secrecy, to whose infringement death was preferable, on themselves. Benton whistled.
"Any sign of Charteris?"
“No, ‘fraid not.” But he could still be around somewhere, Benton thought. Someone had smashed the security cameras. Was that just to cover their escape, or to stop anyone seeing what they were up to?
Then the report came in of another soldier lost to the Sludge. Benton bit his lip; he was reluctant to place the troops inside the building in danger from the stuff as it advanced. "Stay where you are and await further orders,” he told Harris. “If there's any danger to you I'll pull you out.
Corporal Adams, I want you to keep an eye on that stuff’s progress. Keep at a safe distance, don't put yourself at risk. Apart from yourself and your squad I want Levels Two and Three to be evacuated, and Level One as far as the Deep Space Research Lab, to be on the safe side. If Charteris or anyone else is still there, they'll have to take their chances."

Ahead of Sarah and her party the trees started to thin out. It looked like there was a field beyond. They would be exposed there, but they’d searched the woods quite extensively and not found anywhere they might hide for any length of time.
It sounded like another squad of the robot soldiers was converging on them. As soon as it was reactivated, another one would join the fight. Sarah was afraid that if she stopped to take out one robot with the sonic screwdriver, another would shoot her before she could re-aim it. She could
possibly destroy all of them in one go, but it depended on the range of the device compared to the laser rifles and that was something she couldn’t be sure of. So they just kept running.
Suddenly the whine of the lasers filled the air all around them. The robots had caught up with them.
It occurred to them they were firing wide. Or missing because they were aiming at limbs, which presented a smaller surface area than bodies, because they had been ordered to maim rather than kill. Christine knew why.
Suddenly Gavin tripped over a projecting tree root and crashed to the ground on his face. While he picked himself up the others ran on, not realising what had happened. Seeing there was enough of a distance between him and his friends for it to shoot at him without any danger of hitting Christine, the lead robot fired. Gavin screamed and crumpled as the laser beam sliced through his chest. Sarah heard the scream and stopped briefly, but Christine grabbed her arm and dragged her on. "It's no use!" she shouted.
Then they had burst from the trees into the open. Sarah gave a shout. "Look! Over there!" A hundred yards ahead and to the right stood a tall, square red brick structure with a rusty metal water tank on top of it. It was becoming overgrown with ivy and the door stood half open.
If they could barricade themselves in, cover the door with the laser rifle…Sarah started to run towards it. Her companions, guessing her intent and knowing there was no other option, followed her.
Christine wasn’t sure they could cover the distance to the building in time. “Give me that!” she yelled to Sarah.
The journalist hesitated, then handed over the laser rifle. “What are you going to…”
Ignoring her, Christine turned to face the robots as they came out of the trees, the laser rifle gripped firmly in her hand and pointed towards them. They halted, remembering their instructions not to harm her. But they could still deal with her friends, and she knew that.
The rifle trembled in her grasp. If she got this wrong…
She aimed the weapon at one of the robots and fired. The bolt melted a hole in its chest, from which smoke poured as the circuitry within exploded, and it fell. The heads of the other robots were moving from side to side in confusion as they tried to reconcile the need for their own protection with their orders not to harm Christine. Then at a command from von Arbenz they lowered their rifles and stepped back a few paces.
"You have to admire her courage,” the industrialist told Rayner. “It’s a pity she won’t play ball. She could be a useful asset to our cause."
By now Sarah and Bruchmann had reached the disused water tower and were inside. Christine backed away towards it, not taking her eyes off the robots for a second. Von Arbenz watched as she too disappeared into the building, pulling the door to after her.
“What now?” said Rayner. “If you’re not prepared to kill her then they can do more or less whatever they like.”
“They’ll probably stay where they are for the time being,” von Arbenz told him. “Let’s just watch them, and wait for our chance.”

The lower storey of the water tower was a plain brick-walled chamber, its floor covered with leaves and rubbish. A metal ladder led to the upper floors, but it looked rusted and unsafe and none of them felt like trying to climb it.
Exhausted, Sarah and her companions sat down heavily against the wall. “What now?” panted Bruchmann. “Are we just going to stay here?”
“Not forever,” Sarah said. “Let’s say we’ll give it a couple of hours.”
“And then?”
“We head for the house and try to capture von Arbenz and his cronies. It’s risky, but it’s better than waiting here until we starve. Everyone agreed?”
Her companions both nodded.
“Though hopefully, the Doctor’s got something sorted out. He usually does…sort it out, I mean.”
Usually.

In Lab 57 at the Foundation Charteris was hurriedly reassembling the prototype disintegrator gun while Hogan looked on. The other two surviving Black Troops, Mallett and Lebrun, were outside keeping a lookout for UNIT and for the Sludge.
"How are you doing?" Hogan asked.
"Nearly finished. Lucky it was me who designed the thing in the first place."
Mallett ran in. "Someone's coming!" He and Lebrun, the latter joined by Hogan and Charteris, took up position on either side of the door.
The two UNIT soldiers, Drake and Jackson, approached the door of the lab cautiously. "If you're in there, come out with your hands up!" shouted one.
There was no answer. Drake flung open the door, bringing up his rifle to cover anyone who might have been standing behind it. He stepped cautiously into the room. He saw the Black Troops out of the corner of his eye but before he could react Lebrun had fired, cutting him down. Jackson saw him fall and backed away from the door.
Grenade, thought Hogan. The other one won’t want to risk his life, he’ll throw in a grenade. They had only a few seconds in which to act. He bellowed a command, then turned from the wall and ran to the door, his two comrades following. Outside Jackson had been drawing the grenade from his belt pouch prior to pulling out the pin. He dropped it, levelling his rifle, and fired the instant Hogan appeared in the doorway, two bullets straight through the heart. One bullet passed through Hogan’s body and dropped Mallett, who had been standing just behind him. Then Lebrun opened fire and Jackson fell dying.
Dr Charteris contemplated the bodies sadly. He wanted all to live to experience the glorious new age he was about to inaugurate. This man would not.
Lebrun was completely oblivious to his feelings or the look on his face. Now the leader of the Black Troops, although there weren’t a lot of them left to lead, he had things to do. "That takes care of them. Now let's get that disintegrator finished, shall we?"
Charteris set to work again.

"So here it is,” said the Doctor, gazing up at the oddly-shaped hill that had figured so much in Sheila Kingman’s thoughts over the last few days. “Now we've got to get inside it somehow, haven't we?"
"I should be able to manage that," said Sheila. She started to walk round the mound, the Doctor following.
They heard the sound of a Land Rover bumping its way across the field towards them. It stopped a short distance away and the Brigadier got out and hurried towards them. “Ah, there you are,” said the Doctor. "Brigadier, meet my new friend Miss Sheila Kingman."
Sheila turned to greet Lethbridge-Stewart with a radiant smile. The Brigadier was already staring at her in amazement and fascination. Remembering his manners, he shook her outstretched hand. He almost jumped at her touch; a vibrant energy seemed to course through his body from her fingers. It charged his body briefly with something like a powerful, but harmless electric current. The sensation wasn’t unpleasant.
"Delighted to meet you, Miss Kingman,” he nodded. “I'm Brigadier Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT."
"And delighted to meet you," smiled Sheila.
"Er..." the Brigadier glanced from her to the Doctor and back, appealing for some kind of explanation.
"Oh, it'd take too long," the Doctor said. "Right now I'm rather more interested in what's been going on at the Foundation."
"We've occupied most of the building and secured the rocket silo. No sign of Charteris yet and Dr Stedman seems to have vanished too. There’s some sort of black stuff oozing all over the place and it’s dangerous. I’ve already lost two of my men.”
“It’s coming through the dimensional gateway,” the Doctor said. “Well, I think I may know how to deal with it. Meanwhile, if it takes care of the rocket for us that’ll be no bad thing. What's the situation at Greenleaves?"
"No idea. One of my lads was foolish enough to take a running jump at the shield; the MO says he’ll live. But only just, and he'll be scarred for the rest of his life.”
"Do we know the shield's precise extent yet?"
"Seems to go all the way round the house. Not sure how high it is, I'm having the RAF do some tests. As for Miss Smith and the others…" He shrugged.
The Doctor realised Sheila Kingman was nowhere in sight. Then she reappeared from behind the mound. "I think I know where the airlock is."
She stretched out her arms towards the mound and a ray of white light travelled from her pointing fingers to stab into its surface. From the point of impact a circle of white light began to expand. When it was about eight feet in diameter, wide enough to admit three people walking abreast, it vanished, leaving behind it an arch-shaped opening, the mouth of a tunnel leading deep into the mound. The Brigadier reckoned it was some fifty yards long; at the end of it they saw a brilliant light similar to that which bathed Sheila Kingman's body.
"Well done, Sheila," said the Doctor. "Now then, everyone, shall we go in?"
The three of them stepped into the tunnel and made their way along it, Sheila drifting rather than walking, like a beautiful ghost. The Brigadier stopped suddenly, struck by an alarming realisation. "There's nothing to shore it up. What if it caves in?"
"It won't," said Sheila reassuringly. "Not while I'm here."
"You mean you can..." the Brigadier gaped. "I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of your friend here, you know Doctor."
At the end of the tunnel they saw that the white light came from a surface composed of some clear crystalline material. A series of vertical and horizontal lines in the wall indicated some sort of door. The Doctor pointed out a hand-sized hollow in its surface, about four feet above the floor. "That looks like the equivalent of a handle. You just have to put your hand inside it."
"Only someone with the right amount of goodness in them can get into the ship," he said. "A way of making sure nobody tried to use their powers for the wrong ends."
"Well, I expect we all qualify," said the Brigadier confidently.
The Doctor gave him a strange look. "Why don't you try it then, Brigadier?" he said, grinning slyly.
The Brigadier placed a hand inside the hollow. The door failed to open. He stepped back, looking embarrassed and also rather hurt.
He didn't look at the Doctor. The Time Lord stepped up to the door and fitted his own hand into the recess. The door gave a slight jerk, but otherwise remained shut.
"Even I can't do it," he said modestly.
"I think maybe I should," said Sheila politely. But the door didn’t respond to her touch. "You're still too human, I'm afraid," the Doctor said gently. "Too...fallible."
"I know," she replied sadly, her head drooping.
"We'll have to all do it together. Maybe there's enough in the three of us to convince them." The three of them placed their hands inside the recess. This time the white light intensified and there came a rumbling from below the ground, which they could feel it shaking alarmingly beneath their feet. The earth was rising and falling, breaking up.
"Get out!" shouted Sheila. They ran back along the tunnel and into open air. When they reached the Land Rover they stopped and turned to look. The hill was collapsing in on itself as, spectacularly, a gleaming white shape erupted into view. It continued to rise out of the ground, its glittering radiance almost blinding them. They stared up at it in awe. An enormous spacecraft, made entirely of the white crystalline material and vaguely birdlike in shape.
Sheila Kingman's face was calm, composed, yet the eyes were shining with something like religious devotion. As if she had met her destiny.
"Good grief," was all the Brigadier could say.
The door in the side of the craft slid back and light spilled out. Sheila Kingman stretched out her arms again, and the fallen earth was cleared from around the ship. The three of them stepped through the opening into the interior of the vessel.
The Brigadier paused and rubbed a hand across his forehead, blinking, as if he couldn't quite believe what he saw around him. Even the Doctor seemed awed.
They found themselves in a broad corridor, with several narrower passages branching off it at intervals. The walls and roof were ribbed, vaulted, and everything seemed bathed in light; a gentle, silvery-white light which soothed and relaxed the senses. The atmosphere was one of incredible peace and tranquility, like that you got in some churches, and each of them felt uplifted in a way they couldn’t have described in words. The place wasn’t quite silent; a low murmuring sound filled the air around them. They weren't sure whether it was the humming of machinery, or soft voices talking. A tingling vibration coursed through their bodies, like that the Brigadier had felt when shaking Sheila’s hand.
"Which way?" asked the Brigadier, softly. Somehow it seemed unthinkable to talk much above the level of a whisper.
"Either way," replied the Doctor, equally softly.
They turned a corner and halted abruptly. "Look," the Brigadier breathed, pointing. Coming towards them were three figures about the size and height of a human. As they approached Sheila gave a little gasp and dropped to her knees.
The creatures were bipedal and wore long, white toga-like gowns. On their feet were leather slippers. Their heads were birdlike, and covered along with what could be seen of their bodies with silver-coloured plates of a shiny substance that looked more like scales than feathers. The beaked faces bore a strong resemblance to those of owls. The scales grew up and out to form a kind of ridge across the front of the skull, turned up on either side to form little protrusions like ears, or horns, and below this were situated two burning yellow eyes.
What the humans had taken for cloaks were actually huge wings, folded against their bodies and covered with the same scaly material. Their forearms protruded from the folds of their robes; wrinkled, leathery brown skin ending in long talons which grasped the heads of ornate staffs. The three figures paused and the Doctor stepped forward, beaming. "Hello there.” He proceeded to introduce himself and his friends.
One of the birdlike creatures, evidently a leader of some kind, stepped forward. "Greetings, Doctor. Greetings, Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart. Greetings, Sheila Kingman. I am Ayllak, leader of the Schthori and commander of this vessel." Ayllak’s voice was soft and musical, with tones of wisdom and authority. He and his colleagues shook hands with the three humans.
The penetrating gaze of the hooded yellow eyes should have been frightening, but instead its intensity reflected rather a powerful intelligence and perceptive wisdom. And there was goodness there, incredible benevolence. The alien’s face didn’t seem to allow for much in the way of human emotional expression; its smile was more in its voice, and the thoughts that voice reflected.
The three Schthori turned as one towards Sheila Kingman. "Greetings, child," they said, speaking in unison. There was a special warmth, a particular affection, in their manner towards her. She smiled at them in the manner of a lost child reunited with its parents.
"You have awoken us from our slumber." Ayllak returned his attention to the Doctor and Brigadier. "Then the time must be at hand."
"Yes, I think it is," said the Doctor gravely.
"I think we'd better brief these...gentlemen on what's been happening," the Brigadier said.
"Come." Ayllak led them to a vast open area, cathedral-like in its sheer size and in the atmosphere within. It was actually a series of vaulted chambers, each with organ- and chandelier-like structures seeming to grow like crystalline trees out of the roof, walls and floor. As elsewhere in the ship, everything was bathed in a gently glowing light. In a specially set aside section of the room a number of Schthori were seated at a table studying crystalline tablets bearing inscriptions of some kind. One got up, walked over to the wall and took another tablet from a slot in it. A library, the Doctor saw. It didn’t seem unexpected that the Schthori spent a lot of their time in study, acquiring knowledge and the wisdom that went with it.
"Before we go any further, I should advise you I'm not of this planet," the Doctor told Ayllak as they seated themselves at a circular table in a room they guessed was set aside for the holding of conferences. "The Brigadier is responsible for defending this part of it."
"Never has it been in greater danger," Ayllak said. "If you could explain what you know?”
The Doctor described how their investigations into Firebird had led them to the area, how he'd worked out most of what was going on from what first Sarah and then Sheila Kingman had told him. "Now, there are a few things we need you to tell us."
Ayllak's hooded eyes closed in contemplation and he spoke in a dreamy, sing-song voice. "Many thousand years ago, the cosmos was the scene of a vast conflict between good and evil, which laid waste many planets. We were selected to lead the forces of Good."
"Who did the selecting?" asked the Brigadier.
"The task fell to us naturally. We were elected by everyone else as the obvious choice...if I may be immodest. We had studied the ways of Good like no other people. Our enemies in the struggle were the Legion of Evil; an army of creatures called Wones, whose homeworld was unknown. Beings of pure hatred and wickedness, who had learned as no-one else how to harness evil to destroy. Whether they were always so is another thing we cannot say. They appeared as if from nowhere, conquering hundreds, thousands of galaxies, enslaving and oppressing their populations or intensifying the evil latent within them to make them into creatures like themselves. We fought them and in the end triumphed, banishing them to the Black Dimension."
"Why's it called that?" asked the Brigadier.
"Because the Wones have turned it into a world of evil."
"Before, I expect it was just an ordinary parallel universe," the Doctor mused.
"But one where the laws which govern this one do not apply. There, one can bend one's environment to one's will, use the power of the mind to fashion it. Since the Wones were evil, they have made sure its nature reflects that."
The Doctor remembered the view he had seen through the dimensional hole in Stedman's laboratory, and shuddered.
"And one where everything's good; that's a White Dimension, I suppose?" asked the Brigadier.
"If you like," said the Doctor solemnly, not feeling that the colour of something had much to do with its morality.
"This dimension which we inhabit is neither Black nor White," observed the Schthori leader. "Here, neither good nor evil reigns supreme, but both are locked in perpetual conflict for the hearts and minds of sentient life forms. Neither quite succeeds in winning."
"The entry point to the Black Dimension was here, wasn't it? On Earth, at Wattlehurst."
"That is correct. Now, in the battle our race had been all but destroyed. We are the sole survivors, and this craft in which you stand is the last remaining example of our technology. Our ship was damaged and had to remain on Earth. We were seriously weakened from our injuries and forced to put ourselves into suspended animation to recover."
"You've been sleeping for a long time," the Brigadier commented.
"Before we consigned ourselves to slumber we had to make provision for the next conflict between good and evil, should it come. We knew there was always a possibility that other forms of evil would emerge with the power to dominate the entire universe, or that the Wones would escape from the Black Dimension."
"And that's exactly what's happening," the Doctor said. "It's something to do with that particle accelerator, with Stedman's experiments into dark matter. The dimensions exist in the gaps between the molecules that make up objects in each universe. He tried to explore the gaps by smashing the molecules to make them bigger, and so easier to spot. In doing so he punched a massive hole in the dimensional barrier. Created a sort of compound fracture linking the other fault lines, the places where the barrier was already weak. The crack was only a small one at first, so the amount of negative energy coming through was slight; a tiny trickle.
"However I imagine Wokir was already able to exert some kind of psychic influence over the area near the hole. That would account for the evil reputation the place seems to have. It was able to impersonate the local deity, and turn its worship into something nasty enough to appeal to it."
"Yes," agreed Ayllak. "But it can only materialise briefly in this dimension, and then not in corporeal form. The destructively evil powers of the Wones can only be used in the immediate vicinity of the weak points, and with strenuous mental effort, because the negative energy penetrating the barrier is scant. The Wones can pass through the barrier but only gradually, one at a time, and in ectoplasmic form, taking some time to acclimatise and assume solid shape. Once they are here they can only exist for short periods before they must return to the Black Dimension.
“However if the barrier is weakened further…at the moment it is still holding. But if the particle accelerator continues to operate, continues to damage the barrier, the cracks will spread and widen, and more and more of the evil will get through as the barrier splits along the fault lines. The trickle will turn into a flood. The Wones will be able to exist in this world for longer and eventually inhabit it permanently."
"Everything we’ve seen suggests the barrier is weakening,” said the Doctor. “The particle accelerator was switched off when I last saw it, but I think someone’s started it up again since. This substance that’s leaking from the dimensional portal…”
“The matter of which the Black Dimension is composed. The evil of Wokir in another form. The corruption spreading from its world into yours.”
"But what happened after you defeated the Wones?" the Doctor asked.
Ayllak resumed his story. "There were too few of us to take up the mantle again. We were unable to leave Earth, and had to make a decision; to take a risk. We thought there was a chance the people of this planet might be suitable, that by the time the next challenge from the forces of evil arose they might have learned the science of goodness, have evolved into creatures capable of using the powers we implanted in them wisely. It was intended that we could only be revived by one of the Endowed, as a safeguard against any being misusing our powers."
The Doctor gave a little laugh. "I'm not sure things have turned out the way you wanted."
"I'm the proof of that, I guess," said Sheila ruefully.
"It's not just that," said the Doctor, and gave a brief account of human history and the manifold cruelties which had blighted it. The Schthori leader's eyes closed, and his head drooped in shame and sadness. "To think that we have caused such anguish. To be good does not mean, even for us, that one cannot be mistaken. At fault. But we believed we were acting correctly."
"It's just possible that you were," said the Doctor.
"We gave them our advanced powers: telekinesis, a certain limited telepathy. Evil is such a destructive force that the most powerful forces it is possible for nature or science to develop must be used against it. That is one reason why we were selected; we had those abilities already. But the best part of it is the ability to use one's goodness as a weapon. Without it the power does not work in the same way, and can indeed be evil itself.
"The inhabitants of this locality were the first to be treated. That is why the villagers - their descendants - are breaking out now. Then we took a few others from various regions of the planet to the Schthori ship and then returned them. We had just enough power to do that. Then we went into suspended animation. The powers would remain latent in the Endowed and their descendants, until such time as we reckoned the Wones would have succeeded in escaping from the Black Dimension - or human technology had succeeded in penetrating the barrier."
"We've been dealing with two entirely separate phenomena," the Doctor told the Brigadier. "von Arbenz and his friends can obviously make use of Wokir's destructive powers, though it's best if they don't go too far from the source. What was happening to the villagers, and Sheila here, was something different. And the revival of humanity's race memory of the Schthori is part of the breaking-out process. That process can be deeply traumatic, with all kinds of side-effects, although in Sheila’s case it was exacerbated by her..." He coughed.
"My problem," finished Sheila. "Which you solved."
"The thing is, what are we going to do to stop this Wokir creature?" said the Brigadier practically. He assessed the situation. "It seems to me it's a two-pronged attack. The stuff at the Foundation, and these Wone creatures."
"Indeed," the Schthori leader agreed. "And Wokir may be able to facilitate and accelerate the process of acclimatization by bonding with an inhabitant of this dimension. But it must be someone with a high degree of evil in them, or there will be insufficient compatibility. There will soon be enough energy for him to achieve it."
"And where better for it to find evil than in a bunch of diehard Nazis?" the Doctor remarked.
"If these Endowed are “breaking out” all over the world, couldn't they just stop it?" asked the Brigadier. "I mean, that was the whole plan, wasn't it?"
"There is no guarantee they will succeed. Last time the Wones were only defeated at the cost of the virtual annihilation of our race and of many others. They too suffered many casualties, but their ranks will be strengthened by those they add to their number. We were not able to augment enough of the humans to be sure of victory, and as for ourselves, there are too few of us left to make much of a difference."
"In any case," the Doctor said, "the Endowed are just as much of a threat, in the long run, as the Wones."
"That is another reason we remained here," said Ayllak. "To keep a check on the process. We suspected there was a possibility the humans would not be able to use their powers wisely."
"I take it you must have programmed the Endowed with the impulse to contact and reawaken you?"
"Yes, and also to sense and locate each other; although it might not work if one is confused by the change, or misuses their powers."
"Can you reverse the process?" he asked. "Return the Endowed to their original state?"
"Yes, we can. There was always provision for doing so. A genetic change, initiated remotely by psychic energy. The initial Endowment required a physical operation because our mental powers had been weakened in the struggle with the Wones, but they will have had time to recover somewhat.”
"What will the effect on the Endowed be?"
"I am afraid it will disorientate and traumatise them. But they will recover."
"I suppose it's for the best," Sheila Kingman said sadly, looking down at her own sublimated form. A tear pricked at her eyelid. It occurred to her that since she would only exist in this form for a short time, she ought to make the best of it.
The Doctor looked squarely at Ayllak. "Believe me, it'll be worse if you don't do it. I don't like the prospect myself, somehow, but the human race isn't ready for the kind of powers you've given them."
"But we can't do it yet," the Brigadier said. "First we've got to defeat this Wokir thing. For that we may need the Endowed’s help."
The Doctor paced up and down, deep in thought. "Since the Endowed are dangerous - and there may not be enough of them in any case - we've got to think of some more permanent solution to the problem."
"Could we go into this Black Dimension place and destroy the Wones there?" The Brigadier liked the idea of taking the battle right to the enemy.
"You would not survive in there," said Ayllak. "The power of evil is so strong it would tear you to pieces. Evil is destructive. Any physical contact with something in or from the Black Dimension can be dangerous. Indeed, Doctor, I am surprised that you managed to resist the Blackness sufficiently to escape it."
"Well, perhaps it's because I'm such a nice chap," said the Doctor. The Brigadier gave him a dirty look.
The Doctor thought this would be a good moment to get back to business. "Can we repair the damage to the Barrier somehow?"
"We have not the necessary technology,” said another of the Schthori. “All our science has been devoted to the perfection of Good as a power source."
"And the Time Lords couldn't help. We were forbidden to get too involved in dimensional science, except in so far as it affects time travel. It was felt we had enough on our hands with that." The Doctor was thinking fast. "Let me see...it seems the ideal solution would be to drive the Wones back into their own universe, and then seal them in again, or destroy it. Ayllak, how did the Wones get into the blank dimension originally?"
"Simply because the barrier here was flimsy. However, although things can pass through it into the Black Universe it seems they cannot pass out again, at least not easily."
"And the points where the barrier’s weak would be the Foundation…Greenleaves if Wokir’s active there, throwing up a forcefield of negative impulses…the windmill…are there any others?”
"Yes, one...a Black Hole. They cannot leave by that route, of course." The sheer force of nature, neither good nor evil, could overcome Wone and Schthori alike. A gravity so dense that not even light could escape it would crush either to a singularity.
"A Black Hole..." The Doctor looked up excitedly. "Charteris's rocket!" He swung back to Ayllak. "And how big is the Black Dimension?"
"There, size has not the meaning it does in this universe," a Schthori said.
The Doctor scratched his chin. "Good and evil. Two fundamental dynamic forces, both very strong, and in permanent opposition, because neither can abide the other’s nature. Like positive and negative electric charges, only they don't attract each other. Instead of attraction there's a repulsion, a very violent reaction. In that respect they're more like matter and anti-matter. By my reckoning, if a powerful source of good is placed in contact with a very powerful source of evil…"
Most of this was quite beyond the Brigadier. Feeling left out, he wandered idly around the vast room. The atmosphere of the place began to soak into him.
Meanwhile the Doctor seemed to have come to a decision. "Hmm...it could be done." Gravely he addressed the Schthori leader. "Ayllak, I have a plan. Unfortunately, it may mean the complete destruction of this ship and its crew."
The hooded eyes closed. "I am sure that we would be quite prepared to sacrifice ourselves in the cause of good, Doctor."
Hurriedly the Doctor explained the plan, and there followed a short conference between him and the Schthori. Then he looked round for the Brigadier. To see him standing a few yards away, head bowed, looking rather despondent. "Brigadier? Lethbridge-Stewart, are you all right?"
I shouldn't have done it, the Brigadier was thinking. I shouldn't have blown them up. They hadn't given much indication they were prepared to live in peace with us. But I should have given them more of a chance. We'll never know if I was right in what I did; and I might not have been. He almost spoke the words out aloud.
He became aware the Doctor was speaking. "Alistair! Are you ill, old chap?"
The Brigadier shook his head curtly. "Yes, Doctor, I'm fine," he muttered. "Just thinking."
"I need the TARDIS down here right away. I'm afraid I'll need to borrow your Land Rover again."
"I could get some of my men to - "
"No time for that. It'll be quicker if I bring her here myself."
"But I thought the Time Lords - "
"They'd have lifted the block on the controls. After all, sorting this business out was exactly the reason they put it there in the first place."
"I thought you told me once the thing couldn't do short trips."
"She does them well enough when she needs to. Goodbye, Ayllak. Come, Brigadier, come Sheila." The Doctor rose to leave.
"Doctor, wait!" said Ayllak. The Schthori leader crossed to one of the organ-like structures with which the room was dotted. It was constructed from thousands of shards of fluted crystal. The Schthori grasped one of the shards and with a quick twist of his hand detached one of them. It came free entirely cleanly, with no break in its structure. He held it out to the Doctor. "You may need the help of our technology in the struggle that lies ahead. Any part of it should serve the purpose."
"Thankyou, Ayllak. And goodbye." He shook the Schthori’s hand again. Then his friends were following him from the room and down the corridor towards the airlock. "I'll see if I can get the police to clear a way for you," said the Brigadier. "I'll say it's a national emergency."
"It's a universal one," the Doctor replied. "This is no time for parochialism!"
"What's that thing for?" the Brigadier asked, nodding at the crystal in the Doctor's hand.
"Like all their technology, it's both sentient and benevolent. Could come in very useful against our enemy at some point."
"The overall impression I got was that you could only use it if you were good. Didn't someone say there's a little evil in all of us?"
"Yes. But in some it's more pronounced than it is in others."
By now they were outside. The Doctor stopped and turned to Sheila Kingman. "Sheila...Sheila...Sheila, there will be others like you and pretty soon they’ll be needed. I want you to go and get them all together. You'll know where to find them. Make sure it's important they understand what's happening to them, and why, and that they shouldn't use their powers for any other purpose. We've got to move fast because people will be breaking out all over the world. All right?"
"Yes, Doctor."
"And it's important that you concentrate on the task in hand," he said gently. "That you don't let yourself be diverted by...other things. Do you understand?"
"Yes, I understand. Don't worry, you can trust me. I'm OK now, I promise."
She stiffened, her arms by her sides. They saw her features and then the whole outline of her body blur and coruscate, subsumed in the radiance that illuminated her form. She was a pillar of light that rose into the air and gathered speed until it shot off through the atmosphere like a fiery, brilliant comet, leaving behind it a trail of glittering pixels, like stardust.
"Good heavens," exclaimed the Brigadier.
"It's over to her now," muttered the Doctor. "I just hope I can trust her. Because I’ve got to trust her."
"What do you think I should do about the villagers?"
"Someone's going to have to explain it to them, without telling the whole truth. They need to be evacuated and kept under observation. I think being close to the source, the Schthori ship, is accelerating the change in some way, so if you take them out of the area it'll probably stop for the time being."
"All right. I think we've won their trust, partly thanks to Miss Smith. One of my chaps has been liaising with them, and he thinks they're frightened enough to let us help.
"Now I think we ought to check on the situation at the Foundation.” He radioed Benton. "Greyhound Leader to Trap One. What's happening over there?"
"That stuff seems to be spreading faster. We've tried blowing up sections of the corridor, but all we can do is slow it down a bit. We've also tried various chemicals, but no luck. Should reach the rocket room in about an hour, judging by the rate it's moving."
"Any idea where Charteris is?"
"No, Sir. I was hoping he'd simply scarpered, unless the Sludge got him. But one of the patrols hasn't reported back. Of course it could have got them. Trouble is, we’re having to evacuate more and more of the base as it spreads, and – "
“Hold out there as long as you can. You may not have to worry about Charteris. Even if he does get into the rocket silo, he probably won't be able to launch it before that Sludge stuff overwhelms everything." He glanced at the Doctor, who had been listening to the conversation, for confirmation.
The Time Lord looked doubtful.
"Excuse me a minute." Lethbridge-Stewart turned inquiringly towards his scientific adviser.
"I'm not sure about that, Brigadier," said the Doctor. "The rocket was in quite an advanced state of completion when I saw it. And Charteris is a brilliant scientist. Thirdly, being under pressure tends to concentrate the mind. We can't be sure he won't succeed in finishing the job.
"We've got to get that rocket launched before the dark matter envelops the whole Foundation. And before long, the only safe way of getting in and out of there will be in the TARDIS." He scrambled into the Land Rover and started the engine. "Lethbridge-Stewart, stay here and keep an eye on things. With any luck, I'll be back here in an hour or two."
As he roared away down the lane towards the main road one thought was ascendant in the Doctor's mind. He was thinking of Sheila Kingman and how he'd seen her transform into her superhuman state. He visualised hundreds, thousands, millions of people doing the same. Nobody could ever push them around again. Nobody could ever threaten them, enslave or destroy them. But...
They looked beautiful in their angelic form, but along with that beauty went danger. "No, no, my children," he said to himself, softly. "You're not ready for that yet. You'd only fall and hurt yourselves. Wouldn’t you?”

In the water tower they’d run out of conversation some time ago. Sarah was thinking about Gavin’s death, or rather trying not to because it upset her. Christine kept her eyes on the door, holding the laser rifle.
Suddenly the wall began shaking under the impact of a succession of powerful blows. Cracks appeared in it and one or two bricks fell out. Through the openings they could see the massive bodies of the robots as they hurled themselves against the solid Victorian brickwork.
Part of one wall collapsed and a robot forced its way into the room. Christine shot it with the laser rifle and it fell. Then another section of brickwork disintegrated and a second robot lumbered into view. Bruchmann shot it through one eye and it joined its comrade on the floor, its positronic brain shattered.
Then the robots seemed to be coming at them from all sides, smashing their way in through the walls or entering through the breaches already made. Not noticing that none of them were armed, the three companions fired away at them, Sarah with the sonic screwdriver, Christine with the laser, and Bruchmann with his rifle although ordinary bullets had little effect on the robots, merely causing them to stagger. All around the machines were crashing down like fallen trees, smoke pouring from them. Yet still they kept coming.
Christine felt herself seized from behind and her arms pinned to her sides, preventing her from using the laser. Sarah took out yet another robot with the sonic screwdriver but then a metal hand grabbed hold of the device and plucked it from her grip. The rifle was wrenched from Bruchmann and smashed against the wall. The robot which had done it seized him by the wrist and made for the door, dragging him behind it, powerless to resist, like a reluctant toddler. Another was doing the same to Sarah. Realising she was helpless, Christine dropped the laser, and found herself being dragged off like the others, quite unable to break her captor’s vicelike grip.
Watching the scene on his monitor, von Arbenz smiled coldly. “Force of numbers always wins, in the end. A bad mistake, my dear. You thought you were safe as long as you stayed within the building. You should have remained on guard outside.”
“You realise we’ve lost most of the robots,” said Thornton. “And there aren’t any more. I reactivated the last just now.”
“They could have been dangerous had they remained at liberty. The sacrifice was justified. Besides, I’ve a feeling we won’t need the robots for much longer. From what Wokir said, it’s getting more and more powerful. Though if anything should go badly wrong, the Jew and the journalist might still be needed as sacrifices.”
“I think you just didn’t want to risk any chance of her getting killed.” It was obvious who was meant by “her”.
Von Arbenz swivelled his chair sharply so that he was directly facing Thornton. “That is my business,” he said icily.

The Doctor kept just under the speed limit as he raced towards London. Halfway through the journey he decided to radio the Brigadier again. "Any developments?”
"I've ordered some heavy equipment to be brought in for use at Greenleaves, if we get the chance,” the Brigadier told him. "Tanks, bazookas, that sort of thing. Should make short work of those robots. May be a while before it gets here, though."
"And I doubt it'll be of any use when it does," said the Doctor grimly. "If we can't get through that shield..."
"Doctor, that crystal thing. From what that Ayllak fellow said it can be used against these creatures, yes? Because they’re evil, and anything these…Schthori make is good?”
“It may work like that. But one of them may not be enough to sort this business out. For one thing it won’t be much use against the substance at the Foundation. There's just too much of the stuff. And if we can’t contain it somehow, it’ll go on spreading until it covers the whole world.”
“There must be some way of stopping it. The Wones must have some kind of weakness that we can exploit, surely?”
“Their only weakness is their vulnerability to Good. They certainly can’t be stopped by conventional weaponry, since the destructive force represented by the evil they generate will destroy any object on contact with it. I’m not even sure a nuclear holocaust would do the job, the evil’s simply too powerful. And they’d only relish the devastation it would cause.”
“Doctor, if they do succeed in taking over this planet, one way or another, what exactly is going to happen? What will they do?”
"They’ll go on to overrun the whole Universe and turn all living organisms, including humans, into creatures of evil like themselves. Those they don’t enslave or destroy. And not only living beings but the whole of created matter will be changed. This world will become a Black Dimension. Evil will rule for evermore.”
It seemed a long time before the Brigadier spoke. "Well," he said quietly. "Let's just hope things don't get that far."

Simon Westerham looked through his thick glasses round the huge dining room of the house in which he'd lived all his life, and smiled warmly. It was packed with chatting people, drinks in their hands, all having a good time. Basking in the friendly atmosphere and listening to the babble of conversation, he felt at peace with the world. Not only was it his twenty-sixth birthday, but he'd just had the good fortune to be appointed to a new job with a prestigious London company, one of the country's biggest. A double celebration had been in order. Fortunately they could afford a massive party, with an entertainer for the kids.
It seemed the right moment to reflect on his life. It had been a good one; he'd been showered with both love and money in abundance. Though it had been perhaps a bit of a mistake for him to go to a provincial university, where most of the people he mixed with came from very different backgrounds; his gaze drifted to the group photograph on the mantelpiece of his Hall of Residence, where he looked cheerful and friendly but also rather awkward and out of place and trying to put a brave face on it.
He was talking with mother Daphne, brother Mark, sister Emma, Aunt Claudine and an old friend from school who he hadn't seen for a while. "You must be jolly pleased about everything, Simon," said the friend.
"Must say I am. Yes; life's being pretty kind to me at the moment. But how about you?"
"Oh, I'm OK. I'm working with Gordon and Haskett at the moment, in quality control…I say, you all right, old man?"
Simon was rubbing his forehead and frowning. "I don't feel too good, actually."
"What's up?" asked his mother.
"I don't know exactly." They studied him closely. He'd gone a little pale and sweat glistened on his forehead.
"I..." He came to a decision. "I think I ought to go and lie down."
His mother's face fell. "Are you sure?" It wasn't the sort of occasion you liked to be spoiled by something like this.
"Do you want me to get a doctor?" Daphne Westerham asked.
"No...no, not just yet. You never know, I might feel better in a little while." He smiled weakly at them. "Sorry about this."
"That's all right, darling." His mother watched him climb the stairs to his bedroom, concerned. Halfway up he stumbled a little.
"Can you manage, Simon?" Mark shouted up after him.
"I'm alright," he replied shakily. They frowned.
They turned away. "Well, this is a shame," said the friend.
"Yes. Still, these things happen." They went on chatting, but in a subdued and desultory fashion, even though they knew Simon would have wanted them to go on enjoying themselves.
“Do you suppose it was something he ate?” someone asked.
Daphne paled. “Hope not,” she said uneasily. “Means we might have it too.”
Upstairs Simon lay on the bed with his eyes closed, trying to relax. With any luck the funny turn would go away soon, and he'd be able to rejoin his friends and family downstairs.
But it didn't go away. Instead, it got worse. His body temperature alternated, with a rapidity he was sure was dangerous, between ice-cold and burning hot. A variety of strange, unpleasant and painful sensations afflicted him. He seemed to be sliding into a strange and terrifying world where nothing made sense.
His pulse was mounting steadily. God, I can't be having a heart attack, surely, he thought desperately. I'm too young.
The bed rolled backwards and forwards as he writhed and twisted, his copious sweat soaking into the sheets.
What had he done to deserve this? And at entirely the wrong time, too. He was angry that this should happen on his special day. His life had been all right so far. This seemed like the beginning of something bad, something new and disturbing.
Gritting his teeth, he tried to resist the pain and not cry out. He'd beat this thing, whatever it was.
The next few minutes - or was it really only that, it seemed like forever - were absolute hell. Just about every possible pain and unpleasant thought the human mind and body could experience. And horrifying shapes, creatures of indescribable ugliness and evil, were surrounding him, clawed arms raised to strike, waiting for his resistance to weaken so they could tear him apart.
Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, it was over.
The ghastly visions faded and vanished from around and within him. A giddy confusion of strange, but sublime thoughts filled his mind, sweeping away the fear and the distress. He didn't solicit them; they just happened, in a way that wasn’t at all scary. He had the most incredible sense of wellbeing, of empowerment. The sense that he could do anything.
"Gosh," he murmured softly to himself. "I say."
He now felt bewildered more than anything else. Wondering what the heck was going to happen next, he lay there in a sort of mildly pleasant stupor.

The only home nine-year old Tanita had ever known, and ever wanted to know, was the beautiful little island, its shores fringed with palm trees, the blue sea sparkling in the brilliant sunshine and lapping gently on the golden sand. Life here was shaped by the simple rhythms of nature, and free of the stress and bewildering complexity that made a Western existence so dreadful at times.
From time to time she liked to collect shells that had been washed up on the shore with her friend Mauna. They had just begun one such session when Mauna saw her pause and clutch her head. "Are you all right?"
Then the visions started to fill Tanita's mind. She was brave and didn't cry, but they weren’t very nice, the pictures inside her head. When she told her parents about it they thought it might be an evil spirit, so they took her to the shaman. Word got around, and some people worried that it might be an omen, or that she was prophesying something terrible. The cure for it involved sticking pins into people to let the spirit out, hurting them.
But she knew they were wrong. She was sure something wonderful and good was happening to her. She didn't just see bad things in her dreams, she also saw good ones; the silver figures overcoming the dark ones. She told the shaman what about that but he insisted it was just part of the affliction. Grown-ups! They thought they knew everything but they didn't. It didn't feel evil to her. I’ll show that shaman a thing or two, she vowed. She didn't like him anyway.
The trouble was, she was locked in the hut and couldn't do anything about it. And it wasn't unknown for those suspected of being possessed by bad spirits to be killed.

Charteris finished screwing a panel back on the disintegrator gun. "Done it," he announced. “But I’ll need to test it. It hasn't been used in anger for some time."
He aimed the weapon at the dead body of Private Drake, and pulled the trigger. There was a sound like the buzzing of a bumblebee, magnified several times. A soft reddish glow enveloped the corpse and it faded into nothingness before their eyes. The glow lingered in the air for a brief moment and then vanished too.
Charteris nodded, satisfied. "Perfect,” he announced. “All right, let's go.”
“And there’s no more work that needs doing to the rocket?”
“No, it should be just about finished. And just in time, too. But there may be one or two modifications to make, and we’d better get on and do them.” Before the Sludge overwhelmed everything.

Wokir sat brooding on its throne, wallowing in the dark thoughts which spoiled its turbulent mind. It could not remember the time before it had chosen to devote itself so utterly and inexorably to evil. It was the same with the other Wones. They only knew that their current state was good, was how they liked to be.
Not all of them had been human originally. It could be seen that some had begun life as Ice Warriors, Ogrons, Draconians, Zygons, Kraals or Terileptils, to name just a few of the races represented among their number. Animals also had been converted, and endowed with a hideous and unnatural intelligence; Wokir patted the monstrous thing, formerly a Zarkadian elmwulf - the approximate equivalent of a dog - which crouched at its feet, tongue lolling from a slobbering red mouth.
They needed to add to their numbers, so the humans who had been taken back to the Black Dimension with them after their defeat had been converted. They had all been people without much goodness in them, or whose benevolence wasn't sufficiently concentrated and amplified to make the conversion impossible. They had meant, of course, to convert the entire population of the planet, or a sizeable part of it, but the Schthori had overwhelmed them before that could be accomplished.
There was no particular reason why Wokir had become their leader as opposed to anyone else; the only individuality a Wone might possess was a preference for some methods of killing or inflicting pain over others. It was simply the biggest and strongest of the creatures. As such, it bullied and hurt them frequently. They didn't care or at any rate were prepared to put up with it. For the moment, they had no-one to take out their evil on except themselves, no humans or other sentient life forms to torture. Soon, they knew, that would change. It was a prospect they relished.
In the meantime, they spent all their time festering in their hatred, or making their plans for when they would roam the universe as they pleased, corrupting everything, taking people and torturing them, both mentally and physically, in a pleasing variety of exquisite ways. The engineers had been set to work building the spacecraft which, once they had made Earth their bridgehead, would carry them to every planet in the that cosmos. Wokir glanced over at the shipyards where the new craft were nearing completion. Like everything else in the Black Dimension, their shapes were strange and twisted. Bird-like in form, they resembled sinister, ugly black crows. Some were deliberately harsh and functional, because harsh functionality was depressing, sometimes ostentatiously evil with a predominance of sharp, jutting surfaces. Either approach would do. They were, to it, magnificent machines. But the creation of which the Wones were most proud was the Sludge. Like the products of Schthori technology the Sludge was sentient, only of course it was evil whereas theirs were good. It was one of the Wone scientists' finest achievements. Its greatest asset was that it could exist permanently within the macrodimension. However, this property wasn't something they had so far been able to extend to themselves. And the Sludge still found the macro-world difficult, moving only sluggishly when there.
But so far, things were going well. There were nonetheless complications. Some Wones who had returned from an excursion into the macrodimension were gabbling about a human who had repelled their attack on her friends just by thinking about it. It was happening as it had before; the Schthori must be active again. Wokir had been aware of the possibility from the beginning, and its plans had been drawn up accordingly. A part of that preparedness was the willingness to adapt and modify its strategy; it might be that the change would not be congenial to its allies, but in the last resort their greed for power would ensure their acceptance.

“No sign of UNIT so far,” whispered Hogan. "Looks like they've pulled out."
The two men stopped suddenly. They could hear a slithering, sucking noise from around a corner just ahead. Charteris peered round it carefully to see the Sludge advancing steadily towards them. It began making a greedy gobbling sound, hungry for their souls.
Charteris aimed the disintegrator at the heart of the heaving mass and fired. The red beam stabbed into it and a large area of the substance vanished into nothingness. Almost immediately, the resulting hole closed up again. He fired a second time, with exactly the same result. "Must be too much of it coming through," he told Lebrun.
They turned and hurried back in the direction they’d come. "We won’t get there that way.”
He wondered how much of the building was now filled with the stuff, and for the first time experienced a fought to stop himself panicking. They might be losing valuable time.

Rayner nudged von Arbenz, and he looked up to see the wraith-like figure hovering before him.
"Those who would try to stop us are gathering their forces," Wokir told von Arbenz. It reported what the Wones who had returned from the attack on the cottage had told it. "Our plans are endangered."
"I thought you said more power was coming through from the Black Dimension," Rayner said.
"It is. We accelerated the particle accelerator at the Foundation to maximum."
"But you're saying it isn't going to be enough?"
"This new development means we will have to change our strategy; otherwise, we will be stopped before I and my cohorts can materialise permanently. It will be necessary for me to bond with one of you."
"Which one?" von Arbenz asked.
"Which one?" There was a mocking note in Wokir's voice. "You would be the obvious choice, surely?"
The pang of unease von Arbenz felt showed in his face. This was not how he had expected things to be.
"Are you afraid to do so? You sought my help, remember." The creature's tone changed, though its voice still held a taunting note. "However it need not be you, if you are... afraid." von Arbenz shifted uncomfortably. "No doubt you could always persuade one of the others."
von Arbenz rallied his spirits. He had to show it, and his colleagues, that he wasn't a coward. "Very well. Now?"
"Not now, but soon. We still need a little more power to accumulate, but that will not take long. A couple more of your hours, no more than that."
Wokir turned and flitted away, passing through the door and along the corridor to the room containing the shrine. It was unable much longer to maintain itself in this as yet alien, to it, dimension. It could remain there for a while more by assuming ectoplasmic form, which after a time would solidify into a full Wone.
For a while only. And there wasn’t a great deal of point, with its schemes now so close to fruition. It all depended on what happened in the next couple of hours.

























SIX
The Land Rover swung sharply into the UNIT car park and screeched to a halt. The Doctor leaped out and sprinted for the administration block where his laboratory was, long legs carrying him there at an amazing pace.
In a few minutes he was standing at the TARDIS console, his long fingers moving deftly about the controls. He knew the short journey from one part of the planet to another a mere fifty miles away would be no problem; nor would the need to land the TARDIS in exactly the right place within the Foundation building. The TARDIS was alive, sentient and keyed to his mental processes and biorhythms; it would understand the sheer importance of his mission and act accordingly, responding to his adrenalin in such a way as to override the normal obstacles it would face in attempting such journeys. Because he just had to get it right; failure wasn't an option.

“And that,” said Bruchmann, “is my story.”
They were back in their former prison, and again had run out of things to talk about. It wasn’t the first time he’d treated them to an account of his sufferings during the war. Christine, of course, already knew it off by heart.
"It's terrible," said Sarah, as always feeling humbled whenever such things were discussed. “I think we’re all agreed on that.”
"Terrible?" Bruchmann seemed angry at the understatement. "Terrible? Nothing can compare with the Shoah. It is without parallel in human history."
Sarah felt she had to respond to this. "Surely, it's because so many other dreadful things have happened in the past that we can believe it happened? That we can ignore those people who say it didn't?"
“They’re Nazi bastards,” said Bruchmann, brushing aside the point she was trying to make. He shook his head. "No. It is unique. No-one who was not there can possibly understand why.”
“You think I’m not qualified to comment on it because I wasn’t around at the time. Perhaps not having been there gives me an advantage. The suffering hasn’t twisted my mind, so I can still be objective about it. That means my opinions might be of more value.”
His face froze with anger, the eyes flashing. Then it changed and he gave a slightly disturbing laugh.
“I mean,” Sarah went on, “if we’re to understand these things we’ve got to…” She chose her words carefully. “To see why they happen means seeing Hitler as a human being – a very badly damaged human being. Otherwise we don’t understand them and they may very easily happen again. Or we can visit them upon other victims.”
“To suggest there is any parallel between the actions of Israel and those of the Nazis is symptomatic of the new anti-Semitism,” he informed her.
“A Palestinian wouldn’t think so. I think you’re trying to hide behind Hitler in order to excuse yourself. I’m only saying that the oppressed can often become the oppressors, given human nature. None of us is perfect.”
“It’s a pity you have to fall back on such tired clichés.”
“If you find those things tiresome, don’t give people cause to keep saying them.”
“No doubt you can come up with all kind of clever sophistry to prove me wrong. It’s just rhetoric.”
“I think we go along with logic as long as it results in a conclusion we’re happy with. If it doesn’t, it’s sophistry. We seem to find something sinister in it.” He smiled benignly. “Like I said, you weren’t there. You’re young, you can’t possibly know…it’s not surprising your generation thinks as it does about it.” Somehow Sarah found this patronising.
“Tell me,” said Christine, thinking it was time she chipped in, “how many people have you killed going round the world hunting down Nazis?”
“About two dozen, either on my own initiative or Israel’s.”
“And are you sure they all guilty?”
“Oh yes. But occasionally, innocents did get caught in the crossfire. That was…unfortunate, I suppose.”
Sarah realised what his laugh earlier on had meant. “You don’t care, do you. You don’t care about anyone who isn’t a Jew.”
"No, I don't. And that does not bother me in the slightest."
"For one thing it’s self-destructive. If it wasn't for you we could all have got away by now."
"You chose to stay behind to stop me killing that schwein."
"He's my father, for God's sake," said Christine. "What would you have done? You're so convinced you're in the right that you never put yourselves in anyone else's position."
"Maybe so. But understand this; it is the last time I will say it. I came here to kill your father and believe me I will do so, if I can get the chance."
"None of this will matter if we can't stop Wokir," said Sarah. "I'm afraid that beside this, all our own little quarrels are pretty pointless." She caught Bruchmann's eye without flinching. "It's true. If what the Doctor says is true, even more people will die than died in the Holocaust. Or they'll be turned into Wones, which to me sounds even worse."
"What can we do?" said Bruchmann. "Unless we’re just going to wait until your Doctor and Brigadier get here, and what happens if they can’t?"
Sarah said nothing. What indeed, she thought.

A window of the Foundation shattered, and a UNIT soldier looked up to see a black tar-like substance creeping slowly down the wall.
Inside the building, Charteris, Hogan, and Dunlop – the only other survivor of the Black Troops, with whom they’d met up on their way from the laboratory - were finding all their routes increasingly blocked by the Sludge as it spread outwards in every direction from the laboratory. "We need to reach the lifts if we’re to get down to the basement quickly," Charteris said.
“That way's blocked too," reported Hogan, peering round the next corner.
"The roof," snapped Charteris. "It may not have reached the roof yet. We can get out onto it from here."
In the ceiling near the end of the corridor they were in was a skylight. By standing on Hogan's shoulders Charteris was able to reach it and heave it open. He scrambled out onto the roof and Hogan passed the disintegrator gun up to him. Then Hogan stood on Dunlop's shoulders and he in turn was able to climb out onto the roof. He helped pull Dunlop up.
Charteris pointed towards a hatch in the roof at the opposite end of the building. "That's it, over there."
From behind them came a crunching sound, and they looked round. A section of the roof to their left was cracking, splitting open, and the black sludge poured out, spreading slowly across the tarmac surface. They started running along the roof towards the hatch. They really needed to move more stealthily in case the UNIT troops saw them, but there was no choice.
One of the soldiers stationed in the car park saw them and called out. "Oy, you there! Halt or we fire!"
The three men ignored him. One of the soldiers raised his rifle and took aim. A moment later Dunlop spun round, grimacing in pain and clapping a hand to his shoulder. He toppled and fell screaming to the concrete fifty feet below.
Charteris thought of firing on them with the disintegrator but soon rejected the idea. He was no soldier and it would take skill to successfully hit a target from this angle. He and Hogan continued to run towards the hatch in the roof, the Sludge flowing remorselessly after them.
A clatter of booted feet told them a second squad of UNIT troops was clambering up the fire escape to the roof in a bid to cut them off. Hogan stopped running and turned to face in that direction. "Keep going!" he shouted to Charteris.
Again seeming to sense their presence, the Sludge quickened its pace.
The first of the soldiers appeared at the top of the ladder, and clambered onto the roof. Immediately Hogan started blazing away with his rifle, unaware of the tentacle of black which had emerged from a skylight and was creeping towards him. Suddenly it lashed out and seized him by the ankle, jerking him off balance.
The first UNIT man to go over the top had been killed by Hogan’s bullets, and the one behind, realising this, hesitated. Grenades might be better, or they might just get mown down in succession. Then he heard Hogan scream and peered cautiously over the top in time to see him dragged shrieking into the skylight as more of the Sludge began to pour from it, covering him. The outline of his body was visible for a brief moment then he was gone, totally absorbed.
The Sludge was moving in the UNIT men’s direction and the lead soldier shouted out a warning, he and his companions hurriedly descending the ladder to the forecourt. As they did so they heard another scream.
Hiding behind a ventilator cowling, Charteris let it die in his throat. He ran to the hatch, opened it and lowered himself through, dropping with a thud onto the floor of the corridor that led to the lifts.
Charteris ran to the lift door and slammed the palm of his hand on the button. It slid open and he dashed inside. He pressed the button for the basement level, and the doors shut. The lift started to descend.
On the roof the Sludge poured over the housing for the machinery by which the lift was controlled. Metal warped and twisted, pulling wires out of their place. With a shower of sparks and a bang the equipment short-circuited.
The lift jerked to a shuddering halt about ten feet above the bottom of the shaft.

The Brigadier stood alone a few yards from the Schthori ship. Its crew had gone back inside and he was left to pace about moodily.
The TARDIS wheezed and groaned into existence a few feet from where he was standing. A moment later its doors opened and the Doctor hurried out, cradling a complicated mish-mash of electronic equipment in his arms. Ignoring the Brigadier, he placed the device on the ground roughly halfway between himself and the ship, and began fiddling about with it.
"I don’t suppose you’ve time to tell me exactly what that thing is for, Doctor?" the Brigadier asked.
"It’s the Relative Dimensional Stabiliser from the TARDIS. I'm going to extend the TARDIS' dimensional field to include the Schthori ship. That means it'll become much smaller, or it should do. To shrink something that big needs an awful amount of power; I had to dismantle and rejig the RDS several times. I only hope this works." He carried on with his work.
"You know, Doctor, I've been thinking," said the Brigadier. The Doctor affected to look astonished. "Yes, all right, Doctor. Anyhow, I've decided I really can't accept that this contraption of yours is bigger on the inside than on the outside. Goes against all common sense. It's just impossible, isn't it?"
"That depends," said the Doctor vaguely.
"Well, I've been trying to work it all out. What if the outside and the inside aren't actually in the same place, but the two are somehow…linked? If you go through one you end up inside the other. A bit like that transporter thing in that American TV programme.”
"Something like that," replied the Doctor non-committally.
The Brigadier tried again. "When you step inside it, you shrink. So to oneself, it always would be bigger on the inside than on the outside. And you’d never know it had happened. You told me once the TARDIS was telepathic, so couldn’t it do something to make you think you were still the same size?”
The Doctor looked at him in some surprise. “You’re almost there,” he said. “Almost, but not quite.” The Brigadier frowned. “Now then, Alastair, I'd advise you to stand well away from the ship, about...about there should do." He pointed to a slight bump in the ground about thirty yards away.
The Brigadier obeyed. The Doctor touched a control on the RDS and to the accompaniment of a weird burbling noise a whirling vortex of multi-coloured lights enveloped the Schthori ship, completely hiding it from view. The Brigadier shielded his eyes from it. The noise ceased, and cautiously he opened them. The vortex had disappeared, and so it seemed had the ship.
They walked towards the centre of the field, and as they approached the spot where the ship had been became aware of a shining object on the ground some distance away. As they neared it the Brigadier saw what it was; the Schthori ship, shrunk to about three feet in length.
He had a sudden flash of inspiration. "I was right. That's what this Relative Dimensional Thingummy does, isn’t it? Shrink you when you go inside the TARDIS.”
Again the Doctor wouldn’t commit himself. Reaching the ship, he picked it up and cradled it reverently in both hands. "Splendid. Now I need to do is to wire the RDS back into the TARDIS console." As they walked back towards the TARDIS the Doctor explained his plan in more detail. “And are you sure it’ll work?” asked the Brigadier.
“How can anyone be sure of anything, until it happens?” replied the Doctor. “Proof of the pudding and all that.” Picking up the RDS, he made to go into the TARDIS. He paused at the door, the key in his hand. “Now all I have to do is set her to materialise inside the rocket chamber. Once I’ve finished there, I’ll meet you at the house. If you give me the grid reference the TARDIS computers should be able to identify the location.”
“Very well, Doctor. I’ll radio the data to you. But hadn’t we better find out what the situation is at the Foundation before you – “
"There's no time for that," muttered the Doctor, and disappeared inside. “Wish me luck, I may need it. See you soon – I hope.”
“Doctor, hadn’t I better go with you – “ But the door had already closed. The Brigadier watched the TARDIS fade slowly from sight.

Christine was shown into her father's presence by two of the robots. He was sitting in an armchair making little movements with his entwined fingers.
"Yes, my dear?" he inquired. “You wanted to see me again.”
"I've decided to join you. I suppose I haven't got much of a choice."
"You certainly haven't. It is a shame you couldn't have done it of your own free will. Especially when you are my daughter."
"I'll give you what help I can. I might even persuade Sarah."
He regarded her thoughtfully. "Thankyou very much for your gesture of support. However, I don't really think I want you on my side."
Her eyebrows lifted. "Why's that?"
He grinned. "You lie very badly, my dear. And I haven't survived these last thirty years without knowing whether or not someone is telling the truth. I can see you're just trying to gain some kind of advantage for you and your friends. A pity you couldn't have thought of something less disingenuous."
"Better be a fool than a – war criminal," said Christine. "Look, Dad, just give up all this nonsense. You don't have to give yourself up to the police if you don't want to. Just stop it."
"After all the effort I have already put into it? Perhaps you are a fool. You can go back to your cell." He nodded at the robots, who began to steer her towards the door. "And please don't waste my time again."

"Greyhound Leader to Trap One."
"Trap One to Greyhound Leader. I've pulled Harris and his squad out of the rocket silo, Sir. That stuff is getting too close for comfort."
"Are there are any enemy forces still within the premises, Benton?"
Benton described what his men had seen on the roof of the Foundation. "Looks like the Sludge got Charteris. I don't want to send anyone in to make sure unless they cop it too. Of course if you want me to – “
“They’d probably just get themselves killed,” said the Brigadier. He sighed. “Which is what’ll happen to the Doctor if he’s not careful. Well at least that’s one problem taken care of – Charteris, I mean. Poor chap.”

Charteris had managed to open the hatch in the ceiling of the lift. He looked up and saw rivulets of glistening black slime travelling down the sides of the shaft towards him.
He lifted the disintegrator and pointed it upwards through the hatch, at the cable. His finger tightened on the trigger. In an instant the beam of energy had sliced cleanly through the cable and Charteris braced himself as the lift dropped rapidly towards the bottom of the shaft. Ten feet; it shouldn't be enough to injure him but he might be shaken up a bit.
With a crash it the bottom, sending vibrations right through the whole of its fabric. For a few moments he was stunned, then he managed to shake himself back to full consciousness.
The crash had buckled the doors. He melted them into nothingness with the disintegrator, and ran off down the corridor towards the rocket silo.

He sat in his living room staring at the wall, not doing or even thinking about anything in particular. The patterns on the plaster began to spin before his eyes. There was nothing else to occupy his attention. From time to time he'd scratch idly at his crotch or pick his nose.
It was much the same every day of his life. He had no job, and his wife and family had nothing to do with him any more. There was hardly anything to do until the evening, when his mates would come to collect him and take him down the pub.
He realised it was a while since he'd last tried the television. Maybe this time there'd be something good on. With an effort he heaved his bulky form from the chair and waddled over to the set. Halfway there, he paused and frowned, looking uneasily about him.
Suddenly, he was filled with a terrible sensation that there was something very powerful, maybe dangerous, in the room with him. He felt sick with fear when it became apparent that it was no delusion.
A column of silvery light had appeared in one corner. He backed away from the shimmering, glittering apparition in horror. Was this a divine visitation, come to punish him? He began to whimper in terror. You couldn't be saved just by saying sorry, not when you'd only done it out of fear for your own spiritual skin.
The light solidified, and took on a definite shape. He gave a cry of terror as he saw before him the form of a young woman, sublimated and transfigured, wreathed in an unearthly glowing light, but unmistakeably his daughter. Sheila. His first thought was that she'd died and gone to Heaven, and was now visiting him as an angel, to exact divine retribution for his crimes. Or a ghost, with similarly vengeful intentions. He cowered away. Yes; something very powerful was in the room, and it had the inclination, and the means, to destroy him.
The figure folded its arms and leaned against the wall with its head on one side, a look of exaggerated benevolence on its face. "Hello, Dad," it smiled.
"S-s-s-sheila?"
"Y-y-y-yes," she mimicked. "It's me, all right. I thought it was high time I paid you a visit."
"W-w-what’s happened to you?"
"Oh, you wouldn't understand. It's great, though. Lots of things I can do. Like this, for instance."
A vase of flowers shattered, depositing its contents on the floor. The water trickled down onto the carpet.
"Or this." A drawer sprang open and the odds and ends with which it had been filled flew out, shooting through the air towards him. He jumped back in alarm, screaming as they bounced repeatedly off him, buzzing round his head like angry insects. A paper knife stopped less than an inch from his nose.
A massive crack appeared right across the TV screen, and a series of jagged tears were slashed in the wallpaper. The carpet started to undulate, rising and falling like waves. More drawers opened and spilled their contents onto the floor.
She threw back her head and laughed mockingly. He backed away from her, pale and sweating.
She sat down in the chair he had vacated and folded her arms. "Now then Dad, I'd like to take you back a few years, to when I was little. You weren't too happy when I was born, were you? You really wanted a son. But there was something you could do with a daughter, wasn't there? Something you liked. You thought a girl was something weak and vulnerable. Something you could have fun bullying and hurting. Because you like to tease the weak.
"You know what I'm talking about, don't you? Why I'm here. It took me a long time to realise, and even longer to accept, that the things you did to me were the reason why I had so many problems at school. Why I turned out the way I did. It's all sorted out now, thanks to...thanks to someone I met. It’s going to be OK. But it still hurts that I can't remember the past with any pleasure."
Her voice trembled and cracked with emotion. "Maybe I should have talked to someone about it. But it wasn't easy. Even if I should have done, it's all as much your fault as mine, maybe more. You left me with something which messed up my mind and my life, but which I couldn't discuss with anyone, couldn't sort out. Give me a good reason why I shouldn't kill you."
The tears of an angel, it seemed, were like glistening jewels. They coursed down her cheeks like little shimmering rivers, shot through with silvery light, fading and disappearing after a moment to leave a glowing trail behind them.
She gestured at the scene of devastation around them. "It's possible you're going to be able to do this too, shortly. It’s going to happen to most of us, anyway, within the next few days. Then you could get your own back on me for this, couldn't you? So I ought to sort you out now before that happens. Or maybe it won't. I'd say it's not very likely; I suspect you've got to have some goodness in your soul before it can happen to you.
"I can't be sure, though. So tell me, what would you do in my position?"
She stared hard at him, and he felt a searing pain behind his eyes. He screamed as it spread through his whole head, seeming to rip it apart.
He cowered at her feet, head buried in his hands, sobbing and wailing and shrieking for mercy. "Sheila...Sheila...please stop it, please! I'm sorry...believe me, I'm sorry...I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I-I-I-I-I..."
Some minutes passed. Then the pain ceased, and slowly he lifted his head to look at her. The expression on her face changed to one more of contempt than hatred.
Simply by scaring him so badly, she'd taught him enough of a lesson. And if she could kill him easily with her powers, but didn't, that might make him think, might do him some good. In the circles he'd moved in in the past he'd never encountered such magnanimity. And his daughter was the person with the best excuse for doing something nasty to him. Perhaps all these years hating him, and wanting to kill him, had been the wrong line to take.
And she'd wasted enough time on this as it was. Wokir and its cohorts had to be either as bad as, or worse than, her father and what he'd done to her. It made every sense to concentrate her anger and hatred on them.
When she spoke her voice was saturated with repressed fury. "I hope you're grateful for this." She stepped back from him, her features and outline blurring and dissolving into a formless sheet of light, which streaked like a comet across the room, passing clean through the wall.
For a long time Ron Kingman just sat where he was, shaking uncontrollably with relief, tears pouring down his face and onto the front of his shirt. Then, gradually, other thoughts began to ease their way into his mind as he tried to take stock of things.

Having nothing else to do that Saturday afternoon, and for some reason desiring a bit of solitude, Derek Wills of Catford had decided to go for a walk near the Factory Estate, as it was known. Not far from the run-down cluster of houses was a patch of common land, bordered on two sides by a derelict complex of factories. It was broad daylight, but as was normally the case there weren't many people about there. Which was why two men who objected to his general presence on the planet decided it was safe to vent their bile on him.
Derek was trudging along beside a row of lock-up garages at the edge of the wasteground when he heard a hate-filled shout from somewhere close by.
"Oy, nigger!"
He turned to see two burly, leather-jacketed figures swaggering towards him.
At first he was going to brazen it out, but any illusions he might have had about the wisdom of such a course were dispelled when they each took out a flick-knife, jabbing it threateningly towards him. There was something sinister about the way they marched forward almost mechanically, as if with the same mind. With a click the blades of their knives sprang open.
They were almost near enough to catch him if he tried to run. But running was the only safe course now. He sprinted off, making for the road that led to the estate, hoping that they wouldn't attempt to kill him where lots of people might see it.
Then a third thug appeared, running towards him from behind the pile of dustbins where he had been hiding. He was forced to swerve to his right, towards the abandoned factory, running into a little street between two rows of warehouses.
His heart turned to ice as he found himself staring at a blank brick wall. It was a cul-de-sac. There was nowhere further for him to go. And that they meant to kill him, or at least cause him serious injury, there was no doubt.
His nerve failed him. Collapsing both mentally and physically he lay there curled up into a tight ball, whimpering.
Then he became aware of a strange feeling. A sense of colossal power growing in him. As if he was becoming filled with a massive charge of electricity, that sent a delicious tingling through every atom of his being. And with it came the knowledge that he need not fear these people. Because he was so much stronger and more powerful than they, and could do things they couldn't. Slowly a grin spread over his face. He uncurled himself and rose slowly and purposefully to his feet.
Steve Higgs and Myer ran up to see him standing there, unafraid, a strange look on his face. Somehow unnerved, they found themselves glancing at each other uncertainly.
Then a glowing radiance burst forth from the young man's body, almost blinding them. Involuntarily they stepped back a few faces.
Derek stretched out his arms towards Myer. A beam of silver-white, glittering light stabbed from his pointing fingers and struck the Nazi in the chest. He had time to let out one hideous scream of agony before the light spread rapidly outward from the point of impact and swallowed him up. It intensified and then vanished, leaving a charred, smoking heap of ashes about a foot across where he had stood.
Higgs stared at it in amazement and shock. That he might himself be in danger was suddenly brought home to him when another ray of energy smashed into him with a force that knocked him clean off his feet and sent him flying through the air into the wall of a house. He slid to the ground, stunned.
Frantically he shook himself fully conscious and looked up to see the black youth advancing towards him, a triumphant, mocking expression visible beneath the shroud of light which bathed his features. He was savouring the moment.
Then there came a brilliant flash and another glowing angel-like figure was standing beside him, facing the black youth. Higgs realised it was talking to him.
"No," she smiled. "That's not the thing to do. I think you've already taught him his lesson. There's another evil that must be thought. Let me show you."
They talked for a while more, then the two figures flared up and seemed to vanish into thin air, leaving him slumped there, staring fixedly at the spot where they'd been.
Gradually and with an effort he managed to stand. For several long minutes he stood there shaking violently, thick rivulets of sweat running down his ashen face.
Then, finally getting a grip on himself, he hurried away from the scene of the incident. As he ran, the principal thought going through his mind was that he could never have anything to do with an organisation like Firebird ever again.

The council of elders who governed the island were wondering how to interpret Tanita's dreams in the light of their legends. Didn't those legends say that a great darkness would seek to envelop the world, and that one of their number would know when this was happening, and also be its champion in the struggle between good and evil? They ordered that until the truth could be divined, Tanita should not be harmed.
Locked in the hut, she could hear them arguing. She couldn't quite understand what they were saying, but knew one thing; while they were talking about it, she could get out of here.
She knew there was more to what was happening to her than just the visions. She stared hard at the door and struggled to concentrate her mind, to summon up the energies nascent within her. At first she couldn't do it, and started to cry.
After a few moments she tried again. The effort hurt her, drawing the tears from her eyes again, then the door fell from its hinges.
A while later someone realised she was missing and alerted the other islanders. A party was assembled to hunt for her. They found her on the highest point of the mountain, gazing out to sea. They surrounded her and closed in. Her power wasn't strong enough yet to overcome all of them.
Then suddenly her body was bathed in glowing light and she felt herself begin to change.
The tribespeople fell back in awe and terror. They clearly expected her to do something nasty to them, and were surprised when she didn't. The shaman suggested that this might only be a ruse to gain their confidence, but someone pointed out that since she didn't need, with her powers, to use deceit to harm them his argument fell flat. Looking at her the people sensed there was nothing wicked there, and felt sorry that they had ever contemplated trying to kill her.
The shaman was angry to find his theories disproved, his pride dented and his position in the community threatened. Tanita's impish laugh echoed in his ears as she flared up like a meteor and soared high into the sky, streaking through its blue vastness towards a small village in the south-east of England.

"I thought I heard Simon cry out," said Mark. His conscience was clearly troubling him. "Only I wasn't certain. I didn't want to disturb him because I thought he'd get better more quickly if he was left alone."
They looked at each other. "I think we ought to make sure," said Daphne.
She glanced at her watch. A fair amount of time had passed since they'd seen Simon go upstairs.
Then she saw Claudine hurrying towards them. She looked apologetic, and also worried. "Daphne..."
"Yes, dear?" What was going on now, she thought apprehensively.
Claudine lowered her voice. "I was going past Simon's room just now and I heard someone talking in there."
"He may be delirious, poor chap," Mark said anxiously.
For the sake of Daphne's peace of mind, Claudine hadn't mentioned that she'd been sure, when walking past the door of the bedroom, that there'd been two voices coming from within it. And that one of them had sounded like a woman.
"Right, that's it," said Daphne firmly. "I'm going up. And if he's not better I'm going to call the doctor."
Daphne mounted the stairs, the others following, more than a little apprehensive about what they might find. No sound could be heard from the room as they approached the door. Perhaps Simon had got over the worst of his illness and was now asleep.
Gingerly Daphne pushed the door open, to step back with a cry of alarm. The room was empty, and the window stood wide open. They looked under the bed, behind the furniture, in the wardrobe. But there was no-one there. There was no-one anywhere in the room.
No body was to be seen lying on the patio forty feet below the window ledge, and it wasn't possible to have climbed down the drainpipe to the ground in the time which had elapsed since Claudine had heard the sounds from within the room. For a long time they stood staring at each other in sheer, speechless amazement.

The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS, cradling the miniaturised Schthori ship gently in his arms. Leaving the door open, so he wouldn't have to spend time unlocking it if he needed to get out of here fast, he hurried over to inspect the control console near the rocket.
It looked as if it was almost complete. He made the last few adjustments to the light phase accelerator. Now all he needed to do was reprogramme the rocket, plus one other task.
He climbed the metal staircase, divided into about ten flights, up the support gantry to a panel in the side of the rocket and proceeded to open it with his spare sonic screwdriver.
He didn’t see the door to the silo open and Dr Charteris enter, carrying the disintegrator gun. Charteris stopped at the sight of the TARDIS.
"Doctor," he breathed. He knew, of course, what the blue box was. Immediately he ran to the console and studied it anxiously. All was as he had left it; the Doctor didn't appear to have touched anything. And the last report he’d received from the technicians had suggested they’d had time to finished their work, more or less, before they’d died.
The air corridor for the missile. He had to make sure it was free. He tried to ring the Syndicate, but the phone wasn't working. The Sludge must have cut the line. He hesitated briefly, then shook his head. The risk would just have to be taken. The pace of events had forced his hand.
From somewhere above him he heard faint sounds of movement. Glancing up, he saw the open panel, with someone moving about inside it.
He considered. There wasn't much time; the Sludge would be here soon.
Retrieving his tools from where he had left them, he resumed working on the light phase generator. When it was finished he'd go and find out just what the Doctor had been doing.
He couldn’t let anything stop him now. His whole life had been leading up to this moment. Vaguely he wondered what had happened to Stedman, who had had very different ideas about where the future of the human race lay. Had he managed to slip away somehow, not liking what Charteris was doing, or…
He had another theory as to what explained the man’s mysterious disappearance. But of course it didn’t matter now. As long as he could stop the Doctor.

The Brigadier had now ordered all UNIT forces to abandon the Foundation and converge on the force field surrounding Greenleaves, apart from himself. His Land Rover screeched to a halt just outside the entrance to the administration block. He jumped out and ran into the building, through the foyer and along the corridor to the stairs that led down to the underground levels.
In his desperation to reach the Doctor he at first didn't register the wall of black slime creeping towards him. It hadn’t yet reached the door that opened onto the stairs, but at the speed it was going it was sure to get there before he did. He ran back out to the Land Rover.
He drove around the complex looking for another entrance. It didn't take him long to establish that all routes into the building were blocked by the steadily advancing Sludge, which had filled almost all of the complex above ground and was now penetrating to the lower levels. The walls were beginning to crack under the pressure.
The most he'd achieve would be to get himself killed. Again he ran back to his vehicle and scrambled in. Well, Doctor, let's just hope your luck holds, he thought as he drove off.
Meanwhile the Sludge continued remorselessly on its way; seeking out and filling every crack, every tiny nook and cranny in the building.

The Doctor finished wiring the miniature Schthori ship in place within the workings of the rocket, and emerged from the inspection hatch, closing it and replacing the bolts with the sonic screwdriver. He stood still, listening carefully. From below he could hear the sound of Charteris at work.
He waited. At length the sounds ceased. A moment later he heard footsteps approach the ladder. He peered over the edge and saw Charteris start to climb it, carrying a futuristic-, for twentieth century Earth, looking tubular device. The disintegrator gun.
The Doctor began to descend the stairs. He could hear Charteris coming up them, moving in a more careful, alert fashion, not knowing whether the Doctor had any weapons with him.
The Doctor paused at about the fourth level of the stairs. By his reckoning, Charteris was on the one below him. The Doctor clambered over the safety rail, his hands gripping it while his toes rested on the steps, between two of the rods. Just as Charteris's head was about to come into view he dropped down to the level below. Again he let go, seizing the railing on the next level as he fell. Descending to the ground in stages, grabbing each safety rail in turn.
Charteris paused, listening in puzzlement, then realised what the Doctor was trying to do. He ran back down the stairs.
The Doctor landed squarely on the floor of the silo, legs spread apart to cushion himself against the impact. He ran for the console and once there began running his hands over the controls. Altering the rocket's programming.
He heard Charteris's voice. "Stand away from those controls, Doctor."
The Doctor ignored him. His task was simply too important for him to stop. It was just a matter of pressing a few more buttons. He'd already half completed the task.
"Doctor, I'm warning you..."
The Doctor went on working.
He felt the air close to his head heat up as a ray of energy stabbed through it. Ignoring it, he didn't see it drill a large hole in the wall.
He grinned to himself. "As I thought," he said aloud. "You're using an energy weapon. And you can't fire it at me while I'm standing here, because not only would it vaporise me, it would also vaporise half the console, and you wouldn't be able to change the program back the way you want it."
"Doctor, what were you doing to the rocket just now? I see you’ve completed the light phase generator.”
The Doctor explained, while he talked carrying on the task of reprogramming the rocket. "Yes, and now all I have to do is amend the rocket's instructions so that instead of remaining in the Black Hole and collecting the energies there, it will travel straight through it into the Black Universe and release the Schthori ship. We don't need to worry about its air corridor, that's been taken care of."
"Doctor, I have spent a lifetime on this project. It will be the crowning glory of my career. I did it to save my planet, my people. I did it with the good of all humanity in mind."
"It won't work, believe me." Despite his haste, the Doctor's voice was briefly kinder. "Like that disintegrator gun, and the other weapons being developed here, and the powers of the Schthori, it's another toy humanity isn't meant to have yet.”
"The risk is worth it! It's always been!"
"We haven't got a lot of time, you realise that," the Doctor shouted. "I should think the Sludge will be here in minutes. And not very many of them!"
Charteris smiled. "We'll have plenty of time soon, Doctor, if you'll just let me do what I have to…"
"Not even the Time Lords can stand against the Wones once they come swarming out of the dimensional portal."
"I can't give it up now, Doctor. Not after so much time, so much effort, has been put into it. It's simply unthinkable. It just doesn't feel right, doesn't make sense."
"You've got a one-track mind," said the Doctor grimly. "And when someone has a one-track mind, it's very easy to derail their train."
Charteris put the disintegrator gun down on the floor and searched around for an alternative weapon. His eye fell on a monkey wrench lying on a workbench.
There were only two more adjustments to make now. Then all the Doctor would have to do was press the firing button.
Unwilling to take chances, he looked round and saw Charteris creeping towards him, the wrench raised high above his head.
The Doctor ran to where the disintegrator lay. Charteris rushed to intercept him and they closed, their bodies colliding. The two men fell to the floor and rolled across it struggling fiercely.
Huge cracks were spreading across the wall. The door burst open and a river of the Sludge flowed towards them. Charteris didn't notice it and wouldn't have cared.
He tore himself free from the Doctor and made a dive for the disintegrator gun. The Doctor was too far from the console to reach it in time. He threw himself on Charteris and just managed to stop him grabbing the gun. They resumed their desperate fight, the Doctor aware that if he managed to gain hold of the gun himself he'd have to use it to kill Charteris.
Again Charteris threw him off and snatched at the disintegrator. This time he managed to grasp it but before he could aim the weapon the Doctor was on him again, trying to wrest it from him.
Their struggles had brought them close to the safety rail surrounding the edge of the pit into which the rocket's motors fired. As they fought, Charteris trying to aim the disintegrator at the Doctor and the Doctor to force it away from him, the gun went off, melting away part of the railing.
The Doctor made a desperate attempt to tear the gun from Charteris' grasp. It shot out of both their hands and clattered on the floor a foot or so away. Its beam continued to fire, eating away more of the railing.
Behind them the black sludge was pouring from the cracks in the wall, in greater and greater quantities. The Doctor shouted frantically to Charteris to give up the struggle, but his words fell on ears deafened by madness.
Charteris threw the Doctor off and lunged for the gun. Before he could grab it properly the Doctor hurled himself on him again. Once more they rolled over, the Doctor ending up on his back looking up into Charteris’ mad eyes. He drew his legs up and thrust, sending Charteris flying backwards. Charteris struggled to his feet, staggered as he tried to regain his balance, and fell against one of the spars of the safety railing, which the efffects of the disintegrator's beam had reduced to a thin sliver of metal. It snapped and he fell, screaming, through the gap in the rail, plummeting forty feet to the concrete floor of the pit.
The Doctor ran to the console, made the last alteration and slammed his fist down on the firing button. Automatically the rocket's motors roared into life, and the pit below him was filled with flame. Above his head the roof of the launch silo split into two, before opening upwards to create a square of blue sky. The gantry retracted and the rocket began to rise into the air.
The walls burst open and the Sludge rushed towards him. He sprinted for the open door of the TARDIS and flung himself through it. It shut just as the wave of black material reached it, slamming against it and engulfing it.
The TARDIS dematerialised. A second later the black substance burst out through the walls of the Foundation, sending them crashing down. The roof fell in and the Sludge flowed over the resulting rubble. In a few minutes there was nothing left standing; just a huge black hole in the ground, from which flowed forth a seemingly endless tide of heaving, pulsating blackness.
Above it the rocket soared into the stratosphere on a plume of grey-white smoke.

From the positions they had taken up in the grounds of Greenleaves, the Brigadier and his men watched it soar into the sky.
"Well, he did it," Lethbridge-Stewart declared, grinning.
"As long as the Sludge didn't get him," said Benton.
Then to their delight they heard the familiar sound of the TARDIS materialising. They turned to greet the Doctor as he emerged from it.
He wore a sad expression, still thinking about Charteris. "Are you OK, Doctor?" asked the Brigadier. "It went all right, didn't it?"
"Yes, Brigadier, it went perfectly all right," he said grimly. "I'll tell you all about it later." He shook himself mentally and physically. There was work to be done; moping over Charteris's fate could wait.
The smile returned to his face. "Right then, now to deal with our other problem."

von Arbenz and Rayner were sharing a bottle of champagne in the former's study. "How soon before the…the bonding can take place?" Rayner asked.
"In about thirty minutes from now, according to what Wokir told me the last time I spoke with it." von Arbenz was resigned to having to pay host to the creature.
"And these beings...these "Endowed"..."
Von Arbenz took another sip. "They will be occupied elsewhere. Wokir has planned things that way."
"There's nothing anyone can do to stop us," he grinned, and sent the glass travelling across the room with his mind.

The Doctor, the Brigadier, Benton and two dozen UNIT soldiers stood contemplating the back of Greenleaves across the field at the rear of the property. "Someone's got to go in there and somehow put a stop to things," said the Doctor. "I’m the obvious choice.”
“Of course,” said the Brigadier woodenly.
“Although I have to admit, I may need some help.” He took out the Schthori crystal and studied it. "That forcefield is composed of pure evil, in the form of something like electrical impulses. Constituting a negative, destructive force which tears apart anything coming into contact with it. This crystal will repel those impulses. Unfortunately, by itself it'll only provide protection for one or two people at the most. No way we can get a whole platoon in."
The Brigadier frowned. He'd never asked his men to do anything he wouldn't himself. But something told him it would be best for him to stay here, in case of any new developments. He told them all so. "Mr Benton?"
"I'm with you, Doctor," said Benton.
"Good man. Brigadier, you and your men had better watch out for any Wones. If they decide to attack you you'll be in serious trouble."
The Brigadier shook both their hands. "Good luck Mr Benton, Doctor." He and Benton exchanged salutes.
"And you,” said the Doctor. “Come on, Mr Benton." The two of them set towards the forcefield.
As they approached it they felt the atmosphere of evil intensify. The Doctor held the crystal out before him, waving it from side to side. Almost immediately they felt the evil give way before them, creating a hole in the barrier through which they could enter.
The Brigadier followed them for a moment, then sensed the hole close up and retreated. He stared after them for a long time.

Christine suddenly gave a little laugh. "I've just been thinking. I should call myself Christine von Arbenz now. Sounds good, doesn't it? Aristocratic." Burckhardt was a false name, invented purely for convenience, and for a clandestine purpose. It signified absolutely nothing to her.
"It might be rather churlish of me to tell you this," said Bruchmann, "but your father came from a fairly ordinary middle-class background. He added the "von" to his name out of conceit, like a few other of the leading Nazis."
"Sounds just like him," said Christine. "Oh, I'm not really bothered about it, to be honest. I'm not sure I want to go by the same name as a war criminal.
"It's your choice,” said Sarah. “But you get the impression you feel guilty about what your father did - yes?"
Christine shook her head impatiently. But everything about her expression and manner told Sarah her supposition was correct.
She sat down beside Christine. "You shouldn't have to defend yourself all the time. There's no special obligation on you to apologise for yourself, just because you happen to be his daughter. Or to condemn everything he's done, although I'm glad you do. People ought to judge you own your merits, not just as the child of Heinrich von Arbenz. You're a person in your own right. Don't let anybody forget that, Christine."
"Don't worry," she said, grinning weakly. "I won't."

"All right so far, Doc," said Benton cheerfully. Preoccupied, the Doctor merely grunted.
They were making for a dense thicket which extended almost up to the house, intending to use it as cover. The Doctor had expected they wouldn't get very far before they ran into trouble, and he was right. Suddenly five of the robot stormtroopers emerged from a copse and stalked towards them, rifles raised. Benton hesitated. If they were going to be killed they'd go down fighting; otherwise there was no point in resisting. Unfortunately there was no way of guessing their controllers’ intention. He nodded at the crystal in the Doctor’s hand but the Time Lord shook his head. It wouldn’t do them any good; these were neither good nor evil but machines which simply obeyed their programming.
At that moment a glowing, ethereal figure shimmered into existence beside them. It was Sheila Kingman. She stepped fearlessly towards the robots, arms extended. They stopped in their advance, as if unsure just what to make of her, then levelled their rifles and fired. The laser beams passed harmlessly through her body, dissipating in the atmosphere. She didn't even flinch.
The silvery rays of light from her fingers smashed into two of the robots and they exploded into blazing fragments, head, arms, legs and bodies all flying in different directions. Instinctively the other three responded, blasting away at her furiously. Almost casually she lifted her arm again and pointed at them. They too were blasted to pieces, one lurching drunkenly about, blazing like a torch, before collapsing in a heap of smoking wreckage.
Triumphantly Sheila Kingman surveyed their remains. The Doctor smiled at her. "Hopefully we should be all right now," he told Benton.
They spun round as a terrifying chorus of bestial sounds started up somewhere close by. An army of snarling Wones, thirty or forty strong, was bearing down on them. “They must have come from the windmill," said the Doctor. The forcefield would of course be no barrier to them.
Instinctively Benton raised his rifle, but the Doctor put a restraining hand on his gun arm. "No, you'd only be wasting your ammunition, and we might need it later." He brandished the crystal. "This will stand a much better chance of repelling them - I hope."
The Doctor pointed the crystal at the Wones and strode towards them, grimly. In his heart he was afraid there were too many of the creatures. They seemed to think so too; although they hesitated, growling, at the sight of the crystal they soon rallied, rushing towards him again.
He realised Sheila Kingman was standing beside him. At the sight of her the Wones snarled in fury. Again she stretched out both her arms, and a white ray of energy - pure goodness - stabbed into the seething mass of hate, causing several of the Wones to retreat, screeching, while a number of others were blasted off their feet and hurled some distance through the air. The Doctor joined the fray, wielding the crystal like a sword. He swung it round in a wide arc, sending the creatures scuttling back. With Benton following, watching the battle in awe, he and Sheila started to move forward, herding the Wones back towards the windmill. Whenever one of them broke away from the rest and tried to sidle round and attack the Doctor from the side or rear, Sheila blasted it.
Should a Wone be hit more than once the cumulative effect of the successive blasts proved too much for it. It crumpled into a ball and shrivelled away, rapidly decomposing, to finally fade into nothingness.
Benton studied the creatures thoughtfully. The bursts of Goodness, if that was what you called it, were sapping their power. On an impulse, he blasted one point blank with his rifle. The creature let out a shrill high-pitched shriek and collapsed writhing and jerking. The red glow in its eyes faded and with a final convulsive twitch it was still. Its body disintegrated into a thick, steaming, evil-smelling black sludge. From then on, whenever one of the creatures seemed sufficiently weakened Benton shot it.
In a sudden frenzied movement one of the Wones lashed out at the Doctor and dashed the crystal from his hand. He reacted astonishingly swiftly. Moving with incredible speed and agility he leaped backwards, away from the Wone’s slashing claws as it rushed to seize its advantage and fall on him. Sheila repelled it with another blast of her power and he snatched up the crystal again.
Suddenly the Doctor sensed Sheila was weakening. The effort was proving too much for her. Sensing this too, most of the Wones focused their attention on her. Rallying, they tore at her with their claws, and tried to crush her with their bodies; pounded at her with their fists, even bit her. The intense aura of evil that they generated was debilitating and it took all her natural willpower, in addition to the powers the Schthori had given her, to resist being overcome by it.
She continued to hurl energy bolts left right and centre, forced now not just to repel the creatures but to destroy them. Where possible Benton lent a hand with the rifle, but such was the strength they gained from their sheer mad rage that he only managed to kill a few of them. Eventually a combination of Sheila’s powers and Benton’s bullets finished them off. With one final thrust Sheila hurled the last few Wones from her, then blasted them into nothingness. Then she collapsed.
Benton ran towards her. She lay very still in a pool of steaming black fluid from the shattered bodies of the Wones.
Meanwhile the attack on Sheila had taken some of the pressure off the Doctor, who had been starting to tire. He continued to harry the four Wones who had been left to deal with him, chasing them back through the forcefield, towards the windmill. Whenever one tried to break away he used the crystal, amplifying his own inner goodness, to force it back into the tightly packed group. He performed a remarkable series of pirouettes, moving with the grace and agility of a ballet dancer, so that the crystal was always pointed straight at a Wone, and close enough to it to cause the creature considerable distress.
They scurried through the door of the windmill and up the ladder, the Doctor following them. Ectoplasmic Wones clustered round him, their arms raised in a feeble attempt to stop him. He barged through their soft, yielding, jelly-like bodies. They too retreated from the crystal, clambering clumsily up the steps on each floor after their corporeal brethren.
The Doctor continued to drive the Wones before him, up each ladder to the top of the mill where the dimensional gateway was. There they reverted to streams of ectoplasm which vanished into the black swirling vortex that had appeared in the air just below where the luck-stone hung. The jelly clinging to the walls and running down them gathered itself into one lump and followed.
When the last of it had gone the Doctor breathed a sigh of relief and grinned to himself, tired but happy. His eye fell on the luck-stone. "Not so lucky after all, were you old chap?" he said wistfully.
He detached a fragment of the crystal and placed it so that it covered the dimensional portal. No Wone would try to get past that.
"Well, that's one dimensional leak plugged," he declared, rubbing his hands. "Now let's sort out the other."
He ran back to rejoin Benton, and found the big soldier crouching over Sheila Kingman. Silver-white light was spilling from her. "Too many of them," she gasped. "Too many…"
The silvery radiance faded from around her body, and she was a normal human being once more. She gave a gasp of pain and was still. The Doctor and Benton shuddered at the horrific wounds which suddenly appeared in her flesh.
The Doctor bowed his head, hiding the pain in his face from Benton. "Poor girl."
"Not half as unfortunate as you're going to be," a voice said nastily. Clive Rayner and Colin McDuggan were standing not far away, both were unarmed. "You're the Doctor, aren't you?" said McDuggan.
"Yes, that's me," replied the Doctor curtly. He realised uneasily that their enemies wouldn't have come out to face them without guns unless they had some kind of important advantage he didn't know about.
Rayner was staring intently at Benton. The soldier suddenly recoiled, his grip on his rifle loosening. In a flash the Doctor realised what he was dealing with.
Benton felt a terrible nausea sweep over him. An intense, searing pain had gripped his whole body. He felt as if he was being simultaneously squeezed to a pulp and torn to pieces by razor-sharp knives. Disorientated, he lurched and staggered, his vision beginning to blur.
With a savage effort he jerked his gun up and aimed it at Rayner, squeezing the trigger. The rifle cracked and Rayner fell backwards, shot squarely in the chest.
Benton turned and ran for a nearby mass of shrubbery, plunging headlong into it. If they couldn't see him, if they didn't know where he was, maybe they couldn't bring their psychic powers to bear on him. He hoped that reasoning was correct. He buried himself as deep in the clinging, all-obscuring foliage as possible.
At the same time the Doctor threw himself at MacDuggan, grappling with him, trying to distract his attention from Benton. A wave of mental energy slammed him to the ground, stunned, and the crystal fell from his hand.
McDuggan stared down at him. He could have killed the Doctor there and then with his mind, but there were things they needed to know. He started to drag his captive towards the house.
The Brigadier lowered the binoculars through which he'd been gazing in horror at these events, completely unable to help. "They've got the Doctor," he told Sergeant Palmer. "But it looks like Mr Benton escaped."
He glanced over to where a low loader carrying the first of the heavy equipment was negotiating its way carefully along the uneven track that led from the road. "All that stuff, and there's just nothing we can do," he snapped. "You know, Sergeant, there are two people in the world I'd trust my life to; the Doctor and Mr Benton. Since one seems to be out of the running for the moment, it all depends on the other now."

Benton didn't stop running until he had gone quite a distance into the shrubbery. He staggered to a panting halt. Once he'd recovered his bearings, he listened carefully for any sound of pursuit. He could hear footsteps but they were moving away from him, towards the house, and it sounded as if the bloke was dragging something after him, no doubt the Doctor's dead or unconscious body.
Sooner or later, him and his mates would all be coming looking for Benton. He considered his situation. The Doctor had said their enemies would develop psychic powers as the Wokir thing's influence grew stronger, harnessing the evil in their minds and in Wokir's to destroy and overcome. Obviously that had now happened. He still felt shaken and sick from Rayner’s attack. A minute more and he would have died; somehow he knew it.
Well, he couldn't stay here forever. He'd just have to be very, very careful. He moved cautiously through the shrubbery until he came out the other end of it, then ran to the thicket and once within it threw himself flat, creeping forward very slowly on his stomach.
He emerged onto a stretch of garden, slightly overgrown in places. He could clearly see one wall of the house ahead of him. He moved towards it in a crouch, ready to plunge back into the foliage at the first sign of trouble.
He kept glancing at the windows of the house, but no-one was visible through them. Then he heard footsteps, coming from behind the angle of one wall. And heading in his direction. He concealed himself once more in the thicket, remaining still for the moment.
To his right was a yard enclosed on three sides by a complex of low brick buildings, one surmounted by a clock tower. Stables, probably, plus storehouses for items connected with the maintenance of the estate. Stacked in the yard was an assortment of bric-a-brac; boxes and crates, rusting gardening equipment.
Two Nazis, Flint and Shore, came round the corner of the house and stood listening carefully. They knew their quarry was in the thicket by the sound they’d heard as he concealed himself within it, but now he was silent, not wishing to give himself away. And they had no idea exactly where amid the mass of greenery he was.
Both of them carried shotguns. This time, no chances were being taken.
"You stay here," said Flint. "I’ll go round and head him off in case he tries to get out the other end.”
By listening to their footsteps, Benton had worked out that he was being stalked by two people, and that they’d split up in order to trap him between them. Anticipating every move your enemy might make in a situation like this was a part of every soldier's training.
He couldn’t stay where he was forever. For one thing, sooner or later they’d go in after him.
He had to make his move now while Flint was too far away to see the movement of the foliage. Again he inched forward on his stomach, making as little noise as his big size permitted, until he was at the edge of the thicket. He fitted the silencer to his rifle, and parted the leaves of the bush just enough to allow him to look out without being seen. Poking the end of the barrel through the little gap he'd made, he took careful aim, listening to the sound of Flint’s footsteps to gauge how far away the man was.
He squeezed the trigger. Flint was close enough to hear the clatter as one of the boxes piled in the yard toppled over and crashed to the ground, upsetting other things as it fell. He froze. It couldn’t have been the man they were stalking because he’d have seen him bolt from the thicket to the yard.
If two people could get through the forcefield somehow then so could others. And he’d no idea how many others there were. He might be outnumbered, even if joined by Shore. He couldn’t call the house for reinforcements, not over his radio, because Benton would hear him talking and he’d have given away his position. He lingered for a moment, then began backing away towards the house, keeping his eyes and his gun trained on the thicket.
Benton waited a few minutes and then peered out cautiously. There was no sign of either Nazi. Allowing himself a triumphant smile, he left the thicket and worked his way around it to the house. Then he crept round the other side of the building, away from where the Nazis would be going, and started looking for a way in, all the time keeping below the level of the windows.

The Sludge was welling ever more thickly, and at a faster rate, from the dimensional portal, oozing across the fields surrounding the Foundation - or rather the site where the complex had stood. In places it moved by undulating and contracting, like a caterpillar, in others it flowed like a river. Any vegetation it touched blackened and withered, shrivelling up. Any other object, living or non-living, which it touched met with the same fate. Animals fled in terror, sensing it was something evil, in a mass exodus which turned the ground into a seething tide of furry bodies. A few weren't quick enough. Earlier, Corporal Adams had watched in horror through his binoculars as a rabbit was seized and grasped by a tentacle which the blackness extruded, and held struggling and shrieking for a moment before being sucked in and devoured. Now something with four legs, but horns instead of ears and hideous fangs protruding from its mouth, emerged from the black mass and scurried on ahead of it. Another tentacle whipped upwards and just succeeded in catching a bird as it flew away squawking. A few minutes later something resembling an evil black bat with red eyes and a cruel face was flapping through the air above the Sludge, giving out an unearthly shrieking. A few Wones were walking on ahead like an advance guard.
UNIT had already evacuated Wattlehurst and all the other villages within a ten mile radius. Adams and two other soldiers had retreated to a rise overlooking the whole ghastly and terrifying scene to observe the Sludge's progress. They looked on as it enveloped the village of Wattlehurst. Walls crumbled under the pressure, brickwork cracking and crumbling.
Adams reported to the Brigadier, describing everything he'd seen. "It seems to be heading in one direction only, Sir. And that's north."
"Towards London," muttered Lethbridge-Stewart. "And it's leaving you alone at the moment?"
"Yes, Sir. We should be safe here."
"How fast is it moving?"
"About ten miles an hour. Seems to be speeding up, though."
"I'm going to call in the RAF. With any luck we can at least slow it down. All right, Adams, keep an eye on it."
Lethbridge-Stewart sighed. At least he and his men were under no threat, where they were. But unless they could slow down its progress, it was only a matter of time before London was engulfed. There would simply be no time, no point, in evacuating any village, town or city beyond the ten-mile limit he'd set. All he'd succeed in doing would be to create chaos. In the breakdown of law and order which would follow, hundreds, thousands of people would be injured or killed long before the Sludge got to them.
Meanwhile Adams saw a cluster of black, menacing shapes in the air above him and was struck by a sudden thought. They weren't normal birds, not any more, but it seemed they could fly. Better get back to the Brigadier as soon as possible. He thought with dread of the havoc the creatures would cause.

The Doctor opened his eyes and gazed blearily at the ceiling of the study as his vision cleared. He was slumped in a chair with von Arbenz, Thornton and MacDuggan standing over him.
"Don't bother trying anything," warned von Arbenz. "We can blast you into nothing just by thinking about it."
"I see. Well, no point in just sitting around," the Doctor declared breezily. He sprang up from the chair and held out his hand for von Arbenz to shake. The Nazi didn't respond, merely staring at him in astonishment.
"Oh come on," said the Doctor reprovingly. "Or is your arm worn out from saluting that portrait?" He nodded towards a painting of Adolf Hitler.
"I met him once, you know," he said chattily, dropping back into the chair with his arms tucked behind his head. "Several times, in fact. Boring fellow. Always monopolising the conversation. Obvious sign of an inferiority complex, in my opinion. Don't you agree?"
"You met the Fuhrer?" asked von Arbenz, incredulously.
"Oh, I'm older than I look," said the Doctor. "You know, it really is a pity about him. He wasn't unintelligent. Could have been remembered as a great leader if he'd taken a different course." His voice suddenly hardened. "He was a poor penniless vagrant in Vienna. He saw wealthy Jews going around and felt jealousy and hatred. Out of his jealousy grew the feeling that they were responsible for his situation. But he'd only got into it because he spent his time at school and college in impractical dreaming instead of applying himself to work. He was typical of his kind. The sort who gets into a rut because of their own inadequacies and then blames others for it. The people who followed him were just the same."
von Arbenz was eyeing the Doctor with anger and distaste. Apart from his general manner, he thought the man looked like a gypsy, with his unruly hair and Bohemian costume. Then there was that slightly hooked nose...yes, definitely there were antisocial, delinquent, un-Aryan influences here.
"Enough of this nonsense," he snapped. "It was you who broke into the house and released our prisoners, wasn't it?"
"Yes, it was. I mean, since I'm on the side of good and you're on the side of evil..." His voice changed again. "Incidentally, I hope they're all right."
"We recaptured them some time ago. They're safe and well. I thought it would be ungenerous not to let them live to see our triumph; to see the better world we will create. For we are not evil, I assure you."
The Doctor relaxed a little, guessing that if Sarah and the others were dead von Arbenz would have taken pleasure in telling him so. von Arbenz nodded towards the Schthori crystal, now lying on his desk beside the sonic screwdriver the robots had taken from Sarah. "How did you obtain that?"
The Doctor grinned knowingly. "I think it's interesting that you ask me how I got it rather than what it is. You've seen something like it before, haven't you?"
von Arbenz went to the desk, opening one of its drawers, and a moment later returned with the engraved wooden case. Lifting the lid, he held it out. Inside glittered a crystal exactly identical to the Doctor's. The Time Lord's eyes widened.
"How did you get hold of that?" he asked.
"It was, obtained from a private collector of ancient curios in France. I learned of it through my research."
"Research into Wokir."
"Yes. I expect my daughter told you all about it. Unfortunately, it is incomplete in many ways. I explored various sources; folk legends from various different countries, documents and ancient relics in museums or private collections. I also carried out some archaeological research. However I was only able to piece together a certain amount of the jigsaw." Obviously the battle between the Wones and the Schthori had had a profound enough effect to pass into human mythology. "But enough to know what the creature's aims are, and that it can be controlled by this crystal. The creature represents an immense destructive force. When it has laid waste as much of the world as we need it to, we and the different Firebird branches throughout the world will make our move, taking advantage of the devastation to establish control and build a better and more ordered society. It needs us, just as we need it. It is so eager to destroy that it will take whatever it can get, even if it knows it won't have all."
The Doctor gave a short laugh. "I'm afraid that crystal will be as useful to you as a fireguard that's one hundred per cent chocolate next to a very hot fire in the middle of the Sahara desert that's running a temperature."
von Arbenz stared at him. "Why?" he demanded angrily.
"Because its purpose and yours conflict. The crystal is designed to be used by someone with benevolent impulses, because it works by harnessing those impulses. Ultimately your purposes are evil, even though you still fear Wokir and the hold it can achieve over people, just as sinners in the old days didn't relish being dragged off to Hell despite being happy to do the devil's work every day of their lives. You want to spread chaos by making use of evil's destructive power, and for evil's own sake. You just want to do it on your own terms, that's all. But evil can't use good for its own purposes. It's purely and simply impossible, unthinkable, for them to work in conjunction. Their natures are too different, too violently opposed. If good helps evil then it goes against its own nature and ceases to be good. Normally the crystal would work against Wokir, but in your case the evil in your minds, for the reasons I've given, will act as a dampener on its powers. Or, to put it in more...scientific terms, two sets of particles with different charges, when placed in a certain relationship to each other, can't interact without cancelling out and neutralising the effects of their properties. I like the way the moral and scientific dimensions coincide so beautifully, don't you?
"If you think you can control it, you're deluding yourselves. It's using you, Mr von Arbenz. You and your fellow Fascists are its servants, whether you realise it or not. This thing is impatient to swallow up the whole Earth, and it'll take every opportunity to spread itself. It's already doing so." He told them what had happened at the Foundation. "You cannot command or imprison it. The only reason it's helping you here is because it's so eager to sink its fangs into this world and suck it dry of all love, all happiness. It won't pass up a chance to hasten the process, if it can get one."
He studied von Arbenz thoughtfully. "Do I get the impression you don't like to go too near that crystal yourself?"
von Arbenz said nothing. Again, the Doctor gave that mocking laugh which made him feel so uneasy. "It's because you know it's good and you're not. The goodness in it repels you. In any case, you'll need a lot more than just one crystal to defeat an army of Wones."
"You could be lying."
"I assure you I'm not."
"It would be in your interest to do so, since your aims and ours are opposed," von Arbenz pointed out. "You would naturally be at pains to assure us that you weren't."
The Doctor had to admit that this thinking was correct.
The interrogation resumed. “How were you able to penetrate the forcefield?”
“With the crystal. I told you, it repels negative impulses.”
"You haven't told us where you found it. And what was that...apparition which we witnessed?"
"That was a very charming young lady who had dedicated herself to the destruction of Wokir. The destruction of evil." He explained all he had learned about the Schthori. "They were chosen to fight Wokir and his Wones because they represented absolute good, or as near to it as any intelligent species could ever get. Just as Wokir is the embodiment of absolute wickedness."
"Well, yes, maybe it is evil. But we are simply using it as a means to an end. For we, we are good. Despite what you say."
"I doubt it. The "better world" you want to create is an illusion. What you call the Aryan race will be debased by it, if anything."
"Any world without Jews in it has to be better. You know...what is your name, by the way?"
"People usually call me the Doctor."
"You know, Doctor, in Europe before the war you used to get large Jewish communities who took no interest at all in the affairs of their Gentile neighbours. I remember once I was passing through a certain town in Germany and I decided to stop for something to eat. I started talking to some people, and as soon as they found out I wasn't Jewish they lost interest in me. Their arrogance, their offhandedness, was offensive. They were so conceited at being told they were the Chosen People, so full of their own supposed uniqueness, they cared nothing at all for anybody else."
“But most Jews in Germany weren’t like that. They were fully integrated; and they amounted to less than 1 per cent of the population, anyway. Besides, you think killing them was a good way of demonstrating your moral superiority? You know, it's because of people like you that the whole political correctness thing is going to start. You'll complain about it then, won't you? Mmmm?" von Arbenz looked at him blankly, not understanding the allusion. The Doctor realised he was getting ahead of himself temporally, and decided to abandon this particular angle. "You feel jealous of them because they're clever, don't you? But perhaps your sort helped make them what they are. Hardship breeds original thought, you see Heinrich."
von Arbenz paced up and down, speaking slowly and precisely as if needing to articulate his thoughts carefully, and so justify them. "Their separateness disturbs me. Their alienness. The way they keep themselves apart from other races."
"Well, persecution hasn't made them feel any better disposed towards the rest of the world, has it?"
The Doctor tried a different tack. "Do you realise there may be planets out there inhabited by creatures - intelligent creatures - that aren't remotely like any human ethnic group? They may not even be mammals. Or organic at all. You'd be fascinated if one of them showed up on your doorstep, wouldn't you? Not repelled. So why despise what's genetically far more like you than those aliens?"
He fancied for just a moment that von Arbenz seemed less sure of himself.
Again the silken voice hardened to solid steel, and the blue eyes, suddenly cold, stared piercingly into the Nazi’s. "What you’re doing…what you did in the war. It was never worth all the killing, the pain and suffering. All the families destroyed, all the minds shattered, torn apart by the anguish of bereavement. The lives cut off in their prime. The shame, the guilt, the embarrassment, the stigma. The lasting bitterness and hatred it all causes. The terrible stain on Mankind's reputation.
“It’s all based on a series of foolish, tragic mistakes. Two things brought your friend Adolf to power, didn’t they. One was economic depression, which the Weimar Republic couldn’t cope with. The other was resentment at the way Germany had been treated after the First World War. After a while there began to be a feeling in Europe that Germany had been punished unduly for her part in that conflict, as if only she was responsible for what happened. In time the Treaty of Versailles would have been revised. But your friend Adolf threw away all that goodwill, all that sympathy by going too far. He invaded other countries against the wishes of most of their population and bled them dry, taking all their wealth back to Germany.
"He thought he was acting in the best interests of the Aryan race. But what good did he really do it, in the end? I once heard that chap Malcolm X speak at a rally. "Our noses are broad, our lips are thick, our skin is black, and we are beautiful." You've got every right to say it; "I'm blond and blue-eyed, with fair skin and a long head, and I am beautiful." But if you do, everyone thinks "Nazi", don't they?
“After the war there was talk about dismantling all Germany's heavy industry; effectively destroying it as a modern state, so it couldn't wage war ever again. The only reason that didn't happen was because she was needed as a defence against the Soviets. I hate to think what they'll do to you next time.
“There's another reason why everything you stand for is evil. One wrong begets another.”
“You mean the Israelis,” von Arbenz spat. “The atrocities they commit and expect the world to sit back and permit, even sanction, while we are condemned.”
“Don’t tell me you feel any sympathy for the Palestinians,” grinned the Doctor. “They’re Arabs. Not “Aryan”, most of them. But it isn’t only them who have suffered. Innocent westerners have died because they’ve got caught in the blast when Mossad blow up a suspected Palestinian terrorist. I’ve no idea if the state of Israel would ever have existed if it wasn’t for the Holocaust. But it certainly explains why she’s so ruthless in getting what she wants, so determined to protect herself from her enemies whatever the cost.”
"They had no right to decide those lives should be sacrificed like that. No right at all."
The Doctor gave a sad little laugh, and smiled ruefully. "Heinrich, if the day ever comes when you can stop people from doing something just by telling them it's wrong, I'll be the happiest person in the Universe. But I'm afraid it's a long way off.
“It's as if we're dealing with a tiger; if it's liable to get nasty you don't provoke it. Now of course a man, a man is responsible for his actions. He can decide not to retaliate in kind. But that doesn't mean he will. So out of prudence, out of common sense - if nothing else - you don't step on his tail. Or gas his family to death.
"When you close your eyes and dream of how you want the world to be....you see soldiers marching about in smart uniforms. Big, strong, proud men, chanting slogans and singing songs about conquest and glory as they stride down a street of some foreign city, grand new buildings springing up around them to herald the new order. All I see is a young girl lying on a pavement with her life ebbing away. Her murder going unpunished. Her family having to live with their grief and the knowledge that her killers will never be brought to justice, because they can hide forever behind the mantle of the state."
"Bastards," spat von Arbenz, red and quivering with rage. "Bastards. They should not have done it. They shouldn't have done it..."
"Of course they shouldn't. But you'd still harm them if you had the chance, wouldn't you? You expect me to put my house in order but you don't have to do the same with yours.
"You think you're good and not evil? Look into the crystal and you'll see that's rubbish. Go on, just do it."
von Arbenz shook his head.
"Why won't you? Is it because you know I'm right? Prove to me that I'm not."
"I do not choose to accept a challenge from you," von Arbenz said, eyeing the Doctor's gypsy-like clothes pointedly.
"Beneath your dignity, eh? A clever little tactic; gets used rather a lot, I find. It's not that I won't; I shouldn't. One of the last refuges of the scoundrel, in my opinion."
"You call me a scoundrel?" bellowed von Arbenz. He and the other Nazis moved towards the Doctor threateningly.
"Yes, I do," the Doctor replied, without the slightest tremor in his voice. "And harming me won't change my mind."
von Arbenz checked himself. "There's no more time for these games. The ceremony is about to begin."
"Another good excuse."
The penetrating gaze swept over von Arbenz once more. It reflected a will every bit as strong as - stronger than? - his. No - that wasn't possible. He was on the right side, the Doctor couldn't be. Only the right were strong, just as only the strong were right.
He became aware the Doctor was speaking again. "All you have to do to prove I'm right, to lose the argument, is to refuse to look into that crystal. If you don't, it can only mean these things: (a) that you're evil, (b) that you know it, and (c) that you know the crystal makes you uncomfortable because it's good and you're not.
"Look right into it. Bare your soul, your mind, to that crystal, and tell me it doesn't hurt you when you do. Tell me you're a good man."
For several moments von Arbenz's glance darted between the Doctor to the crystal and back. Then, moving very, very slowly, as if forcing himself to do something physically and mentally distasteful, he reached out and lifted the crustal ing it from its box. His hand trembled so violently that it looked for a moment as if he would drop it. The expression on his face was strange; it had set into a rigid mask, the eyes wide and staring and the lips drawn right back from the teeth. His whole body now trembling, he brought it up towards his face and stared into its glimmering depths.
He held it there for about a minute, then replaced it abruptly in the box. His face was pale and sweating and his breath came in short ragged gasps.
He shook his head fiercely as if to clear it of something. "Well, I trust you are satisfied, Doctor," he said irritably, after a moment or two's silence. The Doctor regarded him impassively. "Now as I say, time is short."
At that moment there was a knock on the door and Flint entered. "The soldier's still on the loose. We’re looking for him of course.”
“There were no others?”
“No. I, I think he tricked us.”
Were it not for the fact that they were colleagues, von Arbenz might have let his supernaturally-augmented emotions run out of control, doing Blundell considerable injury. "One ordinary human soldier, without telekinetic powers, and they let him..." He sighed. "Let him go. There's not a lot he can do against the full coven. Our combined mental powers will be more than enough to overcome him. So let us start preparing for the bonding ceremony."
He nodded towards the Doctor. "Lock him up with the others."
"Just remember what I said, Heinrich," the Doctor called out as Flint and MacDuggan converged on him.
They took up position on either side of him and marched him out of the room and along the corridor, their bodies about an inch from his. "Do you think you could give me a little more room?" he asked politely. They didn't respond, their expressions making clear exactly what they thought of him.
MacDuggan had listened to the conversation between von Arbenz and the Doctor with at best bemusement and at worst impatience. One thing was perfectly clear to him. They were certainly NOT going to be swayed either by any power of the crystal or by the nonsense this idiot spouted. They'd come too far for that.

"Fire!" shouted the Brigadier.
A shell streaked from the mouth of the bazooka, and they saw it explode in a burst of flame well short of the house, at the point where they knew the shield to be.
"Try another," he ordered. Again the result was the same.
He watched the smoke drift towards them. "No good," he sighed.
He decided that'd better be the last one. They'd waste it all otherwise. "Looks like nothing short of a nuclear blast is going to have any effect."
Benton called him. "They've got the Doctor, Sir. They've got some kind of psychic power. Can make you fall ill. Whatever's here is getting stronger."
"But you're still free?"
"At the moment, Sir. I'm going to try to find the Doctor and the others. But I don't know what we can do to stop them. Have you had any luck with the shield?"
"I'm afraid not. All right, Benton, just do what you can. If we can help you at all we will. Keep in touch.”
The Brigadier frowned, not altogether liking the sound of what Benton had told him.

The Sludge continued to roll on remorselessly towards London. After that had been taken it would head east, into Europe and Asia. The sea would be no barrier to it for the water would simply boil and then evaporate.
For a radius of several hundred yards around it, the soil was now blackened and arid, the vegetation shrivelled, the trees bare and twisted.
The Brigadier listened in controlled despair to the reports coming in. "Strike Command to Greyhound Leader. No luck, I'm afraid. We're dropping all kinds of things on the Sludge, but nothing's having any effect. Yes, we're keeping well above it. Yes, we've tried napalm. Ordinary bombs don't have any effect. There's just too much of the stuff. Hang on, I'm getting a...I've lost a couple of planes. Crew radioed in saying they were under attack by birds..."
The Brigadier looked round briefly as Corporal Adams' jeep drove up to him. "One moment, Strike Command."
Adams described what he'd seen. "Take up position in the windmill," ordered the Brigadier. "We can use it as an observation post."
He heard the RAF officer's voice again. "Something's driving the birds away…something in the sky. No, it's doing more than that, it's...you are just not going to believe this!"
The Brigadier ran to join Adams in the windmill. He wanted to see this for himself.
Through the sky dozens of rays of light were streaking, their trajectories curving downwards. Like miniature comets. They slowed as they reached the ground, and flared up briefly before solidifying into definite forms; mostly human, and wreathed by a strange ghostly light, but with one or two winged, bird-like shapes among them. People of all races and sexes. As Adams, standing at a window of the mill, watched through his binoculars more and more of them appeared, walking towards the oncoming black tide, shoulder to shoulder. Their expressions were benevolent, but at the same time grimly purposeful.
They formed a line in front of the Sludge. It slowed, as if sensing their approach, and emitted a hissing, growling sound as if angry. Then it changed direction, heading away from the glowing figures.
They responded by spreading out, surrounding it. Every time it changed direction they did the same, cutting it off. In a few minutes they had formed a tight ring around the Sludge.
A few of the Wones attempted to attack them. One of the Schthori swooped down on a Wone, enveloping it in its flapping wings. It shrieked and screamed and kicked and thrashed. Then its screams and struggles ceased, and the bird-thing flew off leaving behind it a heap of liquifying protoplasm. Another of the winged creatures was set upon by three or four Wones and torn to pieces. Its killers were immediately repelled by the Endowed humans and driven back into the Sludge.
The distraction had almost enabled the Sludge to break through, but the angel-like figures rallied, and it retreated. Under the soldiers’ astonished gaze it receded further and further, and with gathering speed.
"It's giving up," he whispered.
The slime flowed back into the ruins of the Foundation, back to where it had come from. It reared up, gathered itself together and then seemingly vanished into thin air.
"Well, I'll be..." gasped the Brigadier, who had by now joined him.
The glowing white figures didn’t move. They stood watching the patch of blackness, hanging in mid-air seventy feet above the ground which indicated the hole in the dimensional barrier.
"Looks like they're all tied up keeping an eye open in case that stuff tries to come back," said the Brigadier. "Means there's not a lot they can do to help us."

In his bedroom, von Arbenz opened a wardrobe and took down the black uniform of a Colonel in the Waffen SS, with silver epaulettes and runic insignia, like the one he'd worn all those years ago. He'd had it specially and secretly made for the occasion. Over it he donned the white surplice of a member of the cult.
As he did so, he thought again about what the Doctor had said to him; about the man's staring eyes and that deep, powerful, compelling, almost hypnotic voice. For some reason he also found himself remembering Christine's words to him when he had finally confirmed his true identity to her, when she had tried to persuade him to give it all up.
As before, he banished them swiftly from his mind.

Finding a window that gave onto an empty storeroom, whose door was open, Benton smashed it with the butt of his gun, telling himself he'd have to risk someone hearing the sound and detecting him. Knocking out any projecting fragments of glass, he clambered over the ledge and dropped nimbly into the room.
He moved softly along the ground floor corridor, eyes and ears constantly alert for the slightest sound or glimpse of danger. The place seemed entirely deserted. Maybe they'd forgotten about him.
"Doctor?" he whispered from time to time. "Doctor? Miss Smith?"
He heard voices coming from behind a door to his left, and crept up to it. He put his ear to it and listened carefully.
"It's all a matter of electro-chemical impulses in any case," the Doctor was saying. "Good is simply a particular arrangement of those impulses, as is evil. Or the impulses, the particles, can be morally neutral. We know the ones that drive your television set, or a hairdryer, are powerful; they have to be if they're to do their job. And what we call good and evil can be similarly powerful, above a certain level of intensity."
"You're making it seem less wonderful," Sarah complained. "Reducing it all to molecules and stuff..."
"Does the fact that we know what it's made of make kindness, or a sunset, any less of a wonderful thing?" the Doctor challenged. “You’d still appreciate them.”
"Well, yes…"
"Well then!"
"Doctor!" whispered Benton. "Doctor?"
They all turned to look at the door. Sarah and the Doctor scrambled over to it. "Mr Benton! Is that you?"
"Yeah, it's me. Get away from the door, I'm going to shoot out the lock." The silencer still fitted to his FN.303, Benton fired.
His booted foot connected hard with the door and it swung open. He broke into a broad cheery grin as he saw his friends. Sarah rushed at him and hugged him. "Oh boy, are we glad to see you!"
Looking rather embarrassed, Benton disentangled himself from her embrace. "Everyone OK?"
They all nodded. "But what can we do?" said Sarah despairingly. "We don't stand a chance against all of them. Not when they can tear us to pieces just by thinking about it."
"And there's not a lot the Brig can do to help us while that shield's still in place," added Benton glumly.
"Well, we may as well try," said the Doctor. He looked at Benton, who nodded.
"Better just give the Brig an update on things." Keeping his voice low, Benton made the call. "Trap Two to Greyhound Leader. Sir, I've found the Doctor and the others. They're all OK."
"What are our Nazi friends doing at the moment?"
Hearing the question, the Doctor took the radio from Benton. "I imagine they're preparing for one of their ceremonies, Brigadier. They can make the process easier by whipping up a bit of psychic energy."
"Wokir will try to speed up its conquest by fusing with a being which inhabits this dimension," the Doctor explained to his companions. "But it can only comfortably do it with someone who has a particularly high concentration of evil impulses in them."
"And what happens after this...fusing?" Bruchmann asked.
"The composite creature will be able to exist permanently in this world. Not only that, but it'll be totally indestructible. It'll grow bigger and stronger, split into a number of equally powerful semi-autonomous units. Nothing will be able to stop them. Once they’ve overcome serious resistance they’ll let the other Wones through.”
"When is this going to happen?"
"I imagine it's going to happen at the ceremony." The Doctor spoke into the radio again. "Brigadier, for all we know the ceremony might be just about to begin. Is there nothing you can do to help right now?"
"No, Doctor, nothing at all. What about you?"
"I'm not optimistic. The least we'll be able to do is kill a couple of them." He sighed, sickened by the thought of destroying even the worst kind of people, particularly when it might not achieve anything.
"I take it the rocket won't strike in time to save us?"
"By my calculations, it'll be just too late. Goodbye, Brigadier, it's been nice knowing you."
"Don't give up hope yet, Doctor."
"I haven't." He handed the radio back to Benton.
"Better not use the radio again in case they hear me," the CSM told his superior.
"Very good, Benton. Well...” The Brigadier found himself at a loss for words. Best of luck to you. Out."
“Anytime, Sir. Out.”
"Come on, then," said Benton to his companions. Putting a finger to his lips, he led them in search of the ceremony room.

The Brigadier realised someone was standing beside him, and turned to see Harry Sullivan. "Anything I can do, Sir?"
"I doubt it, Sullivan, I doubt it. What are you doing down here, anyway?"
"I asked to be released from my normal duties, in case there was any way I could help you. I've done all I can at Firebird. I think they'd begun to suspect me, anyway. But before I left I got the impression they were all gearing up for something. Something big that was about to happen, which'd give them their chance."
"It is about to happen," said the Brigadier, filling Harry in on all that had taken place in the last twenty-four hours. "And as far as I can see, we're powerless to stop it."
The Brigadier stood staring fixedly at the house, his hands on his hips. His face was dark with anger and frustration. Restlessly he began to pace up and down, his men waiting patiently close by.
His brow was furrowed in deep thought. He was a soldier, and hated to be unable to fight when fighting was needed. His impotence was almost beyond endurance.
The Doctor had told him what would happen if the Wones succeeded in invading the world en masse and conquering it. He contemplated the prospect with a feeling of horror. A vision swam before his mind's eye of hordes of evil, sniggering creatures swarming across the surface of the planet, defiling everything they touched, people and objects alike. Subjecting those they hadn't viciously killed to a life of debauchery and torture. A black sea of slime and filth swallowing up buildings, people, animals and plants and regurgitating them as twisted travesties of how nature had fashioned them. Everything good, everything he'd ever valued - his country, his old school, the Queen's Own Highland Regiment, White's Gentleman's Society, the Surrey County Cricket Club - would be perverted, distorted, transmuted to that. There was no way he, Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, was going to let that happen.
The Brigadier's eyes lit up and his body stiffened as he reached his decision. He turned to Sergeant Palmer.
"Sergeant, I'm going to start the attack. Full-scale bombardment."
His subordinate stared at him in amazement. "But Sir, we'll just be wasting our equipment. The force field..."
"I'm well aware of that. If it's the end of the world, of all goodness, and I've done nothing about it I won't be able to live with myself. And we may as well do it, by my reckoning." Because they were probably all sunk anyway, although there was no way he was going to admit that in front of his men. He told Palmer to make sure the equipment and its crews were in position.
"What about the Doctor and his friends, Sir?" asked Palmer. "And Mr Benton?"
The Brigadier's head drooped briefly. "There's no alternative, Palmer. You realise that, don't you?"
"Yes, Sir."
"Besides, the Doctor and Mr Benton knew the risks. Now see to it, man!"
"Yes Sir!" Saluting, Palmer hurried off.

Out in the black depths of space, Charteris' rocket was racing towards its target. A minute after leaving the atmosphere it had begun accelerating rapidly towards the speed of light, no longer powered by chemical motors but by the product of a civilization far more advanced than Earth’s. Now it was out of Sol 3 and hurtling towards the sun which had collapsed under its own weight and become a Black Hole.
Its warp drive cut in.

"Is there really nothing we can do to stop it?" asked Sarah for the fourth time. "If we take them by surprise…"
"Too many of them for that to work," the Doctor said.
"All Wokir has to do is possess one of those Nazis and we've lost," he sighed. "I'm beginning to think I should have had the Endowed concentrate their efforts here."
"But what if this Wokir thing had sent the Sludge over here?" pointed out Benton.
"Listen," said Christine. The sound of chanting was coming from somewhere close by.

"Keep firing!" shouted the Brigadier.
Another mortar exploded against the force field, with a loud detonation and a puff of white smoke.
He shouted orders to the crews of the two tanks, and both began firing at once.
The Brigadier was in his element. His eyes, his whole face, were alight with a strange intense excitement. He had completely put to one side the pointlessness of what he was doing. His men felt the same way, accepting uncomplainingly the order to do what they knew was quixotic at best. Preferable to standing around doing nothing.
His aim was to gradually intensify the bombardment. He wanted to avoid the danger of using up all his weaponry too quickly, in the chance, slim though it was, that it might actually prove useful later on. On the other hand an intense and sustained bombardment might be the best chance of smashing the shield, of testing it to destruction. Of course he knew it probably wouldn't shatter whatever happened, but he couldn't think in those terms. He had to think there was some possibility everything would be all right.

"Okrir," cried Burckhardt. "Freema venir garmor parl!"
"Harg!" responded the coven.
"Eklo nim frega volnir!"
"Harg!"
"Borka nim eenga valnan!"
"Harg!"
"Numa van neeka tormir - Wokir!"
"Wokir!"
"Vornim tunga thel marn - Wokir!"
"Wokir!"
"Venga olgor hgar witak - Wokir!"
"Wokir!"
The symbols on the hangings on the walls appeared to dance, shift and change, finally dissolving into a mad whirling blur. Von Arbenz stepped towards the altar, hands outstretched. "Mighty One, we have come here to pay you the homage due to your Eternal Majesty, and to seek your presence, your guidance, to strengthen us in our task, so that we may do your will on this earth, and establish your most glorious Kingdom here among men. We now approach the culmination of your great plan, and call thee to us, to be one with your Priest so that together we may subjugate the world to your will."

The rocket was now in hyperspace, and hurtling ever faster towards its destination. It should reach the Black Hole in a few Earth minutes.
And then annihilation would befall the last of the Schthori race; they were the last, for any others had died fighting the Wones at the Foundation. They waited for the end with characteristic calm and dignity, reflecting in satisfaction on all they had achieved. They had perhaps made mistakes. But for the time being they had prevented evil from gaining total domination over the Universe, and they could die with that knowledge in their minds. What, they thought sadly, would happen to the universe after they'd gone? But that was something they would be powerless to decide. It depended on those such as the Doctor.
Their sacrifice might of course be in vain, if the Doctor should fail to stop the bonding. But they banished the possibility from their thoughts.

Following the sounds of chanting, they came to the heavy oak door Christine had seen on her first visit to the house, the one she hadn't been allowed to see behind.
"Sounds like this is it," Benton murmured.
He took a deep breath, then kicked the door open. They rushed in. They barely had time to take in the scene, the robed figures with their arms raised in supplication, the burning brazier and the flickering candles on the altar, before a telepathic blast from McDuggan knocked the gun from Benton's grasp and sent it flying across the room.
The Doctor raised his hands in surrender. "We just thought it would be nice to see the grand finale," he smiled.
"Very well, so you shall," smiled von Arbenz. "It can do no harm. But don't attempt to interfere. Just one move and you will be reduced to nothingness in a second." All the same, they noted that there were laser rifles stacked against the wall behind the coven. Again, their enemies were taking no chances.

"We'll soon be out of ammo, Sir," warned Sergeant Palmer. The bombardment was now at maximum intensity.
"Just keep firing," the Brigadier shouted. He and Harry Sullivan kept their eyes fixed on the house and the clouds of smoke which were billowing outward like flowers blooming on a speeded-up film as the shells from the tanks and bazookas continued to burst ineffectively on contact with the force field.

The Doctor and his friends watched the ceremony in horrified fascination, shuddering at the sense of evil which saturated the room.
All the Nazis, a dozen men in all, were there, though a number of them were taking no part in the ceremony. Instead they kept a close watch on the Doctor and his companions, ready to blast them with their minds at the first sign of any trouble.
The Schthori crystal was lying on a table at the side of the room, ready in case it should be needed to control Wokir.
The voices of the faithful, soft and quiet at first, grew louder, at the same time becoming harsh, guttural and frightening, like that of Wokir itself.
"Receive of us then these offerings. The blood of Life..." von Arbenz produced the leather pouch from inside his robe, held it over the ornate bowl, slit it. The blood poured into the receptacle.
He dipped the little corn doll into the blood-filled bowl. "The corn which feeds us, which springs from the richness of the earth…"
He sprinkled the corn dolly with the earth from the second bowl. "The Earth itself, our mother…"
He took the little mannikin and cast it into the burning brazier.
"All to be consumed in the fire which is the maker and destroyer of all things." With a roar the fire flared up into a huge pillar of flame, licking and crackling hungrily.
"Therefore come upon us, that we may be strengthened in our faith, and instruct us as to what we must do to fulfil your cause."
The coven were rocking gently from side to side, their faces glistening with sweat, their eyes shining with a fanatical light as the joy they felt rose to an ecstatic peak. A thin sheen of the jelly-like substance coated their faces.
"Neema grondar kell eklo Wokir!"
"Varga nir sorga eklo Wokir!"
"Thurka nim grindl eklo Wokir!"
von Arbenz threw his head back and spread his arms wide in the gesture of welcome.
The Doctor and his companions felt the evil in the room grow suddenly stronger. Christine and Sarah gasped as the flickering shape of Wokir emerged from the whirling black vortex which had appeared above the altar. It hovered over it for a moment, then drifted through the air towards von Arbenz.
The air was filled with tiny dancing figures; miniature versions of Wokir's shrouded form. They swarmed from the black hole towards Wokir, disappeared into it, merged with it. Then the composite creature rushed at von Arbenz in a sudden violent movement and enveloped him. It disappeared inside his body and he gave a convulsive start, face forming an expression something between pain and ecstatic pleasure.
For a moment he stood there apparently unchanged. Then Christine shrank back with a cry of revulsion.
His skin was thickening, blackening, his fingernails lengthening into talons, his nerves and blood vessels twisting and contorting into strange shapes; restructuring themselves.
He was turning into a Wone.
Christine stared at her father in distress. Tears streaming down her cheeks, she threw herself towards him. Sarah saw the heads of MacDuggan and Blundell turn towards her and grabbed her, holding her back. It took all hers, and Benton’s and the Doctor's, strength to restrain her as she kicked and screamed hysterically.
"Stop this now!" the Doctor shouted at von Arbenz. "Before it gets too great a hold on you!"
Von Arbenz didn't seem to hear him. His eyes glinted redly beneath their thick brows. Hair was starting to sprout from his hands and face, and as they watched his body twisted into a crouch. Christine's head was buried in the shoulder of Sarah's jacket.
Then von Arbenz swayed as if he'd been punched hard in the face, and looked down at his clawed, hairy hands in something like horror.
Electrons were taking up new positions in the host's brain. Chemicals flowed and coursed through his bloodstream; chemicals that to Wokir were the deadliest poison imagineable. New impulses were transmitted along his nervous system. Electro-chemical reactions took place in his mind as a decision was made, and the essence of what was called goodness began to permeate the psyche into which the creature had insinuated itself.
Von Arbenz staggered as if drunk. They saw the red glow fade from his eyes. His flesh shifted and changed, the thick hairs and long curved nails retracting into it.
The creature struggled frantically to tear itself from von Arbenz, still too deeply embedded in his being, his body and psyche. A psyche that was no longer a haven to it, but an inhospitable, uncomfortable, deadly environment, one from which it had to escape as quickly as possible. The hideous shrieks and unearthly cries of agony that issued from his mouth were its own.

"Fire!" shouted the Brigadier. Another shell was blasted from the barrel of the bazooka, whistling through the air towards the house.
He started. This time the shell had detonated against the wall of the house, blowing out a large part of it in an explosion of dust, smoke, bricks and powdered mortar.
"Keep firing!" he yelled to the gunners, quivering with excitement. "Maximum intensity!" He radioed the tank crews and told them to give it everything they’d got.

"Look at him!" the Doctor shouted. "He's rejecting it!"
They heard the sound of a massive explosion from outside.
The Nazis were staggering about in some confusion, thrown by what was happening and by the complete change of atmosphere in the ceremony room. They seemed to have forgotten the presence of the Doctor and his companions.
They heard a second explosion, this time much closer.
With a hideous scream Wokir ripped itself violently out of von Arbenz' body. They saw his flesh blur and shift, returning to normal. With a sigh he crumpled and fell heavily.
For a moment Wokir hovered in mid-air. They had a sudden impression of something weak, flimsy, vulnerable.
It made an attempt to rally itself. Its energies sapped, it was unable as yet to reinstate the force field and in any case its priority was to seek the company of one whose body it would be more comfortable in. No problem; there was a plentiful supply of those. They saw it move towards Thornton.
Benton dived for where his gun had landed on the other side of the room, and snatched it up. At the same moment Bruchmann made to grab one of the laser guns.
Wokir was swooping down on Thornton who stood welcoming it with open arms, a look of rapture on his face. Benton took aim with his rifle and fired, the shot killing the Nazi almost immediately. His dying body fell sprawling across the altar, knocking over the bowl of blood and spilling its contents across the floor.
By now the other members of the cult had recovered their wits. One of them turned towards Benton. But no blast of mental energy smashed the UNIT soldier down, although the Nazi's face was twisted in fierce concentration. The other Nazis were also struggling ineffectually to summon up powers that wouldn't come, with the exception of Blundell who was trying to ward off Wokir's advances with the crystal, without success. He backed against the wall with a wail of terror as it flitted towards him. Benton fired straight through the creature's wraith-like body, hitting him in the chest. He jerked, then slumped to the floor, the crystal falling from his dead fingers.
Bruchmann was blazing away at the Nazis with the laser. Several of them fell, one knocking over the brazier as he did so. The burning coals were scattered over the carpeted floor, which flared up immediately. The others were running for the guns. The Doctor ran to Thornton's body and snatched the crystal from the dead fingers. Meanwhile Sarah and Christine dashed forward and threw themselves at the remaining Nazis in a bid to stop them seizing the guns. Flinging Sarah aside with ease, one of them snatched up a laser and aimed it at Benton.
And then about half of one wall was punched inwards by the force of an exploding shell from a Chieftain tank, a large chunk of the roof collapsing into the room. MacDuggan and the Nazi with the rifle disappeared beneath a mass of falling rubble.
"Out! Get out!" shouted the Doctor. Christine ran to where her father lay dazed, and with Sarah's help struggled to lift him to his feet. "The cellar!" the Doctor yelled to von Arbenz. “Is there a cellar?”
Von Arbenz shook his head to clear it. “Yes…” He lifted his arm to point. “That way…” He gave the directions.
Another large section of the roof caved in. Blundell and another Nazi who had been lying stunned, caught up in the first fall of rubble, were buried under the crushing weight of bricks and timbers.
The two surviving Nazis, Flint and Swain, were running from the room, desperate to get clear of the house as quickly as possible. They were terrified that at any moment falling debris would crush the life from them. The Doctor saw Wokir rush after them. He dived between them and the creature, brandishing the crystal, thrusting and stabbing with it like a fencer's epee. Wokir retreated with a terrifying scream of anger, flapping agitatedly. It tried to dodge round him, but he reacted swiftly, moving to cut it off. He began to drive it back towards the dimensional portal. A shower of dust and plaster landed on his shoulder, and an ominous creaking could be heard from above. Deciding it was time to follow his own advice, the Doctor ran out into the corridor. Taking advantage of the diversion, Wokir too shot out of the room, flitting past him.

The smoke that surrounded the house and billowed towards the UNIT soldiers was making it difficult for them to see the building properly. For a brief moment it cleared and they saw the huge breaches in the red brick walls, with enormous jagged cracks running from them in all directions. Through the holes could be seen piles of rubble and broken furniture.
The Brigadier cupped his mouth with his hands. "Keep firing!" he yelled. "That house has got to be totally destroyed!"

Still weak, Wokir struggled to sense the presence of any suitable hosts in the immediate vicinity. Flint and Swain were still fairly close, but they might still be killed before it could reach them. It seemed to detect one other possibility, much nearer to hand. Suddenly abandoning its attempt to follow the two Nazis it shot past the Doctor, heading in the direction his friends had taken; towards the cellar. The Doctor ran after it.
Ahead, he could see no sign of von Arbenz, Christine or Sarah. Maybe they'd already reached the cellar. Benton was lying still on the floor, blood trickling from a nasty wound on his forehead where a piece of rubble had struck him.
Bruchmann had almost reached the hatch in the floor when he reeled, dazed, as he was hit by a timber falling from the ciling. He lost his balance and fell, rolling on the floor.
The Doctor staggered to a halt and stared in horror as Wokir, with a triumphant howl, descended on him and enveloped him. For a moment he was gripped by the sickening sense of having lost. Then he realised Wokir had paused half in and half out of Bruchmann's body. It wavered in what the Doctor thought was indecision, while Bruchmann kicked and screamed and writhed, feeling its hideous presence within his body and mind.
With a cry of anger and frustration, it withdrew sharply from him. It flitted around indecisively for a moment, then flew off after Flint and Swain. The Doctor ran after it, dodging falling debris all the way. Once he fell dazed as a particularly large fragment hit him on the head, but he managed to get up again and stagger on.
Flint and Swain hurtled down the entrance hall to the door. All around them they could hear the boom of exploding shells and the crash of falling brickwork. In front of them was a massive pile of rubble, laths and splintered timbers. They struggled to climb over it. They heard a whistling sound, then the shell struck home and their world exploded in a maelstrom of flying debris.
Swain barely had time to scream as he was crushed deep into the heap of rubble by the force of the blast. Flint felt himself hurled backwards to land painfully on the floor, wreckage pinning down the lower half of his body. The dust in the air filled his lungs, causing a fit of coughing which racked his body painfully. A falling chunk of rubble smashed into his head and a searing pain shot through it. Then a further explosion brought the remains of the ceiling down on top of them.
Running into the hall, the Doctor skidded to a halt, choking, as a massive cloud of dust and smoke rolled towards him. Through it he could just make out the mound of wreckage that blocked the corridor. A limp human hand, covered with blood, protruded from it, and beside it hovered the figure of Wokir, screeching in anger and frustration.
The Doctor turned and ran back, vaulting over the heaps of smoking rubble to where Benton lay. Somehow he made it. With all his strength he scooped up the big soldier, flung him over his shoulder and carried him the last few yards to the hatch in the floor, already beginning to be covered by debris. He couldn't see Bruchmann anywhere; hopefully that meant he must already be safe inside the cellar. He opened the hatch and disappeared through it with his load, barely a second before a massive chunk of brickwork landed on top of it.
Meanwhile, the Chieftains continued remorselessly to pound the walls of the house.

From the Schthori ship a thin beam of energy stabbed, passing through the hull of the rocket and travelling at phenomenal speed towards Earth.
As the rocket went on its way the black void of space gave way suddenly to a darkness that was even darker, as well as solid. A minute or so later this was replaced by yet another kind of blackness, a murky gloom through which might have been glimpsed, for a brief moment, a mass of weirdly-shaped structures, a seething tide of nightmarish, snarling shapes. Then the forces within the Black Dimension, destructive like everything to do with Wokir, ripped apart the fabric of the rocket and came into contact with the Schthori ship – the single most powerful source of good in the Universe. The two reacting with each other, violently - like matter and anti-matter. Annihilating themselves, and the Black Dimension with them, as an explosion of energy obliterated both the craft and the darkness around it instantly.

At the site of the Foundation, the Endowed stood watching the pulsing black hole in the air for any sign of activity.
Light flared from it briefly, then it vanished as if it had never been.
Then the similar kind of light which enveloped their bodies started to flicker violently. They staggered around in disorientation.
As the radiance faded, they felt the power leave them. They stared dumbly at each other, not quite understanding what had happened, suddenly wondering what they were doing here.
One or two started to cry.

"Cease firing!" yelled the Brigadier. They'd been on the point of exhausting their ammunition in any case.
The silence in the aftermath of the bombardment was total and uncanny. They waited for the smoke to clear.
They stared at the ruins of the house. All that remained standing were a few fragments of wall jutting like broken teeth from the rubble. "There can't be anyone left alive in that," whispered Palmer.
The Brigadier felt sick at heart. He trudged slowly towards the remains of the building in search of some trace of the Doctor. Suddenly a cry from Palmer stopped him.
At first they thought it was smoke from the rubble. Then, looking more closely, they saw a faint, wraith-like figure with the rough outline of a person hovering in the air, its arms and legs waving feebly. It grew even more insubstantial and transparent as they watched. A long, wailing, curiously human cry issued from its mouth. The moan of despair lingered on the wind for a moment before finally dying away. The silence returned, and they knew the thing was gone. There remained just a thin, almost invisible trace of grey vapour, drifting away on a summer breeze.
"Well," said the Brigadier. "Something tells me that's all over. Now…" He surveyed the scene before him sadly. "I suppose we'd better see if we can find any bodies."

Sarah had made a sort of pillow out of her jacket for Benton's head to rest on, and was bathing the bloody cut in his forehead with a moistened handkerchief while the Doctor examined him. "How is he?" she asked anxiously.
"Alive," replied the Doctor. "And I don't think there'll be any permanent injury." He turned to Bruchmann. "How about you?"
"I'm all right." Apart from a few cuts and bruises he seemed to be unharmed.
von Arbenz seemed to have recovered from his shock, although he remained silent. The Doctor moved closer to him. "Well done," he said softly. "Well done."
"What exactly happened up there?" Christine asked.
"He rejected Wokir, so it had to reject him. He rejected it because he'd seen the light."
"You mean he..." Sarah was astonished. Bruchmann looked slightly sceptical, Christine delighted.
"I don't think he's going to be involved in genocide or anything like that ever again. Of course he's going to have to go to prison for all he's done. But I don't think he'd do it again, even if he had the choice. Not now."
Christine hugged her father, crying again, but this time from joy.
"Did it really happen...just like that?" Sarah gasped. She still seemed to find it hard to accept.
"Well, not quite like that. I had to give him a little push." The Doctor smiled. "In some people, the power of evil, the hold it has over them, is so strong that it's almost impossible for them to break it even if they want to. That's why they hardly ever do. But we have to believe it’s not impossible.
"It was a principle of the Schthori that you should never try to make anyone become good. You wouldn't succeed, anyway. Goodness has to come from the heart, has to be entirely voluntary.”
“Or it’s not goodness," Sarah finished.
"Exactly. But what you can do, however, is to give them a little help. That's one of the properties of the crystal." He cradled it wonderingly in his hands. "It's impossible to say precisely how it works. It...does something to the mind. Brings about certain electro-chemical changes. They still have to make a voluntary choice to renounce evil, but it's a lot easier for them to do so." von Arbenz was sitting quietly beside him, recalling how he had found all the Doctor and Christine had said to him coming back to his mind repeatedly, at the same time steadily gaining a meaning and an import that he would not normally have recognised.
The Doctor glanced at him. "It was partly the crystal that made him change, and partly himself. I had to get him to look into it. Fortunately I was successful.
“And maybe there was something else at work too. There are more things in Earth and the Universe…”
The Doctor's earlier words broke through Christine's joy. "He's still got to go to prison?"
"I'm afraid so. That's a part of repentance. Besides, if we accepted that principle, if we said that saying sorry - that being sorry - was the only condition of letting a criminal go free, then anyone could pretend to have turned over a new leaf, be released, and kill – or whatever it was they’d done - again."
Listening to the Doctor, von Arbenz's bowed his head. Christine held him tightly by the arm, squeezing it in an attempt at comfort.
The Doctor turned to him solemnly. "I'm afraid repentance of our crimes doesn't always mean we escape their consequences, Mr von Arbenz. I'm sorry.
"You've lost your freedom," the Time Lord told him gently, "but you've gained your dignity. That matters even more."
von Arbenz started weeping. Not just for himself, but for the many he'd killed or bereaved. It was some time before he could compose himself. "I don't deserve to live," he muttered.
"Yes you do,” said Christine. You've just had the goodness to repent all you've done wrong. And I want you to live even if you don't. You're my father. Don't do anything silly, Dad, for my sake if not yours."
It was a while before von Arbenz responded to this. Then he reached out and touched her cheek, smiling weakly.
"Well, what happens now?" asked Sarah. "Is it all over?"
"I think so. Now all we have to do is wait for the Brigadier to come and get us out." They could already hear the sound of the UNIT soldiers struggling to clear away the debris. "He’s probably guessed there’s a cellar under all that wreckage by now."
These words had a galvanising effect upon Bruchmann. He jumped to his feet and brought the laser rifle, still in his hand, to bear on von Arbenz.
"You want to finish the job you came here to do, don't you?" said the Doctor grimly.
"Don't do it," urged Christine. "For my sake, if not his.
"He's not what he was before. Can't you see that? Doesn't it make any difference to you?"
"He lives, but my family are still dead. His repentance won't bring them back."
"Neither would killing him," said Sarah gently.
"Look upon his repentance as a sign of the power, the triumph of goodness over evil," said the Doctor. "The more powerful a hold evil has over a psyche, the more wonderful it is when good finally breaks it. Perhaps it’s a better compensation for what he's done than anything else could have been."
Sarah nodded towards Bruchmann. "I have a feeling he's past reasoning."
Von Arbenz spoke again. His tone was thoughtfully humble, in no way that of an arrogant Nazi. "I do not want to die. But if I must...well, I suppose it would not be undeserved."
Bruchmann looked crushed. "If you are prepared to die, if you can accept it with such resignation, then there is no pleasure in killing you. And no point."
“So don’t do it,” said Sarah.
Bruchmann spoke as if trying to justify, both to himself and to his companions, something that preyed on his conscience. "Someone must die. Someone must pay for what was done to me. It was so vile, so terrible...it is absolutely unthinkable that there should be no recompense for it. If his own death will not be such, I must find something that will."
The muzzle of his gun swung to point at Christine. "Stand over there, against the wall. All of you." He backed away to a position from which he could keep an eye on them.
"No! You can't!" shouted Sarah. She lunged towards Bruchmann but the Doctor held her back. "There's no point, Sarah. You'd just get yourself killed." He thought rapidly but carefully, trying to estimate the chances of overpowering the Israeli.
Bruchmann didn't seem to have heard him. "It is for this moment that I have lived, ever since I escaped from Buchenwald. After the...the sentence is carried out, the authorities can do what they like with me, I won't care. You can't understand how grateful I am to Destiny that I did not die in the death camps."
"Didn't you?" said the Doctor quietly.
Bruchmann seemed to be briefly disconcerted by this, but his unease soon disappeared. "You think what I am about to do, what I did in Germany and in Argentina, was as bad as the Nazis? No, it is not. You cannot compare me to those...those monsters."
"There are many kinds of monster," the Doctor said softly.
"I'll say it again. I'll say it a million times. Nothing could be worse than what I went through."
"It doesn't have to be worse. Merely as bad."
“And since there is no God - cannot be, after the Shoah, to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do…” Bruchmann went on.
Sarah glanced at the Doctor. He should have been a ridiculous figure, but somehow he wasn't. You just didn't notice the Bohemian clothes, the untidy hair. He was standing just within the circle of light thrown by the paraffin lamp, and one half of his face was in shadow. His deep, rich voice rang out again. "You're perfectly at liberty to renounce religion if you wish, Mr Bruchmann. But that kind of freedom carries responsibility. You can do terrible things in the name of religion; or it can constrain you from doing them. If we abandon it we have to accept the consequences."
Bruchmann suddenly seemed less certain whether what he was doing was right. He swayed slightly, his face torn apart by the agony of his indecision. In the end it was almost on an impulse that he did it. He raised the rifle and pointed it at von Arbenz, his finger tightening on the trigger. Christine threw herself in front of her father just as he fired. She jerked, her face contorting in pain, as a jet of blood spurted from the smoking hole below her right breast, and collapsed.
Then someone seized Bruchmann from behind in a powerful grip that trapped his arms by his sides. Unable to use the laser rifle, he dropped it and Sarah snatched it up.
“Not so fast, chum,” said Benton. “I think there’s been enough trouble round here, don’t you?”
Everyone's attention was now transferred to Christine. She lay moaning softly, her eyes filming over. The amount of blood staining her blouse was alarming.
Sarah rounded on Bruchmann. “All you’ve succeeded in doing is killing the innocent!”
von Arbenz crouched beside her, cradling her dying body in his arms. "Please, someone, do something," he implored, his voice breaking. "She's the only good thing I ever brought into the world."
"It's too late," sobbed Sarah. "She'll be dead before we can get her to hospital."
For a moment the Doctor stood staring helplessly down at Christine, anguish etched deep in his face. Then his eyes lit lit up and he took the Schthori crystal from his pocket. "If my theories are correct..."
Gently he eased von Arbenz to one side. Then he placed the crystal against the massive wound in Christine's side, pressing it firmly into the right position. Its touch seemed to bring her to life and she reached out feebly to grasp it, as if aware of what it was, reacting to some deeply buried primeval instinct. Its radiance seemed to spread through her body, soaking into it. The film cleared from her eyes.
They waited a minute or two, then slowly she sat up. "I'm all right now," she smiled.
To their amazement they saw that the wound had closed up as if it had never been there. Her skin was entirely unblemished. "Well, I'll be..." began Benton.
"Goodness, you see," smiled the Doctor. "It's a healing agency, unlike evil. When amplified the way the Schthori amplify it, it's a hundred times more powerful. That's why the Brigadier and I felt such a wonderful sense of health, of wellbeing, when we were inside their ship."
"How can I thank you," said von Arbenz, shaking the Doctor's hand warmly.
"You've already done as much as you could to make me happy," the Doctor told him. “Now how about you, Mr Bruchmann?”
Bruchmann’s head had slumped. Weakly he lifted it to look at the Doctor. “I suppose I’ll have to go to prison too, will I?” He seemed for a moment subdued rather than bitter.
The Doctor didn’t answer this. “Your problem,” he said, “is on the inside.” He held up the crystal. “It can cure that too. If you’re willing to let it.”
After a moment Bruchmann took the crystal, stared into it. A few minutes later, he handed it back to the Doctor. There was something in his face they hadn’t seen there before.

“To answer your question,” the Doctor said. “I don’t know. There’ll have to be a full enquiry, of course. Into everything. But I’ll have the Brigadier put in a good word for you. In a way, it was you who saved us. You were evil after a fashion, undoubtedly. Your experiences in the war twisted you, poisoned you. You killed for the sake of vengeance, which is always wrong however understandable. And you didn’t care if the innocent got in the way. But maybe you wouldn’t have turned out the way you did if the Nazis hadn’t murdered your family. It was a second-hand kind of evil, a reactive one, and therefore weaker. And perhaps you were as much mad as wicked, driven insane by your loss. So Wokir wasn’t sure whether you’d make a sufficiently comfortable home for it, and by the time it’d made up its mind it was too late. I suppose we ought to be grateful to you.”
Bruchmann smiled. “You should,” he agreed, but there was nothing sardonic in his manner. “I suppose a common enemy made allies out of us all.”
The Doctor handed the crystal to Sarah Jane Smith. “Sarah, give it to this man Weitzer. Tell him to use it to cure Holocaust victims of their pain; help them to forgive. But don’t tell him it can cure physical damage; then it’ll become a panacea for all evils, and goodness has to be tested by adversity.”
“I guess you know what you’re doing,” Sarah said.
Above, the UNIT soldiers had thought they'd heard voices coming from beneath the ground, confirming the supposition that there must be a cellar. Then the voices fell silent, and were not heard again until the bulldozer had cleared away all the debris from over the trapdoor, and their shouts were answered by those inside, before they opened it to stare down into half a dozen upturned faces.
*
One by one they emerged from the cellar, blinking uncomfortably in the light. The Brigadier was clambering over the rubble towards them.
The Doctor shook his hand and thumped him on the back. "Jolly good work, Brigadier," he cried, grinning affectionately. "Jolly good work!" He clapped Benton on the shoulder. “You too, old chap.”
“Anytime, Doc,” said the CSM.
Seeing the Brigadier, von Arbenz strode over to him. Almost automatically his arm began to rise in a Nazi salute, then he hesitated and converted it into a conventional military one. The Brigadier responded in kind.
"I am Victor Burckhardt," said the ex-Nazi. "Also known as Heinrich von Arbenz. While serving in the German army during the last war, I was responsible for the unlawful killing of some ten thousand people. I think you had better arrest me."
The Brigadier was somewhat taken aback at first, then he nodded, turning to his second-in-command. "Mr Benton, if you're sufficiently recovered..."
"I guess so, Sir."
"Would you take charge of this man, and notify the civilian police."
"Yes, Sir."
"I'd like a few minutes with him, if that's all right," said Christine, looking imploringly at the Brigadier, who frowned uncertainly.
"It won't do any harm, Brigadier," said the Doctor gently.
Lethbridge-Stewart nodded. "Very good, then. Is there anyone else down there, Doctor?” The Doctor shook his head.
"A lot of dead bodies in that rubble, though, Sir," said Palmer. “Some quite important people among them.”
"Well, Doctor," said the Brigadier, "I think clearing up here will take some time. Er...what are your plans, may I ask?"
"I'll be around for a while yet. You'll need a full report, won't you?"
"Yes, I will." The Brigadier sighed. "Now the Foundation's destroyed, we'll have to start all over again. I just hope we don't get too many alien invasions in the next year or so.
"You’ll all have to stay around for debriefing, I'm afraid,” he told everyone. “And sign the Official Secrets Act."
“Fine by me,” Christine shrugged.
Realising he had forgotten the matter of Bruchmann, the Doctor looked round for him. There was no sign of the man. Somehow while they’d been talking he’d managed to slip away. Of course an extensive search of the area was mounted, but no trace of him was found. None of them ever saw him again.
Palmer turned from stowing away his radio. "Just heard from Corporal Adams at the Foundation, Sir. He's got a lot of people there, some of them kids, and a few badly upset. They'll need help. All different colours and nationalities, God knows how they got here.”
“Well, they'll have to go back somehow. Tell Adams he's to liaise with the police, go through the usual procedures."
The Doctor tried to think of any other loose ends that needed to be cleared up. "If you find another crystal somewhere among all that rubble, I'd like to have it. Along with the bit that’s in the windmill, it won’t be needed now.”
"We'll be on the look out for it, Doctor." The Brigadier noticed something out of the corner of his eye and gave a gasp of surprise. "Look! What the devil's that?"
He pointed. They saw a strange figure, too tall and thin to be a human being, moving in a quick, deft fashion by a clump of trees to their left. They approached it cautiously. Becoming aware of their presence, it stopped and turned to look at them. They saw the oval face with its two huge eyes. It stared at them, not malevolently, for a moment and then scurried off into the wood.
Sarah realised they'd quite forgotten the figures she'd seen the evening she went to Greenleaves to photograph von Arbenz and his friends. "The real Wokir, I imagine," grinned the Doctor. "A much nicer fellow, I imagine, than that impostor. And now he's been taken care of, it can return home."
"Well," he sighed. "All in all, not an unsatisfactory conclusion to things." Thinking of the trick he'd pulled off with the rocket, he reflected with pleasure that some good had come out of the Master's twisted schemes.
"Now if you'll excuse me," he said, "I'm just off for a walk."
"Are you?"
"Yes. See you later."
Sarah could guess why. She gazed after him as he trudged off, hands in his pockets.
He wandered for some time among the gorse, heather and bracken. Then a voice interrupted his thoughts; it had a smile in it. "In reflective mood, my son?"
The Doctor turned, a look of delight on his face. As he had expected, he saw floating three or four feet above the ground, its legs crossed, a figure in the robes of a Tibetan monk.
The Doctor bowed his head reverently before his old teacher. "Cho-Je."
Cho-Je gestured to him to rise. He answered his fellow Time Lord's question. "Yes, I'll say I am."
"About your future, and your responsibilities to Earth?"
"I spoke about it to you before," the Doctor said. "A part of me still doesn't bear to leave. It knows it would be wrong. But I doubt if the Time Lords will let me, anyway." This last was spoken with some bitterness.
"I have some news for you, my son. Unlike you, I am still in touch with the Matrix. The High Council have asked me to tell you that you need no longer maintain your ties with Earth. It seems that threats to this world and to the human species, whether from extra-terrestrial sources or native in origin, occur according to a cycle. No-one is quite sure why. The present one has now come to its end. There will be more. But our predictions suggest you will be in the right place, and the right time, to deal with them."
The Doctor said nothing while he absorbed the implications of this news. Then his eyes widened, lighting up, until they seemed to be popping from his face, and he broke into his characteristic grin as the crushing weight which had been on his mind for some time was finally lifted. Cho-Je, of course, smiled with him.
"I wish they'd told me before," he said peevishly.
The floating figure chuckled dryly. "I'm afraid they seem to like to play games with you, Doctor, for their own amusement. I doubt if you will ever be free from their interference in your affairs."
"I suppose the block on the TARDIS is lifted?"
"That is correct. You are free to roam the cosmos as you please. Now your exile really is over."
"I tried to leave before," said the Doctor guiltily. "I couldn't, because of the block. But I wanted to and I would have done."
"You resisted the temptation until it was too much to bear," Cho-Je told him. "Often, that is as much as we can do. You acted correctly, my son. There is no need to berate yourself."
"All the death and the suffering will go on, of course," said the Doctor sadly. Among other things, there would still be organisations like Firebird. And he couldn’t help thinking of Sheila Kingman and Gavin Brendon, along with a lot of other people throughout time and space. He hoped that wherever they all were now, they had found some kind of peace there.
Cho-Je shut his eyes. When he spoke again it was with an air of wistfulness that matched the Doctor’s own. "Of course. But we cannot interfere, only draw comfort from the fact that there will be good things too. For good and evil will exist side by side until...until things are different.
"No doubt you will have things to do," he said. "So I will leave you now. Don't forget to keep in touch."
With a cheery wave, he faded into nothingness.
The Doctor gazed for a moment at the spot where he had been, then turned and walked back to where he'd left Sarah and the others, a certain spring in his step despite the feeling of sadness which he couldn't quite shake off.
He found Sarah and Christine standing a short distance from a black police van, whose lights were flashing. As he watched it drove away. Suddenly overcome by emotion, Christine buried her face in her hands. Sarah embraced her in an attempt at comfort.
Always awkward in situations like this, the Doctor stood waiting until she had recovered, then walked over to the trio. "Well," Christine said shakily as he approached, "thanks for being here, all of you."
Sergeant Palmer came up to them. "We've found that other crystal, Doctor." He handed it to the Time Lord, along with the fragment from the windmill, and the crushed remains of his other sonic screwdriver, salvaged from the rubble of Greenleaves. With a feeling of surprise that Lethbridge-Stewart should have let him have the items the Doctor nodded his thanks and slipped them into his pocket. He’d drop the crystals into a supernova at the first opportunity. The Schthori had known what they were doing, but others…
"And Dad says he knows the whereabouts of quite a few ex-Nazis in South America," Christine told them. "He's making up a list of them for the authorities."
Sarah sniffed, and the Doctor eyed her curiously. "What's the matter?"
There was a certain heaviness in the air. "Hey," she cried, "I think it's going to…"
A small raindrop splashed off the end of her nose. Then a few more spattered on her shoulder.
"Rain," she finished unnecessarily. She looked round in wonder. "Yippee! At last!"
Soon it was drenching them, but nobody minded. After the humid and drought of the last few weeks it was a blessed relief. It poured down, cool and refreshing, like a baptism washing away the sins, and the miseries, of the past.
But after a while Sarah noted that the Doctor had grown sombre again, and looked at him quizzically. He caught her eye.
"Sarah," he said quietly, "I don't think the Brigadier needs me any more." He described the encounter with Cho-Je. "There'll be no need for the kind of weapons they were making at the Foundation. And they won't have to make the aliens public knowledge. That means what happened here can be kept secret. And because Bruchmann's activities became so hopelessly mixed up in it, nobody will know about that either.
"So I think I'll be going," he finished. “Unless anyone objects.”
"Aren't you going to say goodbye to the Brigadier and Mr Benton?" asked Sarah.
The Doctor didn't answer this question. "Are you coming with me?"
"Not just yet. I think Christine needs someone to talk to."
"All right then. I'll call on you soon, I've got your address. With the TARDIS I can be at South Croydon in five minutes, by your time."
"Goodbye for now, Sarah. Goodbye, Christine." He shook their hands, then turned away, going towards the TARDIS.
Christine noticed its square blue shape for the first time. "A police box? What's that doing out here?" Sarah smiled; her astonishment was nothing to what she'd experience in a minute.
The Doctor disappeared into the TARDIS and a moment later, with its familiar, to Sarah, cathartic trumpeting noise it dematerialised. Nearby, the Brigadier and Benton, who had been supervising the general clearing-up, looked round at the sound and saw it vanish. This time the Brigadier didn't even shrug.
Christine was reeling, mouth agape. "Did I just see what I just saw?"
"This is going to be a bit difficult to explain," began Sarah.
"Hold on," said Christine. She went to stand at the spot where the TARDIS had been, feeling the air with her hands. It was completely empty. "Well?" she said as Sarah came towards her. "What is the explanation?"
Sarah was quite frankly tired of attempting to explain the TARDIS to people. She decided to try the honest approach just for once. "That police box is really a machine which travels in time and space. It's dimensionally transcendental - which means it's bigger on the inside than on the outside. The Doctor is, er, not of this world. He comes from a planet called Gallifrey. Strictly speaking, he's not even human. Satisfied?"
"And he and you travel about the Universe in that...TARDIS?"
Sarah nodded. "That's the truth. You can take it or leave it."
Christine decided that after experiencing the robots, and Wokir, she could believe just about anything. And she didn't think Sarah wasn't the sort who told lies. "You must see lots of interesting places," she commented.
"I get the feeling you're thinking of joining us?"
"I need a holiday. I mean, after being kidnapped and held prisoner in a creepy old mill, and shot, and told my father was a Nazi...so would the Doctor...would he mind if I came along the next time you took a trip in that thing?"
Sarah thought about this. The Doctor didn't really like companions; he was a loner by nature. It was only the very special rapport that she'd built up with him which made her an exception. He might not be happy about a new addition to the TARDIS crew, even though she suspected Christine would make a good companion. But then he would understand that she needed to get away, to relax after all her traumatic experiences. "Well, you'll have to bear in mind that he's a bit moody sometimes. Don't get in his way too much, or land yourself in trouble so he'll have to rescue you. Then it might be alright."
A sudden realisation struck Christine. "But people will be worried about me. And I can't just leave my job, can I?"
"The Doctor could get you back home just five minutes after you left. But do you really want to do it?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
“I’m not sure it’d that be much of a holiday. Travelling with the Doctor can be very dangerous. The number of times I've come close to copping it, the sort of things that have happened, or nearly happened, to me would make your hair curl. I only stick it because I'm a nosey sort of person and…well because I'm a journalist basically, and I like to think there’s a story in it somewhere, though it can’t be told until the day when people are finally ready to hear the truth.
“And I think you’ve got…things to do here. Decisions to make.” Like what name Christine should go by; that of a Nazi, even though she might be able to use it with pride now he had repented his sins?
"I want to make the world a better place somehow,” she said. “To do something, I don't know what, about the evil in it. So other people don’t have to go through what I did when I found out my father was a…”
“That might be better than getting killed on some alien planet.”
"Well? There's nothing more to do here now we've all been debriefed. I can drive us to South Croydon and we'll meet the Doctor there. How about it?"
"I don't know. I understand what you said just now. And I do have one or two decisions to make."
"Christine!"
She spun round to see Nick walking towards them and waving. A delighted grin split her face.
There was one of the decisions, she thought. A family would help her to find some kind of new identity. (Hey, she'd thought of a family in connection with Nick!) And if she were Christine Randall, then the problem of her name would be solved wouldn't it?
"You can do it, Christine,” Sarah was saying. “But the problems you need to face, the things you need to do to, are all here on Earth. Believe me."
Christine bit her lip.
"Come on, make your mind up," Sarah urged.
Christine gazed once more at the square depression in the ground left by the TARDIS, regretfully. Then she brightened.
"I've made it," she smiled. She went forward to greet Nick, and they hugged.
"Found you eventually," he said. "And when I did there were all these soldiers about the place. I'm not at all sure what's been going on."
"Well, you can take me home now. We, er...we've got a lot to talk about. I can't tell you what's happened here, though. In fact I've just had to sign the Official Secrets Act."
"No skin off my nose. The main thing is, you're OK."
"Goodbye, Sarah. And thanks." The two women pecked each other on the cheek, and Sarah watched as Nick led her to where his car was parked.
They climbed in. Christine cast one last, regretful look behind her then turned away, her thoughts focusing on the future she and Nick were driving into together.

The Doctor was wandering about inside the UNIT garage, his hands in his pockets. His gaze fell on Bessie, parked in her usual place by the wall, and he went over and patted her on the bonnet. "Goodbye, old girl." Was it his imagination, or did he hear a faint, mournful hoot from beneath the little car's bonnet?
He did the same to the futuristic-looking vehicle, rather like a cross between a hovercraft and a flying saucer, which stood beside her. "And you."
He took a scrap of paper from his pocket, scribbled something on it, and stuck it on Bessie's bonnet with a piece of sticky tape. "Look after them", said the note.
The Doctor left the garage, shutting the doors behind him, and made his way to the administration block. A few minutes later he was gazing a little vacantly around the laboratory, now empty save for the familiar blue shape of the TARDIS.
At its door he paused and took out a little book of photographs from his pocket. He flicked through it, studying each picture affectionately. There was him in his second incarnation, a small dishevelled figure in baggy trousers and black frock coat, with Jamie, Zoe and the Brigadier. In his third, with Liz Shaw. Then a group photo, taken at the UNIT annual Christmas party a couple of years back, showing himself, Jo Grant, Benton, Mike Yates and the Brigadier. Finally one of himself in his present incarnation, with Sarah, Harry, Benton and the Brigadier.
He regarded the last a little sadly. His gaze travelled from each person in the photo to the other. "Goodbye, Mr Benton. Goodbye, Harry." It alighted on the Brigadier. "Goodbye...pompous self-opinionated idiot."
He took one last look around the room. He'd done all he had to do here, and there didn't seem any point in hanging about. He unlocked the door of the TARDIS and went in. For the very last time the sound of it dematerialisating echoed along the corridors of UNIT's British HQ.
The Doctor knew he should have stayed a bit longer but he just couldn't find the words to say it, not to their faces. After all, he'd always hated goodbyes.

Sergeant Palmer came up to the Brigadier and Benton; he was holding a short tubular gun-like device. "I didn't tell you, Sir, we found this in the sonic weapons lab at the Foundation. Thought we'd better try and salvage something from there, so we took it with us when we cleared out."
The Brigadier took the Doctor's sonic gun and studied it closely. "Is there anything else?"
"No, Sir. Wasn't time to make a proper search."
"And the plans for this thing?"
"Went up with the Foundation, I'm afraid."
"I see," murmured Lethbridge-Stewart. He seemed to deliberate for a moment, looking down at the ground, then turned back to Palmer. "All right, leave it with me, I'll look after it."
Palmer handed it to him, saluted and withdrew. The Brigadier contemplated the sonic device for a moment longer, thinking about what it might do in the “wrong hands”. From what Sarah Jane Smith had just told him of the Doctor’s encounter with Cho-Je, there was no longer any need for it.
With a glance at Benton, he dropped it on the ground and trod on it with a booted foot. He ground down again and again until the device was a shapeless, unrecognisable lump of metal and plastic, crushed deep into the earth.
"It's not true I haven't learned anything in all the time I've known you, Doctor," he said softly.

They had been sitting crouched over a chessboard on which the moves they made symbolised their age-old conflict, surrounded by a grey, featureless void which existed outside space and time.
Their true nature and origins were a cause of much debate. But one thing was clear; if there were anything more powerful than a Guardian, its name could only be God. Or Satan.
One wore a white robe and headdress, with a dove on it. His features were stern, but kindly. The other wore an identical outfit except that it was black and the emblem was of a raven. The cast of his face suggested cruelty and hatred.
They straightened up, their game concluded. "An interesting little episode," commented the White Guardian. "That has to be the end of the Legion Of Evil, you must agree."
"Nor will there be another race like the Schthori," said the Black Guardian.
"Not yet, anyway," replied the White. "Perhaps one day, humanity will..." He left the sentence unfinished.
Black scowled. "A pity I failed to kill the Doctor."
"He would have been a difficult morsel for the Wones to swallow," observed White.
"There will be other opportunities. Opportunities to do more than destroy the Doctor. I shall dominate the entire Universe. You may have won this time - "
"I won again," pointed out the White Guardian. "I always win. Because I am stronger than you."
"It was not you who won. In the end, our creatures fashion their own destiny. They have free will. We merely sketch the outline of the picture on the universal canvas.
“Yes, Good always wins. But never entirely. There is always plenty of pain and misery in the cosmos, for which I am of course glad. And one day I will ensure it triumphs everywhere."
"Well, your next chance will soon come. A period of chaos threatens. Soon it will be time to search for the Key To Time."
"Then I will destroy the Doctor. And the cosmos."
"To destroy one means destroying the other," said White. "The universe needs such a protector as the Doctor. Without him it cannot survive.
"Yes, there will be other opportunities. We will always be needed, the two of us, until things are different."

The White-Haired Man was deep in thought. It was several minutes before he looked up at his colleagues and smiled.
"So," he sighed, "it seems we will have to radically revise our plans for the future. For the moment, there will be no need for the Foundation. Or for humanity to have time travel."
"I think we should be worrying about ourselves now," grunted the Mafiosi. "You can bet they'll be looking out for us after everything that's happened."
"We can protect ourselves," said the White-Haired Man. "As we have done quite successfully this last decade. We have supporters who can help to ensure things go right for us."
"If there aren't going to be any more alien invasions, I don't see what we're still in business for."
The man with the pipe spoke up. "Things may change again one day. And aliens don't only come to invade. Not all of them are hostile. Some we may be able to make deals with."
"Yes," agreed the White-Haired Man. He walked over to the window, pulled back the curtains and gazed thoughtfully out over the evening skyline. "There will always be a need for us, until…until things are different."

As the clearing-up had taken so long, lasting well into the evening, the Brigadier and his men had decided to stay overnight in Brighton after the incident. It was good to be there again; he had so many happy memories of the place. Of all the times he'd come here with Doris, when they were together, years ago in his days as a young subaltern.
They'd enjoyed a splendid meal at a hotel on the seafront. Now, still in his dinner jacket, he was taking a stroll along the beach, lost in his thoughts. The last vestiges of day had gone and the night was a deep, rich black. The gentle breezes blowing in from the sea, and the sound of the waves lapping gently on the pebbles, soothed him and made it easier for him to think. Earlier that evening he'd watched the sun set over the English Channel, and felt the first chill of autumn.
He knew very well what the implications of what the Doctor, through Sarah, had told him would be. UNIT would cease to be a military organisation, perhaps even to exist altogether. Even if it did survive in its present form, it would be a dull existence, with no aliens to fight most of the time.
In any case, he wasn't getting any younger. He was on the brink of middle age - or just within that category, depending on where you thought it began. Before long he wouldn't be fit and agile enough to go running around fighting aliens. His superiors would be aware of that; they must have been planning to move him to a new post anyway, in a year or two. And although he was in no way afraid of risking his life in the service of his country and his planet, and would happily do so at any time in the future should he be called upon to, he'd been lucky so far to avoid getting killed. Before long that luck might have run out. Only so often could you go into battle and not die or suffer severe injury. Tempt providence.
He certainly didn't fancy a desk job, though. Not within the Army; the mere sight of soldiers in combat fatigues would pain him not to be among them. And the period during which he'd been drawn into the political side of things in Geneva, which had kept him from fighting, from what he wanted to do, had given him a distaste for politics and bureaucracy. Perhaps he could take up teaching instead?
He knew that if he went Benton would go too, or at any rate wouldn't stay long. It's changing, he thought. Everything's changing.
He suddenly felt he needed to talk to Fiona. There was a phone box on the promenade, and he had her number.
"I just wondered if I might see you again sometime," he told her. "Sometime soon."
"Um..." She sounded uneasy,
"I'm giving up my job at UNIT. Means I'll have a lot more time to see you in."
What she said next was said kindly, at least. "I'm sorry, Alistair, I don’t think it would...you see, I've found someone else and I'm happy with him. There's...there's no future for you and me now. I'm sorry."
"All right,” he said after a moment. “I wish you both all the best. I...I'd better say goodbye now."
He tried Doris, only to find she'd moved again. So far it had proved frustratingly impossible to trace her. Well, he'd just have to keep on trying.
He resumed his walk along the beach. He thought of all the people he'd known, worked with, fought with during his eight years at UNIT. Turner, Hawkins, Munro, Cosgrove, Osgood, Bell...some of them dead on the field of battle, some now moved on to other, perhaps higher things. Their faces drifted ghostlike before him.
He was no lover of popular music, but all the same the haunting strains of a song which he'd heard on the radio an hour or so before were starting to embed themselves in his mind. He wasn't sure what it symbolised; what exactly he was missing, or going to miss. A lot of things, he supposed. The Doctor, Fiona, Doris, all his UNIT colleagues. The whole life he'd led over the last few years.

WISHING YOU WERE HERE
Sleepless hours and dreamless nights
And far aways
Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh wishing you were, wishing you were here
Heaven knows and Lord it shows
When I'm away
Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh wishing you were, wishing you were here

Same old show in a different town
On another day
Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh, wishing you were, wishing you were here
Even though you're far away
You're on my mind
Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh, wishing you were, wishing you were here

And I'd like to change my life
And you know I would
Just to be with you tonight
Baby if I could
But I've got my job to do and I do it well
So I guess that's how it is
Ooh wishing you were here, Ooh wishing you were here
Ooh wishing you were here, Ooh wishing you were here

On the road it's a heavy load
But I'll get by
ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh, Wishing you were, wishing you were here
Pay the price make a sacrifice
And still I'll try
ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh, Wishing you were, wishing you were here
ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh, Wishing you were, wishing you were here
ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh, Wishing you were, wishing you were here

He heard feet crunch on the shingle, and turned to see Benton. "Penny for your thoughts, Sir."
"I'm giving it up, Benton," said the Brigadier quietly.
Benton stared at him for a long moment, then let his gaze drop to the ground. He nodded slowly as if he, too, understood things must move on.
“We’ll keep in touch, of course.”
“That’d be great, Sir.”
The Brigadier gazed out to sea. "It's been fun these last few years, hasn't it...John?"
"Yes, Sir," said Benton, feeling a lump in his throat. "It has."
"It seemed the right time. Now that the Doctor's gone...still, he wasn't there a lot of the time anyway, was he?"
"No, Sir. All the same, it's still sad, isn't it? Nothing's going to be quite the same."
"I suppose it shouldn't come as that much of a shock."
"No, Sir. I mean, let's be honest, we all knew he was going to bugger off for good some day, and that it'd probably be sooner rather than later." He sighed. “But we're going to miss him."
"We are. But…life goes on."
"I still can't believe he didn't stay to say goodbye. After all the years we've worked together..."
"Well, he wasn't like…the other one, was he? I think he liked you really, though. And everyone else. He just wasn't very good at showing his feelings."
"I just think I'd have liked to get to know him a little better, that's all," said the Brigadier.
"Do you ever think we'll see him again, Sir?" asked Harry Sullivan, who'd come up and heard the last few bits of the conversation.
The Brigadier thought. He gazed up into the vastness of the night sky, now speckled with bright twinkling points of light. He wondered where, among all of them, the Doctor was now. "Yes," he nodded after a moment more’s reflection. "I think he will. Something tells me that one day, when we need him, he'll be back. Yes, he'll be back."


Dedicated to the memory of Nicholas Courtney