still clear in the sky above the city, or would have been were it not for the smoke.Lately the box, theHand of Omega as it was known, had taken a shine to him. It had started to followhim about, oftenappearing at the most inopportune moments. It disrupted his affairs and drewattention to privatebusiness that was better kept secret.Besides, he was bored, achingly bored, with manipulation and power. He longed to beaway, free of schemes and other people's ambitions, and, more than that, free of himself. He couldcast off this dark,brooding persona more easily than a serpent sloughs its skin. But if he did go, therewould be no wayback. And Rassilon would be left with absolute control. No checks, no balances.In frustration, he took off a shoe and threw it at the box. The Hand of Omega dodgedso fast that hisshoe seemed to travel straight through it. He stood with one stockinged foot out over the drop.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/ebooks/lungbarrow/prologue/printpage.html (3 of 10)09/11/2003 15:45:17BBC Cult - Doctor Who - Ebooks - Lungbarrow - Prologue
'Well? What will you do, eh, if I step off?'Pointless to ask really. The box would be there under his foot. Ready to catch him.So much for suicide.'Selfish brute!' he complained.Below, he could see figures skulking in the shadows around the Memorial. No rebelsthese, but agents of Rassilon sent to arrest him. He supposed he should feel flattered. Too good to lose,apparently.
In the air he caught the scent of burning flesh. A decision had been made for him, butthere was much toprepare and a difficult farewell to make.Ignoring the box, he lowered himself down the stone curve of the Omega symbol anddropped to theground. The shadows came at him fast out of the dark. He was surprised by their knives.They were surprised by the bolts of energy that flung them like dolls out of his path.The box whirred inbeside him with that unnerving knack of seeming to move faster than its own shadow.He drew a cutbloom out of his cloak. The rose's milky scent reminded him of children and the lostfuture. He laid it atthe foot of the monument and bowed his head. The box, taking an uncharacteristicmoment to decide itscourse, settled down beside the flower. He knew it was watching as he hunted for his