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Psi-ence
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Woodlands,
London
First
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The
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Format
ISBN
Typeset
Jacaranda
moral
0published
Wland
563
inBBC
Fiction
series
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right
Lodge,
80bound
53814
OTT
Chris
BBC
1963
Wood
2001
of
broadcast
byin
7Worldwide
Wolverhampton
Boucher
Doctor
Lane
the
Imaging
Chris
by
Great
author
Keystroke,
Who
Boucher
2001
on
Ltd,
by
Britain
the
and
hasTARDIS
Black
BBC
been
bySheep,
Mackays
asserted
arecopyright
trademarks
of Chatham
BBC
ofCover
the
2001BBC
printed by Belmon
t Press
Ltd,
For
Chapter
It
was
Lynda
Northampton
soOnevery dark now the moon had set. Chloe shivered. What was it about dark
ness it
made
Something
thatsowas
scary?
moving
sheinwondered.
the undergrowth off to the left. She could hear it quite
What
distinctly.
on earthFear
hadprickled
possessedacross
her tohercome
skininto
withthis
a sudden
stupidfeverish
wood in the
chill.
middle of t
he stupid
night?
She should have objected. They could have done this during the day. It wo
uld have
been
warmer for one thing. Just because the other four were up for it, that didn
't mean
they
were right. They had no evidence the murder had happened after dark so ther
e wasshivering
reason
The
noto holdwas
themomentarily
seance aftervivid,
dark aeither.
twitching shudder that seemed to run thro
ugh hermuscle. What was she frightened of? she scolded herself. She wasn't a chil
every
d for This
sake.
God'swas only a patch of trees and undergrowth and stuff. She wouldn't hav
e been to be here in the daylight and there was nothing here now that wasn't her
afraid
e then.
few
She
bitsAand
found
thebobs
urgethat
to run
onlywascame
almost
out an
in ache,
the dark
an itch
perhaps,
inside
butthe
nothing
skull.big.
She told
was
herself
just aitrace memory of predators that came for you in the night. Somehow, she
thought,

we all of us remember crouching, frozen in blind terror, as pitiless claws and t


eethus.tore
at
And we know we've lost the light for ever. And we know we will never see
theall
rise
off
could
we
sun
to
again.
barely
theusright
of
Something
breathe.
remember
now. crouching,
was moving
Chloe
foundfrozen
inshethe in
undergrowth
blind terror, as pitiless claws and t
eethus.tore
at
And we know we've lost the light for ever. And we know we will never see
the to
rise
off
could
sounding
sun
again.
barely
theandright
Something
breathe.
confident.
now. Chloe
was'Ismoving
foundwhat
that
inshetheitundergrowth
is?' she gasped, trying not to sound to
o relieved
and
Off
eager.'Rabbits?'
to
one side Ralph said,'Could be badgers. Fox maybe.' Ralph was taller and h
eavysetwasbutclose
there
Somewhere
no immediate
in frontcomfort
of hertoMegbesnorted.'It's
taken from hisprobably
dour andme,'
plodding
she said.
presence.
'I've
got half
mile
of sodding
a
brambles wrapped round my ankles here.' Chloe found Meg beautifu
l in said,
square-faced
Joan
a
'It's
uglymost
sortlikely
of way,toand
be rats.'
so muchShe
braver
was small
than she
andwas
sharp-featured.
herself.
Chlo
e thought
of
delightful.'Rats
'Only
They're
herifaspsychic,'
the
elfin,
corpse
knowing
are
Joan
isdrawn
still
persisted.
that
tothere,'
elvesAbsolutely
any
place
were
Ralph
ofreputed
death.'
said
thewitheringly.
to bepsychic
most
malicious
of all
as well
animals.
as On
ly wouldn't
greater
'Absolutely
'I
Sensible
'Well
we frankly,'
have
powers.'
choice,"
the Meg
care
second
but
Ralph
said,
these
most
said,
'Iwere
psychic
think
'given
my wellies
best
oftheall
chinos,'
circumstances.'
animals
and
jeans
Megthen,'
complained.
are
aTommy
bit insensitive
mocked.
even
forbinman
shoveller.
AIt's
'Oh,
'A
'Media.'
'Don't
'What
Chloe
the
'Show
showbiz
asorry
boots
waste
shit
did
asked,
respect
youbyand
you
Given
management,
I'm
wannabe
ever
any
thinking
mean
jeans
for
not
other
get
the
the
reading
by
about
tired
she
circumstances.'
name&'
any
of
dead,'
Ralph
was
wellies
other
of
something
wearing
said.
being
Meg
name?'
anda'And
said,'if
herself.
useful
smart-arse?'
jeans
Tommy
it's
you
being
like
only
chipped
wantinsensitive?'
EastEnders
one
Meg
them
in.
part
retorted.
to show
ofandtherespect
Emmerdalel
course.'
for you.
IThat's
'Really?'
was brought
howChloeup.'
said, unable to keep the surprise out of her voice. She had neve
r thought
of
'No
Meg
notasreally,'
coming Meg
fromgiggled.
a background
She leant
of spiritualism.
in from the darkness to whisper and Chlo
e couldthe beer on her breath. Come on Chloe, pay attention. And stop taking ever
smell
ything so

Joan had
bloody
Ralph
said,
seriously.
been'Look
leading
It'sthem
are
wejust
sure
down
a this
laugh
theisnarrow
foreven
God's
in the
path
sake.'
andright
the others
direction?'
had followed her
when sheoff it and pushed her way through the undergrowth to a clearing where sh
stepped
e had
stopped,
obliging them to do the same. They were standing uncertainly and unseei
ngly was
waiting
Joan
now,for
said
always
confidently,
someone
positive
to 'This
take
eventhe
was
when
lead.
where
she wasn't,
she was Chloe
murdered.'
thought, and said, 'I can't
thing.
'The
see dead
a Andtree
my stupid
is overtorch
there.'Joan
has packed
flashed
up.' her torch into the darkness, illumina
nothing in particular. 'We're standing in the clearing where he killed her. Cant
ting
it?
youHefeel
filled this place with his evil. Can't you feel his malevolence? Can't yo
u feelcould
residual
Chloe
thefear?
feelTheit.place
Joaniswasfull
right
of It
horror.
was like a nightmare you had woken from b
ut don't
quite
We
Yeah
'The
couldn't
right.
victim
shake
knowwas
off.
Meg
theasaid
This
killer
girl.
scornfully.
must
Ralph
wasbeasaid,
where
man,'
It'snot
heRalph
mostly
killed
a woman.
said.
women
her.Andwho
SheI thought
couldwomen
beat
feel
theto
the
identity
death
terror.of t
he killer
was
Tommy
onesniggered.
of the things
Maybewewewere
should
hereasktothe
trypsychic
and findrats,
out.presumably they'd know. H
ow about
Joan?
'If
youAnyweren't
itgood with
goingrodents?'
to be serious about this,' Joan hissed, you shouldn't have
Icome
us.'
see,'with
Tommy said. What you mean is when it doesn't work it's going to be my fa
ult,couldn't
that
That's
It
One
sceptical
isit exactly,
it?
possibly
presence
shebeis
said.
_)*>/"
all itfault.'
takes to break the circuit and block the contac
Ifdoyousa1*
Tt.'
sayso.
so Joan snapped And if I'm acting as medium, then what I say goes ton
ight
right?
'So
'No.'
ASo
breeze
what
what
allOryou
Idosay
stirred
say
yougoes?'
goes,
wantunseen
the
to conceded
he
taketrees
overaround
inthea bored
seance
them.voice.
Tommy?
Chloe noticed
Well do that
you?'the sound it m
ade was human, a sort of bronchial moan, almost a wheezing. The temperature seem
weirdly
ed towebegoing
dropping
'Are
rapidly.
to doIsthis
it getting
or what?'
colder?
Ralphshe
demanded.
asked.

Justyou
'Link
Are
cold,'
hands,'Joan
OK, she
Chloe?
said,
said.'Form
Tommy
butasked.
in truth
the circle.'
she could feel the watcher now and she knew h
e was
watching
her and her alone. The murderer was focusing on her and she knew she wo
uld bevictim.
next
Chloe,'
'Don't
his
do
shethat,'
heardshe
a distant
protested
voice
angrily
whisper
'It's
andnot
wheeze.
funny.Chloe.'
I'm scared enough as it
Leave
is."
'I
Ralph
Well
"Shut
didn't
one
herand
said,
up
ofdo
alone,
Neither
you's
anything,'
concentrate,'
Meg
playing
did
muttered.
Tommy
I.'
silly
Joansaid.
Stop
buggers.'
commanded.
teasing'All
her,you
of you.
two.'I cant do this on my own
. Clear
your
minds. Concentrate on her. Think only of the dead girl. Just her. We call h
er tofocus,
through
His
usthehis
focus
will,
of was
our calling
collective
to her,
will.'Chloe thought.'Chloe,' he breathed.'Chl
oe.' She
concentrated
on the hands she was holding. She closed her eyes against the darkn
Chloe,'
ess.
With
thethe
circle
whisper
settled
saidand
andsilent
she could
Joanhear
beganthetocruel
chantsmile
softly.
in Come
it. to us, come
to us
us,who
comecall you, come to us, come to us, come to us who love you, come to us,
us,
Once
comecome
the
to chant
to us,had
comebeen
to established
us, come to the
us, other
come tothree
us now:
joined in. 'Come to us,.come
come
Repetition,
to us,
to us, Chloe
come tothought,
us, comeastosheus,toocome
began
to muttering
us now: the pointless words, that'
s all itThe steady rhythm to make the trance, to make the magic, to make the musi
takes.
c. The beat is like steady running. 'Come to us, come to us, come to us.' Runn
rhythmic
ingfrom
us
keepsthe slavering teeth and the scrabbling claws. 'Come to us come to us com
e to to
come
us us.' It amplifies the tune of the blood so you can feel its power. It ke
eps beating
back
the darkness and the sounds of the darkness. It was working. She could feel
working.
it
The rhythm reaches into us and we have the power to see, we have the po
wer towe have the power to control. Come to us come to us come to us come to us:
know,
stronger.
She felt She felt the summons tugging at the dead girl, pulling her to them, pu
lling
back
It
wasacross
her
then Chloe
the void.
heardItthe
washowl
working.
of pain
Sheand
wasanger,
coming.and she opened her eyes. The
whipped
wind hadup suddenly, lashing the trees and swirling dead leaves and bracken fron
ds around
them.
The thick, blind gloom of the wood had lightened and in the unearthly glim
mer killer
the
she sawcrashing through the undergrowth towards them. He looked monstrous, t
all andand he ran in huge strides, lifting his legs high like a triple jumper. Hi
wild,
s face was
twisted
with hate. His fury was insane. He was coming straight at her. He was co
ming

'listen toforme!her.
straight
Listen to me you little bitch!' the killer was raging. 'You will
listen
me
and do
to as I tell you! You will do as I tell you, you little bitch!' Something
onstruck
the shoulder
her
and thumped against her back and she lurched forward stumbling i
nto the struggling to keep her balance and stay on her feet. The chant became ra
others,
ggedthen
then
'Oh
Chloe
'Are
What
And
for
and
stopped
you
happened,
what's
God's
all right?'
close
abruptly.
wrong?
sake
Chloe?'
to
Chloe
Chloe,'
Are
Ralph
Meg
youasked.
something
Tommy
said.
in pain?'Joan
said,'what
unseen grunted
said.
is theandmatter
roared.
withA whisper
you!' in her ea
r echoed
the
Chloe
bones
lostinofallherchance
head.of'Die,'
control.
it said.
She broke
'Die the
for circle,
ever in pushed
my darkness,
the others
bitch.'
aside
and panic
Raw
ran. drove her on and gave her unexpected strength and speed. She plunged t
patches of scrub, cannoned into small trees and blundered into low branches, but
hrough
going.
of
again,
shelight
kept
Thehadit
but
glimmer
vanished
made no difference
completely to
andher.
the She
darkness
ran flat
was out
impenetrable
with no sense of direc
tion andofnoobstacles or barriers. Only the demon striding and leaping behind her
thought
Then
was abruptly
real.
she weakened, and as she weakened she began to trip over roots and
her
stumble
feet caught
as
in the tangles of ground creepers. She fell. Suddenly her legs w
ere aching and she was very tired, but she scrambled up and shambled on. She fel
unbearably
l again,
harder
This
just
time
wanted
thissheto
time,
liecollapsing
there whereandshesprawling
had fallen
headlong
but sheinto
heard
thethe
undergrowth.
demon coming for
heard
her. him
She crashing and roaring, closer and closer, louder and louder. She heard
shouting her name and she dragged herself upright and ran on. She ran desperatel
him
y untilwas
breath
herrasping in her throat and filling her ears with its sound, but behind
could
The
herdarkness
she
still hear
was unrelenting
the killer rushing
and sheand
waslaughing
exhausted,
andterrified,
raging. lost. Suddenly sh
e wanted
look
back.toShe wanted to see it. She knew the light was there and she wanted to
something, anything. She wanted to put an end to the blind fear. But she knew he
see
r deathready
there,
was to snatch her if she looked. She knew it was ready to swallow her b
eing if she
listened
and it was calling to her constantly now.'Chloe? Chloe!' Now a woman's
voicedistance,
the
in
now a man's. 'Chloee! Chlooeee?' And now it whispered to her. 'Die
,' was
gloated,
It
it allsoaround
close her,
it seemed
near and
to befar,
inside
outside
her and
head.inside.
'Die in'Chlooooeeee!'
darkness, bitch!'
It was m
ocking her,leering. She must not look back no matter how much she wanted to. She
sneering,
must running
stop
not
no matter how much she wanted to. She must get out of the wood. She
out
Without
mustofget
the
warning
darkness.
the black blankness ahead of her thinned and clotted into patter
ns of and darker shapes. She glimpsed momentary specks of brightness like spar
lighter
ks the
fire.
at
ripped
fromAlmost
edge
through
a ofwithout
the wood,
them,
realisingdown
plunged
it through
she crashed
an empty
into ditch
the brambles
and found herself in op
en pasture.

Clear of the ancient gloom under the trees it was possible to tell the sky from
the in
and
ground,
the distance she could see the lights of the University of East Wessex. S
staggered a few paces further into the field. Relief dragged at her, draining wh
he
at littleshe had left. She sank to her knees on the damp grass and sobbed for br
strength
eath. see
could
She the lights of safety there across the open fields. She knew the way ba
ck. She'd
beaten
it, him, whatever it was - ghost, demon, murderer. Whatever it was she'd
beatenofit.the ancient gloom under the trees it was possible to tell the sky from
Clear
the in
and
ground,
the distance she could see the lights of the University of East Wessex. S
staggered a few paces further into the field. Relief dragged at her, draining wh
he
at littleshe had left. She sank to her knees on the damp grass and sobbed for br
strength
eath. see
could
She the lights of safety there across the open fields. She knew the way ba
ck. She'd
beaten
it, him, whatever it was - ghost, demon, murderer. Whatever it was she'd
beaten it. Behind her the voices were back. She looked. Small lights danced in t
'Chlooee!'
he wood,her name. She turned and fled, running for the safety of the campus. She
calling
the
ranopen
across
fields without looking back, without listening to the voices in the woo
d or inHerheronly purpose was to reach the stockade of light and brightness in the
head.
middle
the
She
endless
was
ofstillplains
running
of when
darkness.
she woke with a start in her study bedroom in the stu
dentresidence.
of
hall
Daylight was bright behind the curtains. Someone was banging on th
e door.
the
unreal
Allterror and insane confusion of the night before vanished. It was a dr
eam, she just a stupid dream. Something must have disagreed with her. Something
thought,
had screwed
with
her brain chemistry, big time. She tried to remember what she had been doin
g thegot
evening
There
Just
She
awas
minute,'
before.
out
more
of bed.
knocking
Had She
she
therewas
mumbled.
onbeen
the
naked.
a party?
door.
She'Chloe?
slept that
It's way
me. for
Meg.comfort
Are youthough
in there?'
there w
as also of
element
an vanity since she was proud of her slim body and pale, unblemished ski
It was as she was looking for her bathrobe that she realised her hands and face
n.
scratched
were
The
Doctorand
wasshe
frowning
was covered
at theincontrol
developing
console.
bruises.
"There's a reason for everything
,' he
remarked.
The TARDIS had just spun off the time line and was moving motionlessly
transdimensional
across the
direction loops towards an undiffer-entiated focal point. It le
ft the with little idea of when they might be going and where, and the more the
Doctor
manoeuvred the less idea he had.You start knowing nothing and end up knowing les
TARDIS
s, he
thought,
there's a lesson there somewhere. All he could be sure about was that w
herever and
whenever
it was going to be, it was going to be soon; and that the TARDIS would
have some
reason
for doing what it was doing. 'That's not the same as a purpose of course,
' he'People
on.
went often confuse reason and purpose. A reason is simply an explanation.
everything
And
has an explanation.' Not for the first time he had a passing urge to
thump had
control
Leela
theconsole
recognised
in frustration.
all the signs. She had been carefully observing the movemen
ts, the
were
and
sometimes
which
notsounds,
proper
made and
movements,
which
thewere
Doctor's
more reaction
like feelings,
to them.
thatWhat
thewas
TARDIS
happening at the mome
suggested to her that the TARDIS was again about to stop, or drop, or whatever i
nt
t wasbefore
did
it she and the Doctor were able to go outside. Experience made her equal
ly certain
that
the Doctor would have no idea what they would be facing when they opened th
e doors
what
sheofused to think of as the travelling hut. 'So what is a purpose?' she ask
checking that her knife was securely sheathed and making sure the small travelli
ed,
ng pouch
she
had added to her belt still contained a selection of essentials, among them
asharpening stone, a high-energy food bar and a comb. Of course she knew now that
was
theaTARDIS
very large non-travelling hut inside a much smaller, travelling box. Every
thing
an
explanation.
had
Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, TARDIS, was the explanati
on of the
hut-in-the-box
and one day she would understand it, she was sure.

What?' the Doctor said vaguely, not taking his eyes from the console's unhelpful
Ittelltales.
was slightly shaming, he was thinking, that he had so little actual control.
He should
have
paid more attention. At the very least he should have got out some manuals
at someand tinkered a bit. A bit more. It wasn't as if he could take the systems
stage
back to the for an overhaul. If something needed doing he would have to do it h
manufacturer
Something did need doing, of course, and it was irritating that he didn't know w
imself.
hat it was.
Thumping
the control console would clearly be stupid. Kicking it was quite appea
ling too.
While
he was thinking this he suddenly became conscious that Leela was watching
intently. She was trying to look casual about it but there was no disguising her
him
Unconsciously
attention. she had also taken up the first stage of her preparing-to-fight st
ance. Her
weight
was slightly forward on the balls of her feet, her hand was on the hilt o
f the he
knife
large
could not persuade her to give up carrying. She obviously sensed that s
was about to happen. It was interesting, he thought, how sensitive she was becom
omething
ingwas
way
It
unknown,
to athe
the
TARDIS
pityher
but
aggression
functioned.
early conditioning
was always as
herafirst
warrior
response
had been
to thorough
the
and counterac
ting ittake
would
What?'
the Doctor
more time
saidandvaguely,
patiencenotthan
taking
he presently
his eyes from
had. the console's unhelpful
Ittelltales.
was slightly shaming, he was thinking, that he had so little actual control.
He should
have
paid more attention. At the very least he should have got out some manuals
at someand tinkered a bit. A bit more. It wasn't as if he could take the systems
stage
back to the for an overhaul. If something needed doing he would have to do it h
manufacturer
Something did need doing, of course, and it was irritating that he didn't know w
imself.
hat it was.
Thumping
the control console would clearly be stupid. Kicking it was quite appea
ling too.
While
he was thinking this he suddenly became conscious that Leela was watching
intently. She was trying to look casual about it but there was no disguising her
him
Unconsciously
attention. she had also taken up the first stage of her preparing-to-fight st
ance. Her
weight
was slightly forward on the balls of her feet, her hand was on the hilt o
f the he
knife
large
could not persuade her to give up carrying. She obviously sensed that s
was about to happen. It was interesting, he thought, how sensitive she was becom
omething
ingwas
way
It
unknown,
to athe
the
TARDIS
pityher
but
aggression
functioned.
early conditioning
was always as
herafirst
warrior
response
had been
to thorough
the
and counterac
ting and
would
-mad
ittakefake.
moreHetime
gotand
angry
patience
if shethan
suggested
he presently
he was ahad.
shaman. He never saw it as
compliment
a
to his powers, only as an insult to his mind and his honesty. She rem
when the tribal shaman had gone truly mad. There was no magic then. There had on
embered
ly beenfor everyone and death for him. But there was an explanation if you thoug
danger
ht about
it,
and there were ways to lighten the Doctor's mood if you knew what interested
reason
The
him.Doctor
'If
is simply
asaid, 'I've
an explanation,'
often wondered
she that
said,'what
myself,'
is and
a purpose?'
smiled his sudden, dange
smile.'Perhaps there isn't a purpose. Or perhaps when we know all the reasons we
rous
'llampurpose.
the
'I
'Never,'
know
sorry
theIDoctor
Orasked,'
perhaps
said
Leela
that
emphatically,
said.
is the'You
purpose:
are still
but
making
to know
smiling.
funall
of me.'
the
'I never
reasons.'
make fun of y
ou for
asking
'But
'No.
The
TARDIS
Iyouam
questions.
dopatience
narrowed
get angry'
Even
personified.
theones
multiverse
I can't
Youoptions,
answer.'know
should
gradually
that byslipping
now.' towards the asymm
anomaly
etrical
it
'Very
That
andiswell.
pulling
thataDowas
not
question,'
itattracting
you
towards
know where
the
a choice.
Doctor
we aresaid.
going"That
then?'isLeela
a deliberate
asked. provocation.' He
around
Leela
'I
looked
doubt
said,'Your
forthat,'
his hat.
the
hatDoctor
is in said,
the pocket
finding
of it
yourincoat.'
the left-hand pocket of his long
almost immediately and pulling it out. I wasn't looking for my hat as it happens
overcoat
'Your jelly babies are in the other pocket,' Leela offered.
.'

'Now you are beginning to annoy me.' The Doctor's smile was losing some of its s
'Now you are beginning to annoy me.' The Doctor's smile was losing some of its s
pontaneity.
The Doctor reached for the switch which, Leela knew, would turn on the observati
pontaneity.
on screen
and
show them what was outside. 'Are we where you think we are?' she asked innoc
'I think
ently.
'And
'Here,'
'There
that
you
the
so,'
issee,'
Doctor
where?'
theLeela
Doctor
said.
shesaid
said.
prompted.
triumphantly. 'You said you would not make fun of me
questions
for askingand you are making fun of me for asking questions.' She knew it was no
t reallyof a warrior, but she had found that she relished such small victories. T
worthy
he Doctor
talked
so much more fluently than she did. He knew so much more than she did and
attempt
he madeatnoall to hide it from her. Sometimes it had made her angry though this
was not
such
'You
a time.
were
trying to make me angry,' he said reasonably. 'To prove a point. A rat
pointless
her
Leela
The
screen.
was
'You
'Of
Doctor
grinning
course
doshrugged.'You
'You
not
point
flicked
not,'
know
think
wolfishly
asthe
everything,'
you'd
the
not?'
doDoctor
notHe
switch
now.
seeknow
said
ifLeela
andwhat
you
cheerfully.'So
looked
thought
went
I wason.
attrying
aboutyou
the
observation
itcan
to
reasonably.'
do.'
stop sulking, can't you.
''I am notThesulking,'
'Look.'
Doctor nodded
Leela towards
said, sounding
the screen.
sulky'Here's
even toaherself.
particularly frustrating
what
The
example
on-screen
I don't
of know.'
field of vision was slowly widening to show that the TARDIS had fe
atched
woodupofinsome kind. Beyond the thickets of silver birch and elm scrub intersper
mature oak trees, a cluster of glass and metal buildings could be seen in the di
with
sed
stance.
low,
square
The towers and black, shiny blocks looked new and carefully proportioned
they
but stood
still out starkly in a wide landscape of long hedgerows and scattered islan
dsdon't
Ibroad-leaved
Leela
Chapter
They
ofwere
oldTwo
stared
know
walking
trees.past
where
hard
atwethe
are,'
thescreen,
parapsychology
the Doctor
scanning
said.
the undergrowth
laboratory
when John
for predators.
Finer, physicist
and more
the
one ofrespected of the younger professors in the University of East Wessex, s
spoke.'Charlatan?' he said loudly, as though in the middle of a conversation. 'N
uddenly
o, I
wouldn't
say the man's a charlatan.' Then he scowled, squeezing the habitual hal
from his long, narrow face.'To call Hitchins a charlatan would be a gross insult
f-smile
charlatans
to
everywhere.'

FinerParnaby,
Bill
disagreements
everything,
lookedshook
down
philosopher
on
almost
histhe
at
headsmall,
and
sadly.'Childish
a dark
friendmandespite
beside
or what?'
their
him and
fundamental
raised an eyebrow. 'Chil
Parnaby shook his head more vigorously, and said with mock disdain, 'It was chil
perhaps.'
dlike
dish. smiled.
didn't
Finer
Why
you just'Ibang
wouldonhave
his done
lab door
but he'd
and run
probably
away?'have included that in his pol
Parnaby chortled, unable to suppress his amusement any longer. 'Is it possible,'
data.'
tergeist
suggested,
'Of?'
'The
he science
Kellerfield
'that
of "things
you might
Research
that
Fellowship.'
begothebump
teeniest
in thebit
night"?
envious?'
Oh please.' It was Finer's t
urn to be though in his case it was genuine. 'Credit me with a little more tas
disdainful,
te ifglad
'I'm
integrity'
Depressed?'
'It's
Parnaby
'So?'
notshrugged
reading
toFiner
see
week.'
ayou're
frowned.'Why
small,notslightly
depressed
should
embarrassed
Ianyway,'
be depressed?'
Parnaby'I've
shrug.
commented.
noticed you tend to
gettouch
withdrawn
Finer
'A
'Maybe
a looked
bit
reading
ofaround
seasonal
surprised.
week
thisgives
affective
time
'Imedo?'
oftime
year.'
disorder
to think
perhaps?'
about the waste of resources in gener
al andhadHitchins
friend
They
ourreachedintheparticular.
tiny room which
That'sParnaby
enough had
to depress
been allocated
anybody'by office admini
with, as he told it, a rather dismissive: you're a thinker for God's sake, how m
stration
uchyou
do
space
need anyway? Parnaby unlocked the door. 'I'm told his funding is particul
generous,' he said. 'No converted cupboards for the Kellerfield Research Fellow'
arly
'Now who's being envious?' Finer asked, following him in and flopping down in th
e more
comfortable
of the two small armchairs which took up all the space not occupied
by make
untidy
'I
an desk
no secret
and some
of it,'
overstacked
Parnabybook
said.'I
shelves.
would kill for a study like he's got a
nd enough
money
not to have to do any more popcorn lectures on piffle like time travel and
paradoxes
'You
'This
the love
is not
thereof.'
it,'
what
Finer
I was
scoffed.
led to expect from academic life in general and my acade
mic life
particular,'
'What
youinmeanParnaby
is,' Finer
sighed,
wasrooting
grinning,'nobody
through precarious
told you it
stacks
was going
of paper.
to be this
much fun.'

'If yourdid
Parnaby
nextnotobservation
look up from
is that
his search.
philosophy
'Define
is the
fun.'
new rock-and-roll I shall th
row updid
meagre
Finer
thathis
and
revolting
best tolunch
look hurt.
you just
"Thebought
Developmental
me.'
Engineering Department's not
funds,
demand
'You
shortmean
of you're
but
detailed
our sponsors
accounts
going toand
charge
theyitfrown
to expenses?'
on frivolity.'
Parnaby found the notes for hi
sforthcoming
of
mentioned
On
atime
number
travel
that
lecture
of
and proffered
you're
occasions.'
onthe
thestereotypical
impossibility
Finer
them.gotHave
up from
I
mean
Yorkshireman?'
the
chair and accepted the lecture
without smiling. 'Thanks for these. I'm interested to understand your reasoning.
notes
''You could have come along and listened,' Parnaby suggested. 'I do take question
s from
'I
floor'
can'tthesit in your audiences,' Finer said. I find all that screaming and seatdistracting. I suppose it's inevitable though,' he smiled. 'Philosophy being the
wetting
They
roll.'
new stood
rockandoutside the TARDIS looking round at the wood and the pastures beyond.
ofThesome
trees
fruits
leaves
were
onofthe
thetangles
showing
deciduous
hints
of barbed
of yellows
creepers
and reds.
and shiny
Therered
wereseed
black
pods on rambling tho
rn bushes. was bathed in cool, early autumn sunshine which cast light shadows an
Everything
d deepened
and
enriched the pale colours of the ripe meadow grasses in the nearby fields. T
he Doctor
was
entranced. 'This is Earth,' he said beaming delightedly. 'I like this planet
, it's
of
'Are
myyou
absolute
onesure?'favourites.'
Leela asked. 'You said you did not know where we were.' She was
watching and listening for predators but apart from the small scuttlings and twi
still
that would be expected in a place like this she had heard nothing, and all she h
tterings
ad seen
were
tiny, timid flyers and small, nervous tree-climbers. Although she knew ther
e were larger creatures that fed on such smaller ones there was no sign of anyth
always
ing Doctor
threatening
That
area.
Leela
The
big
was
frowned.
and
before
ignored
in 'We
the
I smelt
immediate
are
the
standing
contradiction.
the air in
andthe
felt
And
shade.'
the
look,'
sun,'hethe
said,
Doctor
gesturing
said. towards the
blackberries and rose hips.' He pointed up at the trees.'Finches and squirrels.
bushes,
We are
the
northern
in
temperate zone.' He strode to one of the bushes and picked a fat bl
heavy with juice. 'And the autumn is just beginning. A magical time.' He ate the
ackberry
lip-smacking
berry with relish. 'Try some of these. They're almost as good as jelly babies.
'Leela
'I
promise
shookyou
herthey're
head. Inot
do poisonous,'
not like jelly
thebabies,'
Doctor said,
she said.
picking more. 'Trust me,
'II'mtrust
Doctor.'
the you, Doctor,' Leela said, making no move to join him but looking instea
d towards
the
'A
pleasant
distant walk
buildings.
in the'Are
afternoon
we going
sunshine?'
there?' The Doctor smiled.'I think so.'

Shallyouweknow
'If
go then?'
where Leela
we are,suggested,
do you know
frowning.
what it'We
is?'do not know how soon the darkn
ess willThe Doctor ate another blackberry and stared thoughtfully into the middl
'Soon.'
come.'
e distance.
Making
up his mind he said,'There's something I need to do first.' He went back
to crossed
TARDIS.
Leela
'I'll
'Such
'Wait
'This
The
and
He
the
Doctor
went
scowled.
be
promises
out
is
'I'll
quick,
not
inside.
here
smiled.
to
athe
only
'You
mean
and
good
I console
promise.'
beplace.'
keep
'This
forget
nothing,'
a watch.'
moment,'
isand
how
theexamined
Leela
much
only
he sulked,
told
time
place,'
thepasses.'
Leela
telltales
'and
heassaid
you
sheagain.
are
enigmatically,
moved
never
to quick.'
There
follow
had been
him. somet
hing veryabout the way the TARDIS had come here, something that was not really r
positive
eflected
what
he had
in seen outside. He might not know exactly how to fix her but he knew h
er moods
and
music intimately. She had come here as though this was the only place she co
uld be. The
question
was why? The answer was probably unfathomable, but sometimes it was pos
sibleantoidea of what might be happening from the time it took the console indicat
get
orschecked
reset
He
tothemselves.
them all carefully. Only one was out of phase. The time-line flux adj
showed a very small residual overlap. The temporal anomaly was fading fast but i
uster
t was Somewhere close by, the Doctor realised, there must be a tiny fault in th
there.
e fabric
the
multiverse.
of
'Well spotted, old thing,' he said. 'While we're here you can dr
aw on the power banks,' as he talked he set the controls,'and use your probabili
auxiliary
compensators to overlay that spot and strengthen that weakness.' He finished the
ty
adjustments and pressed the switch. 'A stitch in time,' he said, 'saves& somethi
ng or
Stepping
another.'
out of the TARDIS he said to Leela, What does a stitch in time save, do
atyouall?'
'No,'
'Soon.'
know
sheThesaid
Doctor
darkly.'I
was notdoquite
not. ready
Can wetogoleave.
now?' He wanted to be sure he had not
destabilised the TARDIS. First I thought we should familiarise ourselves with ou
rsurroundings.' He pointed to some small trees. Those, for example. Do you know w
hat course
'Of
are?'
they I do not,' Leela said. 'How would I know? And why would I care? Can w
e gocould
It
now?'be important,' the Doctor said. 'Someone might point them out to you an
d ask
about
As
theythem.'
youfinally set out across the pasture Leela's mood lightened a little. 'I d
id not feel there,' she remarked, glancing back at the trees. 'And yet I could s
comfortable
ee no real
threat.'

The Doctor inclined his head slightly and shrugged.'It was simply a reaction to
a new It's probably hormonal. Your endocrine system responds to potential dange
place.
'You are
r.'
'It's
perfectly
saying normal,'
I fear newtheplaces.'
Doctor said, offhandedly.'In your case the warrior
channels
training
'You
are saying
it intomyaggression.'
fear makes me ready to fight.' For once Leela did not react a
to being patronised. That was not why I felt uneasy, Doctor,' she said. 'It was
ggressively
not place
the
becausewas new to me. I felt as if something was watching. I felt as if somet
hingaway
was
The
run
lengthened
Despite
not
Doctor
thatthe
there
with
said,
his
hostility
was
you.'
stride
not
watching.You
And
unkindly,
sohehis
of
thatcolleagues
Leela
did not
'You're
hadletting
feel
to jog
Barry
that.'
Hitchins
yourkeep
to
imagination
up. being the Kellerfie
loved
ld was
Fellow
It
Research
in Parapsychology.
not
that he particularly loved the subject: he didn't. From the beginning
privately
he was very sceptical. His attitude to telepathy, remote viewing over distanc
telekinesis, precognition and all the variations of ESP and mind power so belove
e,
d of science
dead
brain- fiction hacks was not much different from that of the rest of the u
He thought it unlikely that he would find evidence for any of it and if he did f
niversity.
evidence
ind
And
as foritley
would
lines,
probably
pyramid
havepower,
been crop
faked.circles, standing stones, UFOs and all
imaginings
the wilderof the Internet conspiracy theorists: he was happy to leave that sort
ludicrous
of
nonsense to New Age throwbacks, credulous X Files fans and the like. P
sychics
-paranormal
things-that-go-bump-in-the-night
or ghoulies
andmanifestations
and ghosties and long
as he
long-leggedy
thought ofbeasties
them - also
and left him unmoved a
unimpressed. Clairvoyants and mediums, table-tappers, card-readers and fortune-t
nd
ellers,
list
But
despite
of BFTG
the it- all,
bullshit
despite
for his
the own
gullible
reservations,
-was apparently
despiteendless.
the barely concealed c
ontemptaround
those
of him, despite the flaky weirdos he was forced to deal with on a regu
lar no
was
basis
getting
therearound the fact that he really did enjoy the work. He enjoyed it
more than
even
You're
'Sorry,'
late,'
Tommy
he had
heCarmodie
expected
said
mildly
said,
to.assmiling
the twooffhandedly
students wandered
and pushing
intothe
thefloppy
laboratory.
hair ba
ck from
forehead.
'Me
too,'hisJosh
'Haven't
Randall
got murmured.
a watch any'Student
more. Had
poverty
to pawn
getsitworse
unfortunately.'
by the hour. As far
tell
as Iwithout
can
a watch of course.' Josh was the taller of the two and shaven-heade
Unlike Tommy, who seemed to have modelled himself on Hugh Grant, Josh never made
d.
attempt
any
to be charming. It obviously did not concern him now, for example, that
thean
he
'What
At
was
watch
iswearing
interfaculty
it we're
wasdoing
clearly
meeting
today?'
visible.
not
long
Tommyafter
asked.
his'Iappointment
seem to have
Barry
forgotten.'
Hitchins had exp
ressedthat
view
thehis research was 'going to be more fun than women's heavyweight custar
dwrestling. Not blancmange wrestling, but then nothing comes close to that, as I'
m sure all agree. Especially if it's the pink blancmange.' Bill Parnaby had laug
you'll
hed been
had
but hethe only one. Everyone else had greeted the comments in frosty silence
and realised
had
Barry
that to the label quack practitioner of a pseudoscience he had just
managed to

add stupid sexist moron. It had been a dumb thing to say, but he had been nervou
s and heto say dumb things when he was nervous. It was no excuse of course. After
tended
had
all,degrees
he
in sociology and psychology - not good ones it was true, not as good
claimed
as he anyway - but they should at least have equipped him to know better than
to wade the
through
on custard and blancmange. Up until then he had felt that you mostly kn
ew more
than
you learnt, but he realised afterwards that the opposite was certainly true
.add stupid sexist moron. It had been a dumb thing to say, but he had been nervou
s and heto say dumb things when he was nervous. It was no excuse of course. After
tended
had
all,degrees
he
in sociology and psychology - not good ones it was true, not as good
claimed
as he anyway - but they should at least have equipped him to know better than
to wade the
through
on custard and blancmange. Up until then he had felt that you mostly kn
ew more
than
you learnt, but he realised afterwards that the opposite was certainly true
.The two young men turned towards the line of four white-painted, fibreglass cubi
cles,domed,
one
'You
Tommy
don't
each trust
pantomimed
almostsurprise,
us,'Josh
egg-shaped,
said,
said,'I
andmatter-of-factly.
about
hadn'ttheforgotten
size of had
a small
I?' and
shower
didunit.
his best to
wounded.'You didn't tell us. I have to say that's very hurtful. I thought we wer
look
e supposed
to
Josh
benodded.
a team 'How
here?are
Boldly
we supposed
going andtoall
getthat
thesesort
things
of thing.'
right if you don't give us
advance
any
warning? We've bugged the wrong capsules now, we've practised the wrong
we're totally
codes,
'We've
wasted ascrewed.'
lot of time,' Tommy agreed. 'I don't know how much because I can
't afford
watch
any more.
a
The thing is, though, you don't seem to be taking this whole thi
ng was
as
It
nearly
seriously
a disappointment
as we do.' to Barry Hitchins to know that one gaffe bad probably co
st him of
chance
theever parlaying the research fellowship up to full professor with a dep
artment
his
own.ofBut once he had accepted the situation, he found that the abandonment o
f ambition
was
oddly liberating. If he was never to be respected or respectable then he was
indulge,
On
free
onetonotable
metaphorically
occasion he
speaking,
had amused
in whatever
himself by
custard-wrestling
publicly confirming
took that
his fancy.
a popu
lar mindreader
and metal-bending conjuror, who claimed among other things to have been t
rained byintelligence as a psychic weapon, might well have genuine paranormal gif
Israeli
ts. An
invitation
to come to the university to have the telepathy and spoon-bending tes
ted under conditions was readily accepted by the entertainer. Of course the inv
controlled
was never taken up, but by then she and Barry had already got plenty of valuable
itation
Onpublicity.
another occasion he had investigated a poltergeist that was supposedly plagui
ng a wasdoors.
suburban
spirit
slamming
semi.
moving
The
Barry
furniture,
restless
revealedtossing
it to be
ornaments
a fairlyabout
crudeandhoax. It turned out that
householder and
the
television,
had though
plannedhethesucceeded
whole thing
in this,
because
Conhemenwanted
and those
to getwhoonexpose
to daytime
them'
probably not the fifteen minutes of fame he'd had in mind. The episode did Barry
was
noHitchins
harm however. Now known as 'Ghostbuster Bazzer' he was well on his way to bec
oming media
minor
a
celebrity. This further irritated his colleagues which, as far as he
concerned,
Barry
was had calculated
was a majorthat
plus.
it would only take one more reasonably high-profile op
to demonstrate his expertise in the field of the supernatural and he could make
portunity
the jump
full
mediatopundit, which would more than compensate for not being a full profess
or.the
in
He process
was
of devising such an opportunity - it involved a haunted vicarage
and a
particularly
spectacular headless spook - when he received an unexpected and rat
sinister note warning him that his funding was going to be at risk unless he pai
her
d morethe usual
attention
It's
to researching
card-reading,'
the accepted
he said.areas
'Tommyofyou're
seriousreading
parapsychology.
and sending. Turn t
he cards on

the light cue. You won't be getting any sort of cue, Josh. I want you to call ou
t thelight
when
the
you
cards
think
cue. You
they've
won'tbeen
be getting
turned.'any sort of cue, Josh. I want you to call ou
t the
when
'Why
'Problem?'
'A
The
'The
small
point
you
the
point
cards
think
new
extra
being?'
being,'
variable?'
they've
pressure,
Tommybeen
nothing
interrupted,
turned.'
more.'opening the thickly padded door to the num
ber one 'he really doesn't trust us. He thinks we really might have a code or s
capsule,
'And you think a "small extra pressure" would stop that?' Josh challenged. 'Why
omething.'
not gohog?
whole
the Do you want me to drink a glass of water and recite the alphabet back
while I'm waiting for the cards to be turned? Or would you prefer a gottle o' ge
wards
At first Barry thought it must be some sort of joke: what passed for wry humour
er?'
amongbitter
more
the of his academic associates. The accepted areas of serious parapsycho
Accepted by whom he wondered. And serious parapsychology? Surely the whole point
logy?
parapsychology
was that
was not taken seriously by anyone who mattered. And then it had s
truck
in
a shocking
him
flash of the blindingly obvious. Presumably whoever it was who had
the
endowed
research fellowship did take it seriously, and they mattered because presuma
bly they
were
in a position, a very real position, to cut off his funding. And he realise
d how
he
hadmuch
come to rely on being Dr Barry Hitchins, the Kellerfield Research Fellow
Parapsychology. As a title 'Ghostbuster Bazzer' was never going to be an accepta
in
'Shall we just get into the capsules and put the headphones on?' he suggested pa
substitute.
ble
'Prompting
tiently.
With
a tokenparanoid
show offantasies
reluctancewasn't
the two
quite
students
what Iopened
had inthe
mind.'
designated units and
in.
climbed
The four isolation capsules stood in a line along one wall of the laboratory
. Apart
from
elaborately quarantined air filtration they were designed to be self-contai
ned and soundproof. They were lightproof, too, and their individual circuits,
virtually
and electronic,
electrical
both
completely
separated
were from
heavily
eachshielded.
other, when
Eventwo
though
wereall
in use
the as
capsules
now, itwere
was still
operating
standard
While
Tommyprocedure
and Joshtoclosed
have themselves
at least oneinto
empty
number
one one
between
and number
the occupied
four, Barry
units.to
ok up hisin the small control and monitoring suite at the other end of the room.
position
heFrom
could
herecommunicate with the capsules, and see and record everything that went
on inmultiple
via
Research
satisfactorily,
themusingCCTV
people
butcameras
a study
as experimental
that
involving
coveredthem
subjects
everyandpossible
was always
elements
angle
ofdifficult
the
andsupernatural
position.
to framemade
impossible.
it almost Such work seemed to bring out the gullible and the deliberate cheats
than
in more
average numbers. Barry recognised that, at its most innocent, this was beca
use people
wanted
to believe and would lie to themselves to make it true. After lying to yo
lying to someone like him was hardly lying at all. People saw what they expected
urself,
expected
At
toits
seeleast
and
whatinnocent,
they wanted
histofeeling
see. was that the world was full of self-serving s
cumbags who
wouldn't
know the truth if it bit them in the arse, and he went to elaborate len
gths and
spot
to eliminate their scumbaggery.

As he powered up the cameras, set the capsule light levels and activated the mic
four
in number
Barry was sure he had designed out all the chances to fake the results. He
was he
but
sure,
wasn't confident. He could never escape the nagging feeling that he was s
being manipulated. He set the bank of video recorders running, put his headphone
omehow
s onheand
prepared
As
powered
to give
up the
Tommycameras,
the light
setsignal
the capsule
that would
lightcue
levels
the and
firstactivated
card turn.
the mic
four
in number
Barry was sure he had designed out all the chances to fake the results. He
was he
but
sure,
wasn't confident. He could never escape the nagging feeling that he was s
being manipulated. He set the bank of video recorders running, put his headphone
omehow
s on and
prepared
After
thetofirst
giverush
Tommyofthe
guilty
lightpanic
signal
hadthat
subsided
woulditcuehadthestruck
firstBarry
card as
turn.
unlikel
y that an note in the internal mail would have come directly from the funder. Hi
anonymous
s initial
idea
that it was a sour joke seemed more probable but he felt it was still a tim
reminder,
ely
up
If
call, was
there
even
a wakeanwhat
element
he hadofonce
overreaction
heard referred
in Barry's
to asresponse
'an updated
it was
reality
understandabl
check'.
e because
up
until then his benefactor had remained uncommunicative. Whoever provided all
the played
had
fundingno part in his recruitment and had offered no comment on his appointm
Barry thought about it, which wasn't often, he assumed there were legitimate rea
When
ent.
sons reticence.
such
for
He had no real idea what they might be, and the truth was he did
n't much
care,
Since
but competition
the
he didn't seeforitacademic
as sinister.
funding of any kind was so cut-throat, the un
for its part had been willing to accept a general definition of the field of stu
iversity
dy and donor confidentiality as conditions of the endowment. The feeling was t
complete
hat money money and, providing the Kellerfield Research Fellow conducted himsel
encouraged
f in a
scientifically
respectable way, the appearance of being well-funded would attrac
t funding
and
this could only help in the development of the academic standing of the Univ
ersity
East
But
of
had
the
ajoke
Wessex.
profound
ofor genuine
warning,
effect
the note
threat,
on Barry
whatever
Hitchins'approach
the source and
to his
seriousness
research. He now shunned
and
publicity
turned down all the media opportunities that presented themselves. He refine
d his testand he worked to devise objective, repeatable experiments. He resigned
equipment
the
himself
hard grind
to
of serious research, satisfied in his own mind that the most he c
ouldachieve
to
Then
hope waseverything
abruptly
a reliablechanged
body ofagain
negative
whenresults.
one of his routine test surveys of t
he student
body
produced several volunteers who appeared to show signs of paranormal gifts.
'What a star I am,'Josh said.'I can see you're impressed.' He waved at the camer
a.'Comeignored
wave.
Barry
Gottle
on 'ohimgeer,
and flicked
gottle oageer!
switchA on
definite
the control
star!'panel. In the number one c
apsule bulb
signal
the flashed and Tommy reached for the first card in a dealing shoe on th
e clear table in front of him. The deck of cards was made up of an equal number
Perspex
of fiveaonfive-pointed
different
shapes
lines,
simplebackgrounds:
plain
geometric
star anda acircle,
triangle.
a square,
The cards
a pair
hadofbeen
wavymachine shuffled,
placed
the
shoeinand put on the table before Tommy entered the capsule. He was strictly
to drew
forbidden
He
touchthe
thecard
cards,
andshoe
lifted
or the
tablestar
until
to show
he wasitgiven
to thethecamera,
cue. then he put it do
wn on and
table
the stared at the image. In the number four capsule Josh yawned and said n
Barry waited until he was sure Josh had no idea the card had been turned and cue
othing.
d a second
draw.
This time Tommy held up a card showing two wavy lines. Josh was leaning ba
ck in now
chair
the and his eyes were closed. Barry sighed to himself. Josh was obviously
in his
of
moods.
appears
another
uncooperative
He
toswitched
be hostile
on to
histhe
ownexperiment.
mic and said,
Perhaps
'Subject
he'sJosh
beenRandall
thrown by the additio
nal

discipline though I'm not sure at the moment why this should be. Examine the seq
uence
this
In
'You
theobviously
point
upcapsule
tofor haven't,'
cluessaid,'Have
Josh
to his
Barry
behaviour.'
we startedand
muttered
Heyet?'
made
cuedaanother
note ofcard.
the time
Againcode.
it was a st
ar. Again
Josh
did not respond, then he said,'Bored with this game. Let's play something e
lse.about
How
Barry
'Snap!'
Snap?
flicked
snap?'
theHeswitch
noddedandasTommy
if making
drew another
up his mind.
card showing a star. Not even th
e randomseemed to have worked properly for this sequence. It was clearly pointle
shuffle
ss tothere
on.
'Is
Hegodecided
no endtotoabort
theirthetalent?'
experiment.
Josh chortled. 'Well yes, there is actually.'
'And
'All
Barryright,'
we're
switched
approaching
Barry
on the
saidspeaker
it,'Josh
into his
circuits
continued,'about&
desk mic.'Thank
to both theyou
now.'
capsules.
both. Call that a day I thi
As they
nk.'
'None,'
Josh
'It's
Barry
'As
'Tick,
long
was
atick,
shook
emerged
Barry
spooky
grinning.'What
as
his
you
tick,
said.
gift,'
fromtick,
head.
realise
the
Tommy
'I
are
that,'
capsules
thought
tick,
thecross,'Josh
said
Tommy
chances
solemnly.
it
Tommy
was
agreed.
asked,
of
me
that?'
that
murmured,
'How
wasn't
hemany
said.
marking
taking
did an
wethis
getseriously?'
imaginary
right?'exerci
se book
with
Barry
'Doubt
'When
elaborate
sighed.'Maybe
shall
that,'Josh
we three
flourishes.'Must
said.
we'll
meet again?'
do better
tryTommy
harder.
tomorrow,'
was smiling
Seeheme.'
said.
broadly. 'Same time tomorrow
I'll
'The
is it?
borrowis,'
thing
a watch.'
Barry said, 'if you'd put some effort into this you might surpri
yourselves. You might shake the world. You could be on the cutting edge of resea
se
'Whoah,' Josh feigned awe-struck amazement. 'You don't mean we could&' he gulped
rch.'
Irritated,
theatrically,'you
Barry Hitchins
don't mean
turned
we could&
off thepush
capsule
the envelope?'
systems, checked the time codes
recorders
on the and turned them off. Despite all his preparations and all his efforts
he hada cow,'
completely
Chapter
'It's
Three
missed
the Doctor
the significance
said as Leela
of what
warily
he confronted
had just seen.
the large Friesian bloc
king her
path.
"They are completely harmless herbivores,' he added, walking on through th
e herd.domesticated. Selectively bred for meat and milk.'
'Fully

The animal eyed Leela with mild curiosity. 'Nothing that large,' Leela said,'is
completely harmless.' She put a hand out to stroke the cow and it swung its head
ever
side
to one
and trotted away. 'Nothing that large and that stupid is ever completely ha
'I quite like cows,' the Doctor said when she caught up with him. 'They've alway
rmless.'
s struck
as
'Is
'No,'
'Well
rather
there
Leela
as
meanything
long
good-natured,
said
as you've
flatly.
aboutgiven
all
thisyou
it
"This
things
planet
it
isdoevery
not
considered.'
like?'
that
achance,'
place
you IDoctor
the
dothe
wish
notDoctor
like?'
countered.'So
to
be.'said
she and
asked
far?'
smiled
tetchily.
his v
wolfish
ivid,
But
Leelasmile.
was not to be diverted from her souring mood. "There is something dang
Ierous
can still
here. feel it. If you were not so pleased with this Earth place you would
feelfar
too.
'As
it as
It
is&'I remember,'
she groped the
for Doctor
the right
said,
expression,
'in this particular
'it is waiting
region
everywhere.'
there are no
predators,
major
no lethal insects, no poisonous arachnids, no seriously venomous snak
es and the
climate
'Paradise?"
is relatively
Leela suggested,
benign.'her voice full of angry scepticism. I do not think
'It's probably boredom,' the Doctor said. 'Your warrior instinct is frustrated b
so.'
y the
of
Leela
You're
stimuli.'
lack
shook
sayingheryouhead.
feel'You
threatened,'
do not understand
the Doctorwhat
said.
I amAndsaying.'
I am saying there is no
here.
threatUnless you're scared of cows of course.' He grinned.'A lot of people are I
Especially
They
believe.
were close
girls?'
enough
But to
Leela
theremained
cluster of
grimly
buildings
unmovednowbytothebeobvious
able toteasing.
see that pe
ople were about in paved areas and sitting on the grass in open spaces. Here and
strolling
through
there the grounds of the complex there were small fountains and ornamental lak
es. Thelooked for the most part to be young, and many had what could be books wi
people
th them.
Groups
'Do
youwalked
know, Ipurposefully
think that might
betweenbethe
a university
smoked glass
of some
blocks.
sort,' the Doctor remar
LeelaDoctor
cheerfully.
ked
The
peeredwasatsearching
the buildings
the hedge
suspiciously.
for a gap'What
through
is into
a university?'
the next field. 'It's
institution devoted to the preservation and pursuit of knowledge and the communi
an
cationknowledge
that
Leela
unsheathed
of
toher
those
knife
whoand
wantbegan
it.'chopping her way through the hedge. 'Perhap
s theyunlikely'
pursue
'It's
knowledgesaid
of the
thewaiting
Doctor.'Judging
danger' from the architecture they should have
superstition and general unreason well behind them by now. I imagine religion wi
left
ll have
been
Leela
consigned
stopped chopping
to the department
at a stubborn
of history.'
blackthorn stem and glared back at the Doct
or.! superstition
left
have
and general unreason behind me.'

'And Ibehind,'
'Well
think ofthe
theDoctor
religion
agreed.
of my tribe as his story,' she said. And then, in r
esponse
the
The
Doctor's
Doctor
to smiled.
expression,
'It isadded
a difficult
by way thing
of explanation,'The
to shake off,'shaman's
he said.'The
story.'
religion
Leela
tribe.'
of your
went back to hacking down the last obstacle to her free passage through th
e hedge.
'You
The
Doctor
said all
followed
it tookherwasthrough
reasonthe
andgap.
an open
I could
mind.'
be wrong,' he said.'One mustn't
dogmatic
'A
bedemon chased
about these
you?'Josh
thingssighed
afterand
all.'
ran a hand over his shaved scalp. 'Oh purle
ase.she
have
'If
Whatsays
you
beenthat's
smoking?
whatGethappened
a grip,that's
girl.'what happened, and she doesn't need to
get how
bay!
'So
aMeg
grip,
come
saidnoangrily.
one else saw it?'Josh looked round the table at the others. 'You
anything
Chloe
'I
didn't
candrained
understand
see
did you?'
her that,'
glass. Tommy
It wassaid.
me itIwanted,'
feel theshe
samesaid
waymiserably.
most of the'Only
time.'
me.'He r
across the table to touch her hand. Without thinking she withdrew it. It could a
eached
lmostahave
been
flinch. 'Is it my round?' he said, looking towards the bar.'Unless someon
e can
me
a beer
lendcoupon or two I'm afraid it's going to be a half of bitter and straws.
''Why don't I find that as charming and appealing as you so obviously do?'Joan sa
id without
Tommy
smiling.
pushed the hair back from his forehead. 'Because you're a miserable bitch,
' hewanted
suggested
Joan
'No
'This
'It
Iyou
smiled
wasn't.'
demon,'
weren't.'
mildly,
tosweetly.
Ralphand
kill
me,'
said.'What
OhasChloe
dear.
cuddlysaid.
Idid
an it
was
androgynous
going
She
want
took
tofrom
alend
dwarf?'
10
you?'
you
notemoney
fromtoo.'
her wallet and pushed
across
'What's
'Your
'All
it yes.'
round,'
the
this?"
table
He
she
took
hetowards
asked.
said
the money.
andTommy.
smiled.
Same again everyone?' None of them noticed his unh
expression
appy
'Yes,
'We
conjured
but why?'
asitheup,'Joan
Ralph
made asked.
hissaid.
way toItthe
wasbar.
drawn to that place of death and we gave i
tsubstance.'

'That's exactly what you didn't do by the sound of it,' Josh said. He sounded am
used.noItsubstance
had
'That's
exactly what
except
youindidn't
Clarrys
do by
mind.'
the sound of it,' Josh said. He sounded am
used.
Ihad
Unsmiling,
Well
don't
nothere's
Itsubstance
think
Ralph
awesurprise,'
except
did
said,
ask"Iinyou,'Joan
think
Meg
Clarrys
scoffed.
he'ssaid,
mind.'
right
Binmen
didthough.'
we?'
of the world unite, you have nothi
ng towere
but
'We
your
loseall
rubbish.'
of us hyped up,' Ralph said.'It's not surprising that someone got&'
'It's
'Hysterical
not surprising
is the word
thatyou're
one oflooking
us girlies
for,'Josh
got hysterical,'
said smiling.Meg said, 'that's w
hatmay
mean
'I
you
isn't
haveit?
imagined
You might
it,'atChloe
leastsaid.
have'Ithethought
balls it
to was
comethe
outmurderer
and say but
it.'I may j
ust have
been
'What
projecting
did it saymytoown
youfears
exactly?'Josh
back on myself.'
asked. He seemed to be interested despite
'It didn't
himself.
'Not
'Whatever
one ofitsay
your
was,'
anything.
more
Chloe
coherent
It wasdemons
shuddered,
just'it
howling
then.'
was horrifyingly
hate-filled insane.
gibberish.'
Does that mean
I amshout
think?
YES!'the
The
doAmyou
voice
I insane?'
was
soroared.
deafening
YOU'RE
it made
MAD AND
Chloe's
YOU'REjawDEAD!'
clench and her ears sing, and she
immediately
knew
that no one else would have heard it. She looked round for some clue
, some link to the normality of the student union bar, but there was nothing.
possible
Wouldnow,
come
it screaming and bellowing from the door, leaping and crashing into the w
indow?feel
could
She her chest constricting and compressing. She panted, struggling to fil
l herthin,
with
lungsunbreathable air. Blood hammered in her eyes and rattled thickly in h
er ears.
She
grabbed the edge of the table and held on grimly. This time she would not ru
n. This
time
'Are
IT'S
she CLARRY
you
NOT
wouldright,
all
keep
IT'SClarry?'Josh
her
CHLOE!'
nerveanovoice
matter
was
staring
shouted
what but
happened.
hard
she
at wasn't
her. sure whether it was
herthe
or
voice
demon's. The others were looking at her now. Was it because they could he
ar the Meg reached towards her, but it seemed as if her arm was getting longer
'Chloe?'
voice?
and
andshe
longer
was getting further and further away.'Is it a panic attack?' Meg's dista
nt voice
was
full of concern. 'Breathe slowly, Chloe. Try to breathe slowly. Deep slow br
BREATHE YOUR LAST BREATH,' the demon cackled. ETERNITY IS AN AIRLESS AGONY OF PA
eaths.'
Chloe's hands slipped off the edge of the table as she pushed herself to her fee
NIC!'
t. She

would have fallen headlong if Ralph had not caught her and steadied her. 'I must
said,
go,' or
shewhispered, or shouted. She pulled free of his arms and ran for the door
.would have fallen headlong if Ralph had not caught her and steadied her. 'I must
said,
go,' or
shewhispered, or shouted. She pulled free of his arms and ran for the door
.Somewhere in the chaos of her panic Chloe heard Josh say: not one of your more c
demons then and thought: it shouts cliches too. But it didn't stop her terror, a
oherent
nd it stop
didn't
Sobbing
incoherently
her scramble
and half-blinded
to escape. by tears she wrenched open the door to the
plunged
bar andout into the sunlight. Almost immediately she cannoned into someone and
fellhard
the
on topaving stones of the small quadrangle. Pain jagged through her knees an
d hands.
'Are
you all right?' a friendly voice inquired.'Don't try and move for a moment.
'Chloe peered up and saw a tall man dressed in a long coat, with a long scarf and
felt
a soft
hat jammed over curly hair. There was a girl dressed as some sort of primit
ive huntergatherer
'What
do you
standing
think,beside
Leela?'
him.the man said. 'Any broken bones?' He squatted down o
n his
haunches
and smiled at Chloe. Despite the pain she felt more relaxed almost at o
'She will be bruised, nothing more,' the girl said without making any move to ex
nce.
aminecan
'How
'Leela's
her.an
youexpert,'
tell fromthethere?'
man said.'She
Chloe asked.'X-ray
was trainedvision?'
to break bones for a living.
No, Iway
phrased
'There's
'The
"The
Doctor
that
a difference?'
of
has
the
badly.
neverSheunderstood
warrior?'
wasChloe
Chloe
trained
asked
looked
theas
towayfrom
break
he
ofhelped
the
bones
warrior,'
man
hertotoup.
stay
thethe
alive.'
girl
girl
andsaid.
back again.
Is thisfinished
street
Barry
theatre?'cataloguing
she asked,the
smiling.
tapes and filing his notes. He completed the diar
y entry
the
experiment
and
log and tabulated the predictable, if disappointing, results of t
he day's
test
programme. Then he yawned copiously, stretched his cramped shoulder muscles
scratched
'Nice
and manners,'
his crotch.
the voice said from the doorway. 'But I suppose that's to be exp
ected from John
Ghostbuster
'Professor
Bazzer,
Finertheaspusher
I liveofandscientific
breathe,'envelopes.'
Barry said, genuinely surprised to
physicist.
conjuror
'Your
way'
see the
moreandreputable
'You
children's
forgotwork
ventriloquist,
party
is not
entertainer
my concern,'
by the
Finer said, the half-smile doing n
othingresisted
soften
Barry
to narrow
his
theface.
urge to throw something heavy at him and said instead, 'I don
't thinkever been in here before, have you? Can I show you what I've got set up?
you've
I'd be
interested
in your opinion.' He got up from his workstation and moved to where t
he head
the
Developmental
of
Engineering Department was standing barely over the threshold
of the
'Pointless
'Is
thatlab.
your
waste
answer
of time,'
or yourFiner
opinion?'
said flatly.

Finer's smile broadened slightly into what looked like a sneer.'Stupidity by ass
Both.'
ociation
always
'As
is respectability
a danger.'
is
by association,' Barry sneered back. 'So make your point a
nd leave.
wouldn't
'One
of mywant
Istudents
to getisa not
reputation
workingastoanhisestablishment
potential because
poodle.'
your& experiments; F
stressed the word making it sound ludicrously inappropriate, 'are taking too muc
iner
h of hisyour course is boring crap,' Barry snapped. 'Maybe you're just not taking
'Maybe
attention.'
his
'Josh
Stung,
enough
attention.'
Randall
Barry
of said,
could'As
be in
a talented
train-driver
engineer.'
presumably?'
Finer'sand
toneimmediately
was pure contempt.
felt stupid
and petty.
'You
see,' Finer said loftily, 'that's the sort of ignorant prejudice developmen
engineering
tal
'I
can't imagine
comeswhat
up against
coming up
constantly'
against ignorant prejudice must be like,' Barry
hopingscowled.
remarked,
Finer
he sounded
'Finish
ironicwhat
rather
you're
thandoing
self-pitying.
with Randall and let him get on with hi
s real
'Consider
work.'
'I
mean it.'
it Finer
done.'poked
This atime
bonyBarry
finger
hadatnoBarry's
troubleface.
sounding
'I'mwry.
not going to let yo
u ruinoutthis
'Get
kid.'
of the lab!' Barry felt the anger making his heart beat quicker and his
'You
shorter.
'I
breath
call
callthis
getthismyalab,'
lab?'Barry
sneered
raged,
Finer.
and I advise you to get the hell out of it be
fore I that I'm an inoffensive academic and give my full attention to kicking yo
forget
ur bonybunched his fists and stared at Barry for a long moment as though consider
Finer
arse!'
ingfight
to
whether
him or not. Finally he shook his head dismissively. 'I shall never unde
they let anyone like you on campus in the first place,' he said, and turned on h
why
rstand
is heel.
'But
I'll make it my business to have you thrown off it if you keep on the way y
Barry followed him to the door of the laboratory and slammed it after him. You a
going!'
ou're
pillock!' he shouted at the closed door.'You do right to run away,you& you chick
rrogant
en shit!'
Then
he locked and bolted the door just to be on the safe side and went back to
workstation to think about ways to widen the focus of his experiments. He would
his
makeDoctor
eat
The
his
Finer
words,
tookpreferably
a sip fromwritten
the freeinsample
large of
letters
bottled
on water
something
he had
disgusting.
taken out of
aClearspring
display
notice
board.
and looked
Water
One in
Company
atparticular
the flyers
advertising
caught
stapledhistoattention.'If
the
time travel were not im
possible it

would be pointless - a lecture by Professor Bill Parnaby,' he read aloud. He bea


med down"That
Leela.
at should be fun,' he said. 'It's a couple of weeks away though. What
do youbeshall
think,
would
pointless
we jump- athelecture
TARDISbyforward
Professor
and Bill
go andParnaby,'
argue with
he read
him?'aloud. He bea
med down"That
Leela.
at should be fun,' he said. 'It's a couple of weeks away though. What
do you
think,
'Are
'To
Why?'
But
'That's
discuss
you
youshall
did
true,'
sure?
impossibilities
not
wethe
Perhaps
jumpDoctor
know
theIthis
of
TARDIS
would
nodded.
with
manhave
forward
Professor
until
'But
brought
Iweand
docame
Parnaby.'
go here.'
us
know
andofargue
here
anyway'
him
now.
withSohim?'
I might have bro
ughtDoctor
here
Leela
The
Beyond
ussighed.
then.
the university
And'You
grinned.
as you
are
'This
know,
buildings
making
maythen
funthe
be
and
our
oftrees
nowagain.'
me
second
are
andvisit,
relative
hedgesbutwere
and
we darkening
interchangeable.'
are
doing into
it first.'
silhoue
ttesbegan
sun
as theto settle towards the horizon. Shadow was reaching across the fields a
nd drift
to
seemedinto the campus, dimming the colours in the small square where the Doct
or and
Leela
'It
isstood
getting
watching
dark,'students
Leela said,
coming
placing
and going.
her hand briefly on the hilt of her kn
It was an unconscious gesture the Doctor had seen her make many times, and he to
ife.
aokreassurance
it to be reflex. He remembered that an Earth cartoonist whose work he much
admiredahad
coined
term for something which offered such irrational comfort and he wondere
d ruefully
if
a very large knife really qualified as a security blanket. 'Late summer dusk,
' he said,
trying
to sound especially reassuring, 'is the time of peaceful beauty and quiet
Leela
contemplation
said flatly,
here 'Darkness
on this world.'
is the time of predators that do not need the light
what
It
tooccurred
see
it is they
to the
areDoctor
hunting.
thatEverywhere
if Leela was
on any
notworld.'
being deliberately downbeat to m
ake some
angry
point of her own, then she was showing signs of incipient paranoia. 'I thi
nk you're
doing
it on purpose,' he said. 'Since we got here nothing has happened to make y
ou the
You
threatened.
At
feel
havemention
no reason
of fear
to beLeela
afraid.'
did not bristle with warrior pride the way the Doct
or had There are always reasons to be afraid,' she said darkly. 'The dark is one
hoped.
Asofifthem.'
in response to her words, automatic sensors reacted to the developing gloo
m and began to switch on across the campus. As well as the standard space light
lights
ing there
were
low level floodlights which glowed gradually brighter round the ornamental
lakes,
concealed
shapes
elaborate
'I
Leela
don't
shrugged
andimagine
uplighters
patterns
madedismissively.
this
from
among
will
thelighten
the
foliage.
'Some
treesnight
your
andmood?'
shrubberies
predators
the are
Doctor
which
attracted
asked.
exaggerated
to the light.'

Before the Doctor could voice his exasperation Chloe Pennick, the excitable girl
cannoned
who had into them earlier, came out of the administration office and hurried ac
ross thethe
square
Before
to where
Doctorthey
could
werevoice
standing.
his exasperation Chloe Pennick, the excitable girl
cannoned
who had into them earlier, came out of the administration office and hurried ac
ross very
square
'How
theto kind
whereofthey
you,were
Chloe.'
standing.
The Doctor beamed 'I think we may be at cross-pur
though.We
poses
'I
did notweren't
want toplanning
come heretoatstay.
all,'Were
Leela
we said,
Leela?'touching the hilt of her knife
.'This
bad
Chloe
place
looked
is to
a nervous
be."
suddenly. She glanced from the Doctor to Leela and back to
theyou
Do
'No
Leela.
Leela
Doctor.
of
said
really
course
She's
flatly
been
thinkand
not,'
inthe
so?'
aungraciously,'I
rather
Doctor
she asked,
primitive
said.her
'Idomood
voice
must
not like
apologise
ever
fullthis
since
of apprehension.
for
place
we arrived.'
or anything about i
'Why not?' Chloe was staring hard at Leela as though she already knew the answer
t.'
question
'There
'Yes,'
to theChloe
isand
danger,'
merelyLeela
agreed.'I
wanted
think
said.
confirmation.
so too.' She looked at the Doctor and nodded. 'I th
ink sowhat
too,'
'And
she do
repeated.
you think this danger is?' the Doctor asked, wondering if his under
standing
Iyoung
'You
Chloe
am are
being
women
frowned.
ofpursued.'
being
was'In
hunted?'
evena way.
sketchier
Leela
But it's
asked.
thanmore
he had
haunted
thought.
than hunted,' she said. Then she
and
'When
'It's
'Ah.'
shrugged
smiled
ayousort
The
say
Doctor
a of
small,
haunted&?'
demon.
didembarrassed
hisI best
the Doctor
think
toitsmile.'I
look
might
prompted.
sympathetic
besuppose
the ghost
that
because
ofsounds
a it
serial
sillykiller?'
seemed
doesn't
to him that
it?'
the either
was
girl a very good actress or she actually believed what she was saying. Eit
herdon't
felt
'Chasing
'I
'What
Chloe
way
itfrowned
does
heknow
was
me,'
you,'
itkinder
she
why'
look
with
theinterrupted.
to playLeela
Doctor
like?'
concentration
corrected
along.asked.
and
'And
himself,'because&?'
then
it'ssaid,
following
'I don't
youreally
- ?' know that either
. I it
see
didn't
very well. It was dark and&'

'Fearwere
'You
willafraid,'
change what
Leelayousaid
see,'
matter-of-factly.
Leela remarked,'and create what you do not see.
one
'If
Since
Thatit
ofshe
isisn't
thehad
first
there,'
notthings
reacted
Chole's
thetowarrior-trainers
eyes filled
Leela's
references
withtaught
tears,
to tribal
us.'
'thenlore,
I'm losing
the Doctor
my mind.'
was s
till not sure whether Chloe was genuinely distraught or was merely playing along
entirely
she
withthought
what was an impromptu theatrical performance. 'What does it do, this demo
n of hesitated.
yours?'
Chloe
he asked 'It
as patiently
rushes towards
as he me
could.'How
shoutingdoes
and screaming
it chase you
threats,'
exactly?'
she said
. 'It's
like
it's in my head, like it's in my head& Oh God it sounds as though I'm heari
ng voices
doesn't
Leela
said,
it?'not unkindly, 'It sounds as though you are hearing voices because yo
u aretearsvoices.'
hearing
The
were leaking down Chloe's face now.'I am going mad aren't I?' she said
'Imiserably.
don't think that's likely,' the Doctor said, though in fact he thought it was
possible
quite she might be having a breakdown of some sort. 'I tell you what.' He fel
t in pocket
coat
his
and pulled out the battered paper bag. 'Why don't you have a jelly b
aby,'
proffered
Chloe
'I
'Something
findpeered
hethem
the
toaatdo
bag,
great
the
with
'and
bag.
comfort
boosting
show
A jelly
usblood
in
around
moments
baby?'
sugar
this
of Istress.'
fine
expect,'
old seat
she said,
of learning?'
taking one. 'So
whatlike
you
'We're
towards
smoked-glass
'That's
would
inIT,'
one
toyour
see
of
andthe
Chloe
hands,'
ofsteel
thisblocks.'What's
bigger
said,
the
fine
wiping
Doctor
oldthe
seat
said,
tears
ofsetting
that
learning?'
from
building
her
offcheeks
immediately
there?'
with the heel of her h
and as she
hurried
to catch up.'It's the largest department. At least I think it's the larg
est. MyMeg says developmental engineering has more money than you can shake a st
friend
ick at.'
'What
is IT?' asked Leela, who had anticipated the Doctor's abrupt move and was
beside
strolling
'Initial
Chloe
she
The
said.
Doctor
eased
him.
teaching?'
was
herunfazed.
way between
the 'So
Doctor
them.
that's
ventured.
Information
what it's called
technology,'
now? I haven't been on a tou
r of a
university
since Isaac Newton showed me around Cambridge. That was before he was
ofSircourse.
Isaac,He was a remarkable thinker. He did have a tendency to paranoia thoug
h, andgiggled.
always
Chloe
I
felt
that'You're
fishingtrying
book to
wasconvince
a mistake.'
me I'm losing my mind aren't you. That
Walton,
'No,
was no,'
Isaac
wasn't
the Doctor
it? Thesaid
Compleat
authoritatively.
A ngler?' 'Isaac Walton was a composer. I'm sur
e you'll
find
I'm right.'

'Youamcould
Chloe
'Or
'Who's
'You've
'Should
was
IInever
Walton
thinking
enjoying
have
hardly
Hummer?'
heard
done?'
ofthe
have
ofWalton
game Hummer?'
Chloe
Walton
avoided
now.'William
asked.
Hummer?'
Waltonthe
Hummer,'
Waltonthe
Doctor
wasDoctor
mused.
the composer.'
said. Charming little
Small, only about three feet tall, but perfectly formed. He was a giant on the e
fellow.
kazoo and his work on the wiffle-synthesiser was earthshaking. If you've never h
lectronic
Ieard
mustofhave
him got the dates confused. This is obviously an earlier period than I i
And he was about to explain the full significance of Walton Hummer to twenty-fir
magined.'
popular music when Leela suddenly lengthened her stride and sidestepped in front
st-century
'Iofthought
Chloe. you told me, Doctor,' she said quietly as she leant in close to him,
'never
tell
The
Doctor
thetopeople
smiled.
we 'I'm
meet just
too much
trying
about
to cheer
the wayherweup,'
havehetravelled.'
murmured but he knew Le
ela wasHe was talking too much and he was slightly puzzled by that. He didn't no
right.
babblenolike
rmally
'It's
goodanwhispering
idiot. Wasyou
there
two,'
something
Chloe said,
odd about
smiling.
this'There
place are
afternoall?
secrets fr
om me.the
Chloe
I'mClairvoyant. It's official. I'm certified as gifted. Dr Hitchins' test
s show
may
notIbe as gifted as one or two of the others but I definitely have psi power
'WhatDoctor
s.'
The
are psi
stopped
powers?'
in his
Leela
tracks.'Parapsychology?'he
asked.
said. 'Someone here's doing
'Dr
experiments
Hitchins,inBarry
parapsychology?'
Hitchins, aka Ghostbuster Bazzer? You don't look as though t
hat Doctor
much
The
'Psi
'He's
'Because
'Mostly
means
tofamous,'
powers
you.'
because
ofshook
areChloe
his
parapsychology
experiments?'
of
histhesaid.'Well,
head.
research
'It then,'
doesn't.'
fellowship.
quiteLeela
famous.
saidHe's
He's
carefully.
the
been
Kellerfield
on TV andResearch
stuff.'Fellow
Parapsychology.
'I
'You're
inshouldanother
hope not,'
Therethe
sceptic,'
aren't
Doctor
Chloe
a lot
remarked
said.'There
of those
frowning.
about.'
are
a lot of those about. At least a
roundpoint,'
there
'What
"The
hereparapsychology?'
are.'
is
the Doctor went
Leela
on,asked
'is that the experimental protocols are invaria
bly research
The
wrong. is usually undertaken in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons, a
nd the are
results
'Wrong?'
Chloe
almost
offered.
always&'

'There
'Wrong,'
'You
You
actually
sound
mean
isdo
the
youbelieve
as
an
Doctor
though
argument,'
believein
agreed.
you
init.'
the
it?'Doctor
Chloesaid,
seemedsounding
slightlypompous
incredulous.
even to himself, 'that
anything
says thatyou can imagine must exist, otherwise it would not be possible for you
to imagine
it.
'You
You
toldcannot
me there
imagine
was no
whatsuch
cannot
thingexist.'
as magic, Doctor,' Leela said angrily, and
no suchas ghosts. And when I told you I felt as if something in this place was wa
thing
something
tching,
You
imagination
said itwhich
was my
running
was away
not there,
with me.
youNow
saidyouitsay
wasthat
my imagination.
if I can imagine it, it must
be true.'not what I said, Leela,' the Doctor snapped. 'What I said was -' and he
'That's
abruptly that it was indeed more or less what he had said. 'What I should have s
realised
aid was:
it's
just a way of thinking,' he said more gently. 'Not a very useful way. I tel
l youdon't
Why
'What
'It's
what.
is
telepathy
parapsychology?'
we go and remote
have aLeela
chat asked
viewing
withandDragain.
precognition
Hitchins? Find
andout
stuff
whatlike
he'sthat,'
doing.'
Chloe
waving her hands about in vague and unhelpful gestures. 'Mental powers that aren
said,
't normal,
you
Leela
know?'
nodded. 'I know,' she said. 'like magic and the power to summon ghosts and
'Yes,'
demons.'
'Superstitious
see Chloe said.
nonsense,'
That tootheI Doctor
suppose.'
said. Magic, ghosts, demons, gods. They're
all just
names
given by the ignorant and the frightened to phenomena they can't explain.
If onlywere not afraid of the unknown, ignorance would be a joy and curiosity wo
people
uld bereason
best
the for living.' Even as he said it the Doctor noticed out of the corner
aofspreading
his eye pool of darkness sliding smoothly across the ground, flowing like fl
at, black
water
drowning the light. An eddy of chilly air breathed and whispered round him
shivered.
and he With a conscious effort he turned to look directly at the dark and it
away into shadows and broken patterns of floodlit brightness. As it vanished he
dissolved
thought
heard
'Who's
'Who
isathere?'
he
mocking
where?'
the
voice
Leela
Doctor
sneer:
asked,
almost
'If shouted.
touching
only the
people
hiltwere
of her
not knife
afraidand
of peering
the unknown.'
in the d
the Doctor
irection
'You
'What
'Fear,'
didn't
didtheyou
was
hear
voice
hear?'
looking.
anything?'
muttered.
Chloe asked.
the he
Was
Doctor
really
asked.
hearing it? the Doctor wondered. 'Fear
.' Was itor close? Was it real or imaginary? Was it in the world or in his head?
distant
'Fear,' it'Fear is the key that opens the door to where madness and hell wait. I
murmured.
'll AFRAID!'
you
'Did
'BE
take
there.
you hear
You'll
the
something,
voice
neversuddenly
come
Doctor?'
backbellowed
again.asked.
Leela
You the
and
couldDoctor
be afraid
knew that
for ever!
only he was he
aring
BE
AFRAID
it. YOU POMPOUS PRATING FOOL! I WILL STRIP YOUR MIND AND LEAVE YOU SHIVERI
IN THE Laughter cackled through his head.
NG
DARK!'

Joanfocuses
'Doctor?'
No,
Chapter
'Why
It
'Yeah
nothing,'
isright,'Josh
uncovered
Four
this
Leela
theshit
the
mind,'
the
touched
Doctor
always
smirked.'Nothing
crystal
Joan
his
said
at
said.
ball
arm.
night?'Josh
quickly.
onThere
to dolow
the
'Let's
are
asked
with
fewer
table.
getinputs,
scathingly.
cheap
onthrills
'Do
with
youfewer
it,then.'
want
shall
distractions.'
to
dowe?'
this or not
?' She on a small, halogen desk lamp and adjusted the head so that the light s
switched
honeclear
the
'Since
into
eachglass.
of us had a personal invitation to your room,' Tommy said, testing t
he the
on
castors
Ouija-board pointer, 'and we knew nothing about anyone else, close contac
t with Joan's
living
'Sex?'
the
rather
than the was
laughter
deadbell-bright
was probablyandmore
genuine,
in ourand
minds.'
all the more cruel for t
thought I'd invited you here for sex? She looked directly at Josh. 'Get a grip,
hat.'You
wasn't
the
Tommy
phrase?'
placed
that the small arrow back in the start position on the Ouija board, with
set
thetowards
point the centre of the elaborately drafted arc of letters. 'Board and pla
nchette
go
for contact,'
are
he said, adding with a slight smile,'and as it happens I was go
ingdo,'Josh
you
'I
to turnI said,
down.
don't rubbing
want to his
be treated
hand backwards
as a sexand
object.'
forwards across his shaved head
. 'But definitely ruined your chances with me. Not that you had a hell of a lot
you've
to beginHe sat down on one of the floor cushions that had been placed by the tabl
with.'
e and anatexperiment,'
nodded
'It's
the crystal Joan
ball.said.
'What'You're
exactlynot
do supposed
you expecttotoexpect
do with
things
that?'
are you?'
switched
She
on a second halogen lamp and moved it about minutely until she was sati
sfiedOuija
the
There
thataboard
was
tap at
wasthe
properly
door and
illuminated.
Meg came in looking flushed and out of breath. '
Sorry,
late?
'Put
'You
'And
'Are
'My
Tommy
thought
the
want
turn
you
Sorry.'
pushed
amsure
latch
I exactly,'Josh
me
out
towe
his
the
down
lock
want
hair
main
will
it?'
tolight.'
back
you,'
be
Meg
grunted.
from
locked
asked.
Joan
hisinforehead.
said,
a dark
ignoring
room
'Butwith
theyou
if
apology.
these
bothtwo?'
promise
Meg to
said.
keep y
ouryourselves
to
'No
'My
Meg
handsatthe
risk
thought
locked
all,
exactly,'Josh
we'll
door.
trust
risk
'Especially
me,'
it.'
repeated.
Meg snorted.
for him.' She turned off the light, made her wa
y

'Right.'Joantopassed
uncertainly
the table
her hand
and over
flopped
thedown
crystal
on toball
oneaofcouple
the cushions.
of times.'Are we sit
'I hope
comfortably?'
ting
'You
really
we'reshould
not required
give up whining
to crossabout
your being
palm with
poor,silver,'
Tommy,'Tommy
Meg remarked.
said.
She s
irritable.
ounded
'I'll
take your
'It'sword
not for
veryit,'
attractive.'
Tommy murmured. 'Not being attractive is your area
expertise
Meg
In
ofthe
chortled
dimness
after
abruptly.
outside
all.' the
'Bitchy-ee.
pool of light
You'veonbeen
thepractising
table Tommythat
smirked.'It
haven't you?'
never hu
rts toleant
'Elizabeth
rehearse.'
'That's
'And
Joan
hersalways
asforward
Hurley
itbeen
turned
obviously
somythat
opinion.'
out.'
her
gotface
the was
wronginHugh
the brightness
Grant.'
and glared first at Me
g and
at
We're
'Tommy.
can
then
sitting
you'If
do it
youanother
down,'
twoTommy
wanttime!'Joan
to work
cut
in, and
onploughed
aMeg
stand-up
giggled.
on shrilly.
comedy routine
'And Meg,
-' why are you d
runk,
of
'Oh
You
Josh
'So?'
all
shut
knew
asked,
now
times?'
up,So
we
were
Joan,'
aregoing
weMeggoing
tosnapped.'You're
dotothis!
do something
Joan accused.
not or
my not?'
mother.'
He shifted on his cushion.'
My arsewas
going
There
toissleep
a moment
here.'
of silence. Meg mumbled, Sorry. I'm OK. Really. I'm not drunk
. Notwhat difference does it make anyway?" Tommy demanded. 'We're talking commun
'And
particularly'
with spooky she'll
ication
'Presumably
forces be
here,
moreyes?
suggestible,'Josh
Not juggling orsaid.'Alcohol's
tightrope walking.'
been used in this s
ort that
nonsense
'Perhaps
Now
'Bar's
of closed;
ritual
we
sounds
should
Josh
since
like
all
said
awhoever
getanddrunk,'Joan
plan;
Tommy
reached
it wassaid.
invented
forward
said, to
still
God.'
putangry.
his right index finger on th
eplanchette.
The
'Oh
little
my
God,pointer
Is there
look
atrocked
that;
anybody
andthere?'
Meg
twitchedheand
whispered.
intoned.
started to roll towards the letters.

The planchette reached the letter N, moved sideways to the letter O and then wob
uncertainly back to the start position where it came to rest. Josh took his fing
bled
er off
'Oh
The
dear,'
planchette
it. he said
reached
flatly.
the letter
'NobodyN,there.
movedWasting
sidewaysourtotime
the letter
it seems.'
O and then wob
uncertainly back to the start position where it came to rest. Josh took his fing
bled
er off
'Oh
Tommy
dear,'
snorted.
it. he said
'Funny?
flatly.
Oh come
'Nobody
on, it
there.
wasn't
Wasting
a patch
ourontime
ouritroutine
seems.'and you were
remotely
n't
'All
right,'
amused
Joanbysighed.
that.' 'All right. Let's start again from the beginning. Are
we sitting
'No,'
comfortably?'
"Then
the other
we'll
begin.
three
Concentrate.
said, moreFocus.'Joan
or less in made
unison.
upward stroking motions on eith
er side
the
crystal
of ball as though she was trying to gather imaginary vapours and breath
e themTommy
'Focus.
Meg,
in.
Concentrate.
and Josh did
Now,aseach
theyone
wereoftold.
you put
Theya were
fingersitting
on theonplanchette.'
three sides of t
he table
that
no one
so person would be in a position to exert an undue influence over the m
ovement
the
'We
pointer.
are
of to
here
In be
theory
guided,'
at anyJoan
rate,
saidthey
in acancelled
slightlyeach
singsong
othervoice.
out. 'We are here
answers.
to seek We are here in all humility to ask for your help and to ask for your wi
sdom.' dramatically.
paused
She
Slowly she laid her hands palms upwards on the table.'Can a
nybody
us?
On
'We
Still
After
'Does
'Nothing,'
too
Why
Abruptly
the
Isstupid
ask
hard.'
won't
athe
hear
there
Ouija
this
moment
the
pointer
you
Tommy
anybody
board
in
count?'Josh
pointer
answer
orall
said.
remained
two
the
humility:
there?'
us?'Joan
began
she
pointer
'Not
muttered.
asked,'Do
static.
to
a move.
isremained
quiver.
asked
there
youPerhaps
more
A-S-K-I-N-G
anybody
stubbornly
feel
loudly
anything?'
we're
there?'
in her
R-O-N-G
unmoving.
pressing
she
semichant.
K-W-E-S-T-I-O-N
repeated.
was pain
spelled
stakingly
Josh
said.
out.'Presumably
Did any ofweyoualldodid
that?
it.'Joan
Didasked
anyonequietly.
do it on purpose?'Joan persist
Josh withdrew his hand. No I didn't,' he said pointedly. But you're not going to
ed.
are
'You
'I'll
believe
you.'
did
justit
mewatch
before.'
this time then, OK?' He sat back from the table so that he was
out oftime
light.
Tommy
'Who's
This
said,'How
thethe planchette
What's
there?'Josh
theabout:
right
suggested.
where
question
jerked
didbetween
do you
you
learn
think?'
the
toletters.
spell?
Meg asked.
UAreD-O-N-T
the dead
W-A-N-T
dyslexic?'
N-O.

JoshN-O.
'Yes
NOT
we do,'from
spoke
Joanthesaid.
darkness.
'We want
'Youtodon't
know know
who itwhoisyou
we're
are,speaking
or you don't
to.' want us
to know
you
N-O-T
'Even
are?'
N-O.
when
whoyou ask the right question the bastard won't answer it seems,'Josh sa
id.'What
your
The
'Please
'I
With
Josh
UWhen
Meg
D-E-D.
command
planchette
yawned
aname?'
demanded,'Is
nothing
tiny
tell
Uissuddenly.
you
D-E-D.
jerk
usto
happened
remained
who
the
tell
Uthat
you
D-E-D.
pointer
Well
Joan
usare?'Joan
your
stuck
your
this
said,'Are
name
began
where
name,'Josh
is
orexciting.
asked
rolling
ityouwas.
your
plaintively.
condition?'
dead?'
ordered.
again.
My guess
D-E-D.
is we're in contact with a
budgerigar.
defunct
'Maybe
he's trying
Or possibly
to tell
a dead
us his
tapename,'
recorder.'
Tommy offered. 'Uriah Ded. Uncle Ded. U
lysses he's
'Maybe
Ded.'
"Threatening
S. threatening
us?' Tommy snatched
us,'Josh his
said.hand away from the board. 'How do you mean
us exactly?'
threatening
Meg
took her finger off the planchette more deliberately. 'It's saying "you are
dead"
'That's
mean?'
'If
'Why
Oh
'I
Tommy
it's
asked
itdoleant
you
isalways
what
you
the
a forward
threat,'Joan
say
itabout
question,'Joan
sounds
that?'Josh
into
you,
like
said
the
isn't
asked.
tolight
said.
inme.'
it,'
a and
small
Megpushed
voice/it's
said.
the
It'shair
aimed
always
awaydirectly
about
from his
Joan.'
atforehead.
me.'
'
Joshpointer
asking
'It
'Oh
The
was
my
wasGod,
questions.'
me who
look,'
had
said:
begun
Megare
rolling
gasped.
you dead,'Joan
on'Look
its own.
at the
said.
Itplanchette.'
moved across the board slowly at fi
rst, and
more
thenmore rapidly. U D-E-D U D-E-D U D-E-D. As it raced back and forth, more
and more

frantically - U D-E-D UD-E-D UDE-D UDED - Meg, Tommy and Joan watched transfixed
. Only when - U D-E-D UD-E-D UDE-D UDED - Meg, Tommy and Joan watched transfixed
frantically
. Only
"That
'Why
'Amazing,'
'You
'It
He
Joan
Once
plonked
was
did
shouldn't
said,'Put
said,'Is
again
was
when
bollocks,'Josh
you
amazing,'
Tommy
Meg
the
stop
itplanchette
agreed.
have
it
pointer
said.
me?
it?'
back
Tommy
done
Were
Megthat,'Joan
said
on
back
gasped.'Did
the
you
began
asked.
flatly.'Some
down.
board.'
threatening
to'It's
'It
roll
said.
youall
was&'
assort
see
me?'
phoney
byof
that?
itself.
trick.'
asThat
that
H-E-L-L.
was
crystal
amazing.'
Itball.'
stopped when
it
indicated
'Hell
The
'Are
Somebody's
'Hello,'Joan
had
pointer
you
yes?inthe
Hell
having
hell?'Joan
moved
hell
said,
second
no?'
 to
aoshowing
 the
laugh.'
letter
Tommy
hello?'Josh
asked.
letter
asked.
no
L.sign
Osaid.'You're
and
of stopped.
seeing any
nothumour
going in
to the
fallsituation.
for that are
"What
you?
is itsaid
want
The
'What's
'See
Meg
Josh
pointer
toyouthat
ball?'
said,
tell
excitedly,
'Don't
moved
Tommy
us?' you
supposed
again.
suggested.
'The
to crystal
think
C B-A-L-L.
mean?'
it would
Meg
ball.
asked.
beIt's
a good
talking
idea to
about
trythe
andcrystal
find outball!'
who it i
s who'sthe talking?' He moved closer to the table so that he was back in the pool
doing
Heofwas
light.
frowning with concern, or it might have been contempt.'There's something
deeply
about
But
'What
'Can
'Of
Joan
course
you
all
can
dumb
was
see
this.'
you
sheanything?'
already
see?'
can'tTommy
peering
see
Meg
anything,'
asked.
asked
intently
eagerly.
Josh
intosneered.
the small
'It's
globe
an oversized
of clear glass.
marble you
pair ofup!'Joan
pillocks
'Shut
- whathissed
do youfuriously,
expect hernot
to looking
seeV
up from the crystal ball. 'Shut up,
shut
shutup!
up,If you're too thick to appreciate what's going on here just shut the he
ll up will

'Grease
you
and monkeys
stay thelack
hellimagination,'
out of it!' Meg murmured, not unkindly. 'It's in the gene
sunfortunately.'
'Is
'Nothing!'Josh
In
truth
therethere
anything
scoffed
was
in the
nothing,
fromglass?'
the Joan
but
shadows.
Tommy
would
asked.
never have admitted that. She continu
ed tointo
deep
starethe brightly illuminated ball. 'Show me what you want me to see,' she
'I await in
implored.
Suddenly
yourthepurpose.'
centre of the sphere there was a tiny black speck. For a moment
it hunglike a blemish in the glass and then it began to expand and inflate, a dar
there
k spherewithin the transparent sphere, a total blackness absorbing light as it c
growing
ame, andnothing. When the dark had filled the globe and seemed about to cross th
leaving
e boundary
and
flood out beyond the rim and into the room itself, a swirl of glowing beads
appeared
it.
almost
not
On
the
TheyOuija
quite
butwhirled
inrecognisable.
boardandthedanced
pointer
andwas
slowly
moving
cameagain.
together,
It rattled
coalescing
as itinto
racedsomething
to the l
etters.
D-E-D
'All
right.
U D-E-D
U Who's
U-D-E-D-B-I-C-H
doing that?'U-D-E-D-B-I-C-H-J-O-A-N
Tommy demanded, but it was
J-O-A-N-B-I-C-H-D-E-D.
not clear whether he w
as the
to
'Don't
Meg
'Look
Joan
talking
half
protested,
had
atdo
others
rose
her'
not
that,'Josh
taken
orThis
from
toher
the
the
is
warned.
floor
sick.'
eyes
unseen
from
cushion.'I'm
presence.
the crystal
going
balltoand
putshe
thewas
light
nowon.'
bent so close
to itnose
her
thatwas almost touching the surface. Within the glass a face was taking sha
pe power
of
as spots
met and melted into each other. The face was ugly, hollow-eyed and twis
ted with hate. The mouth, wide and filled with the darkness, shaped a silent scr
sneering
eam of Without warning the face lunged upwards filling the ball. Involuntarily
madness.
jerked
On
Joan
the Ouija
back away
boardfrom
theit.
little planchette rattled and tapped as it flashed betwee
n thestared
letters.
Joan
B-I-C-H-D-E-D
at the boardB-I-C-H-D-E-D
in startled horror.
B-I-C-H-D-E-D
'It's Chloe's
B-I-C-H-D-E-D.
demon,' she whispered
.'Itif
to
As
kill
wants
responding
me too.' to her words the pointer steadied abruptly and, very slowly and
'Who
deliberately,
are you?'spelt
Tommyout:
demanded,
J-O-A-Nleaning
C-O-X forward
D-I-E-S and
N-E-X-T.
talking directly at the planc
'Tellauscrack
hette.
With
yourofname
static
you electricity
piece of shit!'
the pointer leapt off the board and smacked h
im on the The board itself upended and spun away into the darkness, hitting the
forehead.
wall slap.
loud
with aBoth the halogen desk lamps exploded simultaneously, showering small
shards of

The Doctor
glass
acrosslaytheontable
the narrow
and plunging
bed in the guest
room into
quarters
totaland
darkness.
pondered the wisdom o
f his
decision
to stay over until the next day and talk to this Kellerfield Research F
There was no real evidence that anything was seriously amiss here. There was not
fellow.
ellow
hing thatwarranted his attention. The study of parapsychology was not in itself
actually
a matter
for
He
folded
concern.
his coat more comfortably around himself and tilted his hat over his e
He had allowed Leela's sour mood and the hysteria of a stressed young student to
yes.
him,
affect
and his imagination had got the better of him. He was not normally so sugge
Perhaps he was tired. He didn't feel particularly tired but that was no guarante
stible.
e hecourse,
He
wasn't.
Of
yawned. it was possible that there might be some sort of field effect operati
ng in which
area,
this could be why there was research going on into parapsychology here. H
e had come
across
such phenomena before though he himself had never been directly affected
by them. occurring multiverse overlaps, space-time loop anomalies, self-regulat
Naturally
temporal inversions and the like could all produce an identifiable reaction in c
ing
species. In people there was often a subliminal, almost subconscious, response d
ertain
epending
personality
could
obsessively
become
on focused
type.
unsettled
Once
on the
within
and
fearful,
mystical,
a fieldorthe
behaviour
magical, the paranormal. There were a n
umber of,untested, theories as to why this should be. His personal preference was
largely
idea
for that
the such fields partially suppressed the higher brain functions, directly
logic and rationality. Belief in ghosts and demonic possession, all sorts of min
inhibiting
superstitions, could take hold in such circumstances. Sudden mood shifts were al
dless
so stretched
feature,
He
Then
a again,
common
andofhis
atcourse,
the
legsextremes
aitlittle.
might
there
be the
was other
alwaysway
theround:
possibility
the research
of violence.
itself migh
t be
causing
a weak field effect which could be feeding back on itself and intensifyi
ng to a multiverse overlap or a space-time loop anomaly or even a self-regulat
produce
temporal
ing
The
He
envied
Doctorinversion&
Leela's
yawned capacity
again. to sleep wherever she found herself. He had never had
Doctor?
knack&
The
He
'Doctor!'
that
came
voiceto
Doctor?'
was
andoddly
foundfamiliar.
Leela shaking his shoulder. 'What's wrong?' he asked, sitti
ng up and his hat. 'Has something happened?'
adjusting

'I could not sleep,'Leela said.'I was thinking about the Tesh.' She wandered aro
und thelooking at the bland prints on the wall, picking up functional objects lik
room,
e coat
hangers
'I
couldand
notthe
sleep,'Leela
wastepapersaid.'I
bin andwas
examining
thinkingthem
about
half-heartedly.
the Tesh.' She wandered aro
und thelooking at the bland prints on the wall, picking up functional objects lik
room,
e coatsaid,
hangers
Leela
and 'Do
the you
wastepaper
rememberbintheandpowers
examining
of thethem
Teshhalf-heartedly.
and how they used them again
st mysaid
'How
tribe?'
'You
couldthe
I forget?'
Tesh wereTheoriginally
Doctor smiled,
the technicians
wanly. 'I on
wasthe
partly
spaceship,
responsible.'
and we Seva
teemDoctor
the
strength
call
The
survey
werepowers
psi
andnodded.'Yes
team.We
courage,
or parapsychology.'
developed
they
that's
developed
right. The
mental
Teshpowers
did develop
- what the
you sort of powers tha
t our must
hostess
'They
young
seems
havetohad
be some
talking
power
about.'
to begin with,' Leela said. 'Nothing can come fro
m nothing.'
The
Doctor could still be surprised by Leela's quick intel-ligence. He was alway
s slightly
ashamed
to need reminding that a lack of knowledge is not the same as stupidity.
encouragingly.
'Could
He nodded
the Tesh'It's
have come
calledfrom
a latent
this place?'
characteristic'
Leela asked. 'Could they have come f
rom was
place
'It's
She
this
originally?'
very
obviously
likely pleased
that youbyallthecame
answer.
from Ihere
think
originally'
one of them remained here,' she
triumphantly.'I
But
saidthe trouble with
thinkignorance,
there is athe
TeshDoctor
in this
thought,
place.'is that it usually produces
the sameas stupidity. No,' he said. 'I didn't mean you all set out from Earth. A
results
that is theoretically possible I suppose. Improbable but not impossibfe. I meant
lthough
well
thisbemayyour planet of origin. You're probably distantly descended from the peop
le of You might meet your great-great-great-great-great&' His voice tailed off
Earth.
as heLeela
out
But
ofran
fingers
was not
on really
his leftlistening.'A
hand.
Tesh is here now. I feel it. There is a Te
sh insometimes
place
And
thiscallhethethought,
you
university'
stupidity is so stupid that it's difficult to know how
it.
to Or
counter
even where to begin. He smiled and said with exaggerated patience,'No you
understand.
don't
The university hasn't been here nearly long enough for anything like
Leela
possible.'
that glared
to be at him. 'I know that,' she said witheringly. 'But perhaps the Tesh
has been.it is as you said about meeting the man called Professor Parnaby. Perhap
Perhaps
s keep
Isecond
it isforgetting
visit
his and ithowisoften
happening
teasing
first.'
you comes back to haunt me,' the Doctor said
. Helegs
his
Leela
Already?'
swung
shrugged.
off
Thethe
Doctor
'It
bedisflung
anddaylight.'
stood
openup.'What
the curtains,and
time is it?'
autumn sunshine flooded into th
ebedsitting room. 'And it's a beautiful day,' he said, suddenly feeling refreshed
unexpectedly
and
cheerful. 'I expect you'd like some breakfast wouldn't you?'

They had stayed with her all night. It had taken the three of them to uncurl her
her
andtocarry
the bed, but when they tried to turn out the light and leave her there sh
e had hysterical. Joan was terrified to be alone and even more terrified to fal
become
l asleep
though
They
hadshestayed
did drift
with her
off all
eventually.
night. It had taken the three of them to uncurl her
her
andtocarry
the bed, but when they tried to turn out the light and leave her there sh
e had hysterical. Joan was terrified to be alone and even more terrified to fal
become
l asleepshe
though
Because
he was
did so
drift
scathing
off eventually.
about her, Meg and Tommy had felt obliged to defend J
oan and anhad been carried on in raised whispers.'She's a psychic,' Meg had said,
argument
him.
'Yes
glaring
"They're
they
atare.'notJosh
called
was rubbing
sensitives
hisfor
handnothing.'
compulsively backwards and forwards ov
er the of his scalp. 'It's blithering bollocks. The whole psychic thing is a co
stubble
n from
beginning
'No
'And
IJoan
don't.'
to end anddoesn't,'
certainly
you know Tommy
it.' murmured.'She thinks she's a psychic, which
is pretty
much
'I'd
the it
say
samewasthing
pretty
as much
beingthe
onesame
wouldn't
thingyou
as being
say?' barking,' Josh grunted. 'Are
she's
'If
youyou
sure
notdon't
on something?'
believe in any of this stuff,' Meg said,'what are you doing here?'
'And
Pretty
'You
'Curiosity,'Josh
ismuch.'
don't
thathave
whytoyou're
said
be modest
flatly.
on Hitchins'
with us,'test
Tommy
programme?'
mocked.'We know you have the spooky
'No
'I
powers.'
saw
I haven't.'
the initial ratings,' Tommy persisted. 'When Ghostbuster surveyed everybo
dy on
'Everybody
campus?'
who thought they might be gifted that is,' Meg put in.'So how come yo
uvolunteered?'
'Same
'I
Josh
'You're
'No
'Your
'I'm
was
I'm
shrugged.
bloody
reason
PQ
drunk
way
not.'
wasnot
gifted,'
you'There
at
off
the
gifted!'
didtime.
the
probably'
Tommy
scale.'
youUnusually,
Isaid.
go.
thought
I was Josh
it might
wasted
sounded
andbehaving
amusing.'
irritated.
a laugh.'
Whatever the hell th
at means.'
'Josh
Randall, a name to conjure with.' Tommy could never resist an easy joke ev
en when
was
obvious
it he had touched a raw nerve. 'You could be the next Aleister Crowley
or Mystic

Josh backed
'Now,
Meg.'
now children,'
down fromMeg
thechided.
overreaction
Play nicely'
and the three of them whispered and bicke
reditonturned
through
As
the night.
out Joan was the only one to get any sleep. They woke her once the
sun they
and
was upknew the campus cafeteria would be open for business. Oddly, considerin
gthe
experiences
of the previous night, they all felt better, and optimistic in a vag
unfocused sort of way. Joan was subdued but calmer. She claimed to remember noth
ue
ing happened.
had
Chapter
Leela
ofwas
what
Five
ravenously hungry. She sat at the cafeteria table and ate quickly and
concern for appearances, washing the food down with occasional swallows of water
without
-bottle
'cutlery'
from
whatthe
she-and
the
had used
Doctor
beenreferred
given.
her
fingers
Sheasignored
to
like anythewarrior
implements
in the field would do. Around h
er at other
tables
people who were eating with cutlery glanced at her and then glanced away
quickly. The bolder among them stared more openly and seemed amused. Most of the
again
were
eaters
as young as she was herself. The Doctor said they were students, here to ac
knowledge and wisdom. Leela could not understand what knowledge or wisdom they w
quire
acquire by watching her eat. She glared at the starers until they too looked awa
ould
She had no idea what animals and plants might have been used in the preparation
y.
of the
she
wasfood
devouring. The Doctor had said it was not poisonous and she trusted his
in these things, if not his taste. The food was called fried breakfast and it wa
judgement
s greasy
but
The
not unpleasant.
Doctor
had said he
It was
wouldnotsustain
hungryher
and,fortaking
a while,
onlyshe
water
thought.
with him, he had wa
ndered
to
lookoff
for the man who was doing the experiments in parapsychology. He was call
ed Doctor Bazzer Hitchins - what elaborate and ridiculous fighting names these
Ghostbuster
gave
people
themselves - and she wondered whether the 'doctor' part of it was the same
as the Doctor.
of
name
Were the fighting names linked? Had the Doctor really been here b
efore?
he
doneHad
the same on this world as he had done on her world? Was there a mad comp
creaturethe
uter
Perhaps
hereDoctor
too? was not her friend after all. Perhaps he was ashamed to have
her and
him
withwas laughing at her ignorance behind her back. In fact, he was laughing
at her
ignorance
to her face, now she thought about it. He sneered at her questions. He
more
talked
to these students than he ever talked to her. He told them things they were
supposed
not
to know, without them even having to ask a question. He told them thing
s, they
told
him things, they all ignored her. Except when she was eating fried breakfas
t. Shethe grease from her mouth with the palm of her hand and wiped her hand on
wiped
her tunic.
Leela
knew the way she was eating had made the Doctor uncomfortable and that thi
s was
he
hadwhy
not waited for her to finish. She knew because he had said so. 'It always
you
helps
caniftry to fit in with the local custom and practice,' he had told her. 'It
makessome
less
For
conspicuous
youreason she
andcould
you can
notlearn
quitemore
understand,
from watching
this had
thanmade
fromherbeing
morewatched.'
determine
d to abehave
like
warrior of the tribe of Sevateem. She had earned the right. She was not a
creep
childabout
to and hide and watch. Warriors were proud and fearless.You faced down
an enemy
with
boldness so he knew that you had beaten him before you fought. Modesty is f
ear,failure,
is
fear failure is death. The warrior-trainers had taught her that. Who was
thetry
to
Doctor
and tell her anything different?

Perhaps the Doctor did not want her to be ready to face her enemies. Perhaps the
wanted
Doctorto get her killed. If he was working with the Tesh that would explain his
towards
behaviour
her. Supposing a Tesh had come with them in the TARDIS& or more than one
. Shetheir
felt
had presence all around her as soon as they had come to this place. Suppo
sing had
them
all come,
of
hidden in the secret rooms in the TARDIS. This could be part of a
strike
counteragainst her tribe by the eternal enemy. That would explain why the Doctor
reluctant
was so to let her travel with him. That would explain why the Doctor had mock
ed her
she
toldwhen
him of her suspicions. That would explain where he had gone. He was mee
tingTesh.
the
Perhaps
withthe Doctor did not want her to be ready to face her enemies. Perhaps the
wanted
Doctorto get her killed. If he was working with the Tesh that would explain his
towards
behaviour
her. Supposing a Tesh had come with them in the TARDIS& or more than one
. Shetheir
felt
had presence all around her as soon as they had come to this place. Suppo
sing had
them
all come,
of
hidden in the secret rooms in the TARDIS. This could be part of a
strike
counteragainst her tribe by the eternal enemy. That would explain why the Doctor
reluctant
was so to let her travel with him. That would explain why the Doctor had mock
ed her
she
toldwhen
him of her suspicions. That would explain where he had gone. He was mee
tingTesh.
the
'Nice
with
outfit. Whatever it is you're selling I'll take six, and two for Sundays.'
man
Thewas
young
standing at the table looking down at her.'My name,' he went on in a sus
different voice and a completely changed way of speaking,'is Michael Caine and I
piciously
'll to
you
Leela
thank
leapt
stop at
pointing
him, drawing
that bloody
her knife
spearasatshe
me)'vaulted over the table and crashed
shoulder
her
The
Doctorinto
hadhis
found
chest.
Hitchins' laboratory without much difficulty but it was loc
ked, and on the door and calling out, 'Hullo? Hullo Doctor Hitchins? Are you in
knocking
Doctorten
there
"It's
Hitchins?'
o'clock in
produced
the morning,'
no response
a voice
at all.
said behind him. 'And trust me, as fa
r asDoctor
Hitchins
The
Barryisturned
concerned
to find
that's
a short,
the middle
dark-complexioned
of the night.'man smiling at him. He retu
rnedsaid
smile.
he
the'Temporal-shift
nodding. 'I usedlag,'
to have the same problem myself. It can be quite discon
certing
you
try and
if maintain any sort of relative consciousness rather than an absolute
reference point during a transition. It takes practice to develop the mental dis
personal
ciplineThough
cope.
to some people do take to it quite naturally. My present travelling co
for example, has no difficulties that I've been able to ascertain. She is a prim
mpanion,
itivedear'
course,
'Oh
ofwhich
The man
mightwashave
still
something
smilingtobutdohis
withexpression
it.'
had become slightly wry.
that's a post-ironic gesture in the general direction of my upcoming - or rather
'Either
upchucking
'You're
'You
The
Parnaby
my Doctor
didn't
Professor
shook
lecture
offered
know?'
the hand
Parnaby?'
- orwarily.
his
hand.
you're
the
I've
aDoctor
'Or
time-travel
been
possibly
askedlooking
looking
nut.'
delightedly.
forward
backtotomeeting
meetingyou.'
me?' he sugg
For a moment the Doctor found himself wondering if whole areas of the campus had
ested.
for
'Just
beensound.
awired
little
'Whattime-travel
makes you gag,'
say that?'
Parnaby
he said
challenged.
with a slightly nervous laugh. 'I
have toHegostarted to edge away down the corridor. 'I suggest you try Barry Hitchi
now.'
ns againmidday, mm'kay?'
around

As he started to walk off the Doctor fell into step beside him and said, 'Do you
coincidences,
As
believe
he started
in to
Professor?'
walk off the Doctor fell into step beside him and said, 'Do you
coincidences,
The
believe
Doctorinsuspected
Professor?'
Bill Parnaby was one of those dis-idvantaged people who fou
nd it
difficult
to be rude to strangers. 'When was the last time you told anyone to go
leave
Parnaby
'Or
awaywhen
andfrowned.
you
was
alone?'
the last
'I'm time
sorry?'
you gave a straight answer to a straight question for
Parnaby
matter?'
'I'm
thatflattered,'the
looked at himDoctor
sideways.
said/that
Who are
youyou
would
exactly?'
think I could answer such a quest
ion.' Hehis most vivid smile. 'A philosopher's question of such terrifying comple
smiled
xityallthat
in
my travels I have met only one entity who came close to answering it. It
was a
planet-sized
fungus whose name as far as I recall was a small electric shock and
unpleasant
Parnaby
'I'm
a rather
notstopped
that
smell.'
old,'
and the
turned
Doctor
to the
saidDoctor,
and thought:
'listenwhy
oldamchap&'
I talking so much? Is th
something strange going on here? There is something strange going on here. This
ere
is not
normal
'Is
there
behaviour.
some medication,'
I am not behaving
Parnaby was
normally.
saying solicitously, 'that maybe you've
to take?'
forgotten
'Medication?'
The Doctor was puzzled. Why should this short philosopher imagine
thatDoctor
forgotten
'Pills
The
heperhaps?
hadtolooked
takeOnly
medicine?
down
I at
notice
the bottle
that you're
of water
carrying
he hada in
bottle
his hand.
of designer
That'swater.'
odd, he
where
thought,
had he got that from? Then he remembered there was another Clearspring Wat
er Company display, and more free samples, in the cafeteria where he had taken
advertising
Leelahertosome breakfast. He hadn't eaten or drunk anything else since they arrive
get
d sobecould
it
that the water was affecting him? Could the water be contaminated in some
'Is Doctor
way?
The
the water
recognised
to help the
you exaggeratedly
swallow your pills?'
relaxedParnaby
tone ofsuggested
voice which
gently.
he himself o
ften he
when
usedwas trying to calm a tense situation, and he realised with a jolt that t
his man washim. This man seemed to think he was some sort of dangerous lunatic. C
humouring
ouldwater?
the
it be He put the bottle in his pocket and said with a cheerful smile, 'I do
n't takeJelly babies. I take jelly babies. Would you care for a jelly baby?' He p
pills.
ulledfrom
bag
Parnaby
theignored
his pocket.
the bag. 'I tell you what,' he suggested, maintaining the same c
calm voice he had been using all along, 'why don't we go to my office? We can ha
arefully
avesit-down.
To
Call?'
a bit ofParnaby
help,'
You cansaid,
tellshaking
me all his
abouthead
it.and
Maybe
shrugging
there'stheatrically
someone we can&
in acall.'
rather
obvious

might be
attempt
vague
andtoable
unthreatening.'If
keeptohis
help.
suggestion
Someone
there
who's
washelped
someoneyouyoubefore&?
felt Do you remember anyone
like that?'
attempt
vague
might
andtoable
be
unthreatening.'If
keeptohis
help.
suggestion
Someone
there
who's
washelped
someoneyouyoubefore&?
felt Do you remember anyone
likeDoctor
'Not
The
that?'couldn'tParnaby
necessarily,'
resist it.
lied.He leant closer to Parnaby and, lowering his voic
e a course
confided,
'Of
little,'As
youcoincidence
are,' Parnaby
would
agreed.
have 'So
it, what
I am do
theyou
Doctor'
think then? Shall we go to
my office
and
'Why
chat
not,'forthea Doctor
while?'said. Parnaby, he decided, was clearly more than just a ma
n who was to be rude to strangers: he was actually concerned to be of assistance
reluctant
. The didn't need the sort of help he had in mind, of course, but nevertheless
Doctor
all kindstook
kindness,
Parnaby
of him
kindness,
lightlyshould
by thealways
arm and
be began
acknowledged
to leadand
himencouraged.
down the corridor. 'I
catch
didn't
'I
didn't
yourthrow
name,'it,'
he the
saidDoctor
tentatively.
chortled, and he was suddenly washed through wit
h a warm
flood
times
past.
of had
long
It
gratitude
been such
towards
a long
thetime
diminutive
since hethinker
was able
fortoreminding
use thathim
jokeoforinnocent
anythin
g nearlyHeashad always found nostalgia puzzling, but now for the first time it see
funny.
med heunderstand it properly. He felt small tears gathering and trickling into t
could
he his
of
corners
eyes. He missed so many things; all gone and lost to him; lost and for ev
er out He
reach.
of missed himself as he was. He had changed. He missed the Time Lord he h
ad been.theHepast so very much. Missed the past so very much? That was absurd. He
missed
was a-Time
Lord
how could he possibly be missing the past? That made no sense at all. The
re was
something
wrong here. He was not thinking normally. Something was definitely aff
ecting
Could
'I'm
I'm
Parnaby
'That's
the
Bill
ithim.
Doctor,'
nodded.
right.
beParnaby,'
theJust
water?
'Just
thethe
Parnaby
Doctor
theDoctor.'
Doctor.'
persisted
said.
The
'I warm
already
meanwhile.
flood
toldof'And
you
gratitude
you are&'
that:
had drained away. P
arnabythe
beginning
'Just
wasDoctor.
to irritate
That's
him.cool.' Parnaby was still nodding understanding^. 'I can
The
that.'
understand
Doctor glowered. No you can't.You have no idea what I'm talking about.' He t
hought:
have
no idea
/
what I'm talking about so I'm quite sure you don't. It must be the
water.
tried
'I
"That's
didn't
toHebecause
work
meanout
toyouoffend
howthink
longyou,'
I'm
it mad,'
was
Parnaby
since
thesaid
he had
Doctor
anxiously.
drunk and
said,
any you're
of it. afraid I might b
e violent.
Well
I'm not violent. And I'm not mad. So be a good little philosopher and stop
'Or what?' Parnaby asked. 'You'll use gratuitous abuse to demonstrate your pacif
me!'
patronising
ism it
mental
'Is
comment,
travel
andand
astability?'
coincidence,'
'that
parapsychology
time
theare
Doctor
bothasked,
being studied
ignoringatthethis
philosopher's
university?'

'No,' Parnaby said flatly. "There you are you see? I can give you a straight ans
wer toParnaby
straight
'No,'
a question.
said flatly.
No, it is"There
not ayou
coincidence.'
are you see? I can give you a straight ans
wer Doctor
straight
The
to a question.
surveyedNo,
theitsmall
is not
cluttered
a coincidence.'
room. 'This is a small office,' he remar
Parnaby sat down behind the desk, pulled open one of its drawers and rummaged ar
ked.
oundainmoment.
for
it
'Yes, but then as you pointed out I am a small philosopher.' He cl
osedDoctor
drawer
The
theagain.
began examining the contents of the book shelves. 'I didn't mean to h
urt your As far as he could see there were none of the standard texts on time
feelings.'
travel.
fact
'You
'Obviously
there
didn't
In not,'
was
hurtalmost
my feelings,'
the
Doctor
nothingmused.
heParnaby
was'I'm
familiar
said.
reassured.
with.Because I expect you'd have m
entioned
if
'Have
The
IDoctor
had&'
a seat,'
itgaveParnaby
up on the
saidbooks
again.
and looked at him more carefully. The philosophe
r seemedsuddenly. Do I make you nervous?' The Doctor gave Parnaby his most reass
nervous
smile. It seemed to make him more nervous if anything. 'There's no need to be ne
uring
rvousI'mofnot nearly as tall as I look you know.' It probably wasn't a good idea t
me.
o tower
over
him like this, the Doctor thought, it did tend to make people nervous. He s
at down
the
chairinParnaby was indicating, made himself comfortable and said, Parapsychol
'What
ogy.'
'It
'Yes,
If
here
time?
only
isinWhich
about
but
being
that
this
it's
it?'
came
studied?'
were
place
clearly
Parnaby
first:
true,
at this
the
nonsense.'
the
asked,
Doctor
Doctor
research
glancing
asked.
thought.
or the
towards
Why isthe
field
effect?
itdoor.
happening
And why am I so badly
Unless it's the water. It could be the water. There could be some sort of halluc
affected?
pollutant in the water. I must get it analysed. He said, 'There is a properly fu
inogenic
research
nded
That
meansprogramme,
nothing,'I've
Parnaby
beensaid,
told.'sighing. 'If funding and good sense were syno
mass religious movements would be rational by definition. Rich men would all be
nymous,
'How longParnaby
geniuses.'
Weirdly,
has it glanced
been going
at his
on?'watch
the Doctor
beforeasked.
saying, 'Mass religious movements?
Stupidresearch
'The
men?'
Parnaby
rich
shrugged.
into'The
parapsychology.'
research fellowship's been up and running a couple of yea
rs& three
'And
maybe.'
this water,' the Doctor said.'How long have they been giving away this wate
'I have no idea.' Parnaby glanced past the Doctor towards the door again.'But I
r?'
don't see

As ifconnection.'
the
on cue the door to the room opened and a uniformed security guard came in.
inStanding
front of the doorway with his arms folded he asked politely, 'Is there a situ
ation here, But before Parnaby could answer him, the short-wave radio clipped to
Professor?'
guard's
the
uniform lapel squawked faintly. Never looking away from the two men in f
rontturned
he
of himhis head slightly to speak into it, pressing the send button with his
thumb.toOne
four
base, yes it's Professor Parnaby,' he muttered. The radio squawked again
. No, Ihecananswered. Yeah right. One four out.' He released the radio and spoke t
deal,'
o Parnaby isThethere
again.'So
'Problem?'
Doctor
a problem,
turned back
Professor?'
to Parnaby. You have a problem? Why didn't you
itsaysomething
You
'Is
The
pressed
that
security
so? what
Is your
Iyou
guard
canpanic
were
helpdoing
ignored
button,'
youthe
with?'
ininterruption.
the drawer?'
security 'Do
guardIDoctor
the
said.it
take
asked.
this gentleman is bot
'Good grief,' the Doctor protested with mock amazement, 'you're not suggesting I
you?'
hering
'm a
'Please
problem.'
be quiet, sir.' The security guard managed to make politeness sound pecu
threatening.
liarly
I'm
not sure why
'Youthey
pressed
callthe
thempanic
panicbutton
buttons,'
Professor
Parnaby
Parnaby?'
said.'What took you so l
"There's
ong?'
What
sortbeen
of trouble?'
some trouble
the Doctor
in the asked,
cafeteria.'
conscious that when he had left Leela e
ating her she was not in one of her most reasonable moods. She was drinking the
breakfast
water too, of course. It was looking suspiciously as though the water was involv
bottled
ed. security
started
The
He to getguard
up out
unfolded
of hishis
chair.
arms. 'I asked you to be quiet, sir.' He put a f
irm Doctor's
the
hand on shoulder and pushed him back down into the chair.'And I'd ask you t
o stayofsort
seated
'What
'One
until
yourofyoung
wetrouble?'
getladies
thisParnaby
sorted
has been
out.'
asked.
watching a little too much Xena, Warrior Prin
cess, I'd
'Fancy
'Meaning?'
say'
dress, crude manners, beat the crap out of the first one who mentioned th
e fact.'
'So
it was a fight,' Parnaby said matter-of-factly. 'We've had them before haven
't we
if
'Got
we?worse
don't
Evenagain
talk recently,'
about them the
publicly,
security
they're
guardnot
said.'This
exactly girl
unknown
pulled
to us.'
a socking
Abigreal
The
knife.
Doctor
pigsticker.'
twisted his shoulder free of the man's hand and stood up. 'She didn't
she?'
use ithedid
asked, thinking he should never have left her on her own just because h
er stubborn

insistence
The
'Well,
mandid
security
pulled
onguard
she?'
behaving
theParnaby
chairlike
paused
aside
asked,
anda shook
primitive
toforestalling
give
hishimself
had irritated
head.
his
'She
a move.
clear
frightened
him.
path tohim
theinto
Doctor.
changing
trousersisitmind,'
his
'Where
'What's
she
to you?'
now?'
he said.'And
the guard
Doctorwould
demanded.'Are
asked.
she hell you
giveher
up father
the knife.'
or something?' He loo
ked can
Parnaby
'Well,'
'We
to do
forthis
Parnaby
instructions.
said,easy
the
sounding
way
'Dooryou
uncertain,
thewant
hardmeway,
to remove
'when
sir,'
I pressed
thissecurity
the
bloke?'
the alarm&'
guard said to t
he Doctor.
'The
'And
'What
smiled
The
security
easy
the
anatoriginal
hard
wayguard
him
isn'tthreat.'
way's
wolfishly.
was
easynot'I
very
-'amused.
hard
Heamindeed?'
thoroughly
He narrowed
theintimidated.'
Doctor
hissuggested.
eyes and reached for the Doct
or. if
way
"There's
'This
younoplease,
need forsir'
that.' Parnaby jumped up from behind the desk and somehow m
anaged
get
"The
The
between
Doctor
Doctor,'
Doctor
to said,
them.
seemed
the'I'll
'The
Doctor
a little
thing
go
prompted.
quietly,
confused.'
is thisofficer.'
gentleman&
He wasn't
the uh,certain
the uh&'himself whether h
e meant
or
whether
it he was deliberately baiting the guard. He wasn't surprised, however,
whenguard
man
The
reacted
the pressed
badly forward.
to him offering
Parnabyhis
pushed
wrists
himasback.
if to'Ibethought
manacled.
he might need hel
p that's
The
all.'
Doctor said, 'You'd have to define your terms more precisely I'm afraid. Nee
d and
Both
'I
made
ahelp.
bit
a mistake,'
vague as Parnaby
they stand.
saidDon't
to theyouDoctor,
think and
so?'to the security man he said,
he'Iwish
'You
'I
'Are
I'Yes
was
mean
thought
mean
you
I'm
Imad.'
he's
sure?'
sure.'
was
he'ssure,
not.'
not?'the Doctor thought suddenly. I know I'm behaving erratically.
problem
The
is: can I remember what my normal behaviour should be, and how can I que
myself objectively about it? If I'm going mad how will I know? 'BEAFRAID/'that v
stion
oice had in his head. BE AFRAID YOU POMPOUS PRATING FOOU I WILL STRIP YOUR MIND
bellowed
YOU SHIVERING IN THE DARK!' Hearing voices. Loud voices. If that wasn't the firs
LEAVE
AND
t sign ofwhat was it? If he was mad it wasn't real: if it was real he wasn't mad.
madness
But what

was reality anyway? He mustn't think about it, he decided. He must simply get on
practicalities.
with the
He must get the water analysed. He must find Leela. He gave the
guard his best and most charming smile. 'What did you say happened to the warrio
security
r girl?'
was
asked.
reality
he anyway? He mustn't think about it, he decided. He must simply get on
practicalities.
with the
He must get the water analysed. He must find Leela. He gave the
guard his best and most charming smile. 'What did you say happened to the warrio
security
r girl?'
'I
asked.
am nothegetting into that. No way am I getting into that.'Josh slid the access
cover on top of the device back a short distance, and peered inside. 'It's a blo
-hatch
ody does
'It
coffin.'
greatremind you of one of those Egyptian tomb things,' Ralph agreed. 'The on
es sarcophagus,'
the
'A
Ralph
Josh
they
mummies
closed
said,'Are
put the
in.'cover
you
Megsure
said.
again.
about'Itthat?
better
Final
be,'answer?'
he remarked. 'If she's got to phone
she's
Oh
a why's
friend
pretty
that?'
muchRalph
buggered.'
asked absently. He tapped a spot on the side of what looke
d likelarge
very
a and slightly flattened grey cocoon. It was about nine feet long by si
x feet
by
fivewide
feet deep, and it was resting on series of low, shaped trestles. A pair
of yellow
and
'He's
green
suggesting
hoses linked
I haven't
it togottheanylaboratory's
friends,' Meg
mainexplained
sink. slowly and deliberate
ly thought
she
'I
aswasiftalking
that went
to a without
small child.
saying,'
Duh!"Ralph said, tapping another spot and getti
ng the complete
almost
same
lack of acoustic resonance. 'This thing is really well damped an
dinsulated.'
Barry
Hitchins came out of the monitoring suite uncoiling connex and fibre-optic
'It's
cables.
top-quality kit that is,' he announced. 'None of your Jap-crap, we are tal
kingofthesensory-deprivation tanks here.' He reached the tank and began to plug th
BMW
e cables
into
the sockets of a small control box in the base.'You put water in the reserv
oir -ityoutwo feet deep give or take - just about enough to float in comfortably.'
make
the
He side
pattedof the tank. 'It's triple-skinned. The outer layer is full-spectrum sou
nd and
temperature
insulation, and then between the inner two layers there are heating
and thermostats. The temperature of the water inside is automatically brought up
elements
degrees
to 98.4Fahrenheit, and maintained at that. Blood heat, yes?' He pushed the acce
cover all the way open so that the inside could be seen more clearly. 'As you wi
ss-hatch
ll see,'
went
on, 'the
he access cover moves on double bearings. It closes snugly but it can
not be and it can be opened with the slightest pressure from the inside or from
locked
outside. So there's no chance of being trapped in there or anything like that, a
the
claustrophobia
nd
'I
am still notshouldn't
going in it,'
be a Josh
problem.'
said. 'I still say it is a bloody great coffi
It was going to be a major disappointment to Barry if the person who could still
n.'
toturn
be the
out best of his test subjects set his face against using the one piece of
that might finally unlock his full potential. When Barry had first assessed him
apparatus
Josh had
shown
unmistakable signs of paranormal powers. The other seven kids he had found
promising
were
- there were flashes of latent talent there; results that were statist
significant; certainly more than mere chance - but Josh Randall had been somethi
ically
ng elsesomething altogether more significant. Unless Barry had got it all wrong.
again,
hadn't
Josh shown much sign of anything since that original survey. The others had. N
ot Josh.
But
it was there. Barry knew it was there. He tried not to sound too desperately
heeager
patter.
continued
as'The subject
with hisclimbs
upbeatinintroductory
and lies in the

'I'd like
water,
'Job
'What
for
anaked
little
the
to volunteer
except
girls
chuckle-bunny
then,'Josh
fortolight-excluding
be the
hesaid.
is,'
towelMegboy,'
goggles.'
commented
Josh continued,
to no one 'and
in particular.
general dogsbo
dy.' Hepressed
looked
'Laugh?'
Barry
hard
Megatsaid.'I
on.
Meg.'Oh
Thethought
hatch
no. Dog's
isI'dthen
Bodyclosed,
never
-start.'
thatand
would
we run
be you
someofstandard
course.'tests for t
telepathy
he
Josh
said,and
'I always
distantpiss
viewing
in Jacuzzis
series. and
Couldswimming
be quitepools.
interesting.'
Would that affect thin
gs dopointedly
Meg
think?'
you
ignored him. 'You think by neutralising the physical senses you're
get
'I
'And
"There
going
think
heightened
youare
tomonitor
it's
fourapsi
possibility
cameras
theeffects?'
results
and three
which
how exactly?'
is worth
mics
inside
testing.
Ralph
theasked.
tank
Don't
itself.'
you think
Barryso?'
indicated
the tiny
night-sight
lenses of the cameras, set two at each end on either side of the tan
k, and
microphones
'It
Ralph
'Yeah.'
allsaid,
the
seems'A
Josh
set
yawned.
asolution
in anelaborate,'
bit
'What's
arclooking
at up,
thefor
Meg
headasaid.
Doc?
end. trouble
problem
Having
in fact.'
thinking of ways to spend t
he wandered
He
budget?' to the sink and checked the hose link. 'One names this device the Bl
oody Greathe said in a queeny voice. 'May God bless her and all who drine in her.
Coffin,'
' Hethe
on
'For
Water
'It
leaks,'
turned
God's
had
water.
begun
sake,
Joshtosaid
Josh,'
leakcheerfully.
Barry
on
to the
complained,
flooritbelow
'Is
supposed
hurrying
the to
tank.
toleak
turnlike
off that?
the tap.
It's an ant
device,
idrining
'You
didamsayI the
right?'
BMW of sensory-deprivation tanks?' Ralph mused.'Looks more like
me.
Meg
a Skoda
A Ladatoeven.'
squatted
down to hold her hand under the drips. Blood heat did you say? Not
you're work
unless
'It'll
a frozen
whenturkey'
I've finished rigging it up. I haven't even tightened the joint
s yet.'tip, Doc,'Josh said. The smart move is to tighten the joints on the tank
'Small
before you
connect
the hose to the water supply, otherwise it's probably going to leak.' He
the
flicked
tap on again and the leak intensified. 'Like that, see what I mean. Dear oh
dear.' the
turned
He tap off again. 'Who was it did you say did this job again?' He clicke
d his disconnected
tongue.'They
Barry
must have
the hose
seen from
you coming.
the tap.What
'I don't
a bunchhave
of the
cowboys.'
benefit of your engi
background,' he said. Then, remembering the scene with Finer, he added, 'Which r
neering
eminds me,

'He says
your
'What
head
sortyou're
ofofdepartment
waves?'Josh
not working
isasked.
making
and it's
waves.'
all my fault for wasting your time on this
'Maybe
rubbish.'
pointless
'Pointless
'No
Josh's
it face
he'srubbish
isn't,'
gotRalph
had
a point,'
clouded
issaid,'and
onewith
Ralph
of
your
anger.
stop
said.
course
calling
'It's
'Maybe
options
none
meitof
Shirley'
issurely,"
his
a waste
damnMeg
of said.
business
our time?'
what I do,'
he Barry.
at
'I'm
snarled
afraid it is his business.' Barry thought he could see a way to persuade Jo
sh to
volunteer
for the sensory-deprivation experiments after all.'I think I may have
to drop
from
'Because
Barry
the
shrugged
you
programme.'
Finer
saysdid
and
so?'his best to look sadly resigned about the whole thing. 'H
e's of
lot
gotinfluence
a
with the senate and with the university council. I don't want t
o getwrong
his
'Sod
that!'Josh
on side. raged.'I'm
Hell, I can't
notafford
some snotty-nosed
to get on hisschoolkid
wrong side.'
you people can push a
round. what
decide
I
I'm going to do with my time, not him and not you, not anyone. I dec
idewas
happens
It
whatatomore
me.vehement
That arrogant
reaction
bastard.'
than Barry had expected. 'Well if you really fee
l that about it,' he said. 'If you really want to be part of the programme tha
strongly
t much,toI'm
ready
take a chance with you.' He went back to working on the connections for
sensory-deprivation
the
tank. As he stretched between the trestles to check the ther
housing he said casually, 'Who's going to test-fly this lot for me? Any suggesti
mostat
ons? like
'I'd
volunteers?'
Score!
AnyBarry
to congratulated
volunteer -'Josh
himself
said.smugly. And that was why he was the lecturer
research
and
'Chloe,'Josh
fellow,finished
and Joshafter
was the briefest
lectured of
to pauses.'Should
and researched be
upon.
just her barrow.
cheer
Mighther up in fact. Certainly cheer me up to hold the towel while she gets her
Barry
kit off.'
stopped tinkering with the cables and hoses and looked up at Josh. It seem
ed tothe
that
himstudent's slow smile had a sly, almost malicious cast to it. 'You can o
volunteer
nly
'I
told youyourself,
there wasJosh,'
no chance
he said.
of that,'Josh said.'I told you I wasn't getting
into that
bloody
coffin.' His smile broadened. You haven't been thinking you could change
my mind
have
From
you?other
the
How stupid
side ofwasthethat?'
tank Chloe's voice said,'Not as stupid as what you we
thinking.'
re
Barry's
eyeShe
line.'I
came heard
round something
into
about volunteering me to take my clothes off
? And

holding my towel? Rearrange the following into a sentence: chance, fat, slaphead
, you.' confident today are we?' Josh said. 'Shaken off the dreaded demon; the s
Feeling
stalker?
upernatural
Chloe
'Whatever
Ralph
Touchy-feely
smiled
said,'I'm
Got
youbinmen,
atook
at
grip
himwore
glad
finally?'
sweetly.
you're
don't
offyou
more
feeling
I just
metlike,'Josh
alove
better,
couple
'em,'
of Meg
sneered.
Chloe.'
people
said.
whoShe
cheered
put anmearm
up.'round Ch
loe.really
you
'Are feeling better? You've really shaken off the after-effects of whateve
r it was?'
Chloe
smiled at her.'I met some people who made me feel better about myself, Meg
: better
about
'Oh
God,
everything
it wasn'tinthe
fact.
Mormons
Even was
the it,'
scratches
Josh said,
and bruises
'or thehave
Moonies,
stoppedorhurting.'
the Scien
or don't
tologists,
'No,'
'I
'You
thewent
Chloe
Seventh
believe
though,
said,
Dayindidn't
'and
Adventists,
anyitofyou,'
wasn't
thatChloe
orcrap,'Josh
the
theteased.
Ouija
born-again
board
said
'Andquickly.
brain-deads&'
believers
you stayedeither.'
to the bitter end.'
'Someone
'You
'And haven't
beyond,'
beengot
Megreligion,
gossiping
said. outChloe?'
of turn?'Josh
Barry asked,
said, wondering
giving herwhich
a hardofstare.
his little gr
oup of
experimental
subjects had been playing with Ouija boards now, and what else they
been
had getting
all
up to recently. It would go down like a bucket of cold sick with th
euniversity council if there was any suggestion that he'd been encouraging studen
ts to in the black arts or something similarly ludicrous. 'Haven't joined a cul
dabble
'Not did,
t?'
'Who
'I'm
Like
know?
'No,'
'You
really
were
not
itinerant
mean
Likesure.
Chloe
they
didn't
street
my were
said.
thing,'
Ithen?'
actors
thought
you?'Josh
theatre?'
'Not
beggars,'
Ralph
you
Chloe
exactly'
they
crowed.'You
asked.
said.
might said.
Ralph
be gave
travelling
'You
themdidn't
money.
entertainers.
give
Whatthem
a stupid
money waste.
did you?'
I'd
ithave
'Done
Whatever
'I
forwhat
didn't
done
half.'
itgive
for
wasthem
half?'
cheered
money,'
you Chloe
up.' insisted. 'I arranged guest quarters for them
'They've
all.'
that's
'No.
I don't
donethink
a runner,
so. They
right,'Josh
weren't like
chortled.
that.'

Joshcheerful
'But
'No,'
'And
The
disappearing,
they're
needless
shook
Chloehis
agreed.'They're
not
confidence
tohead
so
there,'
say
Meg
insaid,
they
mocking
Chloe
Ralph
didn't
Leave
notwas
suggested.
disbelief.'Giving
there.'
pay
her
showing
the bill
alone.
when
Itbefore
shemoney
was
acame
they
nice
toinbeggars,'
left.'
thing
lookedshetohe
did.'
besaid.
rapidly
'Th
at'shadyou
made
'I
what
heard
feelthat,'
better?MegHell,
said.I 'A
canbit
beg.'
embarrassing really. Especially as in your
case itdoes
never
'You're
notany
seriously
good.' expecting them to show?' Ralph asked. It was more of a sta
atement
Chloe
question.
bridled.
than He 'Yes
did not
I'msmile
expecting
as hethem
saidtoit.show,' she said. I'm expecting them to
asshow
Here
The
'Did
aman
matter
as
you
here
ingethere?1
was
ofa name
very
fact.'
keen
Ralph
attoall?'
sounded
talkJosh
tomildly
the
asked,
famous
incredulous.
notGhostbuster
bothering toBazzer'
keep the contempt out
of called
He
voice.
Just
'Doctor
histheofDoctor.'
Doctor?'
himself
what? Divinity?'Josh
the Doctor' glanced sideways at Ralph. Landfill and shelf-st
'He said,'And,
acking?'
Meg
didn't say,'OK,Chloe
so Ralph's
said. sponsored by a supermarket. What's the problem wit
h that?
we
Josh
'Yes,
resent
snorted.
asDoithishappens,
Igood
don't
fortune
weknow&
do,'ordoMeg
something?'
we?'
said. 'Especially as the tightfisted shit-shove
ller anever
buys
'That's
Barry
finished
round.'
not true,'
tightening
Ralph objected.
the last of the tank's joints and checked the hose con
yet was
nections
'He
'Was
again.
he indeed?'
interested
'Why did
Barry
inthis
the
wasn't
mysterious
experiments,'
sure whether
Doctor
Chloe
wantbe
to
said.
toflattered
talk to or
me?suspicious.
Did he say?'Why wo
uld wouldn't
who
'Probably
someoneanother
give of
a name
yourbesupernatural
snooping around
groupies,'Josh
asking about
said.
him'The
and woods
his work?
are full
of them
case
youinhadn't noticed.'

'But hedidknew
'What
he they
know were
aboutgoing
the experiments?'
on,' Barry persisted.
Barry asked.
'How did he know they were go
ing on?'
Chloe
hesitated. 'I think I may have mentioned it. They're not secret are they?
You yeah,
tell
'Oh
didn't
us weright,'
weren'tJosh
supposed
chortled.
to say'He's
anything.'
going to tell us that isn't he? Ghostbust
er Bazzer: his middle name: publicity, his worst nightmare.' He threw up his ha
discretion,
ndsfound
Barry
horror.
He
wondering
innodded
mock
himself
whether
and smiled.
this very
'Yes,
discreet
you'reDoctor
right,who
it'swasnotsoainterested
problem.' in his importa
experiments might be something to do with the Kellerfield Research Fellowship. M
nt
ightsource
the
he be of the funds? Or had he been sent to check up on him by the source of
Pointless
the funds?to worry about it he decided, after a moment or two of worrying about
it. After
all,
'What's
Before
'It's
the
aBarry
the
sensory-deprivation
manseptic
hadn'tspeak
could
tank
showed
for?'
Josh
uptank,'
yet. Meg
Chloe
said,
asked.
'It's
saida witheringly.
bloody great 'Josh
coffin.'
has developed thi
s boring
obsession.'
Her voice took on a whining tone.'I'm not getting into that, no way
am I
getting
'You'll
into that,said.'It's
see,'Josh
it's a bloody
a bloody
greatgreat
coffin.'
coffin. I have a feel for these thin
Chloe wasn't listening. She moved round the tank. 'A sensory-deprivation tank? R
gs.'
eally?what
that
Is it is?' She looked pleased. 'I always wanted to try one of these.' She
through
'Told
peeredyoutheso,'
openJosh
access
saidhatch.
to Barry.
'Is There
it forwas
us?something
Can I havesmugly
a go?'triumphant about t
he*way
said
*know
Frank
*how
itcalled
heBarry
to volunteer
her
thought.
but the
them?'
'DodogI was
knowreluctant
how to volunteer
to come to
them,'Josh
him. Shewent
sat shivering
on, 'or dounh
I
appily,ofthe
habit
obedience in direct conflict with her fear. He sighed and went back alo
ng clip
to
the path
the lead to her collar. 'Come on, you daft old bitch,' he muttered. 'The
nothing to be afraid of. How often have we done this?' He tugged the spaniel on
re's
to herasfeet
and,
though she was relieved that he had made the difficult decision for her,
with
Frank
she him
walked
hadinto
growntheupold
in the
wood.village, which had become a small town after they buil
t the
university
in the Sixties, and for as long as he could remember local people had
Norswood
said thatwas haunted. As kids they'd dared each other to stay in it after dark a
nd there
were
one or two who claimed to have done it. Bob Cattermole and Cyril Naylor bot
h said been there when the darkness came and they had seen the ghosts. Frank him
they'd
self had
never
stayed once the dusk had started to gather, and he never really believed t
hat that
Cyril
All
Bobhadand
was
either.
long ago, in the distant, childish past. Bob and Cyril were gone, a
nd hemade
now
who
rational
a middle-aged
wasman,
a point
andofto
accountant
not
prove
believing
it he often
in ghosts.
quite deliberately
He was a
walked his dog through
the old

wood at dusk; he walked after dark if the night was clear and moonlit and he'd g
ot a at
torch
wood
decent
with
dusk;
him.he walked after dark if the night was clear and moonlit and he'd g
ot aold
torch
His
decent
with
bitch
him.was plainly frightened and that bothered him sometimes. He couldn'
t work
why
sheout
was frightened. She couldn't know Norswood was supposed to be haunted. S
he wasn't
like
those daft old buggers: she couldn't be telling herself ghost stories and s
herself stupid. She couldn't be affected by the wood's reputation. He could be a
caring
ffected
it
of course,
by
and he had considered the possibility that she was responding to s
ome subtle
sign
of fear in him. It seemed a bit far-fetched, he thought. Dogs were not that
Hesensitive.
was not that afraid. He was not afraid at all, in fact. Superstition did say
that dogs
could
see things people couldn't see: ghosts and the like. He knew it was nonsen
se. But
then
why the hell was she so afraid of the wood? Sometimes that did bother him a
Sometimes
bit.
it bothered him more than a bit. This was one of those times as it hap
It must have been the particular way the dog had been shivering that put the tho
pened.
ughtmind.
his
into Either that or he had mistaken the time, or it had taken them longer t
o getithere
than
normally did. Something. The thing of it was, the wood was somehow darke
r than he It shouldn't have been this dark this early. He checked his watch. No
expected.
definitely shouldn't be this dark. Maybe the weather was changing. Maybe there w
it
as a storm
coming.
The lunchtime forecast hadn't said anything about it, but that didn't me
an was
it
much.always
If 100 per cent accurate it wouldn't be called a forecast, after all.
his
He watch
held to his ear just to make sure it was going. It was beating solidly, and
slower
ratherthan his heart he suspected. He took a couple of deep breaths to steady h
Typically the dog, having managed to make him a bit uncomfortable -he still didn
imself.
't wantoftohimself as nervous - typically, the old bitch was dawdling now. Pulling
think
the
against
lead, she was insisting on smelling every last bush and tussock. It wasn't t
hat she she
peeing,
was was just sniffing. She seemed to have forgotten completely her initi
reluctance
al
He
resistedtothecross
impulse
the to
boundary
haul her
of along
the wood.
and,She
as he
wasn't
waited
frightened
for her to
anyfinish
longer.sn
uffling
what
wasatprobably a chunk of stale fox crap, he peered about him. Was it his ima
gination
was
it getting
or
darker as he looked? His eyesight wasn't what it had been but he
didn't needdistance vision to distinguish dark and light. He rubbed his eyes. It
pin-sharp
was getting
darker.
And colder. He shuddered involuntarily. Was it really getting colder or
was he
imagining
things? Mustn't get hysterical here he told himself: that way lies mad
ness and
'Come
thingy&
on girl,' he urged the dog. 'We haven't got all day. Or any of the day by
the look
it.'
The dog
of ignored him. No change there then, he thought ruefully.'Come on, gi
rl,' he
entreated.
'We're supposed to be walking. This is supposed to be a walk. Can we
please?' He tugged on the lead. The dog tugged back. Frank gave in to his impuls
walk
e todog
her
in.
The
along.'You
legs
'You
haulcontinued
and dugwant
don't
hadher
toyour
tostruggle
feet
walk,
chance,'
you
against
he muttered
can
slide.'
the leadasasshehestraightened
dragged her along the path
and Frank
felt
like a bully and a fool, but he kept on going because suddenly he wanted ve
ry much
get
out of
to the wood. Unexpectedly another feeling had crept up and was pressing
in pulled
He
on him.
was
sureharder
he wasonbeing
the lead.
watched.
The dog leant back and reared up, heaving herself
fromside.
to
sideShe began to whimper. It struck Frank that all that sniffing and dawdli
ng might

actually have been her way of avoiding going further into the ancient, rustling,
freezing,
actually
darkening,
have
frightening,
been her way
haunted
of avoiding
bloody wood.
going further into the ancient, rustling,
freezing,
He
darkening,
stoppedfrightening,
and turned back.'You're
haunted bloody
right,
wood.girl. Let's get the hell out of here!'
Eagerly the dog set off back the way they had come. She towed him along behind h
er and he found it hard to keep his feet, slithering and stumbling across the
although
slippery tree roots, by the time they reached the edge of Norswood Frank and the
suddenly
both
Leela
dog running.
were
had watched the man put the animal on the tether and walk with it into the
the
wood.
moment
Fromhe stepped among the trees his movements and the way he held himself
made itthat he was frightened. The further he walked the more frightened he becam
clear
e. Leela
decided
She
was not
she sure
neededwhat
to purpose
find outthe
whatanimal
it wasonthat
the tether
he was was
so afraid
serving.
of.The man was
for it. He paid a lot of attention to it. He behaved almost affectionately towar
concerned
ds it.toHeit, calling it 'girl' as he tried to persuade it to do what he wanted.
spoke
Her best
guess
was that the creature was there to warn him of danger, or it could just po
ssibly of
source
be food.
a
Apparently they did breed several different sorts of animal here
them
and close
kept until they were ready to eat them. But whatever the creature was for,
appeared
Staying
it too intocover,
be frightened.
and treading lightly through the crackling leaf litter, she fo
llowed
man
andthe
the tethered animal to try and see what it was that was threatening them
. She must
there
knew be predators here no matter what the Doctor said. Men, even timid men
, closer
Aafraid
that
on
were
itsitbones
not
for
carried
look
noand
reason.
at
little
the animal
that
its
meatnature
confirmed
wouldLeela's
be to run:
firstsoimpression
it was probably a guard cre
rather than a food creature. It seemed strange to her that, although it was relu
ature
ctantwalking
keep
to
into the gloom, it was not until it began struggling against the te
therthe
the
By
man
that
time
responded
he turned
to the
to run
warning
awayitLeela
was was
giving
so close
him. she could have reached out
and and
him
touched
yet he was totally unaware of her. Fear sharpened the senses only up to
a point,
her
warrior-trainers
as
never tired of telling her. A little fear might have its us
es, but
much
feartoooverwhelmed the mind and made you unseeing and stupid and helpless. It
towasgive
easyyourself up to fear. Easy and usually fatal. She stepped out of cover as
and
From
thehis
mananimal
the
way they
blundered
were running
off. Leela concluded the danger must be in the opposit
edirection, towards the place where she and the Doctor had left the TARDIS, and s
he hunt
to
set out
whatever it was. Tribal hunting theory taught that predators are attract
ed to
disturbance
and, although she had found this teaching less reliable once she had
home
leftworld,
her she knew it still made basic sense. Any predator must look for chang
es and
differences
if it was going to see its prey. The TARDIS would be a change, a dif
aference
disturbance
and so there was a good possibility it would attract the attention of
creatures
the
She
glancedthat
up through
stalked the
thisfire-bright
gloomy place.
leaves
Thistosuddenly
the palevery
clouds
gloomy
highplace.
above the
treesstill-light
the
in
sky. Her eyes were failing her. Unless something was swallowing
theitlight
as
shone down, it should not have been this dark here on the ground. What she
tohadbetaken
Thickening
shadows
darkness,
must becold
something
and dimelse,
likesomething
deep flowing
harder
water,
to explain.
seemed to be filling
the space
below
the trees. It could not be shadows, she realised, because it went from the
upwards.
ground Was it smoke or mist? She tried to judge its density and power, but eac
h time she

looked directly at some part of it there was nothing unusual to be seen. There w
as no darkness. It was as though her sight was glowing with light which made i
strange
timpossible
But
she knewtoblackness
see the dark
was behind
except and
out all
of the
around
corners
her,ofeverywhere
her eyes.except where sh
e looked.
She
knew it was overtaking her, gradually wrapping itself round her and slowly c
losing
in.
Sheher
felt cold, and chilly whispers of air touched her skin and made her shiv
er. Herwas pounding and she was finding it hard to breathe. Little swirls of wind
heart
dead
Leela
stirred
leaves
knew certain
and dustpredators
around her.
could make themselves invisible and use their invis
ibility
make
thetofear of death almost worse than death itself. She closed her eyes. She
had beenthat when a threat was invisible, sight could be a distraction and a dang
taught
er. She
took
several slow, deep breaths and tried to blank her mind. One of the earliest
her
lessons
training
of was to recognise and control the physical symptoms of panic, and th
en identify
the
reasons for it. Breathe deep and slow, examine what you know. Slowly her bre
became
athing
slowing
you
know.
easier
down.
Ignoring
and she
Breathe
everything
felt and
deep
hershe
heartbeat
slow,
hadexamine
seen, orwhat
thought she had seen, she concent
ratedother
her
on senses. She listened: but there was no particular sound, nothing you w
ould notin a place such as this. Even if a predator was invisible it could not mo
expect
ve without
making
some small noise which did not fit the general pattern; but there was not
Breathe
hing.
She
sniffed
deepthe
andair.
slow,Sheexamine
smelledwhat
vegetation,
you know.damp and rotting, live and growing,
blowing.
dry and There was nothing recently crushed or torn: nothing to suggest immediat
e danger.deep and slow, examine what you know. She turned her face slightly, feel
Breathe
ing the
air.
You could not feel darkness but you could feel a change in temperature, you
acould
shiftfeel
in the way the air was moving. She tried to keep what she had seen out o
f hertomind:
not
use what her eyes had given her while she continued building the picture
of whather.
around
was Was it especially cold? Was there really a wind? Yes, she decided, t
here small
some
was stirring in the air. But it was not chillingly cold and it was not ou
t of the A flow of air could be expected to break and swirl in a place like thi
ordinary.
s. Breathe
deep
and slow, examine what you know. What she knew was that in her panic she ha
d reacted
to
small things and exaggerated their effects. She was back in control now. The
that remained to be answered was why had she panicked? There was no reason she c
question
ouldShe
of.
think
set the question aside for the moment. Perhaps she would be able to answ
er itknew
she
Leela
whenmoreher
opened
about
eyes.
these
Thepredators
strange darkness
and how had
theyreceded.
hunted. There were still hints
of it,of fear, glimpsed at the very edges of her sight. Mist, smoke, shadows: it
wisps
any
could
of them
be she told herself, or all of them. Breathe deep and slow, examine wha
t youstepped
She
know. carefully across the thorny vines that crisscrossed the ground and c
on finding the path she and the Doctor had taken when they set out. Soft-footed,
oncentrated
diagonally
she moved back and forth through the fringe of the wood, knowing that the patte
rn of would cut their original trail and that she would recognise when and wher
search
e itwanted
She
did. to approach the TARDIS from a different direction. If she accidentall
y walked
part
of the same trail as before it would give the predators a dangerous advanta
Know your ground or end up buried in it. So many stupidly obvious rules her warr
ge.
trainers had required her to learn by heart and recite back to them whenever the
ioryinstructed, she thought. Breathe deep and slow, examine what you know. Know your
end
ground
up buried
or
in it. Predators prey, prey run away. They came into her mind unbi
ddenleft
and
now her wondering whether they were a help or a hindrance in the warrior's
fight
stay
It
wasalive.
toas she expected. She found the Doctor's heavy, careless footprints easily
the
enough,
less obvious marks of her own progress beside them. She scanned the ground c
There spoor
arefully.
their
Satisfied
was that
nohere
sign
sheatthat
could
thisanything
point.exactly
tell
had been
where
following
their line of march had been, she ci
rcleditaway
from
and headed for the TARDIS from the opposite side. She knew it was unlike
ly that

whatever these predators were they would target the Doctor and her by lying in a
mbushalready
the
along trodden trail. But there was a remote chance that they might. The ch
ance ofis never remote, the chance of survival always is. Why had she been taught
death
was
that?
so completely
That
useless: it could not be called a rule. Why would she remember
wondered.
it? she She drew her knife and shifted her weight slightly forward on to the b
alls ofFight
feet.
whatever
her
these
or predators
run, she must
werebethey
ready
would
fortarget
eitherthe
if Doctor
she wasand
going
hertobysurvive.
lying in a
mbushalready
the
along trodden trail. But there was a remote chance that they might. The ch
ance ofis never remote, the chance of survival always is. Why had she been taught
death
was
that?
so completely
That
useless: it could not be called a rule. Why would she remember
wondered.
it? she She drew her knife and shifted her weight slightly forward on to the b
allsghosted
feet.
She
ofFight
her forward.
or run, she
Themust
vegetation
be readystill
for seemed
either to
if be
shecompletely
was going blocking
to survive.
her v
iew of the
TARDIS.
That was wrong, she thought, that could not be. The scrub oaks, or whate
ver they
were
called, were not dense enough to do that. True, she was deliberately approa
aching
different
from angle but& She stopped. She could see through the thicket of small t
rees.anothing
was
For
There there.
moment
she doubted
There herself.
was nothing
Wasinthis
thethe
hollow.
rightThe
place?
TARDIS
Thewas
woodgone.
was unfamil
iar toyour
Know
her.ground or end up buried in it. She might be mistaken about the trail,
she might
have
got the directions muddled. Her panic might have distorted everything she k
everything she thought she knew. Breathe deep and slow, examine what you know. S
new,
he shook
her
head. Nonsense. It was nonsense. She was Leela of the Sevateem. She was a wa
trained by the best of her tribe to be the best of her tribe. She knew exactly w
rrior,
here Or
was.
sherather,
She
knew exactly
she knew
where
exactly
the TARDIS
where the TARDIS should be. It should be exactl
y where
was
For
alooking.
moment
she she
It was
doubted
gone.the
Something
Doctor.orHadsomeone
he lefthadwithout
taken her?
it. ItWhile
was she
gone.was dodg
ing the from the university who were trying to take her captive, he could have
warriors
back to the TARDIS and left without her. Suppose she had been right after all. S
sneaked
uppose
was
conspiring
he
with the Tesh all along. She knew there were Tesh there in that u
somewhere, she knew there were. She could sense them. She could smell them. How
niversity
was it could
Doctor
the not? How could she believe that? Or perhaps he had simply taken a n
companion to travel with him. Perhaps he had chosen one that did not argue; one
ew
that was to hang on his every word and treat him like the shaman-chieftain he pr
prepared
etended
be.
Someone
to like that girl student he had taken such a liking to, that one calle
d Chloe,
she
was the sort of travelling companion he would rather have. Breathe deep and
examine what you know. Nonsense. It was nonsense. The Doctor would not do that t
slow,
o her orelse.
anyone
to The Doctor would say what he felt about things, and he would tell y
ou what heto do about them. He was a Time Lord and, although Leela was not sure w
intended
hat darkness
Lord
The
awas,
Timeshewas
knewspreading
it was nothing
out beyond
to dothewith
edges
theofTesh.
her vision again. This time i
t was across the ground like a flat shadow cast by something huge and close, a
flowing
nd it was
moving
towards the hollow where the TARDIS should be standing. Involuntarily she
atglanced
the sky.
up It was unchanged. Nothing was casting this shadow. It was the shadow
nothing.
of
But that was madness: nothing could be the shadow of nothing. Instinct
to Leela that if she let this black nothing touch any part of her it would take
whispered
her into

itself and she would be lost and alone for ever. She would be lost, alone and af
raid forand she would be lost and alone for ever. She would be lost, alone and af
itself
ever.
raid for
Leela
ever.
gripped her knife tighter and did her best to shake off what she could onl
yunderstand as the memory of fear. What she was hearing was nothing to do with he
r she toldShe felt the fear and the mad words whirling in her mind but somehow th
herself.
ey wereShenotrecognised the hate and the anger and the fear for what they were, bec
hers.
ause shehad felt all of these things at one time or another. But she had never f
herself
elt at
all
themonce, and she had never felt them like this. These feelings belonged to s
else. She was Leela of the Sevateem. She repeated it like a mantra. She was Leel
omeone
a of the It was more important to her than any of the rules she had been made t
Sevateem.
o learn
the
warrior-trainers.
by
She was Leela of the Sevateem. She was a warrior and she h
ad been to recognise and overcome the weaknesses and stupidities that crippled m
trained
en and Fear, hate and anger were the most crippling stupidities of all. They wer
women.
e instincts
that
served no useful purpose. They were for short-lived fools. Bright and stupi
d dieway:
same
the but not the same day. Fear, hate, anger: no warrior who gave in to the
m could for long. The chance of death is never remote, the chance of survival al
survive
wayshalf-heard
The
is.
words and pale feelings flickered and gibbered on and suddenly th
ere weretoo. Pictures that were almost transparent but not quite, visions that we
images
re almost but not quite. A striding, leaping man-creature was charging towards h
imaginary
er. Helegs
long
hadand moved with speed and agility. He was not armed but he cackled and
raged He
came.
as obviously
he
intended to terrify his victim, but Leela judged that the lon
g thinvulnerable.
were
legs
His face was a twisted, sneering distortion of something that m
ight been
have
once human. If there was such a thing as a ghost or a demon, Leela thought,
bethis
whatcould
it looked like. She could sense the terror he brought with him, but it w
as someone
else's
terror. She had faced far more formidable adversaries. If it had not been
fear
for she
the felt him carrying she would have laughed in his face. She watched him c
until he was only a few strides away from her and then the image vanished as sud
arefully
denlyshadow
had
The
appeared.
as itwas still sliding over the ground towards the empty hollow. Leela res
istedtothemove with it so that she could get a closer look at what was happening.
urge
Some of the darkness had already passed beyond the small line of bushy trees and
featureless
thought
she
she could see the dip in the ground filling up with blackness. She shive
red.she
was
Whyshivering again? She closed her eyes. It was colder. There was a breeze
now,opened
She
too. her eyes and glanced at the nearest tree. It was still. She could fee
l the air
moving
but the tree could not. So she must be imagining it. Unless she was imagi
ning the
tree.
Perhaps it was bent and lashing about in a storm of wind. She closed her e
yes and again. It definitely felt as though air was being sucked past her toward
checked
s the
Darkness
hollow.
that flowed and a wind that did not. The TARDIS gone, stranding her and
Doctor.What
the
was this place? The Doctor had ignored her feelings but she had been
here
proved
uncomfortable
from
thattheshemoment
was right
they and
arrived.
he wasThough
wrong.hePeople
would and
neveranimals
admit were
it, this
afraid to be
whole
here.wood
The was full of fear. She was not afraid. She was Leela of the Sevateem a
nd she stronger
fought
had
adversaries and faced worse predators. She froze. Predators. She
had

forgotten the predators she had set out to stalk. This was the trap she had been
She
expecting.
had not been paying attention and she had fallen into the trap she had taken
trouble
so muchto avoid. Fear thrilled through her body, her nostrils and eyes widened,
went
her dry
mouthand her breath caught in her throat. She badly wanted to turn and run.
prey, preythe
Predators
forgotten
runpredators
away. Sheshe
stood
hadher
setground
out toand
stalk.
waited
Thistowas
react
thetotrap
theshe
attack.
had been
She
expecting.
had not been paying attention and she had fallen into the trap she had taken
trouble
so muchto avoid. Fear thrilled through her body, her nostrils and eyes widened,
went
her dry
mouthand her breath caught in her throat. She badly wanted to turn and run.
prey,took
Predators
She
preya step
run away.
towards
Shethe
stood
hollow,
her ground
and then
andanother
waited and
to react
another.
to the
Sheattack.
struggled
to stop.
This
was the attack, she told herself. This was what she must react to. This was
must
whatfight.
she This was what the Tesh were doing. They thought she was less than th
ey were.
They
thought she could not understand. She was Leela of the Sevateem and that me
ant she The
stupid.
was machine that had been God had left her in ignorance. Ignorance was w
hy her had died. Ignorance was what the Doctor had brought her to and left her t
father
o face
alone.
She
tried
Thistowas
turnheraway
lossfrom
andthe
herblackness
pointlessness.
but she found herself unable to balanc
e. She fellThe spiny ground-vines caught her skin, making tiny, stinging tears an
clumsily.
d cuts.
was
abruptly
She furious at the pain. She kicked at the undergrowth and slashed at t
he earth
with
The
cold
her intensified
knife. Helpless
and she
ragewas
overwhelmed
pulled towards
her. the hollow. Nothing around her w
as all.
at
movingEverything seemed frozen in a moment of time which she was not a part of
.Everything was moving except for her: everything was motionless except for her.
Both were in the same moment. She was unconnected to the world and in the same i
happening
uncontrolled within it. She alone was drifting and dragging in the unreal wind w
nstant
ith nothing
around
her moving, and at the same time everything was moving normally while she
alone,
was lost,
ignored. The TARDIS appeared as if to torment her and then it vanished ag
Another
ain.
She
was bumping
rush of across
mindlessthefury
ground
ragedinto
through
what was
her.now a gaping flutter of torn and
hollows
flickering
in an infinite-seeming curve of identical patches of woodland. In her fl
anger Leela stabbed her knife into the ground again. This time it caught there.
ailing
wrenched at it, but it remained stuck. She clung on grimly. The cold became a pa
She
howling
inful
Then
without
hiss,warning
and allthe
around
chaosherended
the as
voices
suddenly
murmured
as itandhadgibbered.
begun. Leela sat up.
The simply
was
wood a wood. The shadows, the sounds, the currents of air were all as she
would haveThe fear and the threat she had sensed had gone. The predators she was
expected.
were
expecting
not here. She found herself doubting their existence. The hollow was just a
tree-fringed
small,
depression. The TARDIS was clearly visible and standing exactly whe
re ita long
should
For
be standing.
moment Leela's relief made her want to laugh. It must have been a dre
am she caused by the bad food - the Doctor had obviously been mistaken: fried
thought,
was poisonous. But the relief was brief. Breathe deep and slow, examine what you
breakfast
was
know.
notIta dream. She was covered in cuts and bruises and her knife was still stu
ck inDoctor's
Chapter
ground.
The
theSevenbest and most charming smile did not seem to be working its usual m
takecampus's
agic.'I
The
individual
uniform,
it you
wasinhave
security
not
a quasi-military
anohappy
idea
supervisor,
whereandsheheawent
man
shaven-headed,
was
then?'
in
no mood to
thickset
be charmed.'That's funny,'
showing
he said,little sign of amusement, 'I was about to ask you the same thing.'

The Doctor continued to smile in the vain hope of winning him over. He would fin
d Leela
The
Doctor
a continued to smile in the vain hope of winning him over. He would fin
d Leela a The Doctor stopped smiling and looked suitably concerned. 'Which one?'
'Really?'
'That
The
'Me Doctor
aswould
it happens.'
nodded
glanced
explainsympathetically.
round
the police
the large,
who are
'That
well-appointed
onwould
theirexplain
wayoffice
eventheaswith
black
we its
speak.'
eye?'
attached cust
odytwo
of
Campus
Well
suite
no,'
small
security,'
theholding-cells.
Doctor
thesaid.
man said
'I'm
You're
coldly.'As
a stranger
not theyou
police?'
here.'
wellHeknow.'
noticed for the first time
thatathere
was
small bottle of water, the same Clear spring Water Company bottled water t
hatbeseemed
to
Your
"The
purpose
pursuit
everywhere
on knowledge?'
of
campus
on campus,
being?'
in among
the
Doctorthesuggested.
clutter onHethe
nodded
supervisor's
at the bottle.
desk. 'Do y
ou drink
lot
'Don't
of get
that
a lippy
designer
withwater?'
me.' Thehesupervisor
asked.
leant forward in his chair and pointed
ata the
'That
finger
was
Doctor's
not myface.
intention,'
'You'rethe
in Doctor
no position
said politely,
to get lippy
struck
withonce
me.'again by how
people's behaviour became when they put on a uniform. 'I was merely answering yo
uniform
The supervisor looked smugly threatening. 'You do realise that this is private p
question.'
ur
he almost gloated. 'There is no public right of access to the campus and unless
roperty,'
you can
prove
'The
pursuit
you haveoflegitimate
knowledge is
business
not legitimate
here you business?'
can be arrested.'
The Doctor was genuinely
taken
at
'Depends
theaback
idea.
on the circumstances doesn't it,' the supervisor remarked. Ever hear of
No,'
competitive
the Doctor
advantage
said. 'Sounds
investigation?'
distinctly dull.' He decided it would be sensible
to cut and
losses
his look for Leela without the direct help of campus security. 'Or else i
t'sused
convoluted
It
'Ah,'
a thetoDoctor
waycalled
be
ofsaid.
describing
industrial
'I havesomething
heard
espionage,'
ofdistinctly
thatthe
andsupervisor
Idull.'
was right:
persisted.
competitive advant
investigation is a dull way of saying something dull. Look, can you give me any
age
idea hit
direction
'Nope,'
'She
of the
you
Leela
supervisor
andtook
left,when
saidthat
is
sheflatly.
left
it?'you?'
As soon as he said it the Doctor realised it
was a

The supervisor
tactless
unexpectedly
mistake.
formidable.'
glowered.'How
'She has been
longtrained
have you
as worked
a fighter,'
with this
he added
Leelahastily.
person exactly
'She's
I don't
?'
our
'How
'Relatively
The
association.'
Doctor
longthink
have
shrugged.
stood
howworking
you
long
up.associated
All
have
'I
with
wish
time
you
herIassociated
with
is
isrelative
had
quite
her?'to
time
how
with
isn't
discuss
I'dher?'
characterise
it?'
time with you.' He offered hi
s hand thethedesk.
across
Ignoring
Doctor's
'It was
extended
good tohand,
meetthe
you,'
supervisor
he lied.pressed
'Thank ayoubutton
for your
on the
help.'
desk
communications console.'Base to one four get your arse in here will you?' he bar
ked security
the
The
into
mic.
guard who had accompanied the Doctor from Parnaby's office, and who
m he was
knew
now called Len Spart, came in with a cup of coffee in one hand and a sandwi
ch in the
other.
'You'll
'I'm
takeonyour
a break,'
refs when
he Iprotested.
say you'll take your refs,' the supervisor snapped
.'Get a grip, Fred,' Spart said.'You're not in the job any more. We're civilians,
nobody
'Put
'You
'Yes,
'If
mate,
this
this
want
Len.
calls
keeps
bloke
him
I want
them
locked
happening
under
refs.'
him
up?'
restraint
locked
toSpart
me,'
up.'asked.
until
the Doctor
the cavalry
sighed,arrives.'
'I shall have to start takin
g it looked dubious. 'What's he supposed to have done this time? Apart from bei
Spart
personally'
ng an
irritating
Felonious
trespass,
loony?' criminal damage, assault with intent, actual bodily harm, ho
w longhim?'
list
What
doayouSpan
want?'
smirked. 'When did he do all this? He's a fast worker for a nutt
er, that
say
'He's
I'll
an accessory
for him.' before and after the fact. And he's under suspicion as an ind
'Yeahreckon?'
spy'
ustrial
'Yours
'You
'It's
right,'
called
not tobeing
Spartinscoffed.
reason
why,
charge.
Len,It's
yourswhat
butItoamdoandasyou're
I sodding
not.well
Now are
say!'you going t
o dowhat's
tell
And
whatorIfelonious
you
is employed
trespass
also what
whenIit's
am and
at home?'
you're Spart
not?' demanded, and took a bit
e out of

'You've
his
'Where
sandwich.
doobviously
you thinkgotyou're
me confused
going?'with
the someone
supervisor
else,'
challenged.
the Doctor said, offering
the most
open
and friendly smile in his repertoire.'I'm a harmless traveller nothing more
: a
harmless
'There
youtraveller
are, youpassing
see.' The
through.'
supervisor was triumphant. 'He's a harmless travel
ler. That
means
he's a didicoy or else he's part of that New Age convoy lot. You can proba
bly addup your mind,
sheep-stealing
'Make
to theFred.'
list Spart
of charges.'
moved, though with a marked lack of enthusiasm,
the
to Doctor's
block
exit. 'A minute ago you had him down as James Bond. Now he's some s
ort ofamlivestock
hippie
'What
I talkingrustler
here, some
- which
obscure
is it?'
foreign language?' The supervisor's face w
as suddenly
flushed
with angry blood. 'Put the sodding sandwich down, put the sodding coffee
this
Somewhere
down,sodding
putoutside
character
in theindistance
the SODDING
a siren
LOCKUP!'
could be heard getting closer. The Doc
torwas
it
assumed
a police car coming in response to the call from campus security. He cons
barging his way out before it arrived but decided this would probably make the s
idered
worse. He reasoned that if there was some sort of malevolent force at work in th
ituation
e immediate
area
the police would be outside its influence and he would be able to reason wi
th could
it
Spart
'Leela,'
them.
wasthe
Orfrowning
be
the
Doctor
water&
atsaid,
the wandering
supervisor.back
'I'mtonot
thesurprised
supervisor's
Zenadesk.'Her
chinned you.'
name is L
eela.'across
leant
He
the desk.'You didn't answer my question by the way,' he said and pi
cked uplay
bottle
Chloe
ofthein
water.
the darkness
'Do you drink
with her
a loteyes
of wide
this open.
stuff?'Not that it made any differen
ce: openshe
closed,
or could see nothing. The inside of the tank was almost totally dark an
d she waslight-excluding goggles just to be sure. Like a black cat in a sack in a
wearing
she
cellar,
thought, only more relaxed because, unlike the cat, she could understand wha
t waswarm water
happening
The
to her.
buoyed her up and gradually the touch of it was disappearing from
soherthat
skinshe was floating, hovering in the essence of the blackness. She could he
ar nothing
but
the pulse of her own blood soughing in her ears. She had never felt so compl
detached
etely
She
asleep
Then
was
a thought
atfree.
from
the same
everything.
There
drifted
time.
wasinto
noShestress.
her
smiled
half-asleep
She
andwas
sighed
awake
mind.
from
and
Itthe
shepure
struck
washer
pleasure
that she
of had
it. not
herself
heard sigh. She repeated the sigh, slightly more positively, adding an element
throat-iness
of extra
and a small uuh noise to it. She was still unsure whether she had h
eard the
sound
of that or not so she cleared her throat loudly. This time there was a noi
se of
throat-clearing
but it was oddly muffled and distant. It seemed to be coming fro
m someone
While
else.
her sight had been deliberately cut off nothing had been done to affect he
r hearing,
so
why was she suddenly deaf, she wondered. 'Hullo,' she said aloud. 'Can you he
ar me?'the sound of it was muffled or at least, as far as she could tell, it was
Again
not very
loud.
Of course, she realised, there was no way to tell how loudly she had actua
lly said

it. There was no objective measure of the volume. And the water would affect her
wouldn't
ears
it? Her ears were under the water. Or were they? There was no way to te
ll that since she could no longer tell where the water was. For all she knew she
either,
under
couldthe
be water. She could be drowned. She could be drowned and dead. Or this co
uld beknow
nothing
weirdness
would
butcould
that
a dream,
kickwasn't
it
andand
in
any
happening
she
moment and
now feel
the frightening
that it was happening and know that
happening
it.
it There
was was
and no
feelobjective
that it measure
wasn't happening:
of the volume.
all atAndthethesame
water
time.
would affect her
wouldn't
ears
it? Her ears were under the water. Or were they? There was no way to te
ll that since she could no longer tell where the water was. For all she knew she
either,
under
couldthe
be water. She could be drowned. She could be drowned and dead. Or this co
uld beknow
nothing
weirdness
would
butcould
that
a dream,
kickwasn't
it
andand
in
any
happening
she
moment and
now feel
the frightening
that it was happening and know that
.happening
'All
it was
right,'
andChloe
feel said.
that it'Iwasn't
can't hear
happening:
myselfall
clearly.
at theCan
sameyoutime.
hear me clearly?'
Everything's
You
Yes,can't
quitehear
clearly.'
fine.
clearly
I can
Thebecause
voiceyou
hear
wasthe
of
and
warmly
see you
tank's
reassuring.
acoustic
quite clearly.
blanketing and because you
r earsmade
under
That
the
aresense,
water' Chloe thought, but then what about the fact that: 'I can hear y
clearly.'
ou
'Receiver
That's
right,
And she
taped
soinclose:
remembered
your left
it wasthem
ear?'
almost
doing
theasvoice
that,
though
prompted
ofhecourse
was inside
she remembered
her head.them doin
g that. PayChloe, she thought. Half-asleep obviously. But then what about the fa
attention,
ct that:
'It's
'Isn't
under
technology
water wonderful.'
then:
The voice had a chuckle in it. Especially expensiv
etechnology.'
He
shouldn't do that, Chloe thought. He shouldn't chuckle like that. He sounded
Was he lying to her? Would an earpiece like that work under water? Wouldn't the
insincere.
water
it
outshort
or get behind it or would the signal work at all? Maybe it was the warped
dream.
logic She
of aput her hand to her ear but somehow the movement got lost. 'Yes,' she
barely
'If
'Yes,'
"Josh
'Yes.'
said,
you're
isShe
hearing
she
going
ready,
said
tried
herself.
to
again.
tosend
Chloe,'
speak
aPerhaps
series
the voice
more
heofhadn't
clearly
images
in so
herheard
just
that
ear he
said.
her
like
would
before.
we said.
hear her.
You remember?'
The blood thro
bbingears
her
in sounded louder. Was it suddenly louder or had she simply not noticed be
fore?
she
'I
'Yes.'
'No
Chloe
with
somehow
'I'm
There
want
said
matter
awill
going
Yes,'
tried
Could
surge
you
the
again.
what
to
be
toof
two
heno
turn
say
match
hear
it
blood
sounds
sounds
what
is.'
off
that?
the
and
were
the
you
The
coming
briskness.'Yes.'
Was
earpiece
seefrom
voice
the
the
aswas
same.
soon
blood
now,'
the
brisk.
asmuffling
outside
But
the
youvoice
the
see
andword
the
it.'
said.
no
words?
coincided
light.
Do you understand?
'

Yes,' the blood soughed. 'Yes. I hear you. I understand.' 'Remember you can open
and
any
Yes,'
thetime
stop
tank
theyou
the
blood
experiment
want
soughed.
to.' 'Yes. I hear you. I understand.' 'Remember you can open
and
any
Barry
thetime
stop
tank
wasyou
the
tempted
experiment
want
to.'stop the whole thing right there. The girl seemed to be pre
to
tty of
out
muchit already and they hadn't even started on what was nothing more than a p
testwas
reliminary
She
runOKanyway.
when she got into the tank. Despite a lot of nervous joking around, t
nakedness thing hadn't bothered her. In fact he got the distinct impression that
he
enjoyed
she rather
showing off her body. Actually it was a very attractive body - something
allowed
he had himself to acknowledge briefly before suppressing the reaction completel
likehadthat
trouble
y:
He
always
was considered
something heChloe
badlyPennick
didn'tasneed.
borderline flaky. She had demonstrated
natural
some aptitude, her PQ was above average and she was nice enough. She was slig
shallow and vain but most girls of her age were in his experience. There was som
htly
ething
bit
naive
a about the way she approached things though. His initial assessment was
wanted
that she
to believe in the existence of her own psi powers without quite being abl
e toexperimental
In
do it.
terms that could be more of a problem than the unwavering belief
girl
of the
or the
Cox outright scepticism of Meg Lansing. At least you could treat those a
s baselineand compensate for them. With Pennick the responses were all over the
variables
Not only that, but wanting to believe made for vulnerability and a readiness to
place.
opensorts
all
up toof irrational impulses and malign influences. At best it made the subj
ectmisinterpret
to
eager
what they were seeing and feeling. At worst it made them stupid
dangerously gullible. And stupid and dangerously gullible were charges routinely
and
atlevelled
him and his whole research programme, so he was not keen to have one of his t
subjects her
est
Watching
demonstrating
on the monitors
such traits
Barry could
for anyone
not decide
to see.whether Chloe Pennick was pl
aying silly
buggers
in an attempt to convince herself that she was having a genuine experien
ce or shetocould
whether
According
deprivation
was
thehaving
literature,
produce
a genuine
somesensory
interestingly
experience. bizarre psychological effects but t
heywas
time
He
took
tofairly
manifest.
sure the girl was responding too quickly. She wasn't even fully cu
t off yet.and warm water were not enough in themselves to produce what she was sh
Darkness
owing andIt was weird enough, for example, that she seemed to have forgotten abou
saying.
t the
earpiece,
but when he reminded her of it she hadn't even tried to feel for it. R
eaching
it
wouldfor
have been the instinctive reaction. He would have to examine the record
ing morelater, but as far as he could tell she hadn't moved a muscle. Of course,
closely
from
the the
output
night-sight lenses of the tank cameras was not ideal: green and fuzzy w
aasdisappointment.
He
a bit of off the mic, isolating the interior of the tank from any normal inpu
switched
ts. Atsignal
light
a
from him Josh, who was locked in isolation capsule number three, wo
uld start and sending a series of images. The capsule had been chosen at rando
visualising
m and himself
Barry
only
knew beforehand what pictures were on the cards he had given Josh
to take
with
While
him.
heinwaited to cue Josh, he said to the others who were standing around the
control
monitoring
'On
anything?'
andsuite,
Meg'Chloe's
asked. not on anything is she? As far as you know?'

'Yeswas
Drugs?
Meg
'None
indeedy,'
ofHas
dismissive.'Chloe
usshe
areTommy
taken
on anything,'
any drugs?'
said.
isn't
'YouRalph
on anything.'
made
said.
it clear
Themthat
werecellphones
the rules and
weremind-altering
they not.'
were off limits to anyone on your programme. We said we wouldn't use them and we
substances
our
Meg
'It
arehas
word.
smiled
menmade
ofIsn't
mirthlessly.
us life-style
that right
'Youicons,'
Meg?'
flatterTommy
yourself.'
went on, 'and fashion leaders in our pe
er group.'
'The
moby ban is a bit of a pain,' Ralph said. 'Nobody uses public phone boxes t
hese days.
Except
Tommy
nodded
to peesadly,
in, I and
suppose.'
sighed.'Every time poor old Meg goes into one people thi
nk putting
be
'No,'
'Touche,
sheMeg
must
she
said.
upcried,'
cards
'Theyadvertising
Tommy
thinksaid
I'm grinning,'and
her sexual
taking
downservices.'
thechopped
cards his
advertising
head offyours.'
at the should
'All right,'
ers.'
'We've
been told
Barrythat
said.'Enough
before.' Tommy
with was
the half-grinning
comedy routine.'
and looking at Meg.'I'm b
eginning
think
She
'The
Meg
'I
said
scowled.
tried
way
ourenough
toto
my
future
luck's
'What
suppress
with
mayrunning?
makes
the
not
a comedy
smile
lieIt's
you
inand
think
routine,'
stand-up.'
either
failed.'The
we have
that
Barry
a or
future?'
bus
repeated.
walk
would
in be
front
'I'm
theletting
ofbetter
a bus.'
option.'
you
observ
e this assoado me a favour and shut the hell up.' He keyed the light cue in capsu
favour,
le three,
and
on the monitor Josh picked up the first picture card and showed it to the CC
TV was
It
camera.
a photograph of the Empire State Building in New York. He threw up his ha
nds inofathey
mime
'Should
feigned
be that
astonishment
well known?'
beforeRalph
settling
asked.'Doesn't
down to stare
it make
at the
guessing
image.easier?'
'Why should the Empire State Building in New York be easier to guess?' Meg said.
Barry
'Well,said,
it's 'An
easier
immediately
than the recognisable
town hall in image
Leighton
makes
Buzzard
it easier
say,'for
Ralph
Joshsaid.
to focus
. He's not
faffing
around absorbing unexpected details. If telepathy did exist at some inst
level it would be better if he wasn't thinking about what it was he was seeing.'
inctive
Tommy
'Luckywas
he looking
isn't seeing
intently
whatatTommy's
the monitor
seeingthat
then,'
hadMeg
theremarked
best angle
pointedly.
on Chloe's nak
ed body.
Green
and fuzzy did not seem to be interfering with his appreciation of the pict
ure. IfMeg's
heard
he comment he gave no sign of it. 'What happens if she mentions Leighto
n Buzzard
now?'
'I
gethea Nobel
asked.prize,' Barry said, watching the output of the camera focused on
the girl's
face.
'Or you all get burned as witches. Or possibly both.' But it didn't look l
ikely, he

thought, that she was going to mention Leighton Buzzard or anything else for tha
t matter.
He
fiddled with the remote focusing and peered more closely at the screen. Her l
ips werevery slightly. She could be whispering or it could just be the way she wa
moving
sbreathing. Even in close-up he could not be sure. Next time he must have an ECG
the very least. She might be entirely motionless but her heart rate could be off
at
readout
for
theall
scale
he knew. Was she whispering? He turned up the gain from the tank's mics.
thought, that she was going to mention Leighton Buzzard or anything else for tha
t matter.
He
fiddled with the remote focusing and peered more closely at the screen. Her l
ips werevery slightly. She could be whispering or it could just be the way she wa
moving
sbreathing. Even in close-up he could not be sure. Next time he must have an ECG
the very least. She might be entirely motionless but her heart rate could be off
at
readout
for
theall
scale
he knew. Was she whispering? He turned up the gain from the tank's mics.
And all the time the blood poured from every pore of her skin. It was squeezed a
nd wrenched
from
her. With every pulse of her constricted heart her body convulsed and slipp
ery blood
swept
over her. She was covered in so much blood that she choked on its thick, s
limytried
She
slick.to reach the bottom of the tank but the blood was too viscous to feel
through:heritup and held her in an oily limbo. She bent her knees and pushed her h
buoyed
eelsturned
and
She
felt
downnothing.
on her side
The effort
and reached
made the
downcramps
with her
and hand.
convulsions
Still she
worse.
touched nothing
. She with the strain of it and blood slid into her mouth and filled her throat
gasped
. She
to
Barry
choke.
began He was right, he should have called it off. The bloody girl had go
sighed.
ne to There was not a movement or a word from her. The monitor pictures might n
sleep.
ot be pinsharp,
but green and fuzzy couldn't disguise the fact that Chloe Pennick was enj
oying a
refreshing
rest while he stood around like a pork chop at a bar mitzvah waiting
something
for
He
flickedinteresting
the switch to signal
happen:Josh
waiting
to move
for on
anything
to thetonext
happen.
image. Try one more
and then
call
it a day. If at first you don't succeed, he quoted to himself, try again; t
hen there's
up;
give
no point in being a damn fool about it. He'd have to work on Josh so
me more.
Persuade
Ralph
said,
him.'You
It didn't
was Joshgive
he'dthem
hadvery
in mind
long.when
Shehehasn't
set upeven
thehad
tank.
a chance to gue
ss. want
you
'Perhaps
Barry
Don't
looked
her at
Chloe
todoesn't
guess'What
her.
atrealise
least?'
sortshe's
of ansupposed
experiment
to is
havethis?'
started,'
he asked
Meg and
said.raised a
n eyebrow.
'Doomed?'
'It's
a psisheexperiment,'
suggested. Barry said slowly, as if explaining it to a very young
child.
are
'Ye-e-e-eth,'
investigating
"We
Meg said,
the paranormal.'
lisping in a childish voice. She stuck the tip of her th
umb insaid,
Tommy
mouth.
her 'If she was receiving what Josh is sending she'd know it had started
'Duh?
.'
'You're
'I
didn't
don't.'
Youthewant
really
oneyou
who
think
tomade
feel
so?'
theout
Meg
stupid
ofsaid
it.'
remark,'
witheringly.
he snapped.

Does the
'You
'And
'Yeah
see
as
right,'
itwater
perving
happens
Meg
look
over
snorted.
Idifferent
was
herwatching
bum to
as you?'
antheintellectual
water,'
Tommy addressed
Tommy
exercise
said.
thedoquestion
you?' directly to
Different?' Barry asked vaguely, not looking at any of the tank monitors but loo
Barry.
instead at the capsule output. Josh appeared not to have noticed the cue. Meg wa
king
s right:
this
Ralph
Barry
was
asked,'Different
flicked
doomed.
the cue switch
in whatagain.
way?'This time Josh looked up from the picture of
State
the Empire
Building and stared directly into the CCTV camera that was above the capsu
le's clear
Perspex
table. He looked heavy-eyed and slightly bemused. He nodded his acknowle
turned the picture face-down and picked up the next one. He showed it to the cam
dgement,
era.Great
the
It wasPyramid at Giza. For a moment Barry couldn't remember it being in the
set he'd There was one building he thought, and they'd already had that. He mus
prepared.
t havemuddled
them
got up. Doomed, definitely doomed. A catalogue of stupid errors. Unless
thought
- the struck him suddenly - unless the little bastards were playing tricks on
himwatched
He
again. Josh hunch forward in his seat as he settled down to concentrate. Was
his
or
punch
It's
itdid
just
imagination
moving
line
the should
actions
in sortbelooked
ofcoming
slowa motion,'
bitany
up
exaggerated?
time
Tommy
now.wasIfsaying.
this was'Looks
a jokeoily
thenorthe
something.
look
'Oily?'
Doesoily
itBarry
to you?"
tried to keep the suspicion out of his voice. He looked at the mon
itorindicating
was
'The
Chloe
Tommy
movement,'
tried to suck
and
Tommy
shook
airpersisted.
through
his head.'Green
the
It'splug
notof
and
moving
gluey
fuzzylike
slime
maybe,'
water
filling
hemoves.
said
herIs
dubiously.
nose
it?'and thr
oat and her windpipe. She couldn't breathe. She needed a breath. One breath. On
clogging
e chance
save
herself
to from this hell. She tried to swallow the lump, but all she did was
pull of
more
in the flabby slobber that was sliding down into her. Still she cramped and
shuddered
ached andand still the blood pumped out of her. So much blood. How could there
be CARE
blood?
'I
so much
She
BITCH!'
was dying
the demon
in this
gibbered
blood-filled
and roared.
coffinChloe
and had
nobody
almost
cared.
forgotten him. I
DEAD!
WANT IYOUWANT YOU HEREWITH ME! AFRAID! CROUCHING IN THE DARK! FOR EVER AND EVER F
Chloe made one last effort to breathe: one last effort to tear the covering from
END!'
WITHOUT
EAR
one
'AMEN!'
herlast
eyes:
the
effort
demontocackled.
open theAnd
hatch.
thenShe
thefailed.
redness became blackness and there was n
'If it's movement we're talking about,' Barry said. 'Chloe's not moving like Chl
othing.
oe she?'
Is
moves.Any second now, he thought. Fooled you, Ghostbuster. Big yuks, har-de-h
ar.glanced
and
He
Chuckle
be
a good
at the
sport.
bankNotofmuch
video-recording
chance of that,
machines,
children.
all whirring away taping the
from
output
each of the CCTV cameras. He was beginning to regret not using the money to
upgrade to

computer-disc recording. The sensory-deprivation tank looked like a bad joke and
'Is
investment.
'Why
Ralph
Barry
a worse
she
shouldn't
putalla finger
yawned.
right
'That
shedoon
be?'
would
you
theBarry
think?'
micwonders
do
said.'My
control.
Meg for
looked
theory
'Why
thedon't
and
test
issounded
that
you wouldn't
run
she's
shout
convincingly
asleep.'
in
her ear?'
it.'
Heworried.
yawned ag
aain.
'I
bit
heard
Hetired
was
thishimself.
voice,'ItTommy
mustwas
be saying.'It
watching herwassleep.
telling
Mustmebetocatching.
wake up. Then I saw
clock
Barry
an alarm
and bacon
said,
'Oneand
of the
eggs.pictures
He was in
sending
the sequence
me an image
is aofplate
breakfast,
of food.'
right?'
He knew it
. Theyserious,'
jerking
'I'm
psychic,'
were
him around
Tommyagain.
Barry
said.'How
'Howdid
didyou
youknow
knowthat?'
that?' He had to restrain himself f
grabbing the boy by the front of his sweatshirt. Jokes. Jokes. He wasn't in the
rom
mood
Ibloody
didn't
forjokes.'How
know that.'
didTommy
you know
tookthat?'
a stephebackwards
demanded.in mock alarm. 'What's wrong no
w, forsaid,
God's
Ralph
sake? "The
I didn't
testknow
isn'tthat.'
working anyway.' He still had his finger resting on
the mic 'If she's asleep,' he nodded at the monitor with the close-up of Chloe's
button.
there's
face, no way of telling from that.' The green, fuzzy image could have been a s
photo.'I
till
'Makes
Barry
slapped
sense,'
mean Ralph's
you
Tommy
should
said.
handeither
off the
restart
control
it console.!
or call itdon't
off all
knowtogether'
what you lot are
said,'but
'No
up offence,'
to,' hethisRalph
is mysaid
lab frowning,'but
OK. And in my don't
lab you'll
you think
do asthat
/ say'
sounds a touch paran
'Yeah,
oid?'
'I'm
'Pudding?'
Tommy
'Metaphor'
Hugh
'You
'I
haven't
waiting
Grant
know
pushed
what's
what
Ralph
style.'You're
the
for
the
upfirst
I mean.'
Doc?'idea,'
the
asked.
hair
custard
from
Tommy
waiting
his
Tommy
said
pie,'
forehead
for
inBarry
protested.
a not
the
inmetaphorical
said.
very
his
'Dobest
good
you know
Bugs
sweetwhat
Bunny
trolley.'
he's
voice.
talking abou
t, turned
He
Meg?' for support to where Meg had been standing. 'Meg?' But she had left th
e control
and
monitoring suite and was at the other end of the lab where she was kneeling
besideare
sensory-deprivation
'What
theyou playingtank.'Meg?'
at?' Barry demanded.

She rubbed her hand on the floor and then examined her fingers. "There's somethi
ng leaking
here,'
she said. 'It's dripping from the tank. It looks a bit like&' She hesitat
ed and
she
heldthen
up her hand for them to see. 'It looks a lot like& blood.' She looked a
t theback
and
tankdown at the floor. Oh shit!' Abruptly she flinched away. 'It's getting
worse.'upShe
stood
quickly. 'It's seeping out,' she said in a horrified voice. 'It's pouri
ng out
everywhere.'
She made a sudden attempt to step away from the tank and slipped, l
osing herFor a moment her feet skated awkwardly about on the floor as she scramb
footing.
led to her balance. Lunging and jerking around she looked absurd, like a comedy
regain
in arubbed
performer
She
silenther
movie.
hand on the floor and then examined her fingers. "There's somethi
ng leaking
here,'
she said. 'It's dripping from the tank. It looks a bit like&' She hesitat
ed and
she
heldthen
up her hand for them to see. 'It looks a lot like& blood.' She looked a
t theback
and
tankdown at the floor. Oh shit!' Abruptly she flinched away. 'It's getting
worse.'upShe
stood
quickly. 'It's seeping out,' she said in a horrified voice. 'It's pouri
ng out
everywhere.'
She made a sudden attempt to step away from the tank and slipped, l
osing herFor a moment her feet skated awkwardly about on the floor as she scramb
footing.
led to her balance. Lunging and jerking around she looked absurd, like a comedy
regain
in adid
performer
Meg
She
Meg?'
Don't
lost
lay
silent
Tommy
just
where
not
herstand
movie.
called.
move.
struggle
shethere,'
hadArefallen.
against
you
Tommy
OK?'
gravity
almost shouted
and fellatheavily.
Ralph and Barry.'She's hurt her
Tommy rushed out of the control suite and hurried to help Meg, but as soon as he
self.'
the
gottank
nearhe hit the same skiddy surface and began the same helpless skating rout
ine. he
long
Barry
Before
wastootempted
fell heavily
to applaud
and ironically
lay still. but instead he shook his head and glared
whose
at Ralph,
face was fixed in an expression of stunned disbelief. 'Not funny,' Barry s
aid. 'Not
bloody
funny' He switched on the mic to the tank and the one to the capsule and
said both
into
Neither
Chloe
position
loudly
wasChloe
she
of had
in
them,
the
norbeen
same
Josh
Allinresponded.
right.
all along.
Enough.
HeJosh
peered
Test's
seemed
atover.
the
to have
Out ofslumped
monitors.
there.'further forward
in hisfunny,'
seat.
'Not
He gaveBarry
everybellowed
sign of at
being
bothunconscious.
mics. There was still no reaction from eithe
r of you
'And
them.two can get up!' he shouted at Tommy and Meg, but they both remained st
'What's going on?' Ralph asked of no one in particular. 'What in the hell is goi
unmoving.
ubbornly
ng on?'three,' Barry instructed. "Get Josh out of there.' Presumably, Barry thoug
'Open
ht to
himself,
as the only one left on his feet it was Ralph who had been designated t
o deliver
the
'He's
And
punch
there
not it
line,
in
three,'
was:
whatever
theRalph
payoff
that
said.
towas.
the whole elaborate gag. Barry said,'Of course h
e's in He was too tired to resist. Let them have their fun and let's finish wit
three.'
h it.according to the monitors.' Ralph's voice was quiet, as though he wasn't su
'Not
re he looked
should
Barry
be saying
at the
whatscreens.
he was Sure
saying.
enough,
'He'sthe
in slumped
four according
figure of
to Josh
the monitors.'
was on a di
fferent
of
monitors.
set He had been on the monitors of capsule three and now he was on the
identified as showing the interior of capsule four. Or had he misremembered it?
monitors
Was Josh in

To Barry
four
Ralph
before?
wasthe
nodding
earnest
vigorously.'He
and normallywas
rather
in three,
unimaginative
wasn't he?'
student looked distinctly
Ifunnerved.
he was acting he was showing unexpected talent. 'How did he do that?' Barry a
'Do what?'
sked.
'Switch
from three to four' He stared at the screens. For the briefest moment Jo
sh be
to
appeared
on both sets of monitors, and Barry was almost sure the two groups of imag
es were
different.
In capsule three he was slumped forward and in capsule four he was si
tting
Then
Did
'This
one
Ralph
He
reason
irritating.
actually
you
he's
all
up.
has
asked.
Barry
see
the
in.'
gone
that?'
sounded
'Because
screens
Why
found
toome?'
Ralph
far,'
intensely
frightened,
wentgoing
I'm
asked.
Barry
blankto
said.
anddeal
which
filled
'Get
for
withsome
him
with
Sleeping
out
unfathomable
white
of Beauty
whichever
noise.and the all-star com
Leaving Ralph dithering in front of the screens, he stalked across the laborator
skaters.'
edy
y to the
tank.
As he approached he realised that from underneath the framework of support
there
trestles
was indeed a pool of red spreading over the floor. There were smeary marks
and
where
Tommy
Meghad skidded about. The two of them lay in an ungainly huddle, both unm
ovingcreeping
the
as
redness seeped around them. How had they managed to produce all thi
s blood&
was
'All
itright
blood?
youAnimal
two, onblood
yourmaybe.What
feet,' Barry
wassaid.
that 'You're
film? sussed. This is your vers
ion of isn't
Carrie
Gingerly
he paddled
it?' through the blood and reached for the hatch on the top of th
e tank.toHeopen it. The cover did not slide back the way he expected it to. He pus
tried
hedseemed
It
harder.to be stuck. That was impossible. He had checked the mechanism very ca
There was nothing to go wrong. There was nothing to jam. He changed position and
refully.
the
So
tugged
the
cover.
impossible
at It wouldhadnothappened.
budge. It had gone wrong. It had jammed. Furious at suc
h malign he heaved and wrenched at it. It was solid. It was as though there wa
absurdity,
s no hatch
there.
It was defying him deliberately. He pummelled at it with his fists. A jol
t of through
shot
agony his arms. The pain was excruciating. He looked at his hands. They w
erefelt
with
He
pouring
blood.
a warm wetness all over him. He looked down. His clothes were soaked in
blood. Heit spreading. He was bleeding. The blood was coming from him. He was ble
watched
eding orifice,
every
from
from every pore. So much blood. He felt dizzy. He closed his eyes
. The broke over him like a wave. And then the real pain hit and there was dar
redness
kness andEight
diopter
nothing.
Detective
Constable Martin Bartok put his elbows on the melamine-surfaced counte
r and his chin in his chubby hands. 'He's just a harmless loony. I don't know w
rested
hy we're

The custody
wasting
our sergeant
time withfinished
him.' filling in the dockets. 'There's no such thing as
a harmless
loony,'
he said. 'When you've been in the job as long as I have you'll know that
. Loonies
are
always trouble. Either trouble for themselves or trouble for other people. A
trouble
lways
'Not
'What
ifarewe
foryou
don't
us.'
whinging
drag 'em
about
in now?'
here they're
Detective
not.'
Sergeant Bob Simpson wandered into
the custody
suite.
He was a tall, cadaverous-looking man and he towered above the short, sli
overweight
ghtly
Bartok
looked
DC.mildly
Did youaffronted.
take the 'Do
fagsyou
offknow
my desk?'
what the
he statistics
asked suspiciously.
are on smokingdeaths,
related
'No.
AndSarge?'
I don't want you to tell me,' Simpson said. 'What were you whinging abo
'Thissays
ut?'
'He's
'He
aDoctor
vagrant
he'sbloke.'
a doctor
by the and
way,'I believe
the custody
him,'sergeant
Bartok said.
remarked.
'He's'Noclean,
address
he'sgiven.'
well-f
ed, was
articulate,
'So
Bartok
'Because
'It's
That's
he's
not
looked
right,
Harold
you
because
he's
haven't
upShipmanJ'm
it's
co-operative.'
at
your
not
Simpson.
gotbecause
brother-in-law's
anything
told,'the
'Why
my brother-in-law's
amcustody
better
I wasting
the
to rent-a-cop
sergeant
do,
myConstable.'
time
thesaid.
withathim,
up
rent-a-cop
the uni
Sarge?'
up at
then?'
the uni.
'The custody sergeant tucked the ledger away below the counter. 'He doesn't like
brother-in-law,
his
Simpson
The
custody
shrugged.'I
sergeant
do you
can
sniffed.
Bob?'
take him
'Still,
or leave
he ishim.'
family I suppose.' He shook his head
depressed
Bartok
'I
'Bartok?'
'He's
'Your
Simpson
asreckon
ifbrother-in-law's
vagrant.'
not
said,
smiled.
on vagrant.'
he
Simpson
my
Simpson's
'They
might
'There's
said.
sayforeign,'
be
behalf.
friends
vagrant.
a listare
thelong
What
as
God's
custody
doesasapology
heyour
sergeant
wantarm.
for
himAll
families.'
remarked.
charged
of itwith
bollocks.
anyway?'
He's a
prat,point
stupid
'My
my brother-in-law.'
exactly, Sarge,' Bartok said. 'Why don't we just kick this guy loose?'

'Kick this guy loose?' Simpson said with ponderous irony. 'You're going to have
to stop those films, Constable.' He grimaced at the custody sergeant.'He's neve
watching
r beensince
same
'Kick
this
the guy
he took
loose?'
out Simpson
that Blockbuster
said withmembership.'
ponderous irony. 'You're going to have
to stop those films, Constable.' He grimaced at the custody sergeant.'He's neve
watching
r beenyou
same
'Off
since
thego,heConstable,'
took out that
Simpson
Blockbuster
told him,
membership.'
jerking a thumb in the direction of t
he double
doors
leading into the office area of the station. 'Check the computer, see if a
'He hasn't done anything,' Bartok said, obediently heading towards the doors. 'I
known.'
nything's
'll give
odds
'Martin?'
Simpson
Bartok
there's
turned
hesitated,
held
Simpson
nothing
out
back.
his
said,'Before
then
onhehim.'
hand.
put
'Hand
his
youover
hand
do my
that?'
infags.'
his jacket pocket and took out the pac
k.'Have
read
'One
theyou
statistic,'
warning Simpson
on these?'
threatened. 'One single health statistic passes your li
ps andhehanded
you'll
Bartok
After
behad
backgone,
him
in the
uniform
thecigarettes
custody
withinsergeant
the left.
and
week.'
said,'He's a pushy little bugger isn't h
Simpson
e?'
'Bit
tootook
clever
outifa you
cigarette.'He's
ask me,' theclever
custodythough.'
sergeant said. 'There's no smoking i
n thecustody
custody
Simpson
The
After
several
suite,
put
thehours
sergeant
Bob,
cigarette
you
the
sniggered.
know
police
backthat.'
in'You
released
thecan
pack.'Can
the
if Doctor
you want
youwithout
betotoo
joincharge,
clever?'
the masons.'
which he thou
ght was
reasonable
They
would have
sincelet
he him
had go
donesooner,
nothing.
he realised, if he had thought it acceptable
atoname
makeand
up an address. As it was,'the Doctor' and 'no fixed abode' inevitably le
d to
exhaustive
checks being made while he sat in a cell eating jelly babies and amus
ingcouldn't
with
He
himself
his yo-yo.
remember the details of this particular legal system, if he ever kne
w them,
he
wasn'tsoexactly sure whether the local constabulary were exceeding their autho
rity by him. He did, however, remember the advice he had been given about auth
detaining
orities and
general
in police forces in particular: if in doubt, don't stir them up, and ne
ver circumstances
any
under
poke them with a stick. It was Che Guevara who had told him th
is he
had
As
and
always
expected,
it seemedthetoarresting
the Doctorofficers
to be aeventually
sensible rule
got bored
of thumb.
with trying to find
justification for holding him, and settled for requiring that someone vouch for
some
his good When that proved to be a problem they simply decided that his claim t
character.
o be a
traveller
meant that he was in fact a foreign tourist. They advised him to retur
n to
Australia
or Holland, or wherever it was he came from, since they would not be a
s lenient
with
him next time. The Doctor thanked them and asked politely who it was that w
ouldback
him
driveto the university where they had picked him up.

He had been walking for half an hour and had reached the outskirts of the town w
hen he the Clearspring Water Company lorry pulling off the main road into the l
noticed
industrial estate. It seemed too much of a fortunate coincidence to pass up, so
ocal
he set
after
The
industrial
it.
off
estate was not large and the driver stuck rigidly to the ten mile
s an hour
speed
limit, so it was an easy jog for the Doctor to keep the lorry in view unti
l it turned
through
the gates of a modest warehouse site at the end of a row of similar unit
By the time he got there, however, the gates had been locked and the lorry was n
s.
owhere
be
seen.toNot only that, but there was no sign on the building to indicate that i
t had
anything
to do with the Clearspring Water Company. The Doctor began to wonder if
have
He
hecrossed
might
been mistaken.
the deserted road and peered through the high, wire-mesh fence. It di
d notalook
like
bottling plant as far as he could see. Maybe there was something of the s
ort building,
the
inside
though it didn't really seem big enough to accommodate filling lin
packing, storage and all the other elements that would be required for such an e
es,
He stuck his hands in his pockets and wandered round the perimeter to see what h
nterprise.
e could
The
see.
lorry was parked against a loading bay at the rear of the building. Two men,
identical
in
green overalls and uniform jackets with 'Clearspring' emblazoned acros
s theusing
were
back,hydraulic trolleys to wheel pallets full of cardboard cases from the
lorrywarehouse.
the
into
The cases were brightly printed with the message: Clearspring Wat
er -Doctor
waterfront
The
pure stood
clear watching
springs. the men work. When one of them noticed him he lifted h
is hat,it and shouted, 'Excuse me?' The man did not respond so he shouted again,
waved
'I say?
Excuse
'Yeah?'
The
Doctor
me?'
theput
manhis
shouted
hat back
back.on, took the bottle of water from his coat pocket an
d held
up.'I've
'I
doubtitthat,'
been drinking
the manyour
shouted
delicious
back. 'It's
water only
for abeen
longontime,'
the market
he shouted.
six months.'
the
Thenother
whenman said something to him he corrected himself. 'Ten months, give or t
'Ten months is a long time as far as I'm concerned,' the Doctor shouted. 'I'm ve
ake.'
ry fickle
normally.
The
man climbed
What Idown
wanted
fromtothe
askloading
you wasbay
- isanditwalked
bottledacross
here to
on the fence.
premises?'
'No. U
p north
somewhere.
Ah,'
'That's
'You
'Sorry,'
thewhat
don't
ask
aDoctor
the
Yorkshire
bring
lot
I'mofsmiled.
Doctor
led
it
questions.'
from
beamed.
I think.'
to
Bottled
understand.'
there
He leant
yourself?'
in Yorkshire
forward and
you lowered
think?' his voice conspiratoria
ally.
The
secret?'
man
Is grinned.
it
'Nan, makes no odds to me. I bring it from a distribution depot
Birmingham.'
in

I see,' the Doctor said, puzzled by the convoluted system of supply/It's bottled
Yorkshire,
in
taken to Birmingham, and it's distributed all over the place from the
I see,' the Doctor said, puzzled by the convoluted system of supply/It's bottled
re.'
Yorkshire,
in
taken to Birmingham, and it's distributed all over the place from the
'The Doctor nodded knowingly as he tried to recall what a niche product was exact
re.'
ly.'In
way
'I'm
Really?'
The
anot
man
niche
what
smiled
sureproduct?'
The
Doctor
they
a world-weary
sell
was even
it anywhere
more puzzled
smile.
elsebottle
'A
but
now.round
ofHowwater's
here.'anichey'
very&
bottle of water isn't
all
'I'm
'They
it.asure
It's
question
give
you
themare,'
ofnames
advertising,
thetoDoctor
appealagreed.
amtoIthe
right?'
local tastes.' The man was wanning to his
'It's
theme.down to focus groups and all that sort of stuff. I wouldn't be surprised i
f the
Clearspring
Water Company doesn't exist at all, as such. Just a brand name used
by one
the
'Do
Ibigtake
ofconglomerates.
it you don'tI've
workbeen
for the
toldClearspring
the labels Water
are putCompany?'
on in Birmingham.'
the Doctor aske
Thepointed
d.
He
who
man still
was
shook
to bustling
his other
the
head.about
'I work
man
on the
for loading
the transport
bay. 'He
company.'
works for the warehouse com
'Despite The
pany'
'These?'
whatman
it craned
says onhis
yourneck
jackets?'
round in a pointless attempt to see the Clearsp
ringthename
on
back of his jacket.'Advertising freebies.You wear Nike trainers, it doesn
't suppose
work
'I
mean
foryou
thenot,'
company
the Doctor
does it?'
said. 'Does anybody work for the Clearspring Water C
'Bloke
ompany?'
The
Doctor
who was
sticks
disappointed.
the labels 'It's
on in aBirmingham
very complicated
might.' arrangement.' He was not h
appy he
what
withhad learnt, mostly because he was uncertain what that was. Did this wate
r really
have
He
helpful
felt
anyto
sure
significance
examine
it would
thehave
orbottling
wasbeen
it plant.
all justButa maybe
coincidence?
it was in Yorkshire to avoid pr
that. And if the water wasn't suspect, why was everything about it so complicate
ecisely
d? 'Very to dohewith
complicated,'
Something
repeated.
dodging tax and VAT I shouldn't wonder,' the man said, and
he the
at
looked
Doctor with a sudden unease. 'You're not from Customs and Excise are you?
'The Doctor's mind was still on the water. I'm from Gallifray,' he said without t
The man seemed relieved.'What line are they in? Don't tell me it's bottled water
hinking.
'No, no. Nothing
.'
'Excellent,'
the man
likesaid.
that.''Any
Thedanger
Doctorofsmiled
a holiday
reassuringly.
package discount?
Travel.' Cheap flig
hts& of
sort
Leela
that
hadstuff?'
decided not to wait with the TARDIS. She had decided it would make mor
e sense
go
and look
to for the Doctor. She had put some of the salve she carried in her equ
pouch on to the most severe of the cuts on her legs and arms. She had done this
ipment
slowly and and then slowly and deliberately she had walked out of the wood.
deliberately

Basically she knew that it was sensible to find the Doctor quickly and tell him
what had Basically she knew that waiting for him to come back to the TARDIS wou
happened.
ld not
the
mostbesensible way to do it. Basically she knew the decision was sensible and
she
right.
alsoBut
knew that part of her was frightened and she wanted to get away from th
e woodasasshe could. She moved slowly and deliberately to try and keep that part o
fast
f herself and small. Only when she was clear of the trees did she allow herself
controlled
Basically
running.
to start she knew that it was sensible to find the Doctor quickly and tell him
what had Basically she knew that waiting for him to come back to the TARDIS wou
happened.
ld not
the
mostbesensible way to do it. Basically she knew the decision was sensible and
she
right.
alsoBut
knew that part of her was frightened and she wanted to get away from th
e woodasasshe could. She moved slowly and deliberately to try and keep that part o
fast
f herself and small. Only when she was clear of the trees did she allow herself
controlled
She
running.
to looked
start towards the other equally large buildings. He could be in any one of
them. be
could
He anywhere in any one of them. She could search for hours and not find hi
m. In thethe Doctor would be long gone: probably back to the TARDIS where she sh
meantime
ould have
stayed
and waited for him. Coming here was a mistake which she had made because
she wasto stay in the wood. You can think and be afraid at the same time, as the
afraid
kept
Doctor,
telling her; you simply cannot think rationally. Coming here was a mistake
and sheput it right by going back to the TARDIS and waiting as she had originally
would
Still
planned.
she hesitated. She could hear the Doctor's voice lecturing her: When you m
ake a you cannot go back and correct it. You can only go forward and make up f
mistake
or it.theWasDoctor or was it her warrior-trainers? There had been so many instructi
that
ons and so much advice, she wondered if she would ever be allowed to think for h
orders,
Suppose she did search, how would she do it? The last time she was in one of the
erself.
buildings she had seen that the doors to the rooms were usually numbered and som
se
e oflittle
had
them sliding signs with the name of the person inside the room. Leela coul
d readpractice
with
and, and the Doctor's help, she was getting better at it all the time.
But confident
not
she was that she would be able to decipher the signs quickly enough for it
useful
to be way
a to search. There was nothing for it she decided, she would have to as
k someone
for
directions and that would draw attention to her again. Who could she ask wit
causing
hout
She
glanced
a problem?
around and found that several students waiting by the entrance to th
e building
were
watching her. This time, she told herself, whatever the provocation she mus
t remain
calm.
When
the
Sheyoung
caughtmantheapproached
eye of onesheofcould
the students
see thatand
he was
smiled
slightly
at him.tense. That was
thought.
good, sheThat was how it should be. She was a warrior. The respect of an untrain
ed more
no
'Is
boy
it an
was
than
Animal
her Rights
due. gig?' he said. 'I've got to be honest, I'm not actually
asupporter. I can't get worked up about it. But you could probably get me excited
your
if you
mindputto it.' He looked her up and down appreciatively. 'Where do you keep t
Leela said, 'I am looking for Doctor Ghostbuster Ba2zer Hitchins. Can you tell m
leaflets?'
he
e where her
'You're
is?'
Despite
ahewannabe
good intentions
witch,' theLeela
student
was already
chortled.getting
'I should
irritated.
have known.'
'Can you tell m
e where
find
'Great
Doctor
look,'
to Ghostbuster
he said, ignoring
Bazzer Hitchins?'
the question.
she He
repeated.
reached out to feel Leela's tun
ic. 'What

Leela's
is
it moleskin&
move washamster
restrained,
hide?'but fast and without warning. She caught his thumb,
ittwisting
hard against the joint so that he gasped. She immediately eased the joint so
thatitthe
is
Leela's
moleskin&
move washamster
restrained,
hide?'but fast and without warning. She caught his thumb,
ittwisting
hard against the joint so that he gasped. She immediately eased the joint so
thatcan
you
Can
'I
Leela
ask
you
the
released
show
me again?'
tell
you
mehis
where
thumb.
to find
his
lab more
She
Doctorthan
is,'
theGhostbuster
student
half-expected
said.'If
Bazzerhimthat's
Hitchins?'
to runwhat
away.
youWhen
want.'
he d
id have
said,
You're
as
of
'I
notled
he
the
That
she
not
impressively
travelled
her
is towards
from
what
round
aIlong
large,
want.'
herewaymetal
another
aretoyou?'
get
andhere,'
the student
black
glass agreed.
Leela
suggestedShe stared across the o
buildings.
utside
the
shelter
of as carefully as she could, looking for signs of danger. The student
did not
move
as if he was leading them into a trap, but it was not always possible to an
treachery
ticipate
The
studentfrom
flexed
an unfamiliar
his thumb and
enemy's
wristbody
andmovements.
said, 'Look, I'm sorry if I offended
yourisculture,
against
'It
not important,'
or customsLeela
or whatever'
said. 'How is it that you know where Doctor Ghostbu
stergave
Hitchins
He
Bazzer
ais?'
rueful shrug. 'I was tested like everybody else, wasn't I? I thought I
the
might
'fluence
have you know. Turns out I've got the psychic powers of a breeze block.'
his
'You
'I
'What's
Hewas
know.'
waggled
thumb
gotrained
toatcalled?'
it
some
her.
tosort
'That
do
heit.'
ofasked,
hurt you
martial
pushing
arts
know.'
class?'
through the swing doors and holding one op
en for her.
'Thumb-bending,'
'Right.
Stupid question.'
Leela said.
He led her down a long corridor busy with people.'And
I suppose
that's
'What
Most
were
rooms
ofgroups
propped
isanthe
anethnic
ethnic
doors
open.
of
students
costume
toIn
costume?'
the
somewere
is it?'
rooms
Leela
sitting
on either
asked.
facing
sidelecturers
of the corridor
writing on boards, in oth
er larger
rooms
Traditional
peopletowere
yourworking
culture.
withWhat
elaborate
your people
equipment.
wear when they're not interfered w
Leela glanced down at herself.'It is what we wear' She was puzzled by his refere
ith.'
nces Welsh,
culture.
'I'm
to her
Shemyself,'
had no idea
he said.
what 'We
it meant
Welshbut
knowithow
seemed
important
to matter
it istotohim.
maintain you
r ethnic

Leela had
roots.
Yournotseparateness.'
heard of the Welsh. They sounded like a tribe that was deliberatel
y being
kept
isolated. Not for the first time she found herself wondering if there was a
nother running
Xoanon
like
this world too. The name Welsh was not that different from Tesh.
If thewere like the Tesh, who were the Sevateem, and where was the all-powerful
Welsh
hidingand
Xoanon
Ahead
thisbehind
time?them doors were beginning to close and the corridor was suddenl
y emptying.
Leela
tensed. Was it a trap after all? If it was, she would drop this Welsh firs
t andstudent looked at his watch. 'Oh shit, I'm going to be late for the economet
The
hardest.
lecture,'he said.'If I miss more than the first five minutes I won't understand
rics
a bastard
word
of it. And I'm in trouble with it already, see.' He stopped and gestured al
ong the 'Your man's in Lab 7B I think it is, on the right-hand side down there
corridor.
remember'
Leela
as I had seen
He offered
the Doctor
his hand.
perform
Gotthis
to go.'
greeting ritual. She took his hand and sh
ook down
and
it uptwice. He seemed very pleased. 'I work in the student bar,' he said. 'A
ny timepassing be glad to buy you a drink.' He started back the way they had com
you're
e, thenand turned.'So long as it's not a cultural taboo, of course,' he said. 'I
paused
want
Leela
wouldn't
towatched
offendhim
youtrot
again.'
awayHeandwaggled
disappear
his round
thumb the
at her
corner
and at
smiled.
the end of the cor
ridor.
was
still
Shenot certain about his motives. This could still be a trap so she drew
her readied
and
Laboratory
knife 7Bherself
was where
to fight.
the Welsh said it would be, and beside the door was a na
rrow panel
which
Leela deciphered as DrB Hitchins. She hoped that DrB was in some way the s
ame as Ghostbuster Bazzer, though she could not see how it would be. But the Hit
Doctor
chins wasso she put her ear against the door and listened. The only sound she co
correct,
uld ahear
was
distant crackling hiss. It reminded her of the wind in the wood whipping u
p eddies
dry
leaves.
of It reminded her of the wood. She recoiled from the door into a fight
ing spun
and
There
crouch
wasround
no threat
to face
butthe
shecorridor.
found she was shivering. Something was happening to
Something was turning her from a warrior into a frightened child. She was Leela
her.
of the
Sevateem,
she shouted in her head. She was no child to be terrified by ghosts an
d demons
and
the shadows of dreams. She stood up straight and sheathed her knife. This wa
s a thinking
for
time
and for reason. She stopped shivering and moved back close to the d
oor and
both
hands
putagainst it. It was cold, like the flesh of a corpse was cold. There w
as a very
faint
smell, too, which she could not quite identify. It was an acrid smell: bur
ningfire.
not
but She leant her forehead against the door and breathed. She could see he
r breatha tiny cloud of condensation. It was cold there. It was not her fear maki
making
ng her
shiver:
The
handle
notofjust
theher
doorfear.
was a dull-surfaced, polished metal lever. When she reach
ed outittoa spark of static electricity flickered into her fingers. That was the
touch
smell she electrical flame. The Doctor said there was no smell from such things,
realised:
knew
but that
Leelalightning strikes left the sharp smell of burnt air. She pressed the l
everwhen
The
and
enough
heard
door
down
shethe
was
the
drew
made
gap
metal
her
was
toknife
catch
open and
wide
click.
inwards.
slipped
Sheinto
pushed
theatroom,
it carefully
taking three quick sideways
make
stepsherself
to
a less obvious target. Behind her the door shut itself. Leela ignor
ed it.danger
real
Someone
The
or something
was in front
murderously
of her. destructive had ripped through the place only m
before, attacking anyone who was here. There was blood running everywhere and bo
oments
dies, four

at least, sprawled throughout the length of the room. As far as she could tell t
he Doctor
was
not one of them, but she could not see everything from where she was standin
g. She the urge to rush forward and search for him. There was no track or trac
resisted
e oftheblood
at
door or in the corridor outside. Unless there was another way out of the
whatever had done this was still in here. She pressed her back to the wall and w
room,
Nothing moved. She surveyed the layout carefully. It was a long room. There were
aited.
shaped
oddly containers: four standing, one lying flat and raised on a frame of reinfo
rcedleast,
Any
at
oflegs.
these
sprawled
could throughout
contain morethebodies
lengthorofcould
the room.
be hiding
As far
theaskiller.
she could tell t
he Doctor
was
not one of them, but she could not see everything from where she was standin
g. She the urge to rush forward and search for him. There was no track or trac
resisted
e oftheblood
at
door or in the corridor outside. Unless there was another way out of the
whatever had done this was still in here. She pressed her back to the wall and w
room,
Nothing moved. She surveyed the layout carefully. It was a long room. There were
aited.
shaped
oddly containers: four standing, one lying flat and raised on a frame of reinfo
rcedwas
Any
It
oflegs.
thesethat
then
couldshecontain
saw themore
horror.
bodiesInorthecould
darkest
be hiding
cornerthe
of the
killer.
darkened contr
ol roomwas a tall sliver of blank-ness. It was the same blankness she had seen ga
there
itself in the wood. Blankness that was a darkness that sucked everything into it
thering
self. For
moment
sheafelt the ghostly wind of it tugging icily at her. She stepped forward
, looking
for
folded
vanished.
something
in In
on the
itself
to control
brace
andherself
room the
against,
screensandbegan
abruptly
to flicker
the darkness
into life and tiny br
ight lights
began
Leela
to blink
found
sheand
wasflash.
still pressed against the wall, but she could not remember s
back to it. Something else about what she was looking at had changed too. What w
tepping
as it?
had
changed
What without her seeing it change? It was the blood. The blood was gone.
The bodies
were
no longer soaked in their own gore. What was spattered about the room was a
reddish
sort ofcolour, but it had only a very slight resemblance to blood. For anyone w
ithwas
it
experience,
it.
anynothing
She
could not
likeseetheasblood
much of
thatitspilled
as she thought
from wounds.
she had
Andseen
thereatwas
first.
lessMost
of o
f the was on the floor too, not splashed over other surfaces and splattered up
liquid
the had
Why
walls.
she thought it was blood when she could see so clearly now that it was n
ot? She to move from the wall. Had she been tricked then or was she being tric
hesitated
ked left
There
She
now?
wasthe
onlywall
oneand
waywalked
she could
slowly
think
towards
of tothe
findmanoutlying
for across
sure. the box. She co
uld alive
was
see hebefore she reached him. She lifted him off the box and dragged him cle
ar ofofthecongealing slime which was underneath it. She laid him on the floor and
pool
turned
on
his side
him so that he would not choke. Next she checked the box itself. She had
intention
no
of having it behind her without knowing what was in it or what was lik
ely of
out
to it.
comeThe man had been slumped over what looked like a sort of lid. She put
onherithand
and found that it moved at the slightest of pushes. Leaning back slightly
to give room for a full cutting arc with her knife, she slid the lid open. Nothi
herself
ng or
up
reared
leapt out at her. Knife turned for a close-quarters thrust, she ducked for
ward atotore
take
Chloe
look.the blank goggles away from her face and stared up at Leela. Her eyes
with
werehorror.
wide 'I was having a nightmare. I thought I'd drowned in my own blood.'
She sat
bolt
upright and then yawned copiously. 'You're that girl. I wondered where you'
d gotsaid,
she
to,'and began to cough. Choking and spluttering she wiped red-tinged scum
fromsaid
arms
'I
doand
her
notitbreasts.'What
know
was awhat
nightmare.'
it is,'
is this
Leela
Chloe
shit?'
said.'I
tried toknow
smile.'So
it is not
whatblood.'
are you doing in my n
'I am looking for the Doctor,' Leela said.'He was coming to talk to Doctor Ghost
ightmare?'
Bazzer Hitchins.'
buster

He wasn't here when I got into this bloody tank. Thanks for getting me out of it
way.
by the
I couldn't make anyone hear me. Could you hear me? I couldn't make anyone h
Iearcouldn't
me and get it open.' She shook her head as if in disbelief.'It wouldn't move
He wasn't here when I got into this bloody tank. Thanks for getting me out of it
.'
way.
by the
I couldn't make anyone hear me. Could you hear me? I couldn't make anyone h
Iearcouldn't
me and get it open.' She shook her head as if in disbelief.'It wouldn't move
Chloe looked around. 'My God, what's going on? What's happened to everyone?' She
.'
tostruggled
pull herself up and clamber out of the tank but she slipped and flopped back
into the
water
Leela
and scum.
moved
on down
Bugger,'
the room,
she spluttered
checking asandshestarted
went. The
to pull
boy and
herself
girluplying
again.
on th
e floor
near
the tank -were stirring so she ignored them and turned her attention to the
containers.
standing The first two and the last one were open and empty, but the third on
e in was
line
the closed. Inside it she found a student sitting slumped forward with his
dangling at his sides and his forehead resting on a small table. She heaved him
arms
upright
his
chairinand he remained awkwardly propped up, head lolling at an angle, his ey
es open butand apparently unseeing. She left him and moved on to the control room
unfocused
.The boy who had been lying in front of the lean-to was already sitting up and gr
oaning.
Leela
'I
'I'm
amRalph
approached
Leela
As Naylor,'
of theheSevateem,'
saidsaid.'At
he
groggily,'Who
sheleast
said,Iare
stepping
think
you?'
that's
pastwho
him.I am.
'WhoWho
arehit
you?'
me? Was i
t you?'Leela entered the lean-to warily. In the wood she had balked at going into
'No.'
where
the hollow
the blank darkness had been. She had been afraid to go there. She had been
despite
afraid its complete disappearance and despite the return of the vanished TARDIS
. This
she
musttime
not give in. She must face this faceless fear. She stood in the centre
of the room and stared at the place in the corner where the horror had folded i
control
n onswallowed
and
itself the terrifying blankness. It was no different from the rest of the
The
lean-to.
dark had left no sign. There was nothing to mark what she had seen. There wa
s nothing
to
mark what she thought she had seen. Already she was uncertain about it. Alrea
dy she
uncertain
She
looked
waswhether
at the screens.
or not itThey
had seemed
been real.
to show pictures from the inside of the b
oxes. see
could
She the girl called Chloe was finally managing to start climbing out of th
e tank.
was
slowShe
and clumsy. Her body clearly lacked strength and co-ordination. Its thi
nness
be
lackmust
of food, Leela thought. But it was the pictures of the boy in the standi
container that caught her attention. He had not changed from the position she ha
ng
d putShehimwatched carefully and, except for his breathing, no part of him was maki
in.
ng thedid
slightest
What
Leela
hadyou
movement.
seen
sayRalph
yourreflected
name was in
again?'
the glass
a voice
of the
saidscreens
behind as
her.he hauled himself
to his feet and propped himself up in the doorway. 'I am Leela,' she said withou
unsteadily
t turning
"There
round.
was more,' Ralph said. He had started to shake his head but had stopped w
hen he fell over. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before he went on.'S
almost
foreign.
ounded
Leela
Ralph
wasRovasevateem
staggered
still closer
watching
was
andthe
it?
peered
boy
Eastern
onatthe
aEuropean
screen.
screens.'What
maybe?'isJosh.'
"That's
his name?'
He putshe
a hand
asked.
agai
nst theto steady himself.'He doesn't look too good does he? Perhaps we'd better r
glass
aise theCall the emergency people.'
alarm.

On the screens Josh moved for the first time. His hands and arms flexed jerkily,
his
On
hethe
lifted
head
screens
and hisJosh
eyesmoved
focused.
for the first time. His hands and arms flexed jerkily,
'his
Ralph
he head
lifted
stopped
and his
leaning
eyes against
focused.the screen and straightened up. 'Whoa,' he breathe
d. 'That's
better.
Leela
turned
I feelfrom
better
the screens.
suddenly'In the main room the other three casualties were
on their
feet.
They were massaging bruises but they seemed otherwise unhurt and fully awa
ke. The
girl
Chloe was clear of the tank and already rubbing herself down with a sheet o
f drying
'Something
material.
The
boy pushed
wentsome
seriously
slimy hair
awry back
there,'
fromthehisolder
forehead
man said.
and said,'Gosh, do you rea
lly think
so?'
"The
Leela
Hestepped
question
soundedout
is:toof
just
Leela
thewhat
as did
lean-to.
though
go'Iwrong?'
heamdidsure
not
thethe
mean
manDoctor
it ascould
said.
a question.
tell you,' she sai
They name's
d.
'Who
'Her
all you
are
looked
Leela,'
andatwhat
her.
Ralph
are said.
you doing
'Leela
in Rovasevateem.
my lab?' the man
She's
demanded.
from Russia or the fo
Yugoslavia or one of those&' He looked at Leela. 'You didn't actually say which
rmer
one, must
'What
you?'
'You
did
are be
youDoctor
doing Ghostbuster
in my lab?' Bazzer
the manHitchins,'
pressed. Leela said. He did not look ne
impressive enough to have given himself such a name. 'The Doctor wanted to talk
arly
to youhave
about
'You
yournoexperiments
right to come
in parapsychology.'
barging into my laboratory.' The man sounded defensiv
esuddenly.'Your Doctor will have to make an appointment if he wants to discuss my
'Don't
work.'start on her,' Chloe said. 'If it wasn't for her I'd have been in serious
Out
Josh
trouble.'
ofcome
theout
corner
of the
of standing
her eye Leela
box. She
saw tried
the boytocalled
watch him without making it obvi
ous.something
was
There
about him she found intriguing. 'How do you work that out?' he now
'You
Chloe.
askedwere right when you said it was a bloody great coffin. I could have died in
could
there.have
I drowned,' she said. Nobody was paying the slightest attention to what
happening
The
wasother girl
to me.'
spoke for the first time. "That's not true. Tommy never took his
eyesisfor
you
he
Chloe
off
demonstrating
stopped
a moment.
rubbing
A for
technique
herself
us right
downnow.'
and wrapped the sheet of drying material roun
d herwere
'You
Monitored.
body.being
That'smonitored
the word,'
thethe
whole
other
time,
girlChloe,'
said.'Is
Ralph
thatsaid.
the word Tommy?'

I don't
No.
I think
carebitchy
what you
is say,'
probably
Chloe
thesaid.
word,'It
Meg,'
washeLeela
said.who got me out of there. I
t wasn't
any
Saved
'I
'Is
don't
ofyou
there
you.
know,'
from
such
It awhat?'Josh
was
Chloe
thing?'
Leela
said.
who
Josh
mocked.
'Asaved
asked.
fateme.'
worse
'Is there
than adeath?'
fate worse than death? If there
imagine
To
Chapter
Death
isLeela
I is
can't
what
Nine
the the
not
it would
question
worstsounded
be.
thing
Canthat
you?'can
like
a challenge
happen toofyou.
someThere
sort.is something worse th
an death
that
can happen. Living for ever in the darkness, always being afraid, always be
ingcanalone.
IThat
airless
has
imagine.
agony
got toofWhat
bepanic.
worse
if eternity
Ithan
can'tanything
turns my
spend
outwhole
to belife
an terrified of fear. I can't f
ace theI'd Constable
wait.
Detective
rather jumpBartok
now than
finished
wait reading
to fall.the suicide note through the clear p
lastic
the
evidence
of
envelope and handed it back to the scenes-of-crime officer.'Do we b
this?' hesurveyed
elieve
Simpson
said tothe
Detective
blood-splashed
Sergeantstudy
Simpson.
bedroom from which the body had not lo
ng been
removed.'I've
seen worse,' he said. Then he thought for a moment and shook his h
ead.photographer
haven't.'
'From
matches,'
tagging
The
'You've
'No
thegot
and
Ithe
Hewide
lecture
listing
sighed
SOCOshots
finished
notes
said,
heavily.
the
ofremaining
onthe
the'Poor
last
room,
deskphysical
little
of
itthe
haven't
looks
bugger.
close-up
samples.
you?'
like Simpson
What
the
fingerprint
handwriting
wasasked.'From
she photos.
thinkingboth
of?'sides
the
'Every
'And
anddoorway?'
from
he's
which
gotway,'
full sequences
the photographer
of the blood
said. spatters from source to cutoff,' the S
OCOisSOCO
So
The
said.
thatsaid,'Don't
it?' the photographer
forget to lose
asked.
the suit.
'Only Turn
I've up
gotina all
wedding
thatatwhite
three.'
and they
'll photographer
you're
The
think
the bride.'shouldered his equipment bag.'If I keep the cap and mask on,' h
e chortled,
they'll
'Prints
A.s.a.p.
'He's
'Outsourced
'Is
henot
reliable?'
think
as
chief,'
our
soon
leave
I've
regular
asthe
replacement.
Simpson
come
you
photographer
guy
can,
toasked.
isdeliver
yeah?'
he?'
We'We
said
Simpson
have
thedon't
Simpson
baby'
as
to
hewant
said
buy
said.
left.
intopictures
the
theholiday
SOCO.
of the
cover
corpse
theseturning
days.'u
p for sale

'I'mthe
on
'He
'You'd
'Not
'Can
I've
wouldn't
Ime,'the
already
sorry,'
Internet.'
be
look
surprised
atBartok
dare.'
SOCO
boxed
thatgrunted,
itsaid.
what
note
andagain?'
people
listed
'I
boxing
needwill
Bartok
it.'
thelook
to
dosamples.'You
foratmoney'
asked.
it now.think
There's
I dosomething
this for really
fun?' bu
gginghim
about
'Won't
'Let
meithave
that
keep?'
note.'
a look at it,' Simpson said amiably.'Relax man, what's the rush& y
ou got
invitation
The
SOCOansucked
to that
hiswedding
teeth and
or made
something?'
an irritated tutting noise. 'Make up your min
Constable. I haven't got time to play games here.' He fished out the plastic env
d,
elope and
handed
'Death
it not
is
over.the'I'm
worst
notthing
paid that
by thecanhour
happen
you to
know.'
you,' Bartok read aloud.'I mean
suicide
'Most
'Sergeant's
how many
ofnotes
themright,'
startSimpson
do,'
likeSOCO
the
that?'
said.'One
said, turning
way orhis
another'
attention to packing up his foren
sic kit.but
'That's
'Yeah,
every
theynote
don't
I'vegoever
on about
seen.'how much worse it's going to be after they're
dead doBartok insisted. His plump face was frowning but his voice was matter-ofthey?'
fact ashe read aloud from the note:'There is something worse than death that can
again
Living for ever in the darkness, always being afraid, always being alone. That h
happen.
as worse
be
got tothan anything I can imagine. What if eternity turns out to be an airles
s agonyHeofpaused for effect before saying, 'I mean, if you felt like this would
panic'
yourself
killing
The
SOCO snorted.
seem like'Does
the best
the expression:
course of action?'
while the balance of the mind was distur
bed mean
anything
'What
about
to the
you,'stuff
he said.'Can
at the end?'
I have
Simpson
the note
asked.
backThenow?'
stuff about being too afra
id to bollocks,' Bartok said. 'It's a rationalisation. I don't believe it for a
'It's
wait?'
second.
she
was barking
If
it's too rational. If she wasn't barking why the hell did she do
gestured
this?' Heat the bed where most of the blood had drained, though it had also spur
ted Iwhat
adjacent
'So
'If
'Thanks,'
upcan
theare
wall
haveyou
Bartok
and
itsaid,
saying?'
on tocarefully
back,'
the
the
Simpson
floor.
SOCOputting
said. "The
demanded.
it back
noteinwastheforged,
box thedictated,
SOCO hadwhat?'
taken i
t from.
The
'You
SOCO
don'tinclined
think this
his was
headaironically.
murder do you,
'Thank
Martin?'
you, Constable.'
Simpson said. 'Not seriously
? You're

The SOCOanother
having
finished
Blockbuster
packing the
moment
equipment
aren'tcases
you?'and stood them near the door. 'May
forensics will come up with something but I wouldn't hold your breath. I'm only
be
the I've
but
SOCO got to say it looks straight up and down to me. There's no sign of a st
nobody walked through the blood or anything. The door was locked from the inside
ruggle,
. The like
looks
note her handwriting. The prints on the knife will be hers, you watch. The
re wasone
clear
onein the blood on the handle which I know was hers.' He picked up two of
'Do
'No
When
thethanks,'
you
cases.
he
wantleft
had
me tothe
the
SOCO
getsmall
said.
a uniform
room
'I can't
Simpson
to help
afford
stood
youthe
with
closer
breakages.'
those?'
to theSimpson
bed andsaid.
stared at it
was
as trying
if he to visualise the girl there. So,' he said.'She writes the note. She l
ies bed.
the
down She
on takes a Stanley knife and she cuts her wrists and as the blood pour
s outpainful
her
How
'It's
shegoing
ofcutsto
isherhurt,'
that
throat
going
Simpson
just
to be?'
toagreed.
beBartok
sure.'
'Poor
said.
little bugger was in a lot of pain.'
'But we still think she killed herself.' Bartok's voice was accusing but his exp
ression
sorrowful
'I
didn'twassay
rather
anything
than angry.
about writing
'We writeititoff,'
off Simpson
as just said.
another'Whoever
studentthis
suicide.'
Joan C
ox was,deserves
death
her
a proper professional investigation. Of course it does. But not a
s a long
Martin.
'As
Simpson
murder,
That
shook
as weSOCO's
his
haven't
head.
gotmade
it right.
'I've
upalways
ourIt's
minds
been
straight
about
a sucker
it,'
up for
and
Bartok
down,locked
the
said.
this door
one is.'
mystery.'
The Doctor was bored with walking. Sometimes it did help him to think but since
there washe particularly wanted to think about at the moment, walking was simply
nothing
inefficient way of getting from one place to another. He had considered trying t
an
o gettoa the university, but for the life of him he couldn't remember the accepte
lift
d signal
for:
if you have room to spare and are going in my direction I should be gratefu
l to he
with
When
ridehad
you
in walked
your vehicle.
a bit further and got a bit more bored, however, he decided t
oexperiment with possible gestures. He had tried raising his right hand palm upwa
rds, hand
left
his palm upwards, both hands palms upwards, both hands palms downwards, on
e upwards
one
downwards first right then left; he had tried raising his hat; he had tried
standing
one
leg and
on waggling his foot; he had tried raising his hat while standing on on
e leg andhis foot. In return he had been waved at, hooted at, laughed at, and th
waggling
ere had
been
a couple of hand gestures which he couldn't interpret but which he felt wer
e not
kindly
It
was obvious
meant. to him that he had not yet come close to the correct signal and h
e was as bored with trying as he was with walking. He would have persevered tho
almost
ugh first
had
The
if itbeen
not
of them
for the
roared
appearance
past with
of sirens
the police
blaring
cars.and lights flashing, and it lo
oked toastheif it might be heading in the direction of the university. Wherever it
Doctor
were
was going
they he did not relish the idea of being picked up by them, so he paused i
n his
experimental
gesturing.

Then a second police car roared past and in it he thought he caught sight of the
detectives
two
who had questioned him. Could it have been Detective Constable Bartok
Then
and a second police car roared past and in it he thought he caught sight of the
detectives
two
who had questioned him. Could it have been Detective Constable Bartok
When
and a third police car howled and flashed past, the Doctor decided to abandon t
he idea aoflift and to leave the road altogether. He clambered over the first fie
getting
ld gate and
reached
he set out across the rough pasture land in the general direction of th
euniversity. The police sirens were fading into the distance and he could not tel
l whether
that
'Every
waslast
where
onethey
of them
too comes
were heading.
screaming in with the blues and twos going.' The s
supervisor remained standing behind his desk as he glared at Simpson. 'You'd thi
ecurity
nk itblag
bank
was going
a
down. I mean we were looking for a bit of discretion on this one
, Bob.'all
Simpson
percolator.
wanted
poured
the
'You've
himself
lights
always
and
a mug
sirens
of coffee
you could
fromget,
the Fred,'
supervisor's
he said mildly. 'Back up
authority? Remind the little bastards who's in charge here and where you draw th
your
e line?that what you always told me?' He added a couple of spoonfuls of sugar to
Wasn't
'Yeah,
coffee.
'An
theuglybutonenotyouinreckon?'
this case.
Simpson
This sipped
is an ugly
the coffee
one.' and made a face. "This is ug
ly coffee
I'll
'We
don't
say that.'
want toHedraw
stirred
too much
more attention
sugar intotothethis,
mug.Bob. Not if we can avoid it.'
For the first time since he had arrived on campus Simpson's relaxed manner disap
peared
his
carefully
and
cultivated calmness deserted him. 'You don't get to decide that!'
snapped.'I'm the investigating officer and I'll decide how much attention this g
he
ets. If I'll flood the place with coppers and question anybody who so much as
necessary
lookedkid's
that
in direction. I'll turn over every rock and rattle every skeleton in eve
ry don't
until
The
'I
'Come
'Without
cupboard
supervisor's
I find
on,
know,'
me
there'll
making
outSimpson
exactly
manner
be enough
things
became
said.
what
worse?'
bad
drove
'I
more
won't
publicity
Simpson
thatknow
conciliatory.
girl
was
without
till
to Ido'What
calm
dowhat
you
again.
it,
making
good
she
willwould
'Did
did.'
things
I.' actually
you
that
worse.'
do?'see
what on
gone
'Me?'
had
Theinsupervisor
that room,sat
Fred?'
down abruptly. 'Yes I saw it. I've got passkey authoris
ation.
one
elseNogets access to the master keys while I'm on shift so&' He nodded to him
self as if

confirming the recollection. 'Yes I saw it. I tried to unlock the door but the s
nibknow
Iand
Iwashad
that,'
onto force
Simpson
it said
open.patiently.
So I was the
'Youfirst
toldone
me that
in there.'
already. What I'm asking
you
'I
is:could
take
did see
a good
shelook
was dead
at it?'
if that's what you mean. But I didn't hang around in t
here, no.
pushed
everybody
I
back out and I sealed the door up again. Then I put one of my g
uys inand I called it in to you. And what do I get for my trouble? The full Bert
front
ram bloody
'Very
Mills.'
Bartok
bloody
bustledasinittoturns
the office
out,' Simpson
withoutmurmured.
bothering'As
to knock.
circuses'Sarge?'
go.' He looked p
leased you
himself.'You're
'Don't
withknockgoing
beforetoyou
lovecome
this.'
into people's offices and interrupt your superi
supervisorBartok
ors?'the
'Sorry,'
demanded.
said, with no change in his self-satisfied expression. 'Was it a
The
conference?'
'I
'Do
family
didn't
supervisor
you
letmean
himto
sat
talk
interrupt.'
forward
to youinlike
histhat?'
chair.the
'What
supervisor
did you asked
just say
Simpson.
to me?'"Things ha
avebit
'Yes,'
changed
since
Simpson
I was
said,
in 'I
thedare
job.'say they have. What is it I'm going to love, Consta
ble? And it fits right in with your theory,you and the SOCO. I've been talking t
'Because
why?'
o some
the
deadofgirl's friends. She was into the occult and spiritualism and all that s
ort of said,'She's
Simpson
stuff.'
'Student
Bartok
"They're
looked
stuff,'
all
atinterested.'All
it.'
thebeen
supervisor
The
holding
supervisor
what
put was
seances.'
sorthastily.
in
dismissive.
of stuff exactly?'
'It's this year's fashion. T
hey seeofa movies about ghosts and they whip out the Ouija boards. They're all tr
couple
ying tobeen
contact
'She's
Freddy
holding
Krueger
seances
or Bruce
in that
Willis
woodorapparently,'
whatever.' Bartok said.'The one with
thebunch
rep?
A'Norswood?'
'After
'The
dodgy
Supposed
woods
dark?'
of are
them
Simpson
tofull
Simpson
have
be of
haunted?'
asked.
been
gave
them,'
creeping
a small
the supervisor
about in 'Not
grimace.
there
snorted.
sure
after'If
I'ddark
fancy
the
itweather's
seems.'
that
myself.'
warm the
sneaking off and bare-arse bonfire dancing all over.Where's the harm in that? It
y're
's kids'Justgaunt
stuff.
Simpson's
an excuse
face was
forexpressionless.
a bit of illicit'You
nooky.'
knew about this, Fred?'

Simpson
'How
'I
knew
didn't
comesmiled
itthink
you
wentdidn't
faintly.'You're
on.'wasmention
it
relevant
it?'
really
to anything.'
going to piss me off if you keep on trying
The
Fred.'
to supervisor
think,
bristled. 'I was trying to keep it simple. It's in everybody's in
terest
keep
'Do
'Trust
Iitnot?'
tosimple.
me,
you're
Simpson
Yougoing
don'ttowant
asked.'Why
be ais
the
very
that?'
press
unpopular
all over
copper
this,round
Bob.'here if that happens
.' university's
'The
Simpson
affected
put
the coffee
aimportant,
puzzled
mug down
expression.
youonknow
theitdesk
Andis.why
and
Youwould
nodded
of all
that
topeople
botherknow
himself.
me?'
'Tell
it is.'
you wha
t, Fred.
think
you'd
I better come down to the station for a bit of a chat. There are fewer
'What?
'Now
The
Simpson
distractions
supervisor
ifWhat
you don't
shook
are
inhis
looked
anhead.
you
mind,'Simpson
interview
talking
uncertain.
'I don't
about?'
roomsaid
'You
like
I find.'
flatly.'On
are joking
your
attitude.
your
right?'
Ifeet.'
think you're withholding
evidence.
think
'Me?
Don't
you might
Ibe stupid&
even bethis
trying
is me.
to Ipervert
wouldn't
thedocourse
anything
of justice.'
like that.You know I wo
uldn'tkeep
anything
'You
dolike
telling
that.'
me what it is I know,' Simpson remarked. 'But you're still not
what
"This
You
telling
can
itiscome
isme,
meyouvoluntarily
Bob.
know.'
We've got
or Ihistory.
can nickWe're
you if
family.'
you'd prefer. I wouldn't want anyo
ne tosupervisor
you
'We've
'No
The
were
we
think
always
haven't.'
getting
had
glanced
special
a goodatworking
treatment
Bartok,relationship.'
who
justwasbecause
lookingyou're
on with
married
open enjoyment,
to my sister.'
and th
en leanttowards Simpson and lowered his voice. "That's why they reckon me in thi
forward
s place.
They
'There
'Come
like
on,
areBob,
the
no links,
links.'
you can't
Fred.'
do this to me. You'll make me look like a stupid prat.'
'If you've been misleading your employers,' Simpson said, 'that's their problem.
isMyI'm
problem
not having the bouncer looking to mess me about.'

The supervisor
'Is
What
that
wouldwhat
youyou
prefer?
looked
thinkcrushed.
Door
I am?security?'
A'You
bouncer?'
bastard, Bob,' he said quietly. 'You miserab
'So we're going to start again,' Simpson said. 'I want you to sit there and I wa
bastard.'
le
nt you toeverything you know about this girl, about this Joan Cox, and about wha
remember
t wenttoonher death. And when you've got it all remembered you're going to tell i
prior
t allAlltoof it, Fred. Not just what you think it is I need to know.' He looked at
me.
I'll
his be
watch.
back in half an hour.' He gestured for Bartok to follow him out. Don't g
o anywhere
in
As
the meantime.'
they
walked outside into the gathering dusk Bartok said, 'Don't leave town, p
ailgrim,'
'Give
passable
over,
inimitation
Martin,' Simpson
of John said
Wayne.tiredly.'My sister's going to put me through a
ll kinds
hell
'Sorry,
'And
forguv.'
don't
ofcall me "guv". I've told you before, we're the swedey not the sweeny'
that.'
'Nowhere.
Bartok
'Sorry,looked
guvI want
- about
bossa cigarette
-him.
Sarge.
I think
Sorry,
that's
this
Sarge.Where
all.'
whole areaareiswenogoing?'
smoking,' he said dubious
Simpson lit up without bothering to argue with him. And what were you looking so
ly.
about
Bartok
chuffed
incoughed
there?'pointedly and moved upwind of the smoke before saying, 'I didn't
think Iinterrupt you and your brother-in-law, so I never got the chance to tell
should
you,department
It
'Spit
'They've
'A
gets
Sarge.
itworse.
out,aof
got
Constable.'
Itthe
department
what?'
getsoccult.'
messier
of itBartok's
and
here.'
sillier.'
expression was a mixture of amazement and
contempt.
'As
amused
in history?
'They've
Anthropology?
got a department
Sociology
devoted
of?'toSimpson
the study
offered
of the
in aoccult.'
tone that clea
suggested
rly
As
Simpson
in science
said,
he recognised
of,' Bartok
'There
is no
ansaid
exaggerated
science
triumphantly.
of. It's
distortion
superstition.
when he Superstitious
heard one.
rubbish
is what
They
is.'
'Spookiness?
regularly
it What
testisthe
thatstudents
supposedhere
to mean?'
for spookiness.'
I'm not exactly sure but it looks t
o be mindreading
and fortune-telling and stuff of that sort.' Bartok shrugged and shook h
head.'I'm not exactly sure.'
is

'Me too.'
Are
First
weI've
exactly
Bartok
heardsure
of it.'
looked
thataround
it goeshimon?'
at the
Simpson
blocks
still
of smoked
looked glass
dubious.
and steel, and
geometrically linked shapes of the multilevel paved areas with their water featu
the
res and
specimen-tree
planting. 'Maybe it's not something they like to admit. Doesn't fi
t withdoshrugged
hi-tech
Lights
'Why
Bartok
the
had
image.'
it
begunagain.
then
Itowonder?'
come'Seems
onSimpson
across
possible,
the campus.
mused.'Was
doesn'tJoan
it?Cox
Andinvolved?'
if she was and if that w
as what
her
'No
off,set
wonder
where
Fred's
doesgotithis
leave
knickers
them?'in a twist.' Simpson blew a thin column of sm
oke still
the
up intoair. 'He actually thought he could use me to keep things quiet. Stupid
going
prat to
wasbe a big man with the university authorities. Look at what I've done. I
've all
you
Bartok's
savedfrom
smilea was
bloody
notnightmare.'
without admiration. 'Imagine the Brownie points he'd have
Iifracked
prefer
he could
upto imagine
have toldthethem
callthat.'
he's making right now telling the powers that be wh
at'sandgoing
on
why he can't do a damn thing to stop it.' Simpson tossed the cigarette do
wn and it out. Go and see what else you can find out about this department of th
ground
e lied,'
I'm
I'You
It
as
the
occult.
was
the
going
wood
said
almost
path
Simpson
where
back
you'd
that
dark
togive
the
said,
led
rattle
before
TARDIS
himandhalf
into
Fred's
the
was.
headed
anHecage
Doctor
hour.'
backreached
stood
some
into
hesitating.
more.'
the
whatsecurity
heBeyond
recognised
offices.
the wood he could see
university
the
campus. Already lights were coming on in some of the buildings. Shoul
d he make
detour
to the
a TARDIS and collect the components for a basic field-effect detecto
r? Ittowould
have
be a very basic detector, he thought, and even for that he would need to
cannibalise several quite useful pieces of equipment: like the outside viewing s
creenelectric
the
and
sandwich toaster, for example. The chances were that he would also
havenever
borrow
narrow
was
tofocus
onecomfortable
ofcoils
the pseudo-timeline
fromdoing
the things
controllike
console
thatitself.
to the TARDIS.
He
The old girl resente
d it. feel
could
He her resentment. There was a feedback which was slow to reverse and di
ssipate.
took
timeItand effort for him and the TARDIS to get back to a comfortable working
In
relationship.
the distanceDuring
more lights
that period
were coming
the TARDIS
on. The
couldcampus
be very
wasunpredictable.
beginning to glitter.
looked
The wood
almost pitch-black silhouetted against a sunset sky. There were other pos
to be examined, the Doctor thought, before he needed to abuse the trust of the T
sibilities
ARDIS.hadn't
still
He
had so much as a preliminary conversation with this Kellerfield Res
Fellow fellow. He really should talk to him before doing anything else, anything
earch
precipitous. He must not jump to conclusions. You could fall from a precipitous
and land yourself in trouble. The field effect could inhibit logical thought pro
conclusion
cessestoand
lead
dangerously hasty conclusions. It would be sensible, he decided, to leav
e the
detector
campus
parapsychology
He
turned
andfor
away
thethefrom
lab.
timethebeing
blackandwood
go and
straight
strodeonacross
to thethe
university
darkening fields toward
s the

bright, star-spangled blocks. And there was the water too. That was another unan
bright, star-spangled blocks. And there was the water too. That was another unan
swered
It was Chloe who spoke finally. 'It wasn't anybody's fault,' she said, feeling h
swered
er voice with the emptiness like out-of-tune karaoke singing. 'It's not as if we
clashing
her
didoritanything.
to
It's not really as if any of us could have stopped her either,'
plunged
she
on. Probably not, I mean.' The subtext of which was, she thought, that s
he hadn't
liked
Joan much and she was pretty sure that none of the others had either. She
didn't
her
'We
deadwish
shouldn't
or anything,
have leftbuthernowonshe
herwas
own,'
deadMegnone
said.'She
of themwas
could
terrified.
ever admit
We knew
that.sh
e was
terrified.
We
do?' Ralph
We asked.
know whyI don't
she wasthink
terrified.'
I know why she was terrified. Refresh my memo
ry. don't
she
'We
Why wasreally know,' Tommy said. 'You might think you know but that's not the
terrified?'
issame
"The
it?'
Ouija
thingboard shit was her idea,' Josh said. 'Who knew that crap would get to
'Joan
'No,'Josh
'Oh
'Any
her?'
yeah,
time
Cox you
dieswant
said.'Because
right,'
next?'
she
to try
Megit's
scoffed.
said.'Wouldn't
it
crap.'
again,
'Nothing
justscares
thatthe
say
crap
you.'
word,'
have Josh
got tochallenged.'We
you?'
can
do itraised
the
Meg
Chloe
local
in surprised
was
cemetery
her lageratbybottle
midnight
what she
in an
ifwasironic
youhearing.
like.'
salute
Shetohadhim.
thought
'My hero.'
her own reaction to
suicide
degree
had
Meg
Joan's
beenoflacked
said,
guilty
sympathy,
'We
had
the
of.'Joan
acorrect
but this
session
Coxwith
was the
dies
beyond
next?'
Ouija
anything
sheboard.
asked.
she
Youfelt
weren't
she around. You were o
ff playing
with
your new friends or something. Anyway, that's what we got. Joan Cox dies ne
'We?' nodded
xt.'
'Joan,
Ralph
Ralph
him.'said.'Who
She pointed
thoughtfully.
we?'atIJosh.
see. So
'Tommy,
I wasand
offme.'
playing with my new friends as we
ll expect
She
'She
'I
Josh
was
know,'
didn't
chose
said
I?'flippantly,'Keep
hethe
I'll
like
said.
group,
live.'
you,' it
Megwas
said.
away
herfrom
session.
OuijaSorry.'
boards then.'

Josh shook
Tommy
frowned
hisathead
him.dismissively.
'You weren't'Any
impressed
more than
by any
I was
of impressed
it?' he asked.
by that rubbish
Ghostbuster's
with
sensory-deprivation tank.' He gave a short, mirthless laugh. 'What
that
'But
a fiasco
turned
the
business
out towith
be.'the Ouija board was weird,' Tommy said.'How do you explai
n it?'
'Coincidence,'
Josh said. 'Imagination. Hoax. Could be any number of things. But
psychopathic killers communicating from beyond the grave? Attack by demons or th
e undead?
don't
Tommy
Josh
took
thinkaI coin
pushed
so.'
the from
hair his
backpocket.
from his'You
eyes.
know'Iwhat
knowyou
whatthink
I saw.'
you saw.' He held the
made
coinaup,
couple of hand passes over it and then palmed it. 'You think you saw that
but
'You're
You're
'That's
'Oh
disappear
it not
shut
didn't.'
wrong,'
not
upthat
the keep
and
He showed
Tommy
good.'
point
out
said.
he
was
of
thethis
'Imaking,'
coin
didn't
will
again.
think Tommy
Ralph
you!'
it hadsnapped.'I
said.
disappeared.
know what point he
was making.
We're
Chloe
not never
had
all asseen
thickTommy
as you
so viciously
are!'
angry. And with so little reason. Was it
wondered.
shock? sheShe tried to remember the manifestations of grief from her basic psych
foundation course but the list wouldn't come back to her. 'Aren't we forgetting
ology
she saidjust
something?'
'You've
quietly.
been pretending then, have you,' Ralph said to Tommy.'I must say yo
u makeconvincing
very
Aren't
a forgetting
we
thicko.'
something?' Chloe said more loudly. 'Joan killed herself. A
ours
'She
friend
is dead.
wasn't
of a friend
Joan isofdead.'
mine,' Josh said. 'I didn't like her. I thought she was
a hardfaced
'You
Josh
can't
shrugged.
littlesaybitch.'
that,'the
'It's
Ralph
truth.
protested.
The factHethat
sounded
she'sgenuinely
dead doesn't
shocked.
change anything
'Joan Cox dies next,' Meg said. "That turned out to be the truth as well, didn't
.'
looked
'Maybe
'Why
Yeah,
Josh
it?'rubbed
would
She
why
at would
she
Josh.
was
she
hisdo
the
'You
she
hand
that?'
hoaxer,'
doover
think
that?'
Ralph
his
that
heshaven
Tommy
said.
asked.
was agreed.
ascalp.
'Maybe
hoax do'To
sheyou?
planned
make
Howhercould
the
death
whole
that
seemthing.'
bemore
a hoax?'
importa
nt thancouldn't
Chloe
was.'
it
believe he had actually said that. 'I can't believe you actually
saidsaid.
she
'Suicide
that,'
isShamingly,
sick,' heshe
retorted.
found she
'Sick
wanted
and stupid
to laugh.'That
and feeble-brained.'
is so sick.'

'It does sort of make sense,' Tommy murmured. 'She was manipulative. And she was
Chloe
theatrical.
got toAnd
heriffeet.
she 'It
had was
already
us who
madefailed
up herher.
mindNottothe
do other
it&' way round. It wa
s usdie.
her
'You
let Iwecan't
mean
let her
believe
down,'
you're
Meg said.
trying'Us
to three.
suggestThe
thatones
we're
whothe
werevictims
there when
here.'th
e Ouija
board
'I
'Yes,'
Chloe
didn't
came
said,'Is
Tommy
say
upsaid,'that
with
that,'
it?'all
and
Chloe
those
is what
thought,
said,
threats.'
you
andmeant.'
And
thought,
why
not? Iyeswasn't
that there,
is whatyou
I meant.
were. I had no
was
'And
ideagoing
why
whatnot?'
on. Ralph said.'She wasn't there, you were. She had no idea what was
goingsheon.'
Had
said that, or thought it? For a moment Chloe was confused about what she
aloud
had said
and what had only been in her mind. Was this another coincidence or was sh
e imagining
'You're
things?
imagining things,' Josh said to Meg. 'Chloe wasn't thinking that.' He lo
oked weren't
Chloe.
'Thinking
'You
'No,'
atshe
Werelied.
what?'
you
thinking
Chloe?'
'I
wasn't
Joan's
thinking
death that.'
was downShetosat
us down
and that
againOuija
feeling
board.'
foolish.'I'
m sorry.
It's
not a good time is it.'What was happening to her? 'I'm sorry, I'm not think
ingyou
'You've
straight.'
So
Meg
verythink
ignored
got him.
nothing
it was
'First
to bethat
our
fault,'
sorry
business
for,' in
Tommy
Megthe
said,
said.
even
lab,'You
ifnowshe
least
this.
doesn't.'
ofIt's
all.'
no wonder we're
spaced
'They
Meg
'While
allsaid,
ahappened
bitwere
out.'
we
'Joanimagining
atkilled
the same
herself
alltime,'
that
while
Ralph
blood
we and
said.stuff,'
were&?'
'AsHerfarChloe
voice
as Isupplied,
trailed
can makeoff.
out.'
remembering
the vivid
horror
of the sensory-deprivation tank.'I was in the bloody great coffin, that's
called
what you
it wasn't it?' She glanced at Josh, who nodded. 'I was in the bloody grea
t coffin I was dying in a flood of blood, while Joan actually was. The coinciden
thinking
ces just
keep
Josh
piling solemnly.
nodded
up, don't 'They
they?'certainly do.' He drained his glass and burped. 'May
be weof
should
'You
'All
must
have
usbethis
another
joking,'
time,'Josh
session
Ralphsaid.'Set
with without
said
the our
Ouijaminds
theboard,'
trace
at rest.
he asuggested.
of
smile.to ourselves there
Prove
's it.
to
'That
nothing
isIt's
a sick
justsuggestion,'
a bunch of crap.'
Chloe said.

I'It's
'You
Wrong
am don't
adisrespectful,'
again,
sickseem
puppy,'
Chloe,'
to understand
Josh
heRalph
chortled.
admitted.
said.'I
how 'I
horrible
Ithink
admit
do
understand.
ityou're
it.isAre
anyway.
being,'
you
I do,
upI think
forreally
IChloe
it?'
said.
it's
do.'
disrespectf
ul to rich coming from you,' Meg said. 'I mean self-righteous or what? You cou
'That's
Joan.'
ldn'tupother.
each
Ralph
I'm
'I've
Chapter
Leela
stand
scowled.
already
could
for
Tenit,'
God,
not
made
'Drunken
Tommy
hide
hypocritical
myher
said.
suggestion,'Josh
media
relief
Where
binmen,
slappers
when
do the
you
issmirked.
doDoctor
there
suggest
you think
anything
stuck
we do
maybe?'
his
it?'
worse?'
head round the door of
laboratory
the
and smiled his most dazzling smile. 'Doctor where have you been?' she
shouted.
almost 'I have been waiting for you.' She gestured towards the control and mon
suite where Barry Hitchins was checking video time codes. 'Doctor Ghostbuster Ba
itoring
Hitchins
zzer
I'm
Barry
The
sorry
Doctor
camehas
I'm
outbeen
stepped
late,'
of the
waiting
inside
the
suite
Doctor
forandclosed
and
youcalled,'Please
said
too.'
cheerfully.
the
door. Directly
do,Maycome
I come
in,front
in
in?' of him and occu
Doctor.'
pying
of
themost
available space was the partially dismantled sensory-deprivation tank. Th
e floor
the
lab was
of still damp from the resultant leaks and spillages.'Did I miss someth
unexpected?'
ing
Barry
hurriedhetoasked.
him and offered his hand. 'I'm Barry Hitchins. Your assistant L
insists on calling me Doctor Ghostbuster Bazzer Hitchins. She tells me it's my f
eela
nameDoctor
ighting
his
whisper.
'It's
'Her
The
voice
and
English
a bit
she
'I
tonodded
gather
further
usesreally
just
is
itshe's
above
vaguely.
away
inexcellent,'
afull
from
than
'Itasthat,'
the
comes
a Balkans?'
matter
Barry
the said.
partly
of from
Doctor
respect.'
Very
said.
learning
precise.'
He lowered
by machine.' He steppe
d carefully
through
'Doctor?'
theLeela
debris.
said.'What
'I must
happened
tell you
here?'
what happened in the wood where we left t
he TARDIS.'
The
Doctor patted her arm absently. Let me talk to Dr Hitchins first. This is im
He took off his hat and stuffed in into his coat pocket. 'You were saying, Dr Hi
portant.'
Barry said, 'I'm not entirely sure but I think your assistant may have arrived j
tchins?'
ustavert
to
'Really?'
in time
athe
major
Doctor
accident.'
said. 'I've always quite liked the idea that there is no su
ch accident.'
an
thing as He bent down and rubbed a finger along the edge of a separated ins
panel.
ulation

"There are many times,' Leela said, 'when the Doctor says things like that.' She
his
"There
frowned
back.
areatThings
many times,'
he willLeela
not explain
said, 'when
to me.'
the Doctor says things like that.' She
his
Leela
unexpected
'If
frowned
back.
everything
said,
atThings
which
'Tohas
mehappens.'
heaitwill
cause,'
is obvious
not the
explain
thattoansaid,'nothing
Doctor
me.'
accident is something
can be truly unexpected. I
f an
accident
is something unexpected, and nothing can be truly unexpected then&' He
lookedand
Leela
'There
at no
is
smiled
suchencouragingly.
thing as an accident,' she supplied, and then added after a mo
thought, There
ment's
'Possibly,'
theisDoctor
something
said.wrong
Therewith
is certainly
that.' something wrong with this.' He i
the sensory-deprivation
ndicated
'Doctor?'
Leela said. 'Itank.
have been
Tell waiting
me abouttothetalk
accident;
to you.heI think
said towhat
Barry.
I have t
o tell
is
'In
'It's
important.'
a amoment,
you
new piece
Leela.'
of equipment,'
He waved herBarry
to silence.
said, and we were test-running the experi
'I was using student volunteers.' Barry poked some pieces of the tank with his f
We?'
procedures.'
mental
oot.the'This
is
best-value small unit I could find on the market. It's fun-size except th
at in ait
event
'It's
impatiently.
theory
the
being
sensory-deprivation
isn'tthat
'Your
anythe
funmind
at all.
comes
tank,
This
into
yes,
isfull
an individual
yes,'
focus
the if
Doctor
you
-' eliminate
interruptedas far as poss
ible all inputs.'
physical
Crestfallen,
Barry said. You know about it.' He shrugged and shook his head ruef
ully.Doctor
course
The
'Of
you opened
know about
the nearest
it. How of
would
theyou
isolation
not knowcapsules
about it?'
and looked inside. 'Soon
er orit
it's
'Has
'Only
always
later
in
ever
thetried.'
worked?'
most
advanced
Barryand
asked.
dangerous situations.' The Doctor's gaze took in
multiple CCTV cameras and, closing the capsule again, he peered towards the cont
the
rol and
monitoring
suite and the banks of screens and recording machines. 'You set out t
o doadmit
right
'Of
'A
'I
genuine
course,'
this
didn't
I was
scientific
you?'
Barry
all over
said.
study.
the place
Good.toThat's
beginawith,'
plus anyway'
Barry admitted, looking suitab
contrite.
ly
The
parapsychology.'
Doctor'It
paused
tookinmehis
a while
explorations
to focusand
downfixed
on toBarry
the with
accepted
a searching
areas oflook.'Wha
serious
t changed
you?'
he asked.

Barry shrugged and smiled. 'A nod's as good as a wink,' he said. 'Or a note inde
Barry shrugged and smiled. 'A nod's as good as a wink,' he said. 'Or a note inde
ed.'
for a while, but it didn't come to anything once I gave up the custard wrestling
ed.'
'Custard
.'
'Sorry.
'So
you've
Bad
wrestling?'
kept
private
an open
joke.'
mind throughout all your researches?' the Doctor pressed
.'That's
'Do
'I've
The
'As
'I'm
they?'
Doctor
long
agot
long
why
asnolooked
the
they
you're
way
complaints.'
Doctor
from
pay
noncommittal.
satisfied,'
measked.
satisfied,'
theBarry
big
'You're
Barry
bucks,'
smiled.
'I
thecanDoctor
well
said.
see
Barry
'I
paid
hope
no
said.'There
said.
point
and
youall
feelcomplaining.'
in
this
may
thenot
issame
well
beway'
much
funded?'
time lef
t andmy
are
'Ask
'The
Barry
but
something
aaccident?'
away'
there
lot
said,
bestwent
ofguess
I'll
questions
wrong
the
need
isDoctor
that
with
tothat
dothe
prompted.
need
some
tank's
answering.'
more
heating
detailedsystem
investigation,
and that the red insulating
gel - you
stuff
'Kerflooey?'
the werethelooking
Doctorat?
said.
- went
'Thatkerflooey.'
would be some sort of technical term I imagi
Barry smiled.'Excessive heat made it volatile and it leaked. At which point we a
ne?'
ll were
we
The
thought
Doctor
up went
to ourback
necks
to the
in blood.'
tank and collected some more of the gel with his fin
should you think that?'He held the finger out for Barry to see.'This looks nothi
ger.'Why
ng likethought about that. Maybe the word was in our minds. One of the kids kept
'I've
blood.'
calling
tank
Maybe
'Leela?'the
Leela
stone,
routinely
awas
blood
bloody
something
thedid
working
waswhen
Doctor
great
inshe
onshe
our
said
coffin.
thewas
heads.'
sharply.'Does
edge
bored
of or
herupset.
knife
that She
soundpouched
with
areasonable
sharpening
the stone
to you?'
and sheathed th
e knifesaying, 'To have blood in your head and in your eyes takes imagination or
before
'Do
the
reason
'I
fear.'
saw
youit
Doctor
toandtoo,'
beasked.'Or
your
terrified?'
Leela
students
some
said.have
'When
especially
I came into
vividthis
imaginations?'
room I saw the blood. I saw i
t was Then I saw it was not blood.'
blood.

'I've thought about that as well,' Barry said. 'I have a possible solution. Fume
s. Themuch ofgelwhat
overheated
'How
washappens
giving do
offyou
fumes
record?'
which the
caused
Doctor
us all
asked,
to hallucinate.'
making his way into
therecorded
and
Barry
monitored
'This
'I
control
monitoring
followed
was
andasvideotaped.'
just
suite.
ahim
normal.
test
in.ofYou
'All
thenever
our
newexperiments
equipment
know
when something
though,'
are continuously
the
valuable
Doctorissaid.
going to show u
p, doDoctor
The
you?'beamed. 'Excellent.' He glanced at the racks of carefully labelled ca
ssettes
then
at the
and machines, all of which contained tapes."The answers will be somewher
e here.'
'No
I'm afraid not,' Barry said sheepishly.'That's what I was rechecking when yo
u arrived.
The
tapes for
Doctor
pressed
that aparticular
button ontime
one of
seemthetomachines
have beenandwiped.'
was clearly startled when
cassette
'You
Leela?'
the haven't
the
wasDoctor
ejected
been
fiddling
asked,
into and
his
withturned
hand.
theseBarry
tobuttons
find
putthat
it back
have
she
you,had
in. not followed them into
Leela
the suite.
was standing some distance away sharpening her knife once again. 'I have t
ouched
of
the controls,'
none
she said. 'What happened in there was not my doing. It had not
hingthink
with
'I
to doI know what happened,' Barry said, with the flourish of a detective rev
me.'
ealing thein a whodunit. 'I think there was a power surge, and that that is the k
murderer
ey blew
whole
'Another
it
to shebang.'
thethe
technical
tank's systems
term?' the
andDoctor
it setsuggested.
off the whole sequence of events. The gel,
the
The
'Must
theventilation
blanked
fumes,
have been,'Barry
tapes,
system
the said,'otherwise
jammed
was
jammed
ventilation
as well?'
thesystem.'
fumes wouldn't have got to us. That's
averted
system
opened
'Temperature
'Why?'
The
howDoctor
Leela
was
the
a disaster.
jammed
door
smiled
anditpressure
bykicked
at
The
theventilation
Barry,
power
iniagain.'
change.'
dosurge
believe
and you're
when shea rational sceptic,' he said. 'I
inlike
With
a the
person.'
thatventilation system going again,' Barry went on enthusiastically, 'the f
cleared
umes
it
fits together
and we allvery
returned
conveniently'
to normal.'
the Doctor agreed.it even accounts for the f
act that
Leela
'Exactly,'
herself
Barry
wassaid.
briefly
'Butaffected.'
you don't buy it do you? I can see it in your face.'

"The gel is chemically inert. I don't think you'll find it will give off fumes i
n those
circumstances.
And the products of combustion, which didn't happen anyway, are u
nlikely
be
"The
hallucinogenic'
geltois chemically inert. I don't think you'll find it will give off fumes i
n those
circumstances.
And the products of combustion, which didn't happen anyway, are u
nlikely
be
Fairly
hallucinogenic'
sure,'
to
the Doctor said. 'I have some experience with inert materials. It'
s to the
with
'Right,'
do Barry
machinery
saidIthoughtfully.
use in my travels.'
'That is a pity, because the fumes theory help
ed was
another
'There's
Barry
'I
'As
solve
farnodded.
afraid
small
as
a Itime
can
conundrum.'
'How
that's
anomaly
remember
didwhat
you
isn't
you
it
guess?'
didn't
there?'
were
going
allthehappen
toDoctor
say.'
insaid.
that nice logical sequence I d
escribed
you,'
Barry
to said. 'But how reliable is memory at the best of times? I thought th
e fumeshave confused things. You know, they might have affected the order of reca
might
'No,' the Doctor said.'It's more dangerous than that.' He left the suite and wen
ll?'
t to where
Leela
was standing working on her knife.'What was it that you saw in that contro
l room?''What
asked.
he was it that frightened you so much that you won't set foot in there
'I have set foot in there,' Leela said, without emphasis and without looking at
?'
him. sure
have
'I'm
'I you
faced
my have,'
fear.' the Doctor said, 'but I'm not one of your warrior-trainers.
got
I haven't
a religious devotion to facing fear.' Still she did not look at him. 'Leela,
doubt
I don't
your courage,'he said.'You are as brave as anyone I have ever met. What wa
s itsawsorry'
'I
saw?'
'I'm
youit inthe
theDoctor
wood too.'
said.'I should have listened to you. I should have let yo
u telllooked
straight
Leela
meaway.directly
Describeatwhat
him for
you the
saw.'first time.'Is it possible,' she asked, 'to
the
fallspaces
into between the worlds and then never to stop falling through the darknes
'Multidimensional
s?'
Leela
said, There was
voids?'
darkness
the Doctor
upon darkness.
said.
It became more and I became less.
It towards
me
'Here
pulled
and initthe
andwood.'
I feltThe
I would
Doctorbepulled
alone the
in itbagforofever'
jelly babies from his pocke
t and
searched
around in it for a green one.'Are they separate focal points or is this
beginning
'The
the darkness
of ainmajor
the wood
collapse
was bigger.
I wonder?'
It swallowed the TARDIS but then it swallo
wed the
and
'You
'No,
itself
sawTARDIS
but
it doonethat?'
the
came
in there,'
back.' she pointed to the control and monitoring suite, swa
itself me,'
llowed
Excuse
and they
Barrywere
interrupted.
the same.'Can I ask you something?'

'Ask away.' The Doctor proffered the bag. 'I may not know the answer though. It'
s anwhich
in
areaI have very little practical experience. My theory's not really up to s
'Ask away.' The Doctor proffered the bag. 'I may not know the answer though. It'
either.'
cratch
s anwhich
in
areaI have very little practical experience. My theory's not really up to s
'I the
either.'
cratch
'Sorry.'
'So
Barry
the
By
funding?'
was
what
withdrawal
hesitated
looking
time
Barry
was
they
your
for
gave
of
then
reached
question?'
my
ahim
green
said,
back
the'Can
one,'
theIjelly
entrance
the
takeDoctor
toit
baby
the
you're
said.
and
oldtook
not considering
graveyard
a different
Chloe couldn't
colour. rememb
er why
had
agreed
she to do this. How had she let herself be persuaded? How could she possi
bly haveit was any sort of a good idea? It must have been the shock and depressi
thought
on overThattheandreason
Joan.
Whatever
the lager.
or lackButofthen
it, here
alcohol
shewas
wasastumbling
depressantabout
anyway
in the
wasn't
darkit.agai
It was another pitch-black night, as every miserable night seemed to be. There w
n.
as a blowing,
wind
chilly as there always seemed to be after it got to be pitch-black. She h
ad never
liked
fugue
had
suffered
thewhatever
or
coldinand
theitthe
wood,
wasdark
she
sheandwasnow,
beginning
after that
to hate
hysterical
them with a serious vengeanc
e. She at the sky. Was it cloudy? She couldn't really tell. She looked in vain f
looked
or the
moon.
The
cemetery
'What time
entrance
does gates
the moon
wererise?'
heavyshe
wrought-iron
asked.'Doesandanyone
they were
know?'set into high
walls of ancient, red-brown brick topped off with thick slabs of monumental sand
curving
stone.
sure
The
'I
hope
gates
there
'Not
not,'
were
is Chloe
aclosed
moonsaid,
tonight,'
and wondering
securely
Ralphchained
ifsaid.
she could
'Or locked.
and
itsimply
may already
say shehave
hadset.'
changed her
mind,leave.
then
and It was a longish way back on an unlit road though, and she didn't fa
ncyalone.
it
What
'It'd
Tommy
Josh
walking
difference
shone
be nice
said,'I
thecan't
totorch
does
seesee
it my
what
across
make?'Josh
wehand
the
weregates.
indoing,'
said.'Don't
front
ofMegme.'
complained.
worry
about what's in front of you
,' hevoice
His
said.took on a sepulchral tone. 'It's what's behind you. That's where the t
hreat Hooo.'
from.
comes He made a soft, ghostly wailing noise and put the torch under his c
hin face
his
Chloe
'Bit
sonervous
shuddered.'Don't
that
was are
turned
we?'into
Josh
doathat.'
grotesque'Afraid
teased.
mask. of the dark?' He gave a ghoulish laug
h said
Irattled
and don't
the chain
do that.
on the
I don't
gates.like it, OK?' Why did idiots like him think that s
caring
was
sexy?
youshe thought. Why did they imagine it made them attractive? It was a so
rt of
bullying,
that was all it was.

'You'd think I was bullying you or something,' Josh said. 'Don't be such a wimp
.Youlove
you
knowit really.' He shone the torch back on to the padlock. 'Would you look
at that
of
the size
thing? The size of that thing, nudge, nudge, ooer missus.' He rattled th
e padlock
and
tugged at the chain. 'Tell you what though, they really don't want any of th
e dear think
departed
'You'd
to get
I was
outbullying
of here you
do they?'
or something,' Josh said. 'Don't be such a wimp
.Youlove
you
knowit really.' He shone the torch back on to the padlock. 'Would you look
at that
of
the size
thing? The size of that thing, nudge, nudge, ooer missus.' He rattled th
e padlock
and
tugged at the chain. 'Tell you what though, they really don't want any of th
e dear
departed
Do
'Get
'You're
what?'Josh
outnoof
tofun,
getasked.
here?
outThis
Ralph,
of no
herefun
is
a tacky
doatthey?'
all,'Josh
idea.' remarked, handing Chloe the torch. 'P
oint itwill you.' He guided her hand so that the light was directed at the side o
there
f the the
where
gatehinge was embedded in the wall.'If you've changed your mind you can si
mplyknow.
you
leave,It's a longish walk back in the dark, but I don't suppose that's a pro
blemwas
you
It
isforhappening
it?'
to her again, Chloe thought. The others were reading her mind i
n some
Or
was it
way.yet another coincidence? Was she looking for them now? If you looked f
or themalways
could
you find patterns and coincidences. You could build a whole insane worl
d roundThat was how astrologers worked. You shouldn't look for patterns and coinc
them.
because that way lies madness and death. What should she say to him? Where did y
idences
ou get that
thought
from? Did you think I wouldn't notice that you're stealing my thoughts?
She was
still
'Not
Josh
really,
put
trying
his foot
to come
no,'
he the
in
up with
said.
ironwork
'I'm
a reply
notofafraid
whengate
the
Ralph
of and
thespoke.
dark ashimself
swung
it happens.'
up so that he wa
s within
reach
Chloe
of the
was
relieved
top ofthat
the the
wall.question
'Just dark
had not
cemeteries
been directed
right?'at her after all, but
was
theshort-lived
relief
when she realised she had muffed an obvious opportunity to bale
out onstupid
whole
this project. 'I'm not that keen on dark cemeteries,' she said. 'Since y
ou mention
Josh
it.'
was busy scrambling over the top of the wall and he gave no sign of hearing
disappeared
'I'm
'We
hercould
as hethat
not
follow
into
keentheonwall
darkness.
climbing
round,'
overTommy
wallssuggested.'See
in the dark,'ifMegthere's
said. another way in
'Or we could just go,' Ralph said. 'I still say this is in pretty bad taste afte
.'
r what's
We
happened.'
can't just leave him in there,' Chloe said, irritated at not being able simpl
y to Ralph
with
agree and go. She had the torch. There was nothing to stop them leaving the
moron
'Why
obnoxious
not?
whereIthewaswas.'We
his idea,'
can'tRalph
leavesaid.
him in'He's
therenotonscared.
his own.HeCan
thinks
we?'it's all cra
Torch?'Josh
p.'
Chloe
handedpushed
him thehistorch.
hand 'How
through
cometheyou're
gate.'Gimme
the onlymyone
torch,
withChloe.'
a torch?' she ask
ed aspart
worked
'All
heit of
backmythrough
master plan,'
a gap. he said, 'to cast you into the darkness. And let t
he ghouls
have
their ghoulish way with you.' He gave a horrible chuckle and ducked away be
hind the

'What's
Chloe
wall.
'Oh
Keep
myaway!
no.
leant
God,'
KeepNoinaway
happening
Josh's
don't
close
from
to
horrified
touch
tome.
him?'
theme!
Ralph
gate.
voice
No!
pushed
'Where
Don't!'
cameinfrom
are
Heclose
you?
screamed
thetodarkness.
What
theand
the
gate,
fell
hellcraning
silent.
are youanddoing?'
peerin
g deep
into
Tommy
'What's
A'Where's
to the
see
and
voice
going
darkness
the
Meggrunted,'No
damn
bothtorch?'
on?'
beyond.
held back
Tommy
said.'Can
he
Megdidn't,now/have
slightly.
asked.anyone
'Can you
seethesee
anything?'
torch!'
it? DidandheJosh
dropducked
it?' back int
o view
the
torch
withheld under his chin. He growled a bit and then hooted with laughter. S
hiningmoron!'
torch
'You
'That's
through
the
a tautology
Chloe
the gate,
shouted.'You
isn'theit?'Josh
giggled
stupid
'Youmoron!'
chortled.'As
should see
quality
your insults
faces.' go it lacks a ce
rtaincome
don't
'Try
Ralph
'Oh
dickhead,
style
you
said,'Nice
on,
think?'
lighten
youone,
dickhead!'
up,
Josh.
guys,'Josh
I was
Meg obviously
raged.
said, flashing
wrong about
the torch
all this
beambeing
backwards
tacky.'
and
across their faces. 'lighten up? Geddit? Lighten up. I love it! Is there no end
forwards
to thetalent? Not so's you'd notice.' He tucked the torch under his arm and shon
boy's
e it onUsing
gate.
the both hands he began shifting the loops of chain, pulling them round
so thatwork
could
he the padlock through to the inside of the gate. 'Come on, it was a gag
'And let's
.'
'OK,
a veryleave
funnyidiot-features
gag it was too,'
to it,'Meg
Tommy said.
said.'You
'Not.'were right Ralph. This was
a rubbish
idea
Chloe
from
said,the'Yeah,
off.'let's go. I'm not stumbling about in the freezing dark any mo
re just
keep
sometostupid moron amused.' She looked back the way they had come and strain
ed tothemake
out
twisting route of the dark road home. It seemed to her that it was more
defined than before. She could see the darker mass of the high hawthorn hedges t
clearly
bordered the narrow lane and the looming shapes of the trees. She stared up at t
hat
he sky.
was
definitely
It
lighter. There was a moon. She tried to see where it was rising b
ut she
couldn't
'Are
'Why
The
'No
four
waitl'Josh
you of
not?'
since
coming
themcalled
the
with
began
whole
usafter
toTommy?'
sky
walk
them.I'm
seemed
away.
Meg asked.
tosorry.
be theListen
same don't
distantgo.washed-out
I'm reallygrey.
sorry. N
o more about, I promise. Meg, you've got the board and stuff. At least leave me
arsing
the paused.
and
Meg
board I'You
stuff.
wantcan't
to trydothis.'
it on your own.'

'AndIhow
Yes
can.important
Why can'tisI?'
that?'Josh demanded. I'm doing this for my own peace of mi
No, Chloe thought, no. This cannot be coincidence. He was reading her mind. He h
nd.'
ad to beher mind. But before she could say anything the torch went out and there
reading
heavy
was ametallic clunk from the direction of gate. It was followed by a rattle and
more
'Now
'That
several
heavy
what?'
soundsclunks.
Tommy
a lotsaid.
more like
'Another
the destruction
hilarious ghost
of private
impression?'
property to me,' Ralph s
Chainandslithered
gloomily.
aid
Meg
Chloe made
in their
a clinking
way back
rushtoandthetheentrance.
cemeteryTommy
gatesand
creaked.
a more reluctant Ra
followed
lph
Josh
was waiting
them. by the open gates. There are usually tools in these places,' he
you
said,
know'ifwhere to look.' He brandished the pickaxe he had used to break open the
'That's
padlock.what you call a lock pick. A lock pick? No? A definite sense of humour b
ypass, youHe switched the torch back on and shone it down the stony track which z
people.'
through the old graveyard and led eventually to that part of the cemetery that w
igzagged
as used burials.
current
"There's
for
not a chance
'Old I'm
or new?
doingWhich
anything
do youlike
reckon
thiswould
wherebesomeone's
the mostjust
haunted?'
been bur
ied,'would
'Dead's
said.
'It
'You
think
Ralph
dead,'
matter
they'll
Tommy
tohave
the
remarked.
relatives,'
locked
'I don't
some
Ralph
of
them
seesaid.
thathere
in
it then?'
mattersTommy
that snorted.
much.' 'Overl
ooked
in
'Supposing
'Relax
thethem
rushwe're
Ralph.
toIget
don't
caught?'
homethink
forRalph
tea?'asked.
what
we're planning to do is illegal,' Josh said. 'Y
ou don't
need
'How
to worry
would
youabout
feel,'getting
Ralph continued
caught.' imperturbably, 'if you found out that a bu
nch of students had been playing with a Ouija board on the grave of someone you
drunken
Tommy
about?'
caredsaid, 'I think I'd probably regret not going for the cremation or the buri
al was
It
at sea.'
a facetious comment Chloe thought, and although she couldn't see it on hi
s facehear
could
she the smirk in his voice. She found herself wondering why she had once
felt hiswas reassuring. 'Ralph's right,' she said. 'I think Ralph's right. We sho
manner
uld we're
the
'If
staysection.'
old
ingoing to use a gravestone,' Meg agreed, 'let's at least use an impress
Victorian one. Not that we'll see too much of it of course. Not unless someone k
ive
nowslight
the
whereswitch is.'

As if on cue the moon finally began to break through the clouds and the graveyar
dbrightened faintly. It was a strange luminous effect, giving no more than the pa
lest said,
Josh
impressions.
monochrome
Chloe
ofsighed.'Shut
'Someoneup.'
mustShe
havewasheard
disappointed
you. Someone
at how
or&little
something!
difference the moonli
ght the
but
made,moon was still rising and the clouds were still breaking up, she thought
, so things
would
probably get a bit brighter. A bit brighter and a lot stupider.'You've got
torch,'
Josh
the tookshethesaid
leadtoasJosh.'You'd
they stumbled
better
their
pickwaythealong
grave.'
the track, passing the darke
r, more shapes of a chapel and a large yew tree before reaching the first, and
distinct
what said.'That
like
Josh
looked
the
oldest,little
burialchapel
area. back there and these graves here were probably all
tothere
beginwaswith. This would have been the original cemetery.' He shone the torch a
boutwaslike
guide
It
directing
immediately
a
a tour
obvious
party's
thatattention
the placetowasinteresting
routinely maintained
features. and cared for
. Anbeen
had
effort
made to keep the weeds and brambles back and under control. The grass p
between the old graves had been clipped and edged. The gravestones were tilted a
aths
nd uneven,
their
surfaces weathered, lichen-pocked and stained with age but there was a nea
t and bet it's
dignified
'I'll
elegance
pretty
about
in the daylight,'
decay.
Meg said.'If you like that sort of thing
Josh swept the torch slowly and systematically across the area. 'Something reaso
.'
nably be
would
level
favoured.' He found what he was looking for in the far corner of the pl
'There's
ot.
'Typical,'
The
the
Josh
one
furthest
ledyou
one.'
them
Tommy
want
away.'
through
said.
is
always
the
'Have
jumble
you of
noticed
graves.
that'It's
abouta pity
tombstones?
we can't tell much abou
t who's
any
of these,'
in
he said. 'There's no way of separating the saints from the sinner
sunfortunately.
Did
sure
you
theyknow
couldn't
they used
dig their
to burywaytheout.
badNow,
'unsifface
we could
down? find
They one
wanted
of those
to be who kno
ws thought
unquiet
'I
what spirits
you said
mightthis
be was
stirred
all crap,'
into action.'
Ralph said. 'Are you telling us it's dif
ferent
the
Josh
Ralph
dark?'
said,
slipped
in 'Youonhave
the narrow
to be open-minded
path.'Not always.
about things
Some things
don't don't
you?' deserve to be gi
ven that
much
respect.' He clutched at a headstone to regain his balance. Pushing himself
whispered,
'You
Josh
'I
offthought
it hetoit
seem
said,'Vacation
'Excuse
know
mightame,
lotaIabout
job.'
be
meantcemeteries,'
hobby,'
noTommy
disrespect.'
said.Tommy
'A sort
said.of necrophiliac trainspotti
'Orthe
ng?'
At
a Good
backCemeteries
of the lineGuide,'
Chloe thought
Meg offered
she had
frommisheard.
behind him.
A vacation job? Was that
said?
what Ahevacation job. As she waited for Ralph to get moving again a sudden icy d
chilled Chloe. Could it be that this whole thing was just another stupid game? A
oubt
really,

really sick joke? She wouldn't put it past Josh Randall to have lured them here
to make idiots of them. It was the sort of cruel idea that would probably appea
absolute
l to
someone
like him. 'Did you say you worked in this cemetery?' she asked, trying t
o keep sick
suspicion
really
theoutjoke?
of her
Shevoice.
wouldn't put it past Josh Randall to have lured them here
to make idiots of them. It was the sort of cruel idea that would probably appea
absolute
l to
someone
like him. 'Did you say you worked in this cemetery?' she asked, trying t
o keep
suspicion
'Is
thatthewhat
out I'd
of her
think?'
voice.Chloe challenged. 'What gives you that idea? How do yo
Iu think?'
'It's
knowwhat
whatI'd think in your place,' he said reasonably. 'It would only be reaso
nable.reached
what
They
anyIt's
reasonable
the chosen
person
grave
would
andthink.'
filed on around it so that they were standing
two on side and one at the foot. From the worn carving on the headstone and the
either
surface of the marble there was no question but that this grave was as old as an
roughened
y of theSome fluke of drainage, or perhaps it was the quality of the original wo
others.
had left the memorial stones solid and unmoved. Unlike most of the others the he
rkmanship,
adstone wasand the main part of the grave, built up and carved to look like a min
vertical,
vault,read
iature
Josh
wasaloud
levelfrom
and the
undamaged.
headstone. 'Jeremiah Johnson, born eighteen oh seven di
ed eighteen Clarissa Johnson, born eighteen twenty-five died eighteen ninety-tw
sixty-eight.
'Not very informative,' Meg said. 'Doesn't say if they were husband and wife or
o.'
brother
sister,
'Round
'I
Meg
don't
tookhere
and
or
think
the
even
back
Ouija
wefather
then?'
should
boardand
Tommy
bedaughter'
and
making
the
said.'Probably
planchette
fun of them,'
from
all her
three.'
Ralph
sports
murmured.
bag and put them on
the of
top
Josh
flat
said,
the 'First
tomb. 'How
we'vearegotwetogoing
maketosure
do the
this?'
board is level presumably. We don't
pointy
want the
thing rolling about under the influence of gravity do we?' He balanced th
e torch the headstone so that the beam was on the board and then he put the plan
against
chette
its
to
with
Chloe
'That's
roll
spot.
his
said,
onnot
independently,
finger.'Seems
Ithow
'Everyone
showed
she did
noisOK,'
inclination
moving
it,'
supposed
heJosh
only
said.'Who
towhen
said.
put'Joan,
heawants
pokedItomean.
finger
iton
go it
first?'
That's
at thenot
samehowtime.'
she set it
'Yes
'No,'
up.'she
Joshdid,'
insisted.
Meg said.
'If you remember she was doing a number as a medium. She ha
d that crystal ball. Sad loser imagined she was some sort of a clairvoyant didn'
stupid
t she?'
'You
don't think she was?' Tommy said. 'I think she might have been. I think she
had&
'Powers
mightpowers.'
have
my backside,'Josh said.'There is no such thing as clairvoyance. It's sel
all the
f-deception
'You
knowway.
whatUsually
I likehysterical
about you?'girly
Meg asked.
self-deception.'

'Absolutely nothing,' Josh said. 'Imagine how upset I am. The thing is Joan didn
't touch
the
'Absolutely
planchette.'
nothing,' Josh said. 'Imagine how upset I am. The thing is Joan didn
't touch
the
'Actually
planchette.'
you didn't touch it either,' Tommy said. You were having a bit of a su
'A hissy
lk.'
'She
Meg
Josh
Chloe
said,
thought
said,
noticed
fit,'Meg
'Which
'The
Ithat
was
difference
issaid.'You
cheating.
the
pretty
moonlight
much
being
and
Andwhat
Joan
she much
that
was
were
thought
you
I was
thought
both
brighter
right.'
I was
having
about
thick.'
now.
hissy
her
Shewasn't
fits.'see
could
it?'a lot more
cemetery
of the a lot more clearly. It was almost as bright as the day for night used b
y those
low-budget
movie-makers the film society admired so much. There were even the sa
me sort cast
shadows
of by larger things like the chapel and the yew tree. Maybe those film
s were
at
nightshot
after all. Maybe they were just shot badly. She looked up at the sky. W
ithout noticing,
really
her
the moon seemed to have climbed higher. Why hadn't she noticed
that?would
fast
How it have happened? It didn't matter, this was taking too long she deci
ded.get'Can
we
on with this?' she said.'If all you wanted to do was bitch at each other
and Joan
off
slag you could have done it in the bar. At least it would have been warm. I
don'tissaid,
about
'You
'No,
'It
'People
Josh
mostly
you
know
anybody
very
are
have
suddenly
have
popular
dying
elsebe
to
totobut
begetcold
cold
though,'
positive,
I in,'
am stay
to
frozen.'
to
Tommy
Meg
'You
getinsaid.
inhere,'
said.
four
here,'
putMeg
your
Tommy
said.
fingers
said. on it. I'll stand back
and watch
what
happens.' He sounded slightly put out. 'I don't want to be accused of cheat
Iingwouldn't
again. want anyone to think I was manipulating the pointy planchette thing,
wouldand
Josh
Ralph?'
From
Meg
turned
one
I Tommy
sidethestretched
ofboard
the tomb
soforward
that theandtopeach
wasplaced
towardsa finger
the headstone.
on the planchette. Chlo
e andthe
did
'Ask
'You
'You're
itRalph
ask
same
something
doing
it something,'
from
thisthen,'Josh
the
forother
your
Chloeown
side.
said.
said.
peace"This
of mind
was remember,'
your idea.'Ralph reminded him, wit
hout the
slightest
iMuch
as she
hinthated
of irony.
to agree with a moron like Josh about anything, Chloe thought
, she
to
admit
hadRalph wasn't much fun. He could be so earnest and so thoroughly dull. H
e did
to
haveseem
almost no sense of humour at all. At once she felt guilty. That was a ro
ttenthink
to
thingabout anybody. No sense of humour! That was worse than saying they were
driver
a bad or a poor lover. A lot worse. And supposing he could read her mind. How e
would that be? She glanced at Ralph. He showed no sign of knowing what she was t
mbarrassing
That was a relief.
hinking.

Chloethere
'Is
stared
anybody
at thethere?'Josh
yew tree. It
asked.
repeated.
was hard to tell, but it looked as though there
hooded
Josh
Was
monk's
wasitsaid
a habit?
afigure
figure?
tall
for Or
astanding
figure
third
Chloeit
was
wearing
time,'Is
just
narrowed
someatsort
a there
the
herofedge
eyes
anybody
robe?
ofandAtheshroud't
there?'
concentrated.
deep shadow
Oh God,
underneath
it was ait.
shroud. I
t was
figure
'If
As
Chloe
there
ainwatched
a shroud!
is
somebody
the figure
there,'moved
Joshslowly
said. away
'Comefrom
closer
theand
tree.
makeWhat
yourself
was itknown.'
doing?
Was ithe
coming
'Come
Could
closer
here
seetoit
andthem?
too?
makeWas
yourself
he calling
known,'Josh
it? Chloe
repeated.
tore her eyes away from the figure
atandJosh.
looked
He wasn't looking in the right direction. He was looking directly down
at the He wasn't aware of the thing that was watching them. Was it watching them
board.
? Thewas
that
thing
coming to them. Was it coming to them? She had to look at it. She had n
o choice,
she
had to look at it again. She had to know how far it had got. She had to see
wherenow.
was
it She was beginning to be terrified. She was beginning to fall apart. She
hardly
could breathe. Her lungs were full of unbreathable ice. She had to look. She ha
d tofeel
now.
'I
looklike
She
looked.
a bitThere
of awas
pratnothing
now, don't
there.you?' Josh said. 'Got meself all excited
itandanduppressed
Chloe
there's
for her
nothing
kneesthere.'
against the tomb. She could feel the roughness of the st
one denim
the
throughof her jeans. It was comfortingly real. She looked around surreptitiou
sly.noThere
was
shrouded figure anywhere to be seen. It must have been a trick of the lig
ht. Orofa the dark. A trick of the day for night perhaps. The ice in her chest be
trick
gan to melt
slowly.
The problem with that was it seemed to be soaking through her skin and c
overing
in
cold sweat.
her
Abruptly her mouth filled with saliva, and for a long moment she
thought
was
hard
finger
going
andonshe
concentrated
to pass
the
planchette.
out on
or keeping
beShesick.
washer
She about
not
swallowed
to be called hysterically girly by a
'Maybe
Josh.
moron we
likeshould ask the questions,' Meg suggested. 'You're only a bystander. It
's do,'
fingers
'Feel
'I
ourfree,'Josh
on the
Meg
said,
pointy
said.
T feel
thing.'
freer all the time. There are days when I feel almost e
qual. But
thanks
for the permission big boy. We hysterical girlies have trouble making the
'Whyplanchette
decisions.'
se
Meg
The
ignored
did youhim
ask?'Josh
began
and looked
todemanded.
moveatimmediately.
the board. Is there a message for anyone here?'

'Don't
'Hello,'Josh
The
pointer
you hate
picked
said.
it when
"I think
out
the
theletters
we have
dead
areH-E-L-L-O
asowinner.'
predictable?'
and then Tommy
it paused.
murmured. Hello? Wha
t does
think:
'Concentrate,'Josh
'Relax,'
The
planchette
itTommy
it's
answering
said.'We'll
began
hissed.
tothemove
phone?'
Weagain.
take
don't
a message.'
know slowly
More
who it it
wants.'
picked out the C and then the
Chloe's
L.
nausea was coming back. This message was going to be for her. She knew i
t. Itpointer
not
The
'Hello
That
bewas
might
going
Clarry?'
a joke,
speeded
to Ralph
spell
Chloe
up:said.'Obviously
her
thought.
A-R-R-Y
name right,
.
Ralph
abutwrong
made
ita joke.
was
number.'
going
Whattowastalk
thetosignificance
her.
of
that? Hello
Clarry.
She had been called Clarry before. Josh had called her Clarry just to an
noy her But Josh hadn't got his finger on the planchette so he couldn't be doi
probably.
ng this.
Who
could be doing this? They couldn't all be ganging up on her could they? They
have
couldreasons
all not to like her. No wait, she thought. Josh had called her Clarry a
nd thenhadthepicked up on it. 'It's not Clarry it's Chloe!' it had shouted. It was
demon
the demon
again.
It was the demon tormenting her. It was almost a relief. It might be a cr
eature
some
but
'Yeah
'We're
Ralph
'Concentrate,'Josh
interesting
U'You
'Is
C-L-A-R-R-Y
The
NOTplanchette
D-E-D.
atdead?'Josh
pointer
that
supernatural
right,'
RUN
said,
from
least
talking
right?'Josh
U Uto
continued
N-O-T
'Native
itD-E-D.
Josh
Red
communicate.'
rolled
wasn't
said.'OK,
madhouse
HIDE.
said.
Indian
said.'The
American
said.'That's
toher"I
off
pick
spirit
Native
the
friends.
believe
spirit
Red
outAmerican
board
guide
Indian
letters.
not
it.funny.
guide
completely
are
Which
might
you
it
I Which
we?'
N-O-T
is.'
one
mean.'
have
and
Josh
ofrattled
L-E-V-E
something
one
youofisyou
commented.
Udoing
to
IaisN-E-A-R
stop
doing
theonpushing?'
U.the tomb
that?'
stone.their
took
'What's
Chloe
said,'I
They
it got
fingers
think
against
off
it might
it andbe&'She
Clarry?'
looked
Meg said.'Whoever
at one
was
going
another.
to explain
that is.'that the threat was di
rected
her
butatit was then that she saw the shrouded figure. It was definitely closer n
ow. Itaway
moved
had from the tree and it was standing at the edge of the burial area.

She could
'It
'What
might
is it?'Josh
be what?'
hear
thesaid.'You
contempt
Tommy asked.
lookhislike
in
voice.
you've
It made
seen her
a ghost
angryorand
something.'
the anger made h
er fight
shake
offtothe paralysing fear. She would not give that pig the satisfaction. She
bewould
thought
not of as a hysterical girly. She reached across the tomb and grabbed the
where
torchitfrom
was propped against the headstone. 'Look,' she croaked as she turned th
e beamcould
towards
'There,'
Chloe
the
Ralph
figure.
no
said. There
longer
see it.
it The
is.'torch beam was shining through the place where
had
thebeen
figure
standing. She flashed the light along the boundary of the graves. Nothi
ang.trick
'Did
'Absolutely,'
Ityouwas
ofseetheit?'
Ralph
light.
shesaid.
It was
whispered.
'Hold
a trick
the light
of thesteady.
light,Look,
thereit's
was there
nothingisn't
there.
it?' He
torch
took from
the her and shone it on the headstone.'Look. Jeremiah Johnson, born eight
een ohdied eighteen sixty-eight. Clarissa Johnson, born eighteen twenty-five die
seven
d eighteen
'Of
ninety-two.'
'It
course,'
was
a message
Meg said.
to tell
'Clarry.
ClarryIt's
she was
shortdead?'
for Clarissa.'
Tommy said. 'What would be the p
ointtelling
that
Meg
'By
said,I'd
of
exactly?'
her
saynot
oldtoJeremiah
run andwas
notdeclaring
to hide?'his
Ralph
lovesaid.
for Doesn't
her wouldn't
soundyou?'
very lovi
ng to said,
'Maybe
Tommy
me.'
they'd'Sohaditawas
fight,'
a communication
Meg said. 'Maybe
betweenhe's
twoapologising.'
dead people which we were ove
is that
rhearing,
'I'm
saying
whatit's
you're
nonsense,'
saying?'Josh said. 'One or maybe more than one of you is pla
ying what
buggers.
'I've
'But
Chloe
silly
hadWhat
thought,
enough,'
do
you
dowhythink
youis
Chloe
say,
heitasking
said.
Chloe?'
meant?'
'I'm
me?heDoes
tired
pressed.
heandknow
I want
it was
to me
go that
now. was
Can being
we go tormen
now?'
ted?you
are
'Whyasking me?' she said.'How should I know what it meant?' She looked towar
ds theandyewthe track which led to the cemetery gates. She could see most of it in
tree
the bright There was nothing. Not even a suspicious shadow. But could she go the
moonlight.
re nowdo you
without
'Why
panicking
keep looking
and running
over there?'
like sheRalph
had inasked.
the wood?
'Is there something over ther
e?' that
craned
she
Not
He round
was
looking
I caninsee,'
the shone
and
direction
Chloethe
said.
torch.
Is there a caretaker or security or someone tha
t patrols
this
place?' By an effort of will she had managed not to tremble, but there was
a quiver in

Are you
her
voiceallthat
right?'
she did
Megnot
asked.
seem'You're
able tonot
control.
having another funny turn are you? No
t thatyou
blame
I'dunder the circumstances. I'm due for one myself.' She moved away from
the took
and
graveseveral steps down the narrow grass path towards the track. It was as t
houghtrying
was
she to distance herself from what had happened. What the hell are we doin
g here?
her
Are
voiceallthat
you
right?'
she did
Megnot
asked.
seem'You're
able tonot
control.
having another funny turn are you? No
t thatyou
blame
I'dunder the circumstances. I'm due for one myself.' She moved away from
the took
and
graveseveral steps down the narrow grass path towards the track. It was as t
houghtrying
was
she to distance herself from what had happened. What the hell are we doin
g here?
are
Josh
'You've
better
said,
seen'I
than
itstill
others,'
work
think
twice,'
hethesaid.
Meg
Ouija
snapped.
'This
boardwas'What's
thing
one is
ofitathegoing
bunch
others.'
of take
to
crap.'to convince y
ou there's
something
'Oh
I'm convinced
odd goingofon?'
that already,' he said. 'I'm just not as easily fooled as s
roundwas
omebody
What
hereit,thinks
Chloe?'
I am.'
Ralph asked. What was the problem, did you think you saw so
meone shook
Chloe
there?'
over her head. She took a deep breath. 'Trick of the light,' she said fir
dusting off the knees of her jeans. She straightened up and stood waiting to lea
mly,
ve. 'ForI thought
moment
a
we might be in trouble.' This time, she had made up her mind, t
his was
she
'Nothing
'That's
Ralph
time
wasanot
tostill
at
relief.'
going
do
all,'
with
holding
toyour
Chloe
runthe
said.
no torch,
pet
matter
demon so
whathehappened.
then?'Josh
led the
suggested.
way back through the graves to
cemetery track. Meg was behind him, Tommy behind her, then Chloe with Josh bring
the
ingthought
'Clarry?'Josh
rear.
'What?'
'You're
'I
up the
Chloe
not
you
Clarry,
whispered
said
werewithout
you're
talking
as Chloe,'Josh
they
turning
to me.'
picked
round.
Chloe
their
said.'I
keptwayher
wasn't
along
eyestalking
the
fixed
grass
to the
on
path.'Garry?'
you.'
path.'Why w
eredon't
whispering?'
'Yes
'I
was
you
I mind.'
talking
like coincidences,'
to myself, do he
yousaid."The
mind?' name on that grave was a coincidence.'
By
'Wastheit?'
time "they reached the track Chloe could see there was no hooded figure b
etween
and
thethem
cemetery entrance. There was nowhere it could be hiding, nowhere obvious
leap
it could
out from, howling and gibbering. She could feel herself calming down. She c
ouldtension
the
feel draining away. She was suggestible that was all it was, she thought.
the
It same
wasn'tas being hysterical and girly. They were in a moonlit graveyard. You ex
pected to

Whylook
see
'Why
Of
'Of
Nothing
Are
'Only
So
what?'
hooded
whatever
you
should
don't
when
spooked
afraid
behind
figures
you
you're
I?'
itChloe
want
there's
you,'Josh
wasthere'
me.'
inthat
tosaid
moonlit
look
something
spooked
challenged.
andback?'
graveyards.
thought,
you.'
nasty
he asked.
behind
why
SoareAre
sometimes
you?'
youyousoscared
determined
you saw
of it?'
them.
to frighten me?
Chloe
'I don't
thought,
want tothere
frighten
it wasyou,'Josh
again. Her
said.
thought echoed back to her almost exactly
. Was heher mind? Or did they think alike? God no, surely not. Surely that wasn'
reading
t possible.
That
Josh
truly would
looked
over his
be terrifying.
shoulder. 'I can't see why that would terrify you. I can't
anything
see
'No
I'm
Chloe
problem
only
stopped.
to then,'
trying
be Look
terrified
to help.'
Chloe
leavesaid.
of.'
me alone,
'So stop
OK. Idoing
don'twhatever
know what
it you've
is you're
gotdoing.'
in mind but
interested,
I'm not
I'm not interested in your help. I'm not interested in you. I want y
ou tofrom
away
keepme, OK?' If it hadn't seemed ridiculous she would have added: And keep
head,
'OK.'Josh
Chloe
out ofcontinued
OK.mystrodetooffwalk
andslowly.
caught She
up with
was less
the others.
comfortable being back there on her
She
ownbadly
now. wanted to speed up and join the others but she felt she couldn't after
just
whathappened.
had
Josh would probably think she was chasing after him and that was
the last
thing
she wanted him to think. Except that if he could read her mind he'd know s
he wasn't.
The
others wouldn't though. The others would probably think she was having anoth
er funny
turn.
Worse
A funnythe
still,
turn:
thing
howabout
embarrassing
looking behind
was that?
her was back in the front of her min
d. She shake it now. She should look back. She should look behind her if only
couldn't
to give
lie
to his
thestupid accusation. She wasn't afraid to do it. Why should she be afra
id, glanced
was
She
there back
nothing
there,over
he her
saidleft
so. shoulder.
He'd lookedThere
and was
therenothing,
was nothing
as hebehind
had said
her.there
was. She

glanced back over her right shoulder. There was no hooded figure. She stopped an
d turnedback over her right shoulder. There was no hooded figure. She stopped an
glanced
d turned
'And
'Still
'Yes.'
As
'No:
Josh
areworried
pulled
you?'Josh
aboutgates
the
murmured.
the together
caretaker?'
theyRalph
creaked
asked.
and the hinges squeaked dryly. 'W
hen heupdoes
turn
he could do worse than oil these gates,' he commented, looping the chain
and
'Will
Tommy
'Don't
'Well
round
securing
that
who
said,
thin,'
themthink
you
fool
start,'
'The
it it's
Josh
inghouls
them?'
said.
place
Meg
locked
Tommy
said
and
'But
withwitheringly.
and
the
asked.
we
thedon't
stay
undead
broken
Will
put?'
want
andThat
padlock.
they
Ralph
similar
any
think
joke
ofsounded
them
undesirables.'
is
it's
already
following
locked,
puzzled.
thin.'
andabout
us
stay do
put?'
we,
Chloe
Chloe?'
couldn't think of a good put-down. It was partly because the tone of the c
omment
so
matter-of-fact
was
and yet so intimate. It was as if he thought the two of them s
hared aunderstanding. He was beginning to feel like some sort of stalker. How lo
secret
ng was
going
The
five
toitof
takethem
himwalked
to realise
away from
that the
she cemetery
didn't like
in ahim.
group. With the moonlight go
ne the country lane was impenetrably black. Without the torch and someone taking
narrow
itthewould
leadhave been difficult to avoid tripping over the uneven verges and blunde
ringwas
the
It
hedges.
into
Ralph who was methodically illuminating the edge of the road. As they rea
chedgates?'
first
OK?
Halfway
Josh
The
Everybody
the
said,'Was
bend
round
heRalph
said,
keeping
the
it stopped
bend
the
'Isgates?
up?'
Meg
everybody
abruptly.
said,
It sounded
What'Wewasclosed
like
that?'
thethegates.'
gates. Didn't we close the ga
Tommy had been walking close behind him. Watch it!' he said and stumbled into hi
tes?'
Ralph did
m.
'What
'Never
fumbled
mindyouthat,
the where's
stop
torch
for?'and
Tommy
thedropped
torch?'
complained.
it.Ralph
It hit
said,
thegroping
road andabout
wentonout.
the ground. H
elp torch!'
the
'How
'Calm
mecould
down,'
findyouJosh
dropsaid.
the 'Everybody
torch?' Megcalm
demanded.
down. It's
'Whatgot
weretoyou
be there
thinking
somewhere.'
about?'

'Listen,' Chloe said. She had heard a noise in the darkness behind them.'What's
that?' she
asked.'Listen!
What is that?' But she already knew what it was. She already reco
gnised the
heart-stopping
sound from the total blackness behind them. Unmistakably, the hin
ges of thegates
cemetery
'Listen,'
Chloewere
said.squeaking.
She had heard a noise in the darkness behind them.'What's
that?' she
asked.'Listen!
What is that?' But she already knew what it was. She already reco
gnised the
heart-stopping
sound from the total blackness behind them. Unmistakably, the hin
ges of thealways
cemetery
'There's
gates were
beensqueaking.
a problem with student suicides.' Simpson cradled the phone
his
between
shoulder and chin as he reached for another cigarette. These things happen.'
open
He flipped
his lighter.'Suicides among young adults are on the up generally. Does anyb
ody know
why?'
He lit the cigarette. 'No, East Wessex is below average if anything.' He l
aistened
momentfor
then said, 'You know me Karen. You know if I find anything unusual abou
t this one&
anything
newsworthy at all and you'll be the first reporter I contact.' He laugh
all right, slip of the tongue. You'll be the only reporter I contact& Yeah. Take
ed.'Yeah
hung
care.'
up and
He took a deep drag on the cigarette.'Should be OK for the time being.'
Bartok put down the two plastic beakers of coffee and drew up a chair on the oth
er side
the
desk.ofHe shook his head disapprovingly. From his expression it was not clear
was
whether
more unhappy
he
about the cigarette or the telephone conversation he had just c
aughtof.theHe coughed a token couple of times and said,'She's going to be very unch
end
uffed
she
Simpson
'Anything
'A
messy
finds
when
shrugged.
suicide,
out you've
unusual,
'Ianything
but
been
haven't
stilllying
anewsworthy,
been,'
suicide.
to her.'
he Come
said.
Sarge?
the
It's
Where
inquest
a suicide.'
do there's
you wantnotoquestion
start?' what
coroner's
the
verdict will be.' Simpson sipped the coffee. 'Did you put sugar in thi
Bartok snorted. 'Fags, coffee and four sugars? You want to die right there at th
s?'
e desk?'
'What
Being
Simpson
about
serviced.
nodded
theresignedly.
pool car.
Won't
be ready
Did
'Youyou
till
watch&
getlunch
the
they'll
pool have
time.'
car?'us back on push bikes one of
days.'
these He
finetook four sachets of sugar from his desk drawer and began tearing them
emptying
Depends
Simpson
'The
'Did
openyou
ink'U
andstirred
which
them
hear
leak,'
into
date.'
what
hisBartok
Ihis
coffee
said?'
coffee.
said,
with
Simpson
'Is
never
a Biro.
your
asked,
taking
paperwork
'Get
and
his
itwiped
done
eyes
up the
to date?'
this
off
the
pen
morning.'
stirring.
on
an empty sugar p
'Yes, Sarge.' Bartok retrieved the packet and examined it. 'Sarge, why are you f
acket.
yourself
logging
'I
Bartok
reckon
gave
toherup
death
family
looking
to might
keep
forthe
havepress
leaked
suffered
inkaway
andenough.'
from
tossed
thethe
girl's
packet
suicide?'
away. 'It's bound to
eventually
'Yeah
come well.'
out though.
SimpsonI sipped
mean it'll
his newly
all come
sweetened
out at coffee.
the inquest.'
'Sufficient unto the day
,Constable.'
'Sorry?'

'Oh right,'
'Is
the evilBartok
thereof.'
said. 'And in the meantime the university authorities will ha
ve bet
opportunity
"There's
'I
had that
thethatcoffee
totoo,'
covertastes
Simpson
theirplasticy
collective
agreed.'It
nowbackside.'
wouldn'tit,'
doesn't
be the
Bartok
firstsaid,
time.'
sipping his own
. 'Your smiled slightly.
brother-in-law
Simpson
must have 'You
got tocanyoufind
after
outall
a lot
thenbydid
doing
he?'nothing, Constable. Tr
ick people
let
Bartok
'Get
'Cover
'Exactly.'
isonwhat
towithSimpson's
looked
get
up?'
trying
sceptical.'Get
on with
tocadaverous
what they
cover
on smile
it
with
up,
wantfor
what
toexample.'
broadened.
get
foronexample?'
with.'
'When you know what it is they
want toup you know what it is that's important to them. Then all you need to know
cover
it's
Bartok
is why
important
still looked
to them
sceptical
and you're
but he
homewasandsmiling
dry.' now. Welcome to Cobblers Are Us
'Get back to your paperwork.' Simpson sipped his coffee again and then put it to
.'
inonedisgust.
Bartok
side
said,'Using
'Stuff atastes
Biro 11
of do
plastic'
that.' He stood and picked up his own coffee. 'B
y the
he
'Why
'The
'Because
'They
Simpson
Bartok
'That
'Went
'Stepfather's
Oh
said.
right.'
who
Cox
way,'
were
was
by?'
looked
retrieved
'Ithe
was
girl
it's
trying
Bartok
know
inname.
andwhat
supposed
blank.'Sorry?'
name
why
her
to
his
nodded.
she
She
they
wood?'
contact
friends.
coffee
towasWell
went
were
be
by.
adopted.'
haunted
the
and
inAmanda
The
anyway,
spirit
took
that
seance?
presumably'
athey
wood.'
Joslin.'
of that
sip
Inwanted
before
whatcha-callit&
girlto
saying,
that
ask her
was
'Amanda
Norswood.'
found
to
tell
Joslin.'
inthem
there.'
who h
er murderer
'Maybe
was.'
we should have done that at the time,' Simpson said. As I remember it's o
ne ofavenues
many
'It's
'Five
the ago?'
common
years
we didn't
enough
Simpson
knowledge
go shook
down.isn't
I wonder
his
it?' how
head.
'It's
theygotknew
to be
about
at least
her?' five years ag
o. People
don't
remember five years ago. It wasn't even that big a deal. Not what you'd ca
ll a high

profile case. Some of the locals might remember, some local coppers might rememb
er. I
remember.
Not students though. Can't see any reason why students should. They co
me and
why
profile
should
go,
case.
theySome
knowofabout
the locals
it?' might remember, some local coppers might rememb
er. I
remember.
Not students though. Can't see any reason why students should. They co
me and
why
'No
She
'She
should
it
wasn't
waswasn't,'
go,dumped
they in
killed
know
Simpson
inNorswood
about
that
said.
wood?'
it?'
but'WeweBartok
never
nevercould
found
foundnot
out
outhide
where
wherehis
itshesurprise.
happened.'
was killed. We coul
dn'thow
out
workshe got there even. Could have fallen out of the sky as far as we were c
Simpson did not look or sound smug when he added/You see.You didn't know about i
oncerned.'
t andDoctor
you're
Bartok
Neither
The
awere
said,
copper'
strode
'I wasn't
they'
purposefully
here then.'
through the campus with Leela jogging at his side
. It was
fine,
fresh
a morning and he was feeling better. There was finally some concrete e
that something was happening, and so at last he could get on with coming to grip
vidence
s withwould
There
it. be no more unproductive dithering. No more ifs, ands or buts. He cou
ld rule
the
bottled
out water, for example. This was nothing to do with the Clearspring wate
r or the
Clearspring
There
was clear
Waterevidence
Companyhere
if indeed
of temporal
there shift
was such
anomalies
a thing&linked to multidimensi
onalpossibly
or
voids
round
voids,
linked
it
wasmultidimensional
to temporal
there
was certainly
shift anomalies,
evidence of
butthem
whichever
both. Of
waycourse it wasn't evid
encecould
he
thatpersonally vouch for since he hadn't actually seen either of these phen
omenahefor
himself,
And
knew
butLeela
Leelawas
hadaseen
reliable
them.eyewitness and he trusted her completely. At he
art shebasically
still
savage,
affected
was
however,
by whatashe
and
superstitious
what she to
expected
thought
see. And
she if
sawwhat
couldshebewas saying was accurate, t
hen she wassomething that was disorientating and could be mind-altering. This me
describing
ant interpretation
his
that if
of what she described to him was right, it was unlikely that
description of it was accurate in the first place. But if her description of it
her
was not in the first place, then was his interpretation right? And if his inter
accurate
of it was not right, then could her description of it have been accurate in the
pretation
place?
first
was
description
'Doctor?'
accurate,
ButLeela
ifcould
hersaid,
then
description
not
hisinterrupting
beinterpretation
accurate& hiswas
spiralling
right, and
thoughts.
her
'Why have we stopped
'Stopped
here?' here?' the Doctor said vaguely. He looked around him. It was a pleasant
space
octagonal
with a tree at its centre, the campus book shop and the main library on on
e side, theatres on two others. There were students bustling about. Why had they
lecture
here?
stopped
he wondered. Where were they supposed to be going? 'Do you remember the wa
y?' heIsaid,
'Yes
asked.
'Lead
aware
couldn't
Leela
on,'
that
do,'
remember
the
he
ILeela
still
thought
Doctor
said,Doctor
where
said
andand
they
pointed
were
Ghostbuster
smiled
going.'We
toata Bazzer
broad
her.
don't
Heflight
Hitchins
was
wantuncomfortably
oftogave
steps.
be late.'
you a key to his l
in course,
aboratory
Of
case he the
was Doctor
not there
remembered,
when we arrived?'
that was where they were going. He must examin
e

immediately the tapes of all the recent experiments to see how serious the dange
r wasdifficult
how
and
it was going to be to put things right. There's no time to waste,'
said.'We
he
have a lot to do and very little time to do it in.'Judging by his own i
verythe
ncoherence,
by
was
nothing
little
moment.
timedo
to
Unless
indeed.
withitparapsychology
The feedback and
loopsitsmust
links
be to
intensifying
temporal shift anomalies
multidimensional
and
immediately
the tapes
voids.of all the recent experiments to see how serious the dange
r wasdifficult
how
and
it was going to be to put things right. There's no time to waste,'
said.'We
he
have a lot to do and very little time to do it in.'Judging by his own i
verythe
ncoherence,
by
was
nothing
little
moment.
timedo
to
Unless
indeed.
withitparapsychology
The feedback and
loopsitsmust
links
be to
intensifying
temporal shift anomalies
multidimensional
and
Its
over,'John Finer
voids.
snarled.'This dog and pony show is at an end.' He stalked r
ound the
laboratory,
pausing every so often to stare at something and shake his head as i
f hebelieve
not
could what he was seeing. 'What a waste of time and effort and money. How
did you
away
Barry
with
tried
getittoallbethis
angrytime?'
but he couldn't quite bring himself to it. 'Why do you t
ake it so
personally?'
he asked. "The time and effort was mine not yours.' He was suddenly
heaware
was using
that the past tense. Was that why he wasn't angry: because he knew it wa
s over?not as if the money came out of your departmental budget. Though God knows
'It's
have
you spared
could it. This was outside funding. The Kellerfield Foundation weren't int
erested in
developmental
engineering. They weren't about to finance your quest to build a b
mousetrap.
etter
Why
me? WhySoarewhyyouisafter
it important
me?' Finer
to sneered.
you, Finer?
Isn't
Whythat
me? just
Why are
typical.
you after
I'llme?'
tell
shall
you why
I? Because this,' he gestured round, 'this pseudoscience is an embarrassin
g disgrace
in
You
apompous
seriouspillock,'
academic Barry
institution.'
said. 'A serious academic institution? This is a pol
withgirl
ytechnic
'A
'You're
'She
ideas
was
isobviously
saying
abovethat's
dead,
itsunstable.
Hitchins.'
station.'
my fault?'
You encouraged her instability. You intensified it
in fact.'
Barry
'You
imagine
sighed.'Yes
you'rethat's
goingpossible,'
to be allowed
he said,
to continue
miserably.'That
under those
is circumstances?'
possible.'
demanded
Finer
'I
'No,
"What
'Not
don't
aofabout
chance.
course
triumphantly.
get
the
toThey'll
you
putdon't.'
council?'
my be
sideskating
of it in
to hell
the senate?'
before you'd get anywhere near the cou
'There's always the press,' Barry said, in an attempt at defiance that sounded u
ncil.'
even to him.'I still have friends in the media.' It wasn't much of a bluff, he t
nconvincing
hought.said,
don't
Finer
Whatever
think
'Ielse'Least
anybody
he was,
ofwould
all you,
Finer
like
wasn't
thatstupid,
presumably'
sort ofBarry
publicity
thought
would
andthey?'
said, 'Suppose I ta
ke my somewhere else? The University of East Wessex isn't the only polytechnic
funding
'Pay
make.'
on the
attention, Hitchins,' Finer said pityingly. 'The girl killed herself in que
stionable

on this. It isn't
circumstances.
In just
Everyone's
spectacularly
therunning
university
questionable
for that's
cover disowning you. The Kellerfield Foun
terminated
dation
circumstances.
on
this. Ityour
isn't
Infunding
Everyone's
spectacularly
just
the
asrunning
of nine
university
questionable
for
o'clock
coverthis
that's
disowning
morning.'
you. The Kellerfield Foun
terminated
'dation
Yes,
'TheyBarry
faxedthought.
your
the vice-chancellor's
funding
It'sasdefinitely
of nineoffice.'
o'clock
over. 'Time
this to
morning.'
update my CV it seems,' he sa
Finer
id.
he
saidturned
as heonwalked
his heel.'I
to the door.
wouldn't
'Hanging
take too
around
longthis
aboutcampus
it,' will do nothing fo
r your
long-term
career prospects.' He paused in the doorway and stared back at Barry.
His expressionless.
was
face
'Assuming you have any,' he said. 'Which I doubt.' An abrupt
twisted
smile his narrow features. Which I seriously doubt.' He reached for the door b
ut,could
he
beforepull the release, the door was pushed open from the other side and he w
confronted
as
The
Finer
Doctor
noddedstepped
byhis
theacknowledgement.
Doctor
back politely.
and Leela.'If
Afterheyou,'
owes you
he said,
money,'
gesturing
he saidFiner
as heforward.
passed t
hewasn't
on
Barry
The
IIt
Doctor
his
would
Doctor
glared
waysure
have
out,'take
looked
atyou'd
been
thepuzzled.
courteous.'
Doctor.
be
myhere,'
advice
'Was
'Thanks
the
and
I Doctor
supposed
don't
for not
accept
said.
totelling
tell
Hea took
cheque.'
you
me the
beforehand.'
beforehand?'
key he had been given
coat
Barry
The
fromDoctor
pocket
his hurried
ignored
andit.'Is
heldthrough
it out.
that
why
theyou
labfaxed
towards
thethe
office?'
control and monitoring suite. 'I
BarryDoctor
understand.'
don't
The
followed
stopped
him.in'You
histold
tracks
me and
you thought
wouldn'tfor
withdraw
a moment.'I
my funding,'
don't think
he accused.
I said
that,
I?'
You
of
Ah
mysaid
yes,'
hefunding.'
did
said.
you Doctor
the
would have
agreed.'That
nothing toisdowhat
withI said.'
the withdrawal
He pressed on through the lab.
The
BarryDoctor
continued
stopped
to again.'I
follow him.
told'Why
youdid
I would
you tell
havemenothing
that?'to do with the withdra
wal of yourhe said,'because I would have nothing to do with the withdrawal of you
funding,'
r funding.
I'm
Barry
sorry
said,'Are
if youyou
misunderstood
saying the foundation
me.'
operates entirely independently of you
r opinion?'
'I
imagine so.' The Doctor beamed wolfishly. 'Since they've never asked for my o
pinion.'Barry's
patted
He
arm. 'I'm glad we've cleared that up. Shall we get on now? We hav
e aand
do
lotvery
to little time to do it in. Isn't that right Leela?' The Doctor peered
roundbuttheLeela was nowhere to be seen.'Where is the girl?'
lab

'Youryou
'Who
'Did
the
assistant,
hellher?'
see
areyou
you?'
themean?'
Doctor
BarryBarry
demanded.
asked.'She
shrugged.
'What
was'She
right
do didn't
youbehind
want?'
come
me.'in with you. I don'
t know,sherather
maybe
'Erratic
went with
thanFiner
eccentric,'
for somethereason.
DoctorShe
said.
is 'She
a bitcomes
eccentric,
from aisn't
peculiarly
she?' p
Whatever,' Barry said. 'Maybe Finer's special brand of Yorkshire charm appeals t
background.'
rimitive
o the
peculiarly
'Finer?
'Professor
'He's
'A
'Yes
lotoffrom
ofcourse,'
Who's
people
primitive.'
John
Yorkshire
Finer?'
Finer.
are,'Doctor
the
you
the
Hesay?'
Barry
Doctor
was
said
said.
on thoughtfully.'So
asked.
his
way out as youwould
camethat
in.'make it less or mor
e of asaid, 'I
coincidence
Barry
I wonder?'
suppose it would be unfair to blame them all for pond scum like h
'Youfirst
im.'
The
two don't
flickerings
get on.'of anger stirred in Barry. The research fellowship he enjo
yed just
had
so much
been snatched away. It had disappeared in a puff of potential publicity
. trust
Iever
Your
'Not
Havereally,'
metyou
life
everybody,'
amust
richthe
bemanDoctor
onethe
youlong
could
Doctor
said.
disappointment.'
trust?'
said.you trust people and they let you down you're
'If
unhappy
if
you
Barry
only
you
down?'
was
don't
once.
not
Hetrust
Imagine
beamed.'You
really
people
listening.
the have
disappointment
and
then
to'You
bethey
unhappy
have
don't
to bear
twice
let inandmind
thatthat
makes
thenoonly
sense.'
way anyb
ody can
rich
is at
getsomebody else's expense.' His resentment was cheering him up and he w
as his
to
warming
theme. That ratbag Finer ripped somebody off sure as shot. Serious academ
ic?
is
Professor
And
gross
That's
It's
Developmental
clearly
The
his
him
apparently.
why
man
private
that
Finer
a crook.'
you
doesn't
engineering
don't
isItrich?'
fortune
could
like
like
ishim?'
the
is up
feed
me,
Doctor
ashalf
toitits
asked.
of
happens.'
yin-yangs
sub-Saharan
Barry
inAfrica.'
funding. Wait a minute, wai
scowled.
t a wouldn't
Why
minute.
am
I answering
you?' The
yourDoctor
questions?'
smiled and lowered his voice slightly.'Have you go
t something
to
What
hide?'
business of yours would it be if I had?' Barry demanded loudly. 'I don't kn
aowhole
you in
fromthe ground. Don't think I haven't noticed that you managed to avoid sa
ying who

Thanks,'
you
are and
Barry
whatsaid,
it issounding
you want.'
less than grateful, 'but it's a bit late for that.
'The Doctor was not smiling. No,' he contradicted flatly, 'we can still save the
Or if said,'Now
situation.
Barry
we can't,'you're
he gavesaying
a small
youshrug,
think it's
then not
there'll
too late
be notosituation
save my job?'Was
to save.'it
hepossible,
wondered, that this strange person might really be in a position to help him?
him
To do
helpwhat exactly? He'd already said that the Kellerfield Foundation didn't li
sten tomore important than saving your job I'm afraid,' the Doctor said seriously
'It's
him.
. 'It's
more
Barry's
a question
heart sank.
of saving
The manyour
wasworld
insane.
and'Right;
all itshepossible
said, hoping
time lines.'
his tone of voic
e wasfairly sure,'
noncommittal
'I'm
but supportive.
the Doctor went on, 'that if we fail to do it then the univer
se and
its
Why
alternates
now?
allBarry thought
will disappear
tiredly.too.'
I don't have the energy for this.'What would tha
t leave?'
he
'I'm
asked.
not entirely sure,' the Doctor said. 'Chaos, infinite darkness possibly. No
thing, I It may be that the original singularity will disappear and existence wi
suspect.
ll cease
exist
or to have existed. It won't be the end of everything because there will h
ave been noIt could happen at any moment.We wouldn't know about it, of course. I
beginning.
t's the
definition
Barry
'Oh,
'Medication?'
'On?'
not
sighed.'What
youofasdeath.'
well,'
are the
you Doctor
on?' complained. 'I assure you I am not mad. A litt
unfocused perhaps. But that's to be expected. In theory the fluctuating field ef
le
fect from a overlap will do that to a vulnerable mind. I'm forced to the conclus
multi-verse
ion have
may
Barry
that
stared
I ata him.
such
mind.'He was a little out there, but apart from the X Files gobbl
edegookalmost
seemed
he
reasonable. He might be mad but he certainly wasn't stupid. 'There
's no that you've
chance
'Recreational?
You mean
takendrugs?'
something&
The Doctor
recreational?'
shook his head dismissively. 'I enjoy
understand
trying to things. The interface between the brain and reality is too fragile to
with
'You
tamper
deliberately'
can't
think of anything you might have taken that could have affected your
'Nothing
chemistry?'
brain
this.'
he
tookFrom
athat
bottle
hisI'mcoat
ofaware
Clearspring
pocket
of,' thewater.
Doctor'While
said.'Except
I examine
possibly
these tapes of yours per
haps you
could
While
Idoexamine
me a favour?'
these tapes of yours - am I going to let a madman play with the
Barry thought.Why not& what do I care? Serves them right. 'In return for saving
tapes?
the

Barry took the


universe,'
he said.
bottle'How
andcould
examined
I refuse?'
it. 'I can do that,' he said without much ent
husiasm.
was
one thing
It to humour the guy, it was quite another to waste time and effort&
but wasting
time
and effort and money was what he was known for. 'I can do that,' he said mo
It could be crucially important,' the Doctor said. 'Or it could mean nothing at
positively.
re
BarryDoctor
all.'
The
said,'That's
smiled. 'It's
in thebottled
nature in
of Yorkshire
all scientific
I understand,'
investigation
he said,
isn'tand
it?'turned
into
There
suite.
and the
went
hadcontrol
been noand
chance
monitoring
for Leela to tell the Doctor what she was going to do.
She hadhad a chance to think about it herself, and she doubted whether he would
barely
listened
have
It
was partly
to hertheinDoctor's
his present
fault.
moodWhen
anyway.
the stranger had come out of the laborato
ry the had stepped back from the doorway to let him through and, because she was
Doctor
directly
standingbehind him and because he was wearing that ridiculous hat and unnecessa
rilybulky
and
long coat, he had blocked her view. She had caught only a passing glimpse o
f theasman's
face
he strode by, but that passing glimpse had puzzled and confused her a lo
t. She she remembered the face and yet she was almost sure his could not be the
thought
remembered.
face she It must be a mistake she felt, but it was too important just to let
it go.
must
The
Doctor
getShea had
morealready
direct gone
look.into the laboratory by the time she had made up her
mindsimple
set
Her
out
andto plan,
catch though
up withher
thetrainers
man as hewould
hurried
hardly
awayhave
downcalled
the corridor.
it a plan, was to
findcircle
to
a wayround ahead of the man so that she could turn back and take a good loo
k at as
face
hisshe passed him. Unfortunately, he had immediately speeded up and was soo
n walking
so
quickly that she had found herself unable to get in front of him without draw
attention to the manoeuvre. He seemed to be on some urgent errand, and as they c
ing
through the complex of buildings he showed no sign of slowing down and there was
rossed
indication
no
that he might approaching his destination. From the way he was moving
could
Reluctant
his errand
be taking
to givehimup,toLeela
the other
carried
sideonofshadowing
the university
the manand
withbeyond.
a crude doggedness
found
that shaming
she
but unavoidable. She was forced to keep him in direct line of sigh
t since
was
not possible
it
to fall back and rely on her tracking skills. Seeing him and no
t being
seen
by him would have been difficult for her under any circumstances. Trailing
an enemy
this
way had
in never come naturally to her. On the warrior-training grounds she ha
d usually
failed
such tests despite being well camouflaged and in familiar territory. Here
dressed
Blending
she wasconspicuously
into the background
and shewas
hadmade
no idea
evenwhere
more of
heraquarry
problemmight
in this
be heading.
place becau
se sheuncertain
still
was
how to behave like everyone else. The students seemed to her to
have sort
same
the of complicated rules that a tribe would use to protect itself from str
Many of these rules were unspoken and you learnt them without knowing you were l
angers.
them. They were rules that could be learnt but could not be taught. Often you on
earning
ly realised
they
were rules when a stranger broke them. Sometimes they changed, and everyone
had
knewchanged
they but no one knew who had changed them or when. The Doctor told her th
is was 'fashion' and that it was a destructive, mindless and pointless thing. He
called
loner
was athough, and it was unlikely that he would ever understand how the rules wo
rked. You

had to grow up as a member of a tribe to understand what it was you might not kn
ow. Sheofwas
Leela
the Sevateem. She understood what it was she might not know. She was no
t sure
she
wasthat
even walking correctly. It was possible that her every movement could be
her
setting
apart and pointing to her as a dangerous outsider. How long would it be, she
before
wondered,
everyone noticed a dangerous outsider was following one of their people,
maybe
of
had
their
toone
grow
tribal
up aselders?
a member of a tribe to understand what it was you might not kn
ow. Sheofwas
Leela
the Sevateem. She understood what it was she might not know. She was no
t sure
she
wasthat
even walking correctly. It was possible that her every movement could be
her
setting
apart and pointing to her as a dangerous outsider. How long would it be, she
before
wondered,
everyone noticed a dangerous outsider was following one of their people,
maybe
of
On
their
at
onetribal
least
two separate
elders? occasions Leela realised that her image and his were sh
owingsame
the
in reflective surface, and she had to drop further back. Since she had bee
n unable
see
his face
to clearly in the dark glass she assumed he had not noticed her carele
ss lapses.
She
knew it was a risky assumption. If he had seen her then his lack of reaction
was
Eventually
meant
leading
he they
her reached
into a trap.
the edge of the main group of buildings and the man took
path
a deserted
out past artificial lakes and ornamental fountains. In the carefully tended
they
parkland
were crossing there was almost no cover at all and Leela's options narrowed
. She silently, closing the distance between them and relying on him not to tur
walked
n round
until
Her
newshesimple
was ready
plan was
to put
to mistake
her new him
simple
forplan
someone
intoelse,
operation.
look at his face and th
apologise in the charming way she had seen the Doctor do it: I am most terribly
en
sorry ordo forgive me. And then she would go back the way she had come and tell t
please
he Doctor
where
She
gotshecloser
had been
to the
andman.
why.How close should she go? She put her hand on the hilt
knife.
about
she
of had
herconfronting
Why
followed
was shehim
this
uncomfortable
this
man?farItlike
suddenly
a timid
struck
childherwhen
thatall she needed to do was m
ake him
turn
and face her. He was a tall man but he was skinny. He was no warrior. She c
ouldwithout
him
kill breaking sweat. So why was she hesitating? She did not believe he wa
s anything
other
than a man. He was no threat. Unless& unless he was more than he seemed. U
nless
was
He
She
ignored
him.
was
tried
itwithin
again.
her and
ten'Hullo?'
paces ofShe
strode
on.himloped
whentoshewithin
calledtouching
out. Hullo?'
distance and reached out
to was
He
shoulder.'Hullo?'
It
tap him.
stopped
his abruptly
The narrow
andface,
turned.'Yes,
the thin-lipped
what cansneering
I do forsmile
you?'and the sharply crue
al moment
eyes. For
Leela was lost for words. The face was not twisted and wild but it was
the same
face.
It was the face of the striding, cackling man-creature, the face of the gh
ost she
seen
in the
had wood. It was the face of the demon. She remembered the simple plan.
'I am mostsorry,' she said automatically, knowing that she should be smiling and
terribly
that the
words
'It's
sounded
all
right,'
wrong.'Please
he said. Hedolooked
forgiveherme.'
up and down. 'What is it? Some sort of
stunt?'
charity

'No,' Leela said.'It is&' but then the words failed her again. She could not thi
nk what
say
'No,'
itLeela
was.
to said.'It is&' but then the words failed her again. She could not thi
nk thought
say
'I
'Really,'
'Somebody
what
it was.
towho
heyousaid.
iswere
not'Who
somebody
you,'
didLeela
you
else,'
think
said.
sheI'Iwas?'
finally
am mostmanaged.
terribly sorry please do forgi
ve me.'
She
turned on her heel and walked back along the deserted path towards the main
complex. She could feel the demon's eyes hot on her back. She had to fight the i
university
mpulseBehind
run.
to her she imagined the demon capering and leaping and rushing after he
Chapter
r.
The
Doctor
Twelve
was sitting in the control and monitoring suite surrounded by print-o
uts andcassettes. He had started by examining the results of the general screenin
video
g tests
that
Barry Hitchins had conducted. The first ones clearly identified the group o
f students
he
was subsequently working with. They appeared to have psi abilities which were
the
wellnorm.
aboveWhat was striking, however, was how high the general average was. It w
as as almost every student in the university was showing some small sign of par
though
powers. These results tended to confirm the Doctor's worst fears. A multiverse d
anormal
a major one, was developing in the area, creating the parapsychological energy t
isruption,
hat was back into it. Either the phenomenon had multiple focus points or it was
feeding
After that first screening, however, none of the subsequent tests showed similar
vast.
already
Much
results.
to his relief, there were no more generally raised levels of psi ability. T
he nextof students tested normal. Either the field effect of the disruption, mul
intake
overlap or whatever it turned out to be was unusually variable and had been part
tiverse
strong when the first tests had been done, or something else had been involved.
icularly
Either
it
Barry
suggested
Hitchins
way, that
didn't
the appear
disruption
to have
was been
not vast
bothered
afterbyall.
this strange discrepancy i
n his
preliminary
test findings and the Doctor was obliged to revise his previously hi
gh the
of
opinion
Kellerfield Research Fellow's scientific methods. It seemed he had found
promising research subjects, and once he had found them, nothing else was of any
six
The
him.
concern
Doctortohad then turned his attention to the monitoring videotapes. As he beg
an working
his
way through the early cassettes he could see why Barry Hitchins had been ent
about the students he had found. The initial experiments did seem to bear out so
husiastic
me of promise.
early
their
The Doctor could see that two of the girls, Chloe Pennick and Joa
n Cox, were
showing
particularly strong potential in telepathy and remote viewing. One of th
e boys,
Josh
Randall, showed some aptitude too. All three of them would have been the ob
candidates
vious
Oddly,
Hitchins
for more
did not
intense
seemstudy.
to have realised that the two girls, and to a lesse
r extent
the
boy, were the special ones in his group. He had pressed on with his routine
series of
experiments,
testing each of the students in each theoretical discipline on a st
rotational basis. It was only after the Doctor had watched a long series of thes
rictly
e carefullytrials that he thought he understood Hitchins' problem. He was testin
structured
g for
something
he did not think could possibly exist. As a result, he was overlooking
and
And
Gradually,
paranormal
evidence
missing
then
fortalents
the
the
some
students'
developing
reason
appeared
thepossibilities.
topossibilities
disappear. Drstopped
Hitchins'
developing.
experiments were proving
what he them to prove. They were establishing to his satisfaction that there wa
designed
s no such

thing as telepathy, remote viewing, telekinesis, precognition or any of the othe


r powers
the
thing
mind
as telepathy,
might develop
remote
to directly
viewing,affect
telekinesis,
the world
precognition
outside itself.
or any of the othe
r powers
the
He
pushed
mind might
the next
develop
two cassettes
to directlyinaffect
the series
the world
into machines,
outside itself.
and adjusted the p
layback
that
thesotime codes were the same on each screen before simultaneously releasing
freeze-frames
the
on both of them. In his new mood of optimism the Doctor found this
basic
reassuring.
funding
rathertechnology
meantItlimited
suggested
interest.
the funding
Limited
forinterest
the project
meantwaslimited
limited.
effects
Limited
in the fi
rsthad
He
'Mr
place.
Bun
been
the Baker,'
panickingJosh
unnecessarily.
Randall said, staring out of the screen. 'I'm right are
n't see
can
I? Iit as clear as day. What a star I am. I can see you're impressed.' He wa
ved Doctor
camera.
The
at the
'Come
wason,
aware
wave.
that,
Gottle
of all
'o six
geer,gottle
members of
'o the
geer!group,
A definite
it wasstar!'
Josh Randall
who hadthe most obvious loss of ability so far. Judging from the tapes of the exp
shown
he seemed to have become the most disruptive too. Perhaps he resented the disapp
eriments
earance
his
On
the
talent.
other
of screen Tommy Carmodie was waiting for his cue. Until the signal bul
b flashed
he
would not reach for the first card in the dealing shoe on the clear Perspex t
able inof him. As always, the sender was not allowed to touch the cards before he
front
When
cued.
or she
thewas
Doctor read the notes for this short-range telepathy test sequence he w
as the
by
struck
extra difficulty Hitchins had built into it. Usually sender and receiver
got the
same
light cue at the same time, but for this series only the sender was getting
receiver,
Josh
a cue.
Randall,
Thethe had
already
to guess
failing
not only the card but also the moment it was turned o
The light cue flashed and Tommy drew the card and lifted the star so that it was
ver.
visible
'Star,'
clearlythe
on screen,
Doctor said
then watching
he put itJosh
downononthe
theother
tablescreen.
and stared
Thereatwas
thesomething
image. v
ery studied
about
his lack of interest. It was an exaggeratedly theatrical display of boredo
m. the
star
On
'What
I second
am,'
a thecueDoctor
Tommysaid
heldthoughtfully
up a card showing
as Joshtwoyawned
wavy lines.
and saidOnnothing.
the other scre
en voice-over
leaning
'Come
On
Joshon,back
waswave,'
inBarry
the
theHitchins
chair
Doctorandsaid.
said,
his eyes
'Subject
were Josh
closed.
Randall appears to be hostile t
o the
experiment.
Perhaps he's been thrown by the additional discipline though I'm not
the
suremoment
at why this should be. Examine the sequence up to this point for clues t
o his
The
behaviour.'
On
Another
the
Doctor
screen
cardsaid,
was
Joshcued.
'But
said,
you're
Again
Haveit
not
wewas
seeing
started
a star.
his
yet?'
behaviour are you?'

AOndefinite
the screen
star,'
Joshthe
said,
Doctor
'Bored
said.
with'Star,
this game.
wavy lines,
Let's play
star.'something else. Snap?
snap?'
"It'll
On
Is
Howthere
theabout
Henoanother
be
cue
nodded
Tommy
end todrew
asstar,'
their
ifanother
making
the Doctor
talent?'
up his
card
Josh
showing
predicted.
mind.'Snap!'
chortled.
a star.Well, yes there is actually, an
d we're
approaching
All
right,' Barry's
it about&voice
now.'announced with the slightest of feedback echoes.'Thank
Call
Sow
The
youDoctor's
and
both.
that
alla right
day
fragile
I had
think.'
optimism
been spoken
vanished.
almostJosh
simultaneously.
Randall had just displayed remarkab
le precognition.
of
powers
His control of it was so good that he could take the time to pl
ay games
and
pretend it wasn't happening. How far into the future could he see? Had he go
t other
powers?
'How
do you
And find
why was
outhewhat
covering
they'reuptrying
what hetocould
coverdo?
up?' Detective Constable Barto
k asked
he
set about
as squeezing the unmarked pool car into the only remaining parking spa
ce in theory
university's
Detective
'Your
the Sergeant
secondary
of
detective
Simpson
mainwork.
said,'Cover
car Let
park.themup?'
get on with it; see what they're trying
'Oh
up.'
'That
to that.'
cover
means&'
Simpson
Bartoksmiled.
pulled'You
the car
waitback.
for them
'Thattoifmake
theya don't
mistake.'
make a mistake&' H
e tookyour
another
'And
Bartok
struggled
swing
pointatis?'
theget
to
space.
Simpson
the car
They'll
asked.
to straighten
get away with
up and
it.'fit into the narrow gap. 'M
y point
that
wayis,
you're only going to catch&' He failed and pulled the car back a second
'You're
'That's
time. all
onlywegoing
evertocatch.
catchFailures.
the failures.'
By definition that's all we ever catch.' Si
yawned
Ampson
vertical
and ripple
rubbed ran
his horizontally
eyes.
across Bartok's field of vision, momentarily
everything. 'Ugh, giddy,' he muttered and drove the car into the space, straight
distorting
ening
he
Simpson
went.
upstopped
as
There
was
rubbing
room his
to spare
eyes.suddenly.
'That was a piece of piss,' he said.'How come
it long?'
so
Bartok
tookshrugged
you
and frowned. I could ve sworn the gap just got bigger,' he said.
Simpson opened his door and it hit the car next to them. Not on my side it didn'
t,' he opened the door on the driver's side and found himself equally cramped fo
Bartok
said.
r room.was pretty cool driving,' he said.'What do you reckon, Sarge?'
'That

I reckon I can get you transferred to traffic,' Simpson grunted, clambering thro
ugh thespace left by his partially open door, 'if that's your fancy.' . As they
narrow
towards the campus Bartok pointed across the parkland to the fields and the wood
walked
beyond.
Iland
reckon"That's
I can get
Norswood
you transferred
isn't it?'tohetraffic,'
asked. Simpson grunted, clambering thro
ugh thespace left by his partially open door, 'if that's your fancy.' . As they
narrow
towards the campus Bartok pointed across the parkland to the fields and the wood
walked
beyond.
'land
'Traffic
Because "That's
that's
beckons,
its
Norswood
Constable,'
name?'isn't
Bartok
Simpson
it?'
suggested.
hesaid.
asked.He stopped and stared intently towar
ds the
distant
Why
'After
'Gnaw
isthe
itwood.
Nor
called
giant?
the giant.'
Norswood,
Sounds
likeSarge?'
one of those crap games they only sell at Christmas
. MunchN-O-R.
'Nor,
Monster.'
the Nor was the father of the night according to Scandinavian mythology
''Is thathistorian
'Local
right? Sotold
somemeViking
that,'marauder
Simpson said,
thoughtstarting
it was to
a bit
walkdark
again.
in there.'
'When we w
investigating
ere
'That
case gotthe
to you
Amanda
a bit
Joslin
didn't
business.'
it, Sarge?' Bartok said.'Was it grim or somet
'Not especially. When they're beaten to death you don't expect it to be pretty&
hing?'
but not
'But
especially'
'She
it did
was
a kid,'
get toSimpson
you,' said.
Bartok'Kids
pressed.
shouldn't die. It's not the way things are
supposed plump
Bartok's
be.'
to
face took on a sympathetic look of thoughtful understanding. That
's whynot letting this one go, right Sarge?' he said. 'Because it's another kid.
we're
''Joan Cox was at least six years older and a suicide,' Simpson said mildly. 'The
re's no
connection,
Constable.' He smiled his cadaverous smile. 'You really should have
that OUifpsychology
finished
Well,
there's nocourse.'
connection then why are we back here,' Bartok sulked. "There
's thought
much
'We're
'I
'And
nothing
more
while
justwewe're
you'd
crossing
can here
do isthe
already
Ithere?
want
i's you
done
and
Notto
that.'
dotting
here.'
chat up
the't's.'
those student friends of yours and f
ind out
they
Bartok
knew
cheered
howaboutup.
Amanda
'Oh well,
Joslin.'
as long as you're sure there's no connection,' he s
aidcan
'Do
'I
smugly.
you
take
likethem
coincidences?'
or leave them,
Simpson
Sarge.'
asked.

'I don't know.'


'Tomorrow
is theSimpson
sixth anniversary
shrugged andofshook
AmandahisJoslin's
head. 'It
death.'
probably isn't,' he sai
'Tell you what,' Bartok said, looking out across the parkland again. 'Norswood d
d.
oes look
sort
'Sometimes
of black
it is,
doesn't
sometimes
it. Ititisisn't.
darkerMust
thanbeanywhere
the angle
elseofisn't
the dangle.
it?' Something
the
Another
to shape
do with
distortion
of the ground.'
rolled through both men's fields of vision. It was large enou
gh notice,
to
for thembut too small for either of them to mention. Both assumed it was a pe
aberration. At the same time the momentary darkening in the already dark Norswoo
rsonal
d looked
like
Bartok
a said,'I
distant looked
cloud effect.
up the file on Amanda Joslin, Sarge.' His tone made it sou
nd thought
'I
confession.
like a you might,' Simpson said. 'I was wondering how long it would take you
'We're
it.'
to mention
not here so you can talk to her father are we? You're not using the anniv
ersary
this
'That
'I
know.
suicide
would
andIt'sbething
inharassment,
theasfile.'
an excuse
Martin.
Bartok's
areIyou?'
was warned
plump
face was
aboutcreased
that five
withyears
genuine
ago.'
worry.
official
'An
'He
'It's
'Yes,
wont.
Inotknow.'
warning,
And ifSimpson
that,'
heSarge?
Bartok
doespatted
protested.
He makes
I'll
makeclumsily
him
any
suresort
'I'm
youron
not
ofbothered
name's
complaint
the
shoulder.
not
about
andthat.'
in
the
Iyou're
appreciate
frame.'
history.'
it, Con
Let'swalked
stable.
They
forgetonabout
in silence
it shallforwe,a while,
it's notthen
a problem.'
Bartok said, You think he did it tho
'I know he did it,' Simpson said expressionlessly. 'And sooner or later I'll get
ugh.'
bastard
Chloe
the
theoctagonal
lime
satfor
tree
onit.'
one
in the
space
of that
the
middle
eight
acted
ofconnected
as a linking
benches
hub for
surrounding
the main campus walkways. Sh
e had this spot because it was busy. It was one of the few places she could thi
chosen
nk ofcould
she
wherebe sure she would not be alone. Unlike the student bar or the library
or the
cafeteria,
all of which were equally busy, this space did not have any dark or s
corners. You could see every part of it clearly and brightly. It was essential t
hadowy
hat she
able
Obviously
to see
besheevery
couldpart
notofseeitall
clearly
of itand
allbrightly.
of the time. Since she did not have ey
es inoftheher head, there was the simple physical problem that she could not see b
back
ehindhadher.
She
found a way to cope with this problem, though. Occasionally - she hoped
it was so
occasionally
that her behaviour wouldn't look too bizarre -occasionally she woul
d move
the
nexttobench round. This shifted her sight lines and allowed her to watch a sl
different area of the octagon. In the course of the two hours she had been there
ightly
, shehadknew
she
made at least three complete circuits of the tree; possibly more than th
Possibly a lot more than three.
ree.

As well as moving round the benches, she found it necessary to glance behind her
tofrom
time.
timeActually she wasn't doing this from time to time, she knew. She knew sh
e was
it
often.
doingShe knew she was doing it pretty much constantly in fact. She realised
anyone
that towho was watching it must look like a nervous spasm of some sort. To anyon
e human
was
As
well
watching.
whomoving round the benches, she found it necessary to glance behind her
as
tofrom
time.
timeActually she wasn't doing this from time to time, she knew. She knew sh
e was
it
often.
doingShe knew she was doing it pretty much constantly in fact. She realised
anyone
that towho was watching it must look like a nervous spasm of some sort. To anyon
e human
was
Death
watching.
hadwhofollowed her and now it was watching her and waiting. She was trapped
there. as
seemed
It though death might be the only way out for her. She might have to die
simply
get
She
outtoofthethere.
knew
shrouded
She figure
might have
was there
to dieeven
simply
though
to get
sheaway
hadn't
frombeen
it.able to see i
t properly.
She
knew it was there. It had followed her from the cemetery. It was watching he
r now. Shelook at it directly. It wouldn't let her see it directly. Perhaps she w
couldn't
ouldable
be
onlyto see it directly at the end. Perhaps only at the moment of death would
see
it it.
let For
her the time being she caught only glimpses out of the very corners of h
er eyes.
She
knew it was standing and waiting and looking at her. She knew if she sat in
position
one
of
the
her
cemetery,
stillness
for too
following
longmove
to
itthem
tookback
closer.
advantage
Itinhad
thecome
darkness.
from But it wasn't the others it w
anted.
was
herItit wanted. It had picked her and it was waiting to& to what? Not knowing
wanted
All
whataround
itwas her
almost
there
as was
terrifying
bustlingasand
knowing
life but
it was
shethere.
felt as if she was already de
ad. Sheinwasthe middle of it, like in one of those TV ads where the character was
frozen
picked
in
a different
out
colour or was stationary when everything else was moving. The shr
figure was slowly separating her from the world, reaching towards her, spreading
ouded
loneliness
a frozen across the ground between them. She was trapped there. She couldn't t
hink else
what
Chloe
ofturned
to her
do. head more quickly. She almost saw it that time. It was closer.
She got
from
theupbench and moved to the next one. She turned her head the other way. It
anticipated her and again it was behind her. She glimpsed it; just glimpsed it;
had
glimpsed
almost
'What
is the
it. matter with you?' a voice asked.'What is it that you are afraid of?
'Chloe snapped out of the spiralling trance of her terror and looked at the face
intorush
frowning
'What
The
hers.
is of
therelief
matterChloe
with felt
you?'made
Leelaherrepeated.'Why
momentarily light-headed.'Leela,'
are you so afraid?' she sai
when Irested
d.'Just
Leela
think her
there's
handnoonway
theout
handle
you of
keeptheturning
big knife
up and
shesaving
carriedme.'
on her belt.'Wh
at haveyouI from?' she asked, and then unexpectedly she glanced back over her own
saved
Chloe's relief vanished. Have you seen it too?'She squinted in the direction Lee
shoulder.
la had 'Is that where it's coming from? I thought it was behind me. Is it behin
looked.
d you?'
'It
'What
isdonotyoufollowing
think itme,'
is? What
Leeladid
said.
you see?' Chloe asked anxiously.

I saw a demon,' Leela said. 'Then I saw a man who had the same face the demon ha
'Whocanwas
d.'
Leela
'I
shook
understand
it?her
Do head.
youthat,'
know
I fled,'
who itsaid.
Chloe
she
was?'
said
Herflatly.
anxiety was subsiding again. There was
no doubt
Leela
was strange, but she was tough and she was self-reliant. With her help Chl
oe knewface
could
shethis ghost that was haunting her. With her help she could be tough an
d selfreliant
'I
cannottoo.
understand it,' Leela said. 'Warriors stand their ground unless there
is a were
reason
'You
'That
good
isnotnot
afraid.'
to.'
a good reason,' Leela said. 'My actions shamed me so I went back to
fear,
face but
my he was gone. I searched for him but I could not track him and I could
not again.'
him
Chloe
find
thought, / went back to face my fear. That's what she needed. She needed t
attitude. She needed to stand her ground and face her fear. You weren't afraid w
hat
henhad
went
'I
you
back?'
no cause
she to
asked.
be.' Leela smiled.'I did not find him. What were you frighten
ed of?'was suddenly embarrassed by the way she had been acting. 'I think I imagin
Chloe
ed it,'
said
'Most
Chloe
sheepishly.
fear
said,
sheis'Look
imagined,'
behind me.'
LeelaShe
said.
gestured
'What at
washer
it chest
you imagined?'
with her thumb. 'Directl
y behind
me.
Leela
Islooked
there past
a figure
her shoulder
in a shroud
at where
watching
sheme?'
was indicating.'A figure in a shroud
'You know& like a corpse in a burial wrapping?' It sounded ridiculous as soon as
?'
itshethought
'I
Leela
Chloe
outsaid
said,'I
frowned
thought,
loud.something
acan
guilt,
sceptical
seelike
nothing
alcohol
thatand
frown.'Why?'
like
wasautosuggestion,
that.'
following
me.' that's why. 'I saw it in a gra
she said and then corrected herself quickly. 'I thought I saw it in a graveyard.
veyard,'
''You let
'Yes,
'Walking
Chloe
I expect
was
corpses
your
irritated
imagination
so,'
areby
Chloe
forthechildren
run
agreed.
criticism,
awayto
'It
with
fear,'
seemed
especially
you,'Leela
real.'
Leela
assaid.
saidwas
it
'You
matter-of-factly.
justified.'Neither
are not a child.'ar
e you,'I saw
snapped,'but
'What
she has
youtothought
be called
you something,'
saw a demon.Leela
And itsaid.'Demon
scared you.'
seemed closest to wha
t it there
know
was. Iare no ghosts or demons.'

ChloeItsnorted.
'You're
'No.
saying
was
real.'
it wassawimaginary.'
'You
something so it's real. I saw something and it's just im
she complained.
aginary,'
Leela
nodded. 'It is for you to judge what you saw. I can only judge what I saw.
' She around. 'There is no walking corpse following you,' she said and started
looked
to walkwalked
Wait!'
away.
Leela
Chloe
conversationally.
kept
Chloeonbeside
hurried
walking.
Ither
after
was
'You
pretending
a thing
her.'Wait.
do notlike
knowaI'll
not
toman
where
have
come
butIheard.
am going,'
with
you.'
long
'I saw
spindly
shea demon,'
said.
legs and
she asaid
hor
twisted face.' She twisted her face into a feeble demonstration of a snarl. 'It
ribly
shouting and gibbering and it rushed at me. I fled.' She laughed. Boy, did I fle
was
e. It said,'No.
chased
'That
Chloe
isme.very
I thought
like
It was
what
I real.'
was
I saw,'
never
OutLeela
going
of the
said.
tocorner
be'We
ableof
have
toherimagined
stop
eyerunning.'
shethe
thought
same she
demon.'
saw a
figure
Quietly
shrouded
following
Simpson opened
them. the
Wheredoor
didtoyouthesaydead
we girl's
were going?'
study bedroom
she asked.
and stepped ins
ide. Hehe
watched
poking
before
about
thesaid,
security
in Hullo
the desk
supervisor
Fred,'
drawers
and saw
for his
a moment
brother-in-law
or two
start guiltily. "They to
ld meyou
find
'Dear
I'dinBob,
God,
here.'
you frightened the living crap out of me!' the supervisor exclai
'What are you doing?' Simpson asked, his voice casual, his expression mildly int
med.
'Mr and Mrs Cox asked me to gather up some jewellery and a few odds and ends. Fo
erested.
rsafekeeping.'
Simpson
wandered across to look into the last drawer the supervisor had been sea
rching.
thought
Meaning
'Meaning?'
Very
deliberately
'I said
you
that
was crap,
I'd
thefrightened
supervisor
Fred.' the
said,
crap'MroutandofMrs
you,'
Coxheasked
murmured.
me to gather up som
e jewellery
and
'Saying
a fewitodds
twiceanddoesn't
ends for
makesafekeeping.'
it twice as convincing, you pillock.' Simpson look
ed close
laughing.
The
Simpson
'Or
supervisor
what?'
stepped
to"What
The supervisor
squared
are youuphim
between
doing
toand
was
leave.'I
inthe
shorter
here?'
door.
don't'Yes
than
Simpson,
haveyoutodo.'
tellheyouwasanything.'
but
stockier and his
shaved
made
'Or
Ihim
nick
head
look
youthe
andmore
givethreatening
you a kicking,'
and aggressive
Simpson said
of matter-of-factly.
the two.

'It's too late for that,' the supervisor said. 'You've already used that one. Yo
u're not
going
Simpson
tonodded.'And
nick me.' saying it twice doesn't make it twice as convincing,' he agr
eed, i
should've
done it, shouldn't I? At the time. Tell you what I am going to do, Fre
d. I'mto invite you round to Sunday lunch and let your sister give you a kicking
going
'I'mknow
.'
'Yes
Simpson
'I
notam.'
Iyou
said,'I
you
frightened
are.'
did,did
Bob,'
of the
you
mya favour.'
sister.'
supervisor
It said
was aearnestly,'I
statement ofknow
fact.you did. I won't fo
rget you
promise
'Neither
'That's
Tell
it.fair.'
you
I I I'm
will
what
won'tnot
1.1
promise
forget
goingyou.'
it.'
to do, shall I?' Simpson's tone was suddenly cold. '
I'm notto lift a finger to help no matter what happens to you. If I can drop you
going
in it,drop
will
I you in it. And trust me, I can drop you in it.' He stepped aside to le
t himsupervisor
The
pass.
hesitated.'I was checking for drugs,' he said finally. 'They want
ed mesupervisor
check
"The
The
parents
to drugs.'
for
did?'
returned to searching the room. 'The powers that be.' He lifted t
he desk
drawer
'You
Grunting,
don't
outthe
andsupervisor
think
peered
we didunderneath
all
stretched
that?'it.an
Simpson
arm down
asked.
behind the other drawers. 'I'm su
pposeddoubly
make
to sure. They don't want anything unexpected turning up at the inquest.
''Whatsupervisor
The
sort of drugs?'
crawledSimpson
under the
folded
desk.hisAnyarms
sort:
andpills,
leant powders,
against the
potions.
door jamb.
You kn
ow whatbuggers
little
the
are like these days.' He crawled out again. 'They'll take anythin
'Bit late to cover it up,' Simpson said. 'The pathologist's report will include
g.'
atoxicology
it'll
Ours
not
showtoup
analysis.
reason
in herwhy.
If They
blood.'
she was
wantonitanything
checked, I check it.' He approached the blo
bed reluctantly.
odstained
Simpson
shrugged noncommittally.
'Did your lot look
Theunder
supervisor
this?'tried
he asked
to see
hopefully.
underneath the bed
touching
without
'Anything
"They
reckon
itparticular
orthekneeling
latest
you're
on the
thing
supposed
isstained
to dissolve
tocarpet.
be looking
it in water,"
for?' Simpson
the supervisor
asked. said.
supposed towhat
'I'm
'Dissolve
lookinfor
water?'
bottles.'

Simpson
'I
'Bottles
don'tshook
know his
containing
do I?'
head
liquid,'
and smiled.
the supervisor
'I'm amazed
said.
you left the job, Fred,' he said.
stayed
The
'IfDoctor
you'd
a copper
had examined
you couldthehave
restbeen
of the
chieftapes,
constable
including
by now.'
the incomplete recordin
gs of run
trial
the with the sensory-deprivation tank. Even the apparently inexplicable ga
ps in which were assumed to be the result of equipment failures, pointed to Jos
those,
h Randall
in
his view. It looked to the Doctor as though this particular student was playi
increasingly ugly games with everyone around him. What was not clear from the re
ng
or clearly
cordings,
He
from anything
enjoyedelse,
the secret
was Josh's
powermotive
he hadfortodoing
teasewhat
and torment
he was doing.
people, but ther
e was
to
it than
more that. He had another purpose. He wasn't just the overstimulated produ
ct wasn't
parapsychology
He
of a an alien
programme
in disguise
poweredwhobyhad
a random
been drawn
fieldtoeffect.
the overlapping spatial con
fusions
the
weakened
of time lines. Ironically, thanks to the behaviour of the TARDIS, the
alien
in
factwasthe Doctor himself. Leela too, of course. Briefly he wondered where she
disappeared to, but then he forgot about her again. No, the Doctor thought, Josh
had
had
There
Randall
another
was nothing
purposeforanditheheknew
decided,
he washemissing
would have
the to
point
confront
of whatthethat
boy.was.
He was t
rying tohow to do that -with the sort of powers Josh Randall probably possessed i
decide
t could beto find him if he didn't want to be found, never mind confront him - w
difficult
hen the
door
Barry
toHitchins
the laboratory
breezed into
opened.
the lab brandishing the bottle of Clearspring water.
tap
He
'Clean
looked
water,'
asremarkably
he announced
cheerful
loudly.
for'In
someone
fact,who
it had
probably
just lost
is taphiswater.'
research fellows
hip,friend
Doctor
'My
thethought.
in theI'mchemistry
glad you're
department
pleased.isItdoing
doesn't
somehelp
further
me unfortunately.'
tests. Sample compa
risons?
it
shouldIfturn out to be tap water from say& Yorkshire, the people involved get
doneneed
fraud.'
'I
'Professor
forto
Barry
talksmiled
John
to Josh
Finer,'
broadly.
Randall,'
Barry
'Guess
said
the
triumphantly.
who
Doctor
turnssaid.
outHetocould
be involved?'
go to jail and it coul
dn'tacould
to
Why
'The
happenheacademic'
nicer
Clearspring
go toWater
jail?'
Company
the Doctor
is oneasked,
of his.interested
Look.' Barry
despite
tookhimself.
a crumpled print
-outinside
the
from pocket of his jacket. I love it I love it I love it! I knew there was
Claus.
a SantaIt was just a case of knowing what to ask for. Look at this list of compa
Serious academic? Not much. He wouldn't know serious academic study if it bit hi
nies.
m in theAs I believe I may have mentioned, the man is just another disgraceful g
wallet.
crook. If I'm going down in flames at least I'll take that skinny bum with me. N
reedy
ot that I'm you understand. I have nothing against the man personally. Apart fro
vindictive,
m hating
his
guts and hoping he dies in a cellar full of rats I have nothing but good fee
towards
lings
The
Doctor
him.'
interrupted, 'What happens if it isn't tap water?'

'Don't you spoil this for me now,' Barry said.I've barely had a chance to enjoy
it.' He was
abruptly
crestfallen.'You have. You've spoiled it for me now.You don't think it'
ll be
to
'Don't
turntap
you
outwater
spoildothis
you?'
for me now,' Barry said.I've barely had a chance to enjoy
it.' He was
abruptly
crestfallen.'You have. You've spoiled it for me now.You don't think it'
ll be
to
'What
turnabout
tapoutwater
him?'doBarry
you?'asked vaguely.'What's he got to do with the Clearspring
'Since the water is not contaminated,' the Doctor said, 'I don't imagine he's go
Company?'
Water
t anything
to
'Are
doyou
withstill
it. saving
Where can
theIuniverse
find him?'
and stuff?' Barry said. He peered into the co
ntrolDoctor
monitoring
The
and took
suite.him'Did
by the
you shoulders
put everything
and glared
back where
into his
you face.
found Do
it?'you know where
Josh
'No.'
I canRandall?'
Barry
find was starting to look gloomy. Our association has been severed. He is
part
no longer
of my nonexistent research programme. Finer will be pleased about that as w
'Professor Finer and Josh Randall have some connection?' The Doctor thought he h
presumably'
ell
ad the of an idea: the beginning of the possibility of a link beyond this labor
flicker
atorywastoanelse,
something
'It
excusetotosomewhere
get at me]
else.
Barry said dismissively. 'That was all it was. J
osh one
was
Randall
of his most talented students, I was wasting his valuable time, blah bla
h blah.know
don't
I how he knew Josh was one of my most talented, but he must have found
The Doctor was about to remark on Barry's paranoia and its causes, but surprise
somehow.'
out
puthis
of
'Knew
The
itwhat?'
Doctor
out hesitated
mind.
You knewmomentarily:
that?'he said.
had this man been deliberately deceiving him t
he whole
time?
'Of
course
'You Iknew
knew.'
JoshBarry
Randall
agreed.
was special,'
He sighed.he'Iaccused.
couldn't get him to take it seri
though. If I could have got him to take it seriously, who knows where it might h
ously
ave Doctor's
The
'About
'Powers
led?'
not
his
is putting
taking
powers,'
insecurity
ititthe
seriously?
a bit
subsided.'Did
Doctor
strong
said
Of don't
course.
impatiently.
youyou
confront
Fatthink,'
lot of
him?'
Barry
good said.
it did'It
me.'was hardly
powers.
had
a bitHeof a hint of a possible something. I tried to talk to him about it but
wouldn't
he
listen. But then why should he? I expect he listens to Finer, but why s
hould heto me? Why should anyone listen to a loser like me?' His mood had crashed
listen
now
'When
andquite
hewaswasthe
morose.
Clearspring Water Company established?' the Doctor asked.'Does you
r print-out
Barry
say?'
shrugged and proffered it. The Doctor unfolded and smoothed out the crumpl
ed suddenly
He
paper. had the strong feeling that somewhere in this list was the clue he n
eeded to

The student
put
it all together.
bar was still busy with the hangover from the lunch-time trade. Bart
ok carried
the
'Do
'Oh
trayget
you
yeah,
back
right,'
these
to the
on ex's?'
Bartok
tablesaid.
and
Ralph
passed
'My
asked.
governors'd
out the drinks
love that.
and crisps.
Drinks for students? T
here'spushed
claim
Tommy
chit
a that'd
the hair
go down
backlike
fromahis
bucket
forehead.
of cold'Pity,'
sick.'he said.'An official bribe
been
'He's
'Unless
wouldnice.'
anybody's
have
they're pretty&
for a pint,'Meg
then allsaid.'Isn't
it takes isthat
a half
right,
of shandy,'
Tommy?' Tommy said and g
azedeyes.'I'll
her
'Where
into
are the other
have atwo?'
ScotchBartok
when asked,
you're sipping
ready. Better
his pint
makeanditglancing
a triple.'
round at
the other
"The
tables.
'Mm.
'Chloe
'How
other
The
would
andleggy
two?'
Josh?'
we
know?'
blonde
Tommy
Ralph
Meg
and
said.
said.
interjected,
the guy withnoisily
the shaved
pulling
head.'
open a packet of crisps an
daccidentally
'I
thought youscattering
were&' Bartok
some let
of them
his voice
acrosstrail
the table.
off, and
'Whoops.'
waved his hand vaguely
.'A coven?'
'That
takesshe
thirteen
suggested.
doesn't it?' Bartok said, and smiled at her.'You don't do w
as shrugged.
itchcraft
'As
He
'We
it's
well
well
study
OK,doyou
asmostly,'
you?'
what?'
As wellhave
don't
Ralph
as to
whatever
said.
convince
it me,'
is youBartok
do.' said, i know being a student's n
o free
Well,
ride.'
Bartok
'We
Tommy
aresaid
that's
said,
allinlike,
iall
his
just
right
uh&thought
most
you
then,'
languid
know,
youTommy
Hugh
wereGrant
like,
said.
all
friends,'
like,
voice,uh&
Meg
'That
you
saiddoesn't
know,
mockingly.
like,
meanfriends?'
we know wher
e the leggy
blonde
Bartok
and the 'Any
nodded.
guy with
morethe
thanshaved
you knew
headwhere
are atJoan
anyCox
particular
was,' hetime.'
said. 'At any par
'Nasty,' Meg murmured.
time.'
ticular

'Nobody's
'That
wasn't
fault,'
our fault,'
Bartok agreed.
Ralph said.
'People do what they do. Something I needed to
ask said,
Something
'Now
'Anybody
Meg
'The
you.
we get
seance
for
I in
'Let's
forgot
to
a Norswood.
it,'
refill?'
hear
when
Tommy
what
weHow
Bartok
said.
chatted
you
didwant
offered.
youbefore.'
first.'
know about the dead girl you were trying to
'What
'Are
Ralph
'It
contact?'
was
you
doyears
said,
you'You
investigating
mean,
ago,'
don't
how
Bartok
did said.'When
that
think
weone
weknow
too?'
had
about
something
Tommy
she
her?'
wasasked.
to do with
killed
youdithave
do been
you?'about the sa
medon't
Ishe
'It's
Tommy
age
was.'
simple
drained
asunderstand
enough.
his glass
theWhere
question
anddid
plonked
you
then,'
hear
it back
Ralph
aboutonsaid.
her?
the tray.
Who told
'Same
youagain
aboutthen
her?'please
, sinceCox
you're
'Joan
offering.'
suggested the seance didn't she,' Bartok suggested. 'So was it her who
the
'I
knew
don't
murder?
about
remember.
Was it Another
her who pint
mentioned
woulditprobably
first?'help my memory,' Tommy said and l
ooked atdon't remember. Do you remember who mentioned it first?' He glanced at Ra
Meg.'I
lph and
smiled.'Or
was it you, Ralph? I think it might have been you actually. I think i
t was
It
Ralph.'
was Josh,' Ralph said very positively. 'I remember we were talking about psyc
hicspower
the
and to reach beyond the grave. And the purpose of doing it anyway. I think
Josh.
'The
'Yes,'
'You'll
When
it was
one
he
Yes,
Bartok
have
turns
with
I'mtoup,'
the
said.
almost
askshaved
Bartok
'Isure
him
wonder
that,'
head,'
said,
that's
how
she
Meghe
getting
who
said.
supplied.
knew
ittowas.
about
hisItfeet.
it.'
was 'Same
Josh.'again all round is it
I do love a man with money,' Meg said. There is no such thing as an unattractive
?'
'What
Bartok
'You
richdon't
man.'
do
shrugged.'Recruitment
youhave
havetotoberead
a graduate
to ads?'
get then?'
into your
Ralph
linesaid.'I
of work?'
got the
Ralphimpression
asked. you mig
ht be agathered up the glasses. Self-taught,' he said. Waiting table, all that s
Bartok
graduate.'
ort of All entirely self-taught.'
thing.

It seemed
Tommy
Chapter
said,
Thirteen
to'An
Leela
autodidact
that theyinhad
fact.'
been walking too quickly for too long a time. S
he was
beginning
to think it was taking much longer to cover the distance to Doctor Gho
Bazzer Hitchins' laboratory than it should. Something about what they were doing
stbuster
They
was were
wrong.not lost. She knew she had remembered the way correctly. She knew this
correct
was theway she had remembered. They were not lost. She had accurately followed
herthe
of
memory
trail. She knew where they were. She knew it was where they were supposed
They
to be.
were not lost. And yet& and yet they did not seem to be getting to where th
ey getting.
be
The
should
student, Chloe, whose behaviour had been agitated when Leela first saw her b
ut who calmer now, did not appear to have noticed what was happening to them. Fr
seemed
om the
she
keptwayglancing back over her shoulder she was still thinking about her imagin
ary walking
corpse,
Leela
stopped
but shewalking
was notandasstood
afraidlooking
of it back
as sheinhad
thebeen.
direction Chloe had been gla
ncing.
the
briefest
For moment she thought she saw someone in a loose, white robe with a ho
od. garment
the
The way was worn hid the person's arms, legs and head completely so that it
impossible to tell who it might be. The figure darted away, moving quickly and s
was
moothlyitaswas floating across the ground. As she watched, it disappeared behind
though
thedon't
glass
'What
'Nothing,'
'Is
No.'
'Have
'I
dark
it
Chloe
corner
do
you
theknow,'
you
seen
Chloe
walking
hesitated.
ofit?'
keep
the
Chloe
said
looking
corpse?'
dark
a little
Yes.'
said
glass
for?'
miserably.'I
building
too
Leela
quickly.
asked.
they had
think
I may
justhave
passed.
done. Or I may have ima
gined
Ithink
Chloe
Leela
havetrotted
Iit.
nodded.'I'll
seen
mayI it
beback
losing
too,'
wait
to
Leela
myhere
the
mind.'
building
said.
shallSheand
I?'drew
ghosted
her knife.
along the
'Waitwall
here.'
parallel to the on
e shethe
seen
hadfigure take cover behind. When she reached the first corner she paused,
and
listening
watching. Then, holding the knife low, she ducked round the angled glass. Th
ere ghosted
one
She
was no There
there.
on towas
thenosecond
sign corner.
of the white-robed
If the figure
figure
was hiding
she hadwhere
seen.it had first
Leela's
gone, move should take her behind it. She waited a moment and listened and sni
ffedsomeone
air.
If
the quietly
Very
was tracking
she stepped
them, she
roundthought,
the nextthen
corner.
they were
Againfast
thereandwasthey
nothing.
were cle
verrealise
to
enough that she would try to flank them by circling the walls. She walked on
next
to the
corner. She was stepping round it to the front of the building when suddenl
y, tall, and stinking of ancient death, the white-robed figure loomed over her.
faceless

Instinctively
It
She
had
brought
aimed
had
leant
fooled
been
waited
circled
thehiding
her
theat
sheand
her.
thrust
shoulder
blade
the
lunged
No.
at
itfront
atthe
upinto
had
its
atfront
smoothly.
waited
of
itthe
chest.
the
with
ofbuilding.
thrust.
atthe
her
thebuilding.
knife.
front
No.ofThat
No.
thedid
building.
not follow
No. from its act
ions.
At
Stop
She
the
aborted
this.
No.
front.
Itthewas
No.knife
a mistake.
thrust as
Stop.
the tip of the blade pushed into the whiteness o
f the robe. the figure faded and vanished and Leela found herself looking into C
Immediately
horrified
hloe's
'You
nearlyface.
stuck me with that thing!' Chloe protested, staring down at the knif
e point
that
was pressing lightly against the lower edge of her ribcage. 'What's the mat
tertold
'I
you?'
withyou to wait.' Leela tried to keep the shock out of her voice. 'You said
you would
wait.'
How could that have happened? What was it she had seen? 'You should have
donecandied
told
'Who
'I
Leela
asthought,
you
sheathed
see
Itoand
that,'
doleft
.'Was
the
there
Chloe
youare
knife.
itinsaid.
ano'I
ghost
charge?'
ghosts.
could
'But
shewhy?
Chloe
easily
Ihadmust
seen?
What
demanded.
have
have
were
killed
letyoumythinking
you.'
imagination
of?'run away with
said.
Chloe
They
me,'began
she she
But
said,'You
to walk
hadhave
seen
again,
a seriously
something.
still following
dangerousthe
imagination.'
route Leela had mapped out in her
'Why were
mind.
'You
did you
gonecome
a long
to the
time,'
corner
Chloe
of said.
that building?'
'I mean a really
Leela asked.
long time. I got worri
'You did
ed.'
'No.'
'Yes.'
Chloe
Leela
notglanced
comebecoming
was
because
back over
you her
aware
sawofshoulder.
the
thewalking
faint'Did
whisper
corpse?'
you of
seestrange
it again?'
background sound
s that
and
went.
cameThere were brief rushing winds and dull groaning roars. 'Yes, I saw it
Underneath it all there was a background humming that seemed almost constant.'I
.'
Isawsmelled
it andit.' The noises seemed as though they should be far away, but some par
t of her told her they were closer than they seemed. And if they were closer tha
instinct
n they then none of these small sounds should be there at all. None of them matc
seemed
hed was
she
whatseeing. I saw the walking corpse but it was you.'

Leela shook
'Wait
a minute.'
her head.'I
Chloe grabbed
did nother
seearm.
you at
Areall.'What
you sayingcould
you be
sawmaking
me dead?'
such sounds
empty
in this
place? There was nothing moving on the walkways. No students came and went
the
through
entrances of the deserted buildings. No one else was clumsily clambering up
and short
the
down difficult flights of steps. There were no people to be seen anywhere a
Thereonewas
round.
'No
'Where
has
here?'
only
everyone
Chloegone?'
and her.
said
vaguely.
Leela
'Whysaid.
is there
The noises
no onegot
here?'
louder suddenly, then fade
d away
the
'I
hadn't
murmuring
intonoticed,'
background.
Chloe said. 'Where has everyone gone? The campus is never co
deserted. Not even at night. They were here when we started.Where did they go? I
mpletely
them
'Yes
'I
'How?'
didn't
doit
go.
notdoes,'
see
This
know,doesn't
Leela
but itsaid.
make
willsense
make sense,'
does it?'Leela insisted. She could see Chloe was
panic.
near to'This makes sense,' she went on, quoting the Doctor and trying to be as r
as he could sometimes be,'because everything makes sense. All you have to do is
eassuring
thinkout
work
Chloe
andhow.'
said,
Is this hell? Are we dead, do you think?' YES GIRL,' the voice roare
dtriumphantly.
Chloe
Leela
flinchedYOU'RE
undamped
and hands.
her
clamped
DEAD,'listen
GIRL!hands
her
YOU'RE
to it,'
overDEAD,
her said.
she
GIRL! DEAD!
ears.
YOU'REagain,'
'Not
DEAD!'
DEAD!'the
she voice
sobbed.howle
d on.'DEAD!
DEAD!
DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEEEAAAD!' The last screamed word echoed and rever
through
berated
Who
'You
was
meanit?'
theyouempty
Leela
heardcampus.
asked.
it too?' Chloe looked hugely relieved. 'So either we're both
it's
Cackling
mad real.'
or laughter broke out. 'YOU'RE BOTH MAD AND YOU'RE BOTH DEAD! AND YOU'RE B
OTHMAYBE
Do
HELL!'
OR
'It's
MAYBE
'There
you
INYOU'RE
the
MYYOU'RE
recognise
are
demon.'
noIMAGINING
demons,'
ALONE,
the voice?'
GIRL!'
THE
Leela
OTHER
LeelaONE!'
said.
asked.
'No
ghosts, no walking corpses. There is no m
Think!
agic.
YOU'RE
'I
don'tALONE!'
Whoknow!'Chloe
is it?'
the voice
closed
crowed.
her eyes.'I don't recognise the voice. It's pain and
and
'They
it'sit's
fearnothing
hate
you,' Leela
else.'said.

Leelahates
'Who
couldme?'
hear the noises again. They were louder now. Whoever is doing this h
atesARE
and
YOU
They
'Leave
wants
youher,'
hate
ALONE
youatoo,'
dead.'
AND
voice
INSANE!'
Chloe
The noises
which
said
she knew
hopefully.
faded.
the other girl could not hear whispered in L
head. 'Leave her to me and I will allow you to go free. Leave her and I will all
eela's
ow safe.'
be
Leela
youput
to her hand on the hilt of her knife. 'They hate me only because I am wit
h you,'
said.
'You
will
'That
shediethreatens
screamingthem.'
in my darkness,' the voice whispered. 'Alone. Always and
alone.
for ever
Never to see another person again, never to hear another person again, ne
ver toanother person again. Always alone, always afraid, always and for ever in
touch
Leave said,
darkness.
'They
Sounds
Leela
her
are
likeafraid
to'Yes,
it.'
me.'ofthat
you,'
is what
Leelaitsaid.
sounds like.' She could hear the sounds again
now, more
much
and clearly. On top of the previous roars and hums there were new noises.
There snorted.
screeches;
Chloe
were there'Imagine
were long
howblaring
they'd sound
howls;ifandI didn't
there were
scareshort
them.sharp
How are
hootings.
they do
ingloudspeakers?
it
Leela
it?felt
Is the sounds
Or what?'
were getting steadily louder and sharper, and as they did
the saw
she
campus
around her seemed to be growing paler and less distinct. If Chloe was aw
aredo
of
'Hear
'I
'Animals?
this
ofnot
what?
any
sheWhere?'
know
gavewhat
What
noChloe
are
sign
it
they
is.
stared
ofdoing
Itit.may
around
'Can
now?'
be the
you
thesounds
hear
campus.
it?'
of'Are
Leelathere
animals.'
asked.
animals loose aroun
d here?
What
Leela
'I
haven't
sort
said,ofheard
'Ianimals?
cannot
a thing,'
Is that
see
what
Chloe
what
issaid.
making
droveApart
everyone
the
noiseour
from
away?'
I can
demon
hear.'
with the lungs of st
eeloccurred
supercharged
It
when
knife.
and
sheThat
the
touched
tolarynx.'
might
Leela
itnotwith
that
havethe
the
beenwalking
the only
corpse
reason
haditdisappeared
vanished, but it had somethin
g to the
with
do figure's disappearance, so perhaps if she used the knife to prod part o
f whatsee
could
sheit might have an effect. There had to be some way to get what she was
seeingagain,'
what
'Not
sheandwas Chloe
hearingwailed.
to match
'You're
up. She
notpulled
going to
thestart
knife.waving
'Waitthat
here,'
carving
she said.
knife
again.'
about

Be ready,' Leela said, and trotted towards one of the glass and steel blocks. I
do ready,'
what
Be
notwill
knowhappen.'
Leela said, and trotted towards one of the glass and steel blocks. I
do notwill
what
Leela
reached
knowhappen.'
the glass wall. Tentatively she poked at it with the point of the
knife.a tapping
made
It
sound as she would have expected. That much was right, but someth
ing seeing
What
was
else
wrong
she was
about
didhearing
not
whatgoand
was
together.
happening.
what
sheIt felt
It was
right
a mismatch.
but somehow it did not look right.
itWhat
thatwaswas wrong? Then she realised that she could see no image of herself refl
ectedsurface
the
in
of the glass. Everything else was there as it should be. Everything
except
Was
thisher.
all just a dream then? You could never see yourself in a dream, she kne
w. Wastoshewake up in the TARDIS to find that this was nothing more than a bout of
going
Better
fever?still, was she going to wake up back in her father's hut to find that the
just
Doctor
onewas
more monster sent through the barrier by Xoanon's will? Was she going b
ack toyou
being
'Are
Leela
ready?'
of thesheSevateem
called out.
again?There was no answer and she looked back to see
thatwalking
was
Chloe quickly away. Leela wondered whether the voice had made the student
the same
offer
as it had made her. It would be a way to separate them, and that seemed to
Leela
purpose.
be itspressed the knife point harder against the glass. It began to slip. The no
ise oddly
was
it mademetallic: metal against metal. The background noises had faded until t
hey weregone. She knelt down to get a better purchase and leant her full weight o
almost
n the Still the glass panel did not give. She stopped pushing on the knife and
knife.
the surface of the glass. There was no mark. She ran her finger over the spot. I
examined
t was asas the rest. There was still no image of her or her hand in the otherwise
smooth
reflection.
perfect
She closed her eyes and thrust the knife at the panel with all her a
The noise was suddenly deafening. It was clear and immediate and close, as was t
strength.
vailable
he choking
stench
that filled her nostrils. This was real. She knew this was real, all her
told her so. She opened her eyes. This time sounds and vision matched perfectly
instincts
and nothing
had
they
to do with the university. Somehow she had walked away from it. Some
how was
been
She
she
tricked.
had
kneeling
by a track with her knife pressed against the curvy grey metal
of a small
fence.
On the other side of the track was another small fence like the one she w
as kneeling
beside
and beyond that was another small fence and beyond that another track. Sh
e sheathed
the
Both
knife
tracksandwere
stood
smooth
up. and flat and hard, and the vehicles which travelled on t
hem wereby at great speed. The Doctor had explained a little about cars and lorr
rushing
ies and
they
functioned,
how
but Leela had not realised how fast they could move and how muc
h noise
they
made. The wind of their passing tugged and buffeted at her. She could see t
hat even blow
glancing
a
from one of these things would kill any warrior no matter how stro
ng and
agile
She
realised
they might
now that
be. the howls and hoots she had heard faintly in the distance
were thethe vehicles made to warn of their approach. It struck her as senseless g
sounds
iven the
speed
they were moving, but they did it anyway and at this point they seemed to
be doing it Obviously the vehicle-riders did not want her to be inside the lit
continuously.
tle fence
which
marked the edge of the track. Leela could see the sense in that. The track
good
She
washopped
not a over
place
to bethe
if fence.
you wanted
Getting
to survive.
killed must be the reason she had been lured
here,intended
she
and
to make someone pay for such a cowardly ambush. The way it had been
done,

blinding her eyes and fooling her senses, angered her deeply and stirred her war
instincts. It was a Tesh trick. She was a warrior of the Sevateem and she knew h
rior
ow toTesh.
the
blinding
fight
her
Sheeyes
couldandresist
fooling
their
hermind
senses,
control.
angered
Herher
survival
deeplyproved
and stirred
it. her war
instincts. It was a Tesh trick. She was a warrior of the Sevateem and she knew h
rior
ow toTesh.
the
Hastily
fight
Leela
She scanned
could resist
up andtheir
downmind
bothcontrol.
the tracks.
Her It
survival
was difficult
proved it.
not to be di
stracted
the
linesbyof bellowing vehicles charging past. Then she saw her. She had crossed
the
through
vehicles. She was in the space between the tracks, and she was clambering un
over the second of the two small fences that separated one track from the other.
certainly
From
'Chloe!'
the way
Leelatheshouted,
girl wastrying
movingtoitmake
looked
herself
to Leela
heardasabove
though
theshe
noise.'Chloe!'
was still lost
vision
in theof walkways and glass-walled buildings. She was glancing back over her sh
ouldertoo,
lot,
a so the chances were the ghost was still pursuing her. It seemed the Te
sh kill
given
to
'Stand
hadupstill!'
the
on student.
Leela
Leela
butyelled
were determined
as Chloe stepped down off the fence and walked out o
n to the
track,
Leela
bounded
and intoover
thethe
pathfence
of the
andonrushing
sprinted out
carsonandtolorries.
the track. She dodged throug
h theoffirst
line
vehicles and then realised that the second and third lines were moving f
aster andThe warning sounds were deafening and the dust and fumes caught in her t
faster.
hroat
in
She
her
paused.
and
eyes.There was an overlapping gap coming towards her in the two faster li
nes. It up
closing
wasas it reached her, and she was almost hit as she lunged through it an
d leapt
first
On
theofother
the
the track
small Chloe
fences.was wandering sightlessly among the rushing lines. Leel
a could
the
Teshsee
were probably using the ghost to try to manipulate her into stepping di
rectlyscrambled
front
Leela
ofinone of and
the hopped
speedingalong
vehicles.
the narrow gap between the fences until she was
Chloe.'Chloe!'
level with
she shouted at her. 'Chloe look at me!' But there was no attracti
ng herwas about to make a rush and grab her when the student suddenly stopped wa
Leela
attention.
threw herself down on the track and lay there unmoving. The Tesh had worked out
lking,
a wayher
make
to into a bigger target, Leela realised. This time the strategy would succ
eed huge
two
because
lorries were rushing side by side towards where Chloe clearly thought s
he washad already made up her mind that the Tesh would not win this fight.Withou
Leela
hiding.
t thinking
about
it she jumped the fence pulling her knife as she went. Running across the
tracklow
bent
sheand flung the knife skidding over the surface of the ground in front of
blade
her. touched
The
Chloe's face as it spun and rattled past her, and she reared up an
d awayreached
Leela
it.
from Chloe just as she was pushing herself upwards. She grabbed her und
er the
and
heaved
armsher to her feet. Using the forward momentum of her run and their comb
inedbalance
of
loss she flung them both to the edge of the track and tumbled them over th
e low

Shit,' Chloe
fence.
The lorries
moaned,thundered
'that hurts.'
on by,She
hooting
turnedandover
howling.
and sat up. I bet I'm a mass
of cuts andshe said, examining her hands and knees and touching her face. 'Is my
bruises,'
bleeding?'
face
'Can
you seeSheit?'
peered
Leelaatasked,
Leela.'Yours
gesturing
isn't.'
at the track. 'Can you see where we are
Chloe took a deep breath and let it out slowly. 'Oh yes,' she said. 'And do you
?'
have
idea
I'You
remember
anynot
at
do
allbeing
how wechased
remember
ended
whatabout
uphappened?'
onthe
thecampus
motorway
by awith
walking
no motor?'
corpse. But there was no w
corpse was there? And I don't suppose it was the campus was it?' She shook her h
alking
eadhope
groaned.
"This
'I
andisso,'
The Chloe
all
pain seems
real,'
said.
Leelareal
'Isaid.
didn't
anyway,'
likesheThesaid.
Matrix all that much. I like it a wh
aolelotyou
'Do
hell
less
know
ofnowwhyI the
findTesh
I'm want
in it.'
you dead?' Leela asked, going to retrieve her kni
fe fromis
where
'No?'
'That
it unfortunate;
Chloe
layasked.
under theLeela
low fence.
said.'It is easier to find and fight an enemy whose
purpose
'We
understand.'
When
could
I find
youaskthem
them,'
I will
Chloe
killsuggested.
them,' Leela said flatly. Their reasons will be of
no help.'
'Isn't
Leela
looked
that ainto
bit her
drastic?'
face and
Chloe
sawasked.
her uncertainty. It struck her that the Tesh
wasstill
the
'I
someone
student
don't
knew.
know'You
why,'
think
Chloe
yousaid.'But
know who Iitthink
is whoI might
did this
havetorecognised
you.'
that v
oice Well,
all.
after not so much the voice as the way he kept calling me "girl".' She sat
staring
the
'It
'I'm
traffic.
is
notsomeone
ata bad person,'
you know,'Chloe
Leelasaid.'Why
prompted.would someone I know want to kill me? Wh
at have
ever
'You've
doneworked
I to make
in the
Joshsame
Randall
academic
hate institution
me that much?'
for several years, but you've ne
vervisited
as
so muchthis?' the Doctor said. 'I find that hard to believe.' He was finding
difficult
conversation
invigorating
'You're
They
the weresomething
to walk.
approaching
maintain.
of anthe
Barry
innocent
low,Hitchins'
grass
aren't
mound
mood
you,'
studded
hadBarry
notwith
improved
remarked
intertwined
despitespirals
gloomily.
an
of c
learopaque
and
glass photovoltaics which was the roof of the developmental engineering dep
Most of the department was underground and it was accessed through a revolving d
artment.
oorwayonesetside of the turf-covered roof dome. The whole installation was located
into
at the edge of the university's property, and its only link to the main complex
extreme
of

"This is Finer's
buildings
'Weren't
you
wasthe
onefiefdom.
slightest
straightIbit
path
don't
curious?'
through
think even
the
theelegant
DoctorParnaby's
Bill
parkland.had the conducted to
asked.
ur, and
he's
the nearest thing the man has to a friend.' Barry said. 'Whereas me? I'm no
t exactly
top
'Not
speaking.'
ofanyhismore,'
Christmas
the Doctor
card list.
said cheerfully.
I'm a pariah'You're
you realise,
unemployed
academically
now, academically
They
speaking.'
walked down the slate-tiled cutting that led to the revolving door. The doo
r stopped
revolving
'We
don't have
as they
theapproached
required security
it.
clearance,' Barry said as the Doctor gave i
t a Doctor
'Required
shove.
Barry
The
futile
shrugged,'The
bystepped
whom?'back
university?
from theFiner?
doorway.
Does'Ofitcourse
reallyitmatter?'
really matters,' he said
voice.
"They're
in a loud
Howregistered
do the students
and ID'ed,'
get in?'
Barry said. They'll be scanned on approach. Why
are youhappened to universities as institutions of learning,' the Doctor declaime
'What
shouting?'
d, waving
his
arms about a bit, 'open to all for the free flow of ideas and the transfer o
fknowledge? This,' he gave the door a couple of hefty kicks,'is not how it should
"That's
be.' giving them the big picture, Doctor,' Barry said wryly. 'I'm sure it'll
make asaid,
major
'Just
Barry
difference
getting
'It's
their
ina fully
the long
attention,'
automated
run.'
the system.
Doctor said.
What makes you think anyone will be
"There's always a manual override,' the Doctor said. 'And where there's a manual
watching?'
there's
Barry
override
turned
usually
away.
a man.'
"That's like saying there's always a key under the flowerpot.
''Therehere
We're
Professor
usually
John
to discuss
is,' theconnection
Finer's
Doctor said.
to the
He addressed
Clearspring
theWater
doorway.'
Company,' he waved th
e print-out
above
his head,'and his student Josh Randall's enhanced psi abilities. We feel t
he two
not
'We
unconnected.'
do?'
areBarry said softly. When did we feel that? I thought it was tap water we
Wewere
about?'
'This
haven't
heretogotbeanmyappointment,'
was
last boohoo,'Barry
the Doctor
said.'That's
went on like
loudly,'so
a lastwe'll
hurrahwait.'
only more
He pushed at the unrevolving door.'They're not going to open up. We'll have to f
miserable.'
ind some
other
'Or,'
way Doctor
the
to do this.'
said loudly, we could go to my police friends. I think they'd b
einterested
'You
have friends
in whatinI've
thegot
police?'
to tellBarry
them.'
said.

'I have friends everywhere,' the Doctor said. 'I'm very likeable. You like me do
n't you?'
Barry
sighed heavily. 'What am I doing? I'm following a loon -'He interrupted an
d corrected
himself,'&
I'm
suggestions
following
anfrom
eccentric,
an
eccentric
some
passing&
abouteccentric.
the place.I'mI'mmadder
takingthan you are. Friends in th
e police:
as
'You'd
if. have
How often
to define
have what
you spent
you mean
the by
night
cells,'
in thethecells,
DoctorDoctor?'
said smiling. 'I've be
en locked
up,
incarcerated and trapped in any number of different ways in many different p
Different
laces.
'Different
'It's
a sort
planets,
regenerations?'
of reincarnation.
different time
Thislines,
is mydifferent
fourth I think.
regenerations&'
It's quite difficult t
o remember
Barry
sometimes.'
'Mad
asturned
a snake,'
away,heshaking
muttered
histohead
himself.
in painful
'Kingdisbelief.
Mad of the Mad people.' He began
away,
to walk
back to the path that led to the main blocks. 'I should be working on my C
V not
wasting
In
fronttime
of the
here.'
Doctor the revolving door began to turn again. He stepped into i
t andDoctor
followed
'You
The
wanted
itbeamed
round
to
talkat
into
tohim.
the'Ibright
Professor
knewFiner,'Josh
foyer was
there
whereasaid.
Josh Randall
flowerpot
round
washere
waiting.
somewhere,' h
esaid.'Would you like a jelly baby?' He pulled the battered paper bag from his co
at hope
and
'No
'Least
'You're
'I
pocket
proffered
thanks.
ofso,'
probably
allAnd
the
it.you
you,
overestimating
Doctor
Ican
imagine,'
drop thethe
replied,
mybut
madparanormal
Doctor
act,could
he
it'ssee
said.
powers,'
notfrom
fooling
Joshstudent's
the
anybody'
said.
casual arro
gance
he
'I'm
'And
wasI'm
not
that
not.
arrogant,'Josh
not
acting,' thesaid,
Doctor
mildly.'I'm
said. 'I'mjust
different
different.'
too.' It was going to be d
ifficult
keep
'Try
He
ledimpossible,'Josh
histhethoughts
toDoctor to an
himself,
said.'This
escalator
he way.'
thought.
on the far side of the foyer. It was descendin
g very and it looked to the Doctor as though its incline was so shallow that it
slowly,
nowhere.
was goingWhen he stepped on it the surface was solid and reassuring and for a mo
mentcontinued
it
Then
or two imperceptibly
almost
its slow progress.
the escalator gained speed, folding itself up behind t
he that
so
Doctorhe found himself sitting down. Once he was safely seated the machinery s
hifted
and
hishim
seat sideways, transferring him to a vertical tube down which he dropped
series
in a of slowly braking spirals. At the bottom of the tube the seat transferred
again
sideways
and unfolded itself so that he was standing. Gradually the slightly inclin
escalator slowed so that he could step off it in comfort.
ed

The Doctor found it hard to estimate how far he had descended below ground. Perh
aps the
was
Immediately
thatpurpose,
behindhehim
thought.
Josh stepped off the escalator. 'Some people are claustro
phobicbetter
it's
so that they don't know,' he said. 'And the different sensations make i
t lessvery considerate,'
stressful
'How
than a lift.' the Doctor said. You can tell me. I'm not claustrophobic
. Howignored
below
Josh
far
ground
are question
the
we?'
and gestured for the Doctor to follow him. 'It's a ref
ainement
for
'I
ride
noticed
a theme
Professor
of theme-park
park.'Finerdevelopment
developed as part of his portfolio of business interests
,' the remarked as they walked down a brightly lit corridor. 'He's obviously a m
Doctor
an ofhave
'You
talents.'
'Give
manyanoclue,
me
idea,'Josh
Josh,' the
said.Doctor said, smiling his most charming smile. 'May I
Josh?
call Are
you we just below the surface here,Josh, or deeper than that, or very deep
'Why
'Call
'We're
The
Can
Josh
please?'
indeed?'
Doctor
we
doitgo
said,'You
very,
you
professional
back
stopped
want
very,
nowtoin
didn't
very
know?'
curiosity.'
his
lie;
deep
tracks.
you're
indeed.'
'I lied.
not
claustrophobic;
I am claustrophobic.
and no, we can't go back n
'Tell me something, Josh,' the Doctor said. 'Why do you bother with speech? Is y
ow.'
telepathy
our
Can
you only
onlyreceive
one-way?
thoughts? Maybe you're not telepathic at all? Maybe you're
justreading
at
good expressions? Is that what you are?' He leant forward smiling and lowe
redthe
voice
At
hisconspiratorially.
far end of the corridor
'Are youa door
a fortune-teller
soughed open.without
Finer strode
a tent?'towards them. '
I'llseriously
care
'Clear
Josh
'Try
'I'll
'I
take
of
smirked.
answering
answer
your
this,mind
all
doubt
Josh;
'You
some
forthat,'
your
ask
hewhat?'
of
questions,'
asaid.
them.'
lot
thethe
'You'd
of
Doctor
Doctor
questions.'
Finer
better
said.
asked.
said.
go and clear
'You've
spentyour
too much
mind.'time covering
up tostrolled
reveal
Josh
everything
away.toThe
a perfect
Doctor wondered
stranger whether
like me.'the focus of his telepathy was a
ffected byand if so what its range might be. Could he be clearing his mind, what
distance,
ever that
involved,
'It's
the fact
and still
that you
be eavesdropping?
are a perfect stranger that makes such candour possible,
' FinerusheringandthetheDoctor
said,
office.'That
fact that
into nobody
a spartan
knows where

you are.' One wall of the room was a single, flat display screen within which we
re linked
of
strips images. He pointed a small light wand and the screen filled with a lif
Barry Hitchins peering around and banging on the revolving door. 'Nobody of any
e-size
knows where you are.' The thin, sour smile did nothing to soften the features of
consequence
narrow,
you
Finer's
are.'bony
Oneface.
wall of the room was a single, flat display screen within which we
re linked
of
strips images. He pointed a small light wand and the screen filled with a lif
Barry Hitchins peering around and banging on the revolving door. 'Nobody of any
e-size
knows where you are.' The thin, sour smile did nothing to soften the features of
consequence
narrow,
'He
Finer's
was the
bonywrong
face.choice,' Finer said.'He was useless and irritating. Ghostbuste
r indeed.
wasted
'Which
Find
'You
'Hardly.
For
the
mewas?'
couldn't
aDoctor
aIlot
Idoofhave
suitable
doanother
time
that
apsychic.
getting
reputation.
for
piece
yourself?'
Ifof
himsuch
the
to puzzle
Some
adostanding
thing
whatdrifted
I wanted
existed.'
in the
towards
him
academic
toado.'
place.
community.'
'It's not on
Ibut
the
amyou
list,
the
own
Kellerfield
the Kellerfield
Foundation,'
Foundation
Finerpresumably.'
said. It doesn't actually exist as such.
had
If taken
anybodythe trouble to investigate they'd have found that out. Nobody did, of
Funding is hard to come by these days so no one cares to look too closely at its
course.
Did
Your
sources.
you
Clearspring
know there's
Watera Company
chair indoesn't
peace studies
actuallythat's
existfunded
as such.
by Does
an arms
it?'dealer?'
the Doc
tor yes.'
'Oh
said. Finer nodded vigorously. 'It exists. I'm expecting great things of it.
toIt's
be very
goingprofitable as a matter of fact. Consumers are endlessly gullible.' He
bottle
liftedfrom
a an open carton on the floor by its top and tossed it to the Doctor.
It wasstreamlined
more
a
design than the others, with a simplified label. 'Better packag
ingassume
Iyou
don'tit's
think?
It not
mighttaponly
water,'
be water
the Doctor
but yousaid,
can'tturning
sell itthe
to bottle
them inround
a bucket.'
in his h
ands and
looking
'Genuine
Thank
you,
atspring
the label.
no,'
water,'
the
Doctor
Finer
saidsaid.
and tossed
'Try it.'
the bottle back to Finer, who missed
it and
not
'What
'In
Drug?'
bother
the
sort
did
first
to of
of
retrieve
drug
thewasfree
it samples
it?'
from
thethe
Doctor
you
floor.
gave
asked.
out.' Although he was curious to know
, the half-hoped Finer would deny any knowledge of drugs. The man was confiding
Doctor
much.
far too
It suggested to the Doctor that he was not intended to survive for very lo
'Biotechnology isn't my field,' Finer said conversationally. 'But I do have a co
ng.
interest in a company that's trying to develop cognition enhancers. They improve
ntrolling
function&
brain
that sort of thing. One of the drugs showed early promise but unoffici
al tests
threw
up some unfortunate side effects. There was a certain amount of short-term
'Schizophrenic
'Psychosis?'
psychosis.'
episodes: mild paranoia, hallucinations.' Finer shrugged.'Short-t
erm

"The subjects all recovered,' Finer said impatiently. 'What was important, what
psychosis.'
me, was a recurring theme in their hallucinations. They all thought they had par
interested
gifts. It occurred to me that in one or two cases it might be true and the drug
anormal
mightgave
trigger.
'You
be Aathat
parapsychological
stuff to everyone?'
enhancer
It was
perhaps.'
what the Doctor had suspected, but he
wasneeded
shocked
'I
stillbytothekick-start
enormity that
of what
idiot.'
had been
Finerdone.'That's
used the wand
monstrous.'
to freeze the image of
Hitchins.'He
Barry
'A
'There
'With
student
short-term
was no
haswas
connection.'
committed
getting suicide.'
psychosis
nowhere.
as a side
I was
effect
running
how do
outyou
of know?'
time.' the Doctor challen
ged.the
was
For
group.'
part
'Shefirst
of histime
experimental
Finer looked irritated as well as impatient. 'I don't have to
myself
'Then
'Good
justify
why
question.
to are
you.'youI'mtelling
relieved
me you're
about it?'
not stupid.' Finer waved the wand. 'I want y
our Doctor
with
The
help
this.'stared at the new image which filled the screen. He was looking at so
me sort
dark
tunnel
of in which stood a projector. It was not unlike a primitive laser proj
ector butmuch bigger: there was no way to judge scale from the image. What was t
probably
was what at
errifying
Starting
it the
was projector,
doing.
steady pulses of energy flickered backwards and forwa
ardsline
through
of circular tubes of perfect, shadowless light. Each pulse seemed to gain
bouncing
power bybackwards and forwards through the circles until it reached a critical
massthat
it
In
suddenly
whenmoment
disappeared.
everything reversed itself. In a bright tunnel the tubes of perfe
ct lighttubes of perfect darkness. The pulses of energy became non-pulses of abso
became
emptiness. As this negative process de-flickered to an un-climax and reversed it
lute
self,positive
next
the
pulse was already running across it. Positives and negatives whirl
ed and over and round one another, bound together but separate, blurring at any
danced
pointand
focus
Here
of there
but
needle-sharp
it lookedinrandom,
passing.but the Doctor knew it wasn't. Positive pulses
negative non-pulses grazed edges and multiple blocks of blank darkness spun off
and
collisions and gathered into black drifts of nothing which folded back into them
the
selves and Some of these growing drifts folded in on themselves, disappeared a
disappeared.
nd then
reappeared
and folded in on themselves, disappeared, and then reappeared and fol
ded Doctor
themselves
The
in on could
and sonot
on remember
and on inwhen
an ever-recurring
he had last seen
pattern.
anything so hugely destructi
ve and so
horrifyingly
danger-ous.'You idiot,' he said.'What have you done?' It was possib
le thatthe
damage
themachine was doing right now was already irreversible, and he could se
e that
was
'I
don't
supposed
this
expect
to you
be its
to understand
steady state.
whatItitwasisnot
you're
evenseeing,'
in use. Finer said.

'We have something in common then,' the Doctor murmured. 'I don't expect you to
it either.'
understand
'We
have something in common then,' the Doctor murmured. 'I don't expect you to
it know
understand
What
'I
either.'
I'mit's
looking
difficult
at isn't
to believe,
a time machine,'
particularly
the Doctor
withoutcontradicted.
the appropriate educatio
n and
training,'
Finer changed the angle of the image with the wand, 'but I promise yo
u that's
what
The
Doctor
it is,'said,
he said,
'It'smore
halfthan
a time
a little
machinesmugly.
at best. The half that draws together
lines
the time
and collapses the multi-verse. What you appear to be missing is a transdim
containment and a semisentient control system. Without them your machine will go
ensional
collapsing
You
'No,'
on have
thenoDoctor
the
ideamultiverse
what you're
said.
'Youforhave
talking
ever.
no idea
Itabout,'
will
whatfeed
Finer
I'montalking
said.
it, inabout.
it, andPutthrough
it thisit.'
way
. If every
took
you bomb and every explosive device of every kind ever made and set them
all same
the
off inplace at the same time, the destructive capacity would be minuscule com
paredsorry
what
'I'm
you
to have
youthere.'
feel like that.' Finer smiled. 'I had hoped that by answering you
r questions
frankly
I could persuade you to be a pioneer of time travel. I was planning to u
se thecannot
machine
'You
to send
use that
you back
machine,'
throughthetime.'
Doctor said, urgently. 'You cannot increase t
he power
it's
'You
gettingnot?'
think
already.'
Finer stared at the screen with genuine pride. His voice took o
n a tonewith awe. 'That is one of science's holy grails. It's the perpetual motio
tinged
n engine,
it's
You
get
themore
coldpower
fusionoutprocess,
of thatit's
machine,'
actionhewithout
pointedreaction.
at it triumphantly, 'than yo
u putcourse
'Of
it.'
into you do,' the Doctor said witheringly. 'But it's not magic, man. It's
something
not
'When
I'vefor
donenothing!'
what I have to do,' Finer went on, 'it will be my gift to the wo
The Doctor raised his voice.'It's already in a feedback loop which you may not b
rld.'
e able
reverse,'
'Nothing
'I
can'ttotalk
will
he said
be the
ever
you
slowly
into
besame
again!'
itand
everdistinctly.
then?'
the
again,'
Finer
Doctorflicked
Finer
raged.
exulted.
the wand and the image of Barry H
itchins wasHe was pacing about outside the locked revolving door. 'I was afraid t
restored.
irritating
he
'Are
you listening
little bugger
to me?'might
The Doctor
be persistent.'
was suddenly feeling disconnected. Finer w
paying attention to what he was saying. He'd put it simply enough. Surely the ma
asn't
n must may
'There
understood?
havehave to be a brief delay,' Finer said. 'In the meantime, let me tell
you about
really
useful
a drug my biotechnology company has developed. It's a contact tranqu
illiser.

Darkness
Stable
bit
disorientated
enough
slipped
to across
put
I expect.'
on the
any Doctor's
nonporouseyes.
surface.'
It reminded him of the drifts of blac
k don't
Chapter
The
Bartok
Which
"The
I'Oh
'On
'Chloe
'Chloe's
Meg
Hysterical
'That
'You
We
blocks&
are
student
right,
the
said,
one
don't
agreed
one?'
was
finished
thought
given
Fourteen
suppose
other
awe've
'Why
Josh,
yes.'
bit
know
girlies.'
bar
Ralph
with
toside
been
we
suggestible,'
don't
was
his
you
what
not
generalising
him,'Meg
asked.
had,'
you
almost
third
talking
managed
me.'
Iyouthink.'
mean?'
Tommy
say
pint
said.'Admit
empty.
about.
to
Ralph
hysterical,
on
Meg
said.
and
contact
thesaid
said,
The
said.
subject
it.
oneRalph?
anybody
sardonically.
That
All
inofmen
seance.'
Norswood.'
did
women,'
It's
think
you?'
NoTommy
what
weyou
like
didn't.'
that.'
agreed.
think.''Unlike you
, ofyou
course,
'Amanda
She
wood
The
Josh
'So
Amanda
'Most
was
three
but
didn't
murders
Joslin,'
and
Joslin
dumped
do
she
students
remember
men.'
mention
wasn't
are
wasn't
in
Megdomestic,'
the
looked
killed
that,'
it
said.
killed
was'Was
atJosh
there.'
Tommy
there
him.
Bartok
that
then,
said.
They
you
herdocouldn't
said.
know,'
name?'
you?'
He had
Bartok
Ralph
hide
theirsaid.
interrupted.'
their
undivided
surprise.
attention and h
e was heenjoying
finally
'Does
have anyhimself.
evidenceMyforgovernor
that?' Tommy
reckonsasked.
her father
'Or isdid
Joslin
it.'an Irish name?'
'He's one of the professors in this place.'

'You said her


'Joslin?'
Ralphname
said.
was'What
Joslin,'
department's
Meg said.heMake
in?'up your mind, which is it? Joslin
'Finer's
'Professor
name.'
'You
or Finer?'
wereex-wife
trying
Finer to
remarried.
was
contact
her father,'
His daughter
this
dead
Tommygirl
said.
took
and"There's
her
youstepfather's
didn't
a striking
know where
coincidence.'
she died or
was,'
'It's
'Of
'Obvious,'
Bartok
whocourse
she
Bartok
obvious
waited,
itsaid.
Ralph
how
is,'
butagreed.
Josh
He was
Meg
it
gotclear
said.
gloating
to hear
theyabout
a were
bit.itnot
'Sloppy
then,'
aboutorTommy
towhat?'
volunteer
said. information. 'S
o how
he
Tommy
The
'You
Meg
get
other
chortled.
did
did
pushed
tosay
hearyou
two
his
pushed
'I
about
glasstheir
could
think
it?'
forward.'Mine's
Iclaim
may
heglasses
asked.misjudged
these
have
across
on
expenses
a pint,'
theyou,
table.
didn't
heRalph.
said.
you?'
I think
Ralphyou've
said.got hidde
nshallows.'
The
Doctor came round slowly. Whatever the drug was, it had hit him hard. He lay
had
where
fallen.
he For a moment or two his eyes wouldn't focus. Slowly he propped himse
lf upelbows.
his
on
He could tell he was in an underground room of some kind, but there
something
was
It
was an odd
incongruous
greyish,about
brownish
the colour
floor covering.
and it was moving. It was a fur carpet th
at was and turning, pulling back and slipping forward. It took him a moment or
twisting
totworealise
longerwhat it was he was seeing. They were live animals. It was a carpet of
sat
backwards
he
The
rats.
could
up quickly
Doctor
Hetell
solooked
that
heandwas
hescrambled
at
wasasitting
in
them
cellarhisfull
over
against
knees
of and
the the
rats.
wall.rats
As all
far stopped
as
moving and sta
red back
him.
He had
at never found rats threatening but these particular ones seemed to be
together and there were lots of them. He knew he was still groggy from the drug
acting
so concentrated
be
He
he could
misinterpreting
blearily.
what heThey
was were
seeing.
definitely rats and they were definitely not
him,
afraid
butofthat didn't mean they were a superspecies. It did mean he was possibly
in fished
He
trouble.about in his pockets and came up with some pieces of string which he t
ied bottoms
the
round of his trouser legs. Now, according to what he had once read about r
atting,
he
He
probing
understand
neededfor
felt
aallmist
was
and
ways
ause
ofheavy
tosmall
him;stick
sharpandminds
testing
a Jack
him
settle
for
Russell
threat.
across
terrier.
I'mhisimagining
consciousness,
He stood
this,
up.he thought.
It's a of
effect
sidethe drug. He pictured the dog and the stick and violent mayhem. The as
rats stirred and skittered and moved further away from him, then settled again t
sembled
o watch.he shouted at them. Go away!' He clapped his hands.'You are not psychic!
Shoo!'
You are

'Sharing
rats!
Go your
away mind
and leave
with inferior
me alone!'creatures,'Josh remarked, stepping out of the d
shadows.'Not
eep
'Did
'I
canyoutake
do animals'
that?'
very appealing
thoughtsisorit?people's
Does that
thoughts
answerand
youramplify
question?'
them and pass the
m on. realise
never
They
it's happening.' He rubbed his hand backwards and forwards over hi
s shaved
scalp.
The
rats'Hours
Doctor's
scurried
mind
of innocent
awayclearing.'Why
was
as he
fun.walked
Gets do
boring
unhurriedly
you use
of course.'
speech?'
through he
them.
said. "That was the q
The answer is: you use speech to keep contact with inferior creatures like the r
uestion.
est ofsaid,'I
humanity
Josh
to adon't
minimum.'
want to share your thoughts. I don't want you to share mine.
I don't
want
'You
to be part
shared
BarryofHitchins'
you.'
thoughts,' the Doctor suggested.'Or was the cellar f
Taullam
'Everybody
Josh
coincidence?'
oflaughed.
unique,'Josh
ratsis,''You
thestated.
all
Doctor
spendsaid.
your lives imagining you're unique,' he sneered.'No
ne even
is
of youunusual. You're all so predictable.You're all the same. Only I am unique
It seemed to the Doctor that the student's attitude was more unmediated, his beh
.'
aviour more
erratic,
than it had been before. Could that be the result of clearing his mind?
clear
Or wasyour mind a euphemism for something altogether more damaging? 'Are you sti
ll taking
the
'The
'How
'Look.'Josh
drug?'
enhancer
long
have
pointed
releases
you been
at one
mytaking
power'
of the
it?'departing rats. The animal turned and began to
towards
'Let
The
runrat
it turned
them the
go,'
squealing.
again,
Doctorransaid.
'Your
a short
dog distance
'It
is chasing
hasn't
done
andit.'
you
thenanyreared
harm.'up on its hind legs b
collapsing
efore
'You
The
rat
hitkicked
itinto
withits
athe
twitching
back
stick,'
legsheap.
Josh remarked.and'Itlaythinks
convulsively
still.it's
Thedying.'
Doctor went to it a
nd gently
it
pushed with his foot. It was dead. Was it because he had deliberately picture
d thethedogstick that Josh had picked up the images, he wondered? How much more of
and
whatmind
his
was did
in this boy 'share'? Could he keep anything in his mind a secret from
him?think
'I
am theyou
nextmaystage
be confused
of evolution,'Josh
about how evolution
said. 'There
works,'
willthe
be Doctor
no other'
suggested. '
There
to
Josh
begestured
has thaninto
more
one.'
the shadows. 'Professor Finer is ready to start.'

In that event I'll say goodbye.' The Doctor went back to the wall and sank down
intothat
sitting
In
a event
position.
I'll say goodbye.' The Doctor went back to the wall and sank down
intotried
sitting
'I
a position.
to explain to him that he may already have damaged this planet irrepara
bly,' the
Doctor
said, 'and that to press on any further would be a waste of a perfectly g
universe.
ood
Josh
'It's
'Why
Why
'If
shouldn't
what
looked
should
notyou
Unfortunately
possible
Iuncertain.
think
believe
you
believe
to true,'Josh
is
doYou
you?'
hethat,
me,'
wouldn't
are
exaggerating,
I'm
the
tugged
afraid.'
Doctor
listen
atsaid.
toaren't
his
me.'
arm,'you
'Youyou?'
cancan't
read just
my mind.'
sit there and
The
happen.'
letDoctor
it
got wearily to his feet. 'What do you suggest I do?' Was it possible,
wondered,
he
that the student's short-term psychosis had worn off or was even worki
ng suggest
favour?
'I
in hisWasweJosh
tryonandhisconvince
side now?
Professor Finer before it's too late.' Josh hurri
ed off
the
The
shadowy
Doctor
intofollowed
dimness.him
Thisoutway.
andCome
foundon!'
him waiting at the entrance to a concrete
tunnel. Josh handed him a pair of rubber overshoes and a hard hat with a lantern
service
The
'How
attached.
Doctor
do youput
explain
them God?'Josh
on.
asked, putting on his own overshoes and hat and le
adingDoctor
way
'I'm
'If
The
into
there
sorry?'
thethe
has
said,
tunnel.
to 'You
be more
don't
thanexplain
one, how
a god.
do you
A god
explain
is anGod?'
excuse not to explain.' S
ahead of them he could hear a rushing sound rising and falling like waves on a s
omewhere
beach.
hingle
static
Ahuge
wavemagnetic
Around
building
of
panicstorm.
them
at the
crashed
he could
edge
overof
already
him.
a Hefeel
couldn't
the crackling
stop what was happening. It had go
ne was
It
too already
far.
beyond him. This wasn't his fault. If he could just escape& If he
and
could
runturn
and get back to the TARDIS he could survive. There wasn't anything he co
uld do run away. He had to run away. He had to get back to the TARDIS. Survival
except
everything.
was
He
took a deep
He shuddering
had to survive.
breathTurn
andand
strode
run.onTurn.
behind
Run.Josh. The field effect was
getting
Bill
obviously
Parnaby
stronger.
peeredHeover
mustthe
remember
top ofhow
hissusceptible
new laptop.'Have
he wasyou
to spoken
the field
to the
effect.
polic
e?' he 'Yeah,
asked.
Parnaby
startedright,'
to foldBarry
the screen,
said.'They're
then thought
going tobetter
listenoftoitme.'
and closed the mac
hineturned
and
'Excuse
downme guys,
it off.but'What
Professor
about Finer,
security?'
rich and powerful Filhrer of this parish,
has

kidnapped a harmless loony and is holding him captive in his bunker. Please inve
Signed unemployed
stigate.
Parnaby
giggled. 'It
andwas
vindictive.'
that attitude that got you into trouble in the first pl
acedoifremember,'
'I
remember.'
you
Barry said. "There was never enough custard round here for the
sort of putI the
wrestling
Parnaby
had laptop
in mind.'
in his desk drawer. I don't know what you want me to do,
'You're a friend of Finer's. Can't you talk to him and find out what's going on?
Barry?'
' used
'Tell
Parnaby
'You
'I
mean
meto
said,
shook
about
weirder'
think
his
'He
it,'
italways
head.
Barrythe
was
'It's
gets
said
autumn.
awryly.
bad It
bit
time.'
weird
depresses
about this
sometime
people.
of year.'
But I think it mig
ht belocks
something
'Not
'He
even himself
else.
to
you?'
Maybe
awayaninanniversary.
his department.Won't
Anyway hepick
won'tuptalk
the phone,
to anybody'
won't answer h
is mobile,
won't
'That
respond
is
suspicious
to e-mails.'
right there,' Barry said. "The man's like Howard Hughes only
hair
'And
withif
and
less
you're
shorterhonest,'
fingernails.'
Parnaby said, 'you didn't see the Doctor go in to the de
did come
partment
'Oh
you?'on, Bill. One minute he was there, next minute he was gone,' Barry said
. 'As
vanishing
'You
'I
know
don't
a he's
act
know
disappeared.
allwhere
it lacked
the IDoctor
was awent.'
think
puff ofout
that's
smoke
of character.'
and someone Parnaby
yelling sighed.
shazham!I ha
ve didn't
he
to admitstrike me as the disappearing type. Quite the contrary in fact. For a
Iwhile
thought
thereI'd never get rid of him.' He locked the drawer and got up from behind
'All
the right,
desk. Barry. Let's wander over and have a quiet chat with security. Maybe
theythesome
make
By
cantimediscreet
they emerged
inquiries.'
from the service tunnel into the low cavern the Doctor
was surge
more
Stuttering
the
feeling
in control
and
static
resurge
ofsparks
himself.
of the
snapped
powerandpulses
sparkled
vibrated
in theandairshocked
and through his skull
.He closed his eyes and listened to the thick rushing. The pulse rate had increas
ed. Finer
must
have started the final powering up of his infernal machine. It was already
toowas
It
late.
over. He felt a pang of guilt. He had failed. He had failed everyone and
At the moment it all vanished would the TARDIS feel abandoned? And Leela, what a
everything.
bouthadLeela?
He
forgotten her. Where was she? Was she alone and afraid? He opened his eye
s again.
Field
Ahead
effect.
of
them aHeline
mustofremember
rubber-surfaced
the fieldduckboards
effect. led from the tunnel to a slig
htly raisedHigh above this a translucent, saucer-shaped gallery was attached to t
platform.
he cavern
roof.
Is that another impressive feat of engineering or just a pointless theme-p
ark

gimmick? the Doctor thought. Finer seemed to be an odd mixture of showman and re
cluse.crossed
they
As
the duckboards the Doctor said,'Drainage is always a problem with t
abandonedthe
hese
gimmick?
excavations.
Doctor thought.
What was
Finer
it seemed
originally?
to beAanmine
oddofmixture
some sort
of showman
I imagine?'
and re
cluse.crossed
they
As
the duckboards the Doctor said,'Drainage is always a problem with t
abandoned
hese
'But
Once
not asJosh
more
excavations.
deepignored
as youthe
What
implied,'
comment.
was itthe
originally?
'ItDoctor
was the
suggested.
Areason
mine ofProfessor
some sortFiner
I imagine?'
had the d
sited where it is,' he said.'He wanted it below ground, and a lot of the tunnels
epartment
were
They
and climbed
shafts the
already
in place.'
short flight of steps on to the platform. When they reached the
the
centre
platform
of the whole structure began to rise towards the roof. 'Another fairgr
attraction?' the Doctor asked as a hatch opened in the bottom of the saucer and
ound
platform slotted into place. 'Is there by any chance a coconut shy? I was always
the
fond
'There
Around
rather
ofthem
you
coconut
gowaswith
ashies.'
chamber,
that madunmanned
act again,'Josh
but stacked
said.with elaborate-looking monitorin
g and
operating
equipment. It was presumably the equivalent, the Doctor thought, of on
e tiny of the TARDIS's function console and it was about ten times the size of
section
theher
of
whole
control deck. Primitive,' he said briskly. About on a par with the galosh
es and
tin
'It's
hats.'
athe
really sensitive self-regulating system,'Josh said.'The powering up is s
o gradual
it's
Try
reversing
almost unmeasurable.'
it,' the Doctor said. I think you'll find unmeasurable will take o
n a meaning.
new
Josh
whole
beckonedSohimwhere
across
is the
Professor
chamberFiner?'
and led him into a side gallery. Twenty yar
ds along
there
wasita viewing platform, below which was another separate cavern. Set up in
was
The
thisDoctor
theoneprojector
stared down
and pulse
at ittunnel
as it pulsed,
of Finer's
pulling
attempt
at reality
at a timeandmachine.
pushing at non
all projector
-reality,
'Like
The
thethewhile
soundwas
making
inatmyleast
ahead
softly
whendeafening
twenty
I feet
rub myhigh
sound
handandover
like&
thirty
mylike
scalp,'Josh
feet
what?
long.
he The
thought.
said.
hoops of t
he pulsewere perhaps twelve feet in diameter, and stretched for what looked to be
tunnel
yards
'It's
a hundred
or more.the Doctor murmured. Not that it makes much difference in the end.'
huge,'
Finer was working at an open panel high on the side of the projector. To reach i
t he was
using
a small crane lift. He finished what he was doing and slammed the panel cl
osedirritable
an
with
flourish. Operating the lift with casual ease he rose towards the v
In thesupposed
platform.
iewing
'It's
effect,'Finer
reached
pulse
the platform.'I've
tunnel
said
to beasthe
gradual
heratehadbut
oftothe
there's
replace
strobing
athe
stepped
flicker
fail-safe
acceleration
wentwith
up aperceptibly.
remote activation
'It's
autodestruct
feedback,'
justthe
to Doctor
be on the
said.
safe'You
side.'
can't compensate for the power gains from
grazing.'
the pulseHe could just glimpse the end of the pulse tunnel. It was a chaos of m
ultiple

images of trees and blocks of blanknesses. For the briefest moment he thought he
TARDIS
saw thein the middle of the multiplying maelstrom, and he missed the old thing t
The field
erribly.
images
of trees
effect.andRemember
blocks of
theblanknesses.
field effect,Forhethe
thought.
briefest moment he thought he
TARDIS
saw thein the middle of the multiplying maelstrom, and he missed the old thing t
Thedoesn't
erribly.
It
field effect.
work like
Remember
that,'the
thefield
Doctoreffect,
said. The
he thought.
man was obstinate to the point
obtuseness. 'You know it doesn't work like that. Why else would you need a psych
of
'It's nothing to do with controlling the basic systems,' Finer said. He pointed
ic?'
to thetunnel. 'I need a psychic because I can find no other way to maintain a li
pulse
nk was
whoever
'By
'I
The
with
"whoever
Doctor
going
goesinterrupted
through
goes
myself,
through
that.'
but
him.
Josh
that"
These
couldn't
I would
assumebebeyou
expected
themean
automatically
me?'
to handle
the Doctor
all the
self-regulating
said.
systems sys
-'
'Josh couldn't be expected to handle all the systems,' Finer repeated doggedly,
tems?'
maintain
'and
The
How
pulsecontact
long,
rateDoctor
the
went
withupwondered,
me.
again.
So I before
needed the
a volunteer&
first fullthank
collision
you forbetween
volunteering.'
positive
negative pulses boosted the power feedback exponentially and set the machine on
and
phase, straightening the power streams into one another so that they annihilated
final
and
eachtime,
otherand space, and time lines, and multiverses and stopped it all from exi
stingitandnever exist. There were equations but he couldn't remember what they wer
made
e. Itwewas
matter
'If
of luck.
work
a together
Just we
luck.
might still be able to find a way to stop this,' the Doc
tor said.
'The
'Here's
continued
what I want
existence
you toofdo,'
existence
Finer said.
can't His
justmanner
be a matter
told the
of Doctor
luck.' that he t
hought
was
'You
reasoning
don't
he believe
with Ia know
hysteric.
what I'm talking about,' the Doctor said, desperately
for some way to convince the man. 'When you set your machine up you aligned it t
searching
o a small
wood.
It's a couple of miles from the campus. I expect it's got a reputation for
haunted.
'As
being
it happens
I'm right
you are.'
aren'tFiner
I?' was still being carefully reasonable. 'We're belo
w the
university's
secondary main car park here, and Norswood is out in that direction
, yes.'
got
backHeinto the lift cradle and beckoned to the Doctor to join him. 'Why don't
and
Why
we not?
go down
have
a closer
the
Doctorlook
thought.
at everything?'
Nothing can be done from up here. Nothing can be do
ne from It ends soon. As he climbed into the cradle he noticed the look that p
anywhere.
between Finer and Josh. He was obviously doing what they wanted him to do. He ha
assed
persuaded the student.Josh wasn't on his side. It didn't matter.'Why did you lin
dn't
e up tell
machine
'You
theinme.'
thatFiner
direction?'
moved the
he small
said. joystick and the lift swung away from the p
latform
over
'Because
'That's
thetrue,'
out
projector.
your
systems
Finer said.
worked'There's
better'an unexplained magnetic anomaly.' He stopped
the lift

above the beginning of the pulse tunnel and looked down at the power stream. 'Se
ems power
the
above
tothe
helpbeginning
flux.'
of the pulse tunnel and looked down at the power stream. 'Se
ems power
the
'And
tothat's
helpflux.'
a bad thing is it?' Finer said. 'In your view?' He dropped the lift
a littletocreating
closer
'You're
the power
a multidimensional
stream.
void,' the Doctor explained. "That's a bit l
ike aonly
hole
blackinfinitely more destructive. You do understand what "infinitely" means
No,
Finer
don't
ofpointed
you? down
course
you don't,
at thenobody
glowingdoes.
stream
It'sofimpossible
pulses. They
to were
comprehend.'
so fast now that n
o flicker
could
The
Doctor
be seen.
gave'It
a hollow
looks laugh.
extreme'You
but mean
that it
light
didn't
beamkill
is harmless,
your testtrust
animals
me.'in fr
ont ofyou
eyes.
'Have
You
yourbeen
couldn't
spying?'
get them
Finerback
teased.
though,
'Youcould
haven't
you?been
They're
working
dead,ontrust
competitive
me.' a
investigations have you?' He dropped the lift until it was almost touching the t
dvantage
op ofDoctor
first
The
thethetried
of
pulse-tunnel
again. What's
hoops.this for?' he asked. 'Have you asked yourself tha
t? was
asked
He
Haveyourself
expecting
you
what
someyou're
evasive
doing
waffle
it for?'
about the good of mankind, but instead the
man Doctor
him
The
Finer
looked
in
went
the on.'I
eyestaken
was
and
didn't
said,
aback.
mean
'IAll
killed
to.
heI lost
could
my daughter.
mythink
temper.
ofThat's
toI shouted
saywhat
was:at
it's
'I'm
her.
for.'
sorry.'
I remember
Ievery
shouted.
word Listen to me. Listen to me you little bitch. You will listen to me an
d do you.
tell
as I You will do as I tell you, you little bitch. I remember every word.' H
e shooknever
head,
his taking his eyes from the Doctor's. 'She defied me the way they do, a
nd I And
her.
hit I hit her again and I kept on hitting her. I don't know why. It was ins
ane.like
not
I'm that. I was never like that. I was never that sort of father.' He looke
d away.
did
worse.
I I didn't call the police or anything like that. I hid what I'd done.
I dumped
her
body in that wood. That's why the machine's aligned in that direction. The m
anomaly's
agnetic
'No,'
Finer
the Doctor
said,
real
'I don't
butsaid.
itwant
was
'Itto
just
wasn't.'
have
a coincidence.'
killed my daughter.' He looked into the Doctor
's eyes
again.
The
Doctor
'You're
foundgoing
himself
backoverwhelmed
to stop me.'by pity.'I'm sorry,' he said. 'I'm genuinel
y sorry
your
'I
don't
daughter
for
care what
and for
effect
you.itButhasyouoncannot
the future,'
go backFiner
and change
said. 'I
things.'
don't care about
except
The
anything
Doctor
not said,'No,you
having done it.
misunderstand
I'm not going
me:toI'mhave
notdone
saying
it.'you shouldn't, I'm sayi
ng you It isn't possible. There may be a time line: a place where you haven't do
can't.
ne it.isn't
this
"That's
But
whatit.we're
Thisgoing
can'ttobefind
it.'out, isn't it?' Finer said and, with a sudden f
lick of thehe upended the lift cradle and the Doctor found himself falling into t
joystick,
he pulse'Stop me!' Finer was shouting from the cradle.'Stop me from doing it!'
tunnel.

there was
Barry
supervisor's
had absolutely
seenoffice
from that
the
no chance
moment of
theythewalked
quietinto
chatthe
Billsecurity
Parnaby had in mind, but h
e hadn't
expected
Barry
supervisor's
there
hadaabsolutely
was
seen
full-scale
office
from that
the
noknock-down-drag-out
moment of
chance
theythewalked
quietrow
into
chat
tothe
develop.
Bill
security
Parnaby had in mind, but h
e hadn't
expected
'It
Detective
cant be
aSergeant
full-scale
done!' Simpson
theknock-down-drag-out
security
was remaining
supervisoradmirably
row
yelled.
to develop.
'My job's
calm.
Barryatcould
stakesee
here!'
it was
a wickedlytechnique, especially against an aggressive oaf like the security supe
effective
'Two young women have had a serious attempt made on their lives,' Simpson said.
rvisor.
He wasPennick
ticking
Chloe
pointswas
offsitting
on his sipping
fingers.coffee. She looked a bit shaken and it occurre
d toofwas
that
One
Waving
Which,
What
Barry
coffee
athem
when
ruddy
it
might
Ihas
the
last
great
runnot
Doctor
looked,
off,'
knife.
behadthe
the
wasbest
said
security
classified
about
thinghis
supervisor
forassistant:
asher
an illegal
under
countered.'
she
theweapon.'
was
circumstances.
erratic rather than
and
eccentric
came from a peculiarly primitive background. Was she doing something practic
al about
all
'And
this,
I'm not
Barry
surewondered,
this famous
whileattempt
they sat
on their
aroundlives
here wasn't
arguing?something they took,
smoked,'
'Or
Was
or that
drank?'
athedig
Simpson
security
at hismurmured.
supervisorconstable?
detective
added.
Barry wondered. The young man looked
a little
the
worse for wear. If it was, it didn't register with him but it did seem to be
hit
Simpson
a palpable
on the
continued,
security'Isupervisor.
have a direct
He suddenly
link between
lookeda recent
very shifty.
suicide and an unsolve
d murder'
He
'Don't
supervisor
thumped
unfolded
piss
hisraged,
another
on
desk
myfor
boots
and
finger.
emphasis.
and tell'It's
me it's
a coincidence,
raining,' the
notsecurity
a link - let alone a dir
ect link!'
And,'
Simpson looked towards Barry and folded up a third finger, 'we have a disa
'I can't do it, Bob,' the security supervisor said. He glared at Barry. He's bee
ppearance.'
n firedBill
know.
'No,'
Byyou
rights
Parnaby
I should
said, politely.
sling him It's
off campus.'
nothing to do with security. His status
is anhasn'tmatter,
academic
'He
got a status,'the
it has nothing
security
whatsoever
supervisor
to do snarled,'and
with you.' I don't have to li
stentake
or
Barry
tohadhis
himtoword
admitforthat
anything.'
the security
He satsupervisor
back and might
foldedbehisshouting
arms. and banging bu
t he some
have
did good points. It was a relief to see that the policeman didn't seem to
think
'I
intend
so. to talk to John Finer,' Simpson said, 'as a matter of urgency.You are
goingmetoaccess to his department, Fred. You're going to dig out the access codes
give
going
The
andsecurity
you're
to do itsupervisor
now.'
kept his arms resolutely folded.

'You'll need a warrant.' He said it flatly, so Barry could see that he was confi
dent of need a warrant.' He said it flatly, so Barry could see that he was confi
'You'll
this.
dentplease,
'What
this.
Oh
ofdrugs?'
Barry
thethought.
securityThis
supervisor
is a university.
challenged.But saying it aloud didn't seem
sensible
that
'What
moment.
about
at the ones you were looking for, Fred?' Simpson suggested. 'Did you ha
ve had
warrant
'I
Barry
a wasn't
the
forparents'
that
suresearch
what
permission,'
this
by the
exchange
way?'
the was
security
about,supervisor
but it wasblustered.
certainly unsettling
security supervisor. He had unfolded his arms and was leaning forward in his cha
the
'I suppose I could check that,' Simpson said. 'While I'm waiting for the warrant
ir.
Thelooked
.'
It
detective
to Barry
constable
as though
caughttheBarry's
security
eyesupervisor
and grinnedwasa beaten.
slightlyThey
bleary
weregrin.
going
out
to what
find had happened to the Doctor after all. And maybe he could get to help hi
m too.youFifteen
Chapter
'Are
ready?' Finer said as he hurried into the control and monitoring chambe
r. 'Did
take
theyou
booster dose?' All around him the gauges and meters were registering ra
escalating
pidly
Josh
was standing
power levels
in theand
middle
fast-developing
of the floorsystem
with his
connections.
eyes closed and his arms h
eld out
from
his sides. I have been ready all along,' he said. 'I have been ready before
and
'Have
andnow.'
after
you established a full link with him? Are you focused?' Finer adjusted a m
screen so that he could see what was happening within the power stream that was
onitor
more and more coherently between the projector and the break-through zone. He co
blazing
uld seehanging
Doctor
the
there, motionless at the launch fulcrum. Everything was perfectly
waiting
'I
The
poised
amDoctor
focused.'
andwas
for
thesuspended,
moment of balanced
criticality.
by the power, held upright and spread-eagled
in the of the first of the pulse-tunnel hoops. There was no pain. There was hard
centre
ly any sensation at all. The static noise had gone. The throbbing pulse had go
physical
ne. He at
almost
waspeace. At the end of the tunnel he could see the kaleidoscopic multipl
multiplying, the flat dark blocks and turning trees, dividing round themselves a
es
nd whirlinginto vortices and splitting and reforming and twisting and rolling. It
downwards
mesmerising
was a
display. He could feel himself beginning to drift with the patterns.
feel
He could
the possibility of being one with the patterns. Perhaps that would be best.
should
Perhapslethehis consciousness be taken into sleep. Perhaps he could lose himself
in sleep.it would be easier to face what was about to happen if he didn't have to
Perhaps
was
faceabout
whatto happen. Again he thought he saw the TARDIS, not a multiplying TARDI
S butfaithful
one
just TARDIS, one solid, unshakeable constant in a nightmare of chaos. It
comforting.
was
It was comforting to think his beloved TARDIS was there at the last.

Are you sure you're ready?' Finer said. 'Everything's balanced. We're getting cl
Are you sure you're ready?' Finer said. 'Everything's balanced. We're getting cl
ose.'
Finer glanced at him and frowned. 'Is there a problem, Josh? Now's not a good ti
ose.'
me towill
your
'It
'Stay
grip.'
losebe,himI Josh,'
with
will be,Finer
one urged.
will be,'Concentrate.
nothing.' We have to know what happens to
moment
'Too
him late,'
athethehits
Joshthat
said.
break-through
'His being is
zone.'
gone. He's lost. Not gone before but lost.'
Finer looked back at the monitor. The Doctor was gone. He looked at the power re
They were almost off the scale and the rate of increase was building. Unbelievab
adings.
ly, the were running out of control. Peripheral links flashed out, popping and s
systems
electric
howering
'I
listened
sparks,
to thespitting
Time Lord.'
tiny Josh
short-out
openedarcs
hisofeyes.
blue'He
lightning.
was right. The Time Lor
d knew
he
Who
was
wasthinking
what
right? What
about.'
Time Lord? What are you talking about?' Finer tried to trip
the dampers
dampers.
The
systemLordwere
Time
is not
no more
tripping.
and I Finer
am Lordtried
of Time,'
again.Josh
The overload
said.
was already too g
reat would
they
and not kick in. 'Give me a hand with this. I'm losing it.' Closing down
chortled.'Everything
sale,'Josh
Finer
tried to cut themust
power.
go.'With the gauges gone there was no way to tell if t
his wasany effect. If the power was dropping the dampers should work. He tried t
having
o trip
one
lastthem
time. They still would not kick in. Nothing seemed to be having any eff
'I am the universe!'Josh exulted.'I tell them to die and they die.Joan Cox die.
ect.
Pennickwent
Chloe
Finer
die.forThere
the last
is only
resort:
me! There
his nuclear
shall beoption.
only me!'
He tried to flip the machine
's polarity
and
reverse the energy flow. When that failed he was left with no choice. He had
the
to machine
destroy before it destroyed the university and possibly most of southern Eng
land.sorry
was,
'I'm
itAswas
itJosh!'
going Finer
to leave
yelled.
a big"There's
hole where
no way
the out!
department
I havehad
to use
been.the autodestr
'TooDoctor
uct!'
The
late, and
too the
latepulse
and still
tunneltoomoved
late,'Josh
togetherchanted.
through the hoops which folded ba
ck intoInone
hoop.
the time which was no time the Doctor saw the multidimensional void mar
k reality
with
a contagion spot which spread and sucked the possibilities out of the time
'I'm sorry Josh,' Finer repeated. 'It's my fault. I've killed you too.' But then
lines.
hehecould
foundnot remember where the control for the autodestruct was. But then he fo
und henot remember where the remote control was. But then he found he could not
could
whatdoor
remember
The
it was
hadhebeen
could
solid
notand
remember.
unmoving.
An Leela
icy, black
was about
wind to
rushed
lookthrough
for somehim.
other ent
ranceshaman's
the
to
stronghold when, for no reason she could see, the whole doorway sta
rted to She stood watching it slowly spinning. It was not a normal doorway. She
revolve.
did not

trust it. Normal doorways did not spin. It looked like a teaser trap: the sort o
f trap prey
entered
out of curiosity. Did this shaman think she was a fool? Chloe had told h
er of theShe had said it would work only for those it recognised. How was it tha
doorway.
t itrecognise
to
trust
seemed
it. Normal
her doorways
suddenly?did
Wasnot
thespin.
shamanIttempting
looked like
her?a teaser trap: the sort o
f trap prey
entered
out of curiosity. Did this shaman think she was a fool? Chloe had told h
er of theShe had said it would work only for those it recognised. How was it tha
doorway.
t itrecognise
to
She
made
seemed
up her
hermind.
suddenly?
ThereWas
wasthe
no real
shamanchoice,
tempting
andher?
this was wasting time too. A
lert forshe stepped lightly into the hole. She pirouetted quickly but there was
danger,
no threat
that
she could see coming from behind her. The doorway continued to spin and she
with
walked
it. More confident and impatient to speed things up she pushed at the glass
ofinher.
Leela
front
wasThefurious
doorwaywith
stopped
herself.
spinning
She had
abruptly.
sprung the trap. If she had not touched
it shehave slipped through undetected. She had been caught like an unthinking fo
could
od animal.
She
looked around and tried to decide where the weakest point of the trap might
be. Without
warning
it all started to move again. This time Leela was careful not to touch i
t, and
the
holewhen
opened up she skipped out of it and into the first room of the strongho
She dropped immediately into a fighting crouch with her knife held low, her free
ld.
extended.
hand
The shaman must be very confident to have trapped and released her sim
ply as a
demonstration
of his superiority, she thought. If he was underestimating her tha
t was a and that was good. If she was to fight him on his own ground she would n
mistake
ot make
same
mistake.
the She knew the power his murderous acolyte, the Tesh called Josh Ran
dall,first
call
The
on.
couldroom was empty. Ahead of her on the other side of it she could see the
moving.
floor was
She did not intend to let them play games with her again. Beyond the mov
ing floor
there
was a door: a normal door. Above it there was a crude representation of a
man Doctor
stairway.
The
and a That
saw there
was thewaswaynoshe
reality.
would The
go. possible realities were not reality. No
thingtook
and
camewhat the Doctor had been and made it nothing. He flew apart in nothing.
gathered
The
Reality
door was
to the
operated
void and
withthere
a push-bar.
was one Despite
dark flash&
her best efforts Leela could not
open it The push-bar rattled and the door squeaked. She abandoned stealth and k
quietly.
ickedstairwell
door
The
open,
the plunging
was empty.
through
As she
withpeered
the knife
downheld
it, lights
wider and
camehigher.
on. She could see th
e stairs
went
round and round and down and down, deep into the ground until they more or
vanished from sight. Was the Doctor all the way down there? How was she going to
less
Nofind
'Doctor?!'
The
wonder
Doctor
him?the
sheshaman
saw
shoutedwasfolding
nothing
down
so into
confident.
into
thethe
echoing
Hemultidimensional
haddepths.
all this'Doctor
tovoids
hidewhere
in.the
as
areline
you?!'
of si
became infinite
ngularities
'Doctor?!'
Leelaand
shouted
thereagain.
was oneBelow
darkher
flash&
she saw the most distant of the lights
started
had
to go out. It looked as though the shaft was filling with darkness like
black water
rising
in a well. She looked harder. The shaft was filling with darkness. It was
blank
the same
blackness that she had seen in the wood and in the laboratory of Ghostbust
er Bazzer.
She
could feel the icy tug of it as it raced upwards. It was flooding up towards
Leela
her. turned and fled back into the top room of the stronghold. She saw at once
that the

doorway had stopped spinning. The shaman had trapped her and sent his darkness t
o kill
in
doorway
the worst
her
had stopped
way, thespinning.
way of the
Thecoward,
shaman had
the trapped
way of the
herTesh.
and sent his darkness t
o fierce
Ain
kill
the worst
herinstinctive
way, theanger
way ofsurged
the coward,
throughthe
her.wayHotofrage
the warmed
Tesh. her. If she was t
o die in it would not be alone. This shaman and his Tesh would die with her. It
darkness
would worthy
death
be a of a warrior of the tribe of Sevateem. When she killed them the Tes
h would
know
that she was Leela of the Sevateem and that no Tesh was her equal. She must
Where
find would
them. they be? They would be hiding below their darkness. Flank an ambush
and it a trap. Even with death only moments away the warrior-trainers' rules na
becomes
gged at How
memory.
her could she get to the shaman and his Tesh? The moving floor was still
Was
moving.
that the way? Had they sent the death darkness because they heard the noisy
door?sent
they
Had it that way because they thought that was the way she was coming? The
floor must go somewhere. She went to it.Would she be flanking their ambush or wa
moving
s she into it? She stepped on to the moving floor. When it speeded up and got
walking
steeper
found
And
there
sheshewas one
no longer
dark flash
flash&
afraid.
and it was still unsatisfied, still unfinished. Som
e stubborn
reality
The
were
from
TARDIS
leading
eternity
waswas
holding
toand
there
eternity
inall
in the
eternity.
existence
andmoment
Theback
wherefrom
TARDIS
the
wasthe
singularities
where
voids.
eternity was nothing and eve
The TARDIS was poised where the unmediated time machine had driven the action an
rything.
d nonreaction
"balanced
The
*TARDISthe
Doctor
through
held
and
imbalance
the
the
thepulse
line.
time
andtunnel
lines
absorbed
and the
moved
multiverses
together
excess.through
and on one
to annihilation.
hoop which folded for
wardhoops.
the
into The Doctor was suspended, balanced by the power, held upright and spr
in the centre of the first of the pulse-tunnel hoops. There was no pain. There w
ead-eagled
as hardly
any
physical sensation at all. The static noise had gone. The throbbing pulse ha
d gone.
was
almost
He at peace. At the end of the tunnel he could see the kaleidoscopic mul
multiplying,
tiples
whirling
and
downwards
the flat
intodark
vortices
blocksand
andsplitting
turning trees,
and reforming
dividingand
round
twisting
themselves
and ro
lling.
was
a mesmerising
It
display. He could feel himself beginning to drift with the pat
terns.feel
could
He the possibility of being one with the patterns. Perhaps that would be
Perhaps
best. he should let his consciousness be taken into sleep. Perhaps he could lo
se sleep.
in
himselfPerhaps it would be easier to face what was about to happen if he didn
't have
face
whattowas about to happen. Again he thought he saw the TARDIS, not a multipl
yingjust
but
TARDIS
one faithful TARDIS, one solid, unshakeable constant in a nightmare of
chaos.
was
comforting.
It
It was comforting to think his beloved TARDIS was there at the l
The Doctor jolted awake. The TARDIS was there blocking the pulse stream. He fell
ast.
into
forward
a heap. Now there was physical sensation. The static noise was back. The th
pulse was back. His hands and knees and forehead hurt.
robbing

He was on the floor of the cavern. Rats scuttled away from him. He got to his fe
et. Thewas hovering just above the floor. It was balanced more or less where he
TARDIS
had been He hurried to it. 'Hullo, dear old thing,' he said. 'Come to save the
suspended.
clambered
He
day?'
was on
He the
through
floortheofdoor.
the cavern.
'Come toRats
savescuttled
all theaway
daysfrom
in fact.'
him. He got to his fe
et. Thewas hovering just above the floor. It was balanced more or less where he
TARDIS
had been He hurried to it. 'Hullo, dear old thing,' he said. 'Come to save the
suspended.
clambered
The
and
control
day?'
TARDIS
the
Hesystem
semisentient
through
was which
functioning
thehedoor.
hadastried
'Come
the to
transdimensional
save Finer
tell
all thehisdays
containment
machine
in fact.'
was so dangerously l
acking.
had
beenShe
trying to repair the weakness in the multiverse just as the Doctor had
toldwhen
do
herthey
to first arrived. When the damage worsened she had drained the auxilia
ry powerShe was inhibited from using her main supply so now she was drawing power
banks.
induction
like an coil from Finer's machine, and she was focusing where the damage was f
ocused.
was
The
reversing
Doctor
Shewatched
everything.
the observation screen. The TARDIS had returned to the wood.
He sawstruggling in the time-disrupted maelstrom. He saw her rolling on the grou
Leela
nd,the
in
The
caught
on-screen
brambles,
image
flailing
changed.
helplessly
The TARDIS
withwasherback
knife.
in the cavern. It was right at
beginning of the pulse tunnel. It was difficult to tell from the screen, but it
the
looked
be
Leela
hardfound
toup against
the ridethedown
front
intoofthe
thedepths
rogue of
projector.
the stronghold oddly exhilarating.
As sheoff the slowing floor she knew she had made the right choice. Here there w
leapt
as none
the
She
deathofdarkness
trotted
along the
thatbrightly
had beenlitflooding
corridor.
up As
theshe
stair
wentshaft.
she kicked open all the
all
doors
thetorooms, but none of them gave her any clue about where the shaman and his
hiding.
Finally,
Tesh were
Nor
in awasroom
there
nearanythesign
endofofwhere
the corridor,
they wereshe
holding
foundthe
a huge
Doctor.
screen on whic
h were manymoving images. Among them she saw a set of pictures showing a control
different
roomshaman
the
where and the Tesh were scuffling and creeping about. She peered at the pic
looking
tures,
She
turned
foraway
someand
waysearched
to identify
the work
wheredesk,
the control
pushingroom
and prodding
was.
at buttons and
Finding nothing, she went back and peered at the screen again. It was then that
switches.
ashesort
noticed
of flickering reflected into the control room, a pulsing of power. Faintl
y, in the of her senses, she could hear and feel that pulsing which was in the
background
Shethe
picture.
At
mustendfollow
of thethecorridor
pulsingthere
she decided,
were cruder
if she
tunnels.
wantedLeela
to find
could
them.
feel the pulse
stronger
The
getting
Doctoraswas
shevery
lopedcareful
on through
to avoid
them.any contact with the power beam as he left
the stepped
and
TARDIS down on to the cavern floor. Finer's projector had narrowed the brea
zone to a point which was still narrowing and closing, and there was already a s
k-through
effect reflecting from the back of the TARDIS. Some of the excess was dissipatin
catter
g into but
cavern
the a number of intensifying streams were forming feedback links with the
Sooner
projector.
or later, or perhaps in this instance sooner and later, the projector was
destroy
going toitself and collapse all these tunnels and caverns, leaving nothing to ma
rk hurried
passing
He
theirother
to the
thancrane
a biglift
depression
and climbed
in theinto
surface
the cradle.
of the He
university's
had to makegrounds.
sure th
ere were bystanders
innocent
no
involved and give Finer and Josh a chance to escape the dest
ruction.
least
now,Atthanks to the TARDIS, it was destruction from which there was a chanc
e toafter
escape.
and
couple
ofProviding
a
abortive
hebounces
hurried,
gotofthecourse.
cradleHesoaring
fiddledupwards.
with the lift controls

Stopping the upward momentum was not as easy as he had expected, however, and he
the
hadgallery
passed viewing platform before he found the correct control. Crouching just
roof
again
cavern
Stopping
belowofand
the
floor
the
the
wascavern,
before
upward
almostmomentum
heback
setonthewas
could
thelift
stop
not
it.going
as easy
downwards
as he had expected, however, and he
the
hadgallery
passed viewing platform before he found the correct control. Crouching just
roof
again
cavern
Leela
belowofwas
and
the
floor
thevery
wascavern,
before
almost
calm as
heback
setonrose
could
she
thestop
thelift
onit.
the
going
platform
downwards
towards the place where she knew
was
theskulking.
enemy
She flexed her arms and practised routine killing strokes with her
could
knife.seeShehow this travelling device would work and she knew her most vulnerable
would
momentbe when it arrived in its place. Above her the hatch opened and she stretc
hed did
tried
She
uptoand
not
getwait
a look
foratthetheplatform
positions
to lock
of theinto
shaman
place,
andbut
theleapt
Tesh.into the control
did
rooma half-somersault
and
away from the hatch. She was in a fighting crouch with her
protected
back
by a wall before she saw that the shaman was already dead and the Tesh
ready
'No,'
was not
to said.
he
fight 'The
her like
way of
a warrior.
the warrior? I don't think so.' He gestured at her wi
th aissmall
wand.
'It
'There's
'There
what
no time
Iare
would
muchcheck
to
expect
easier
out
from
ways.'
these
a Tesh,'
Tesh,'shehesaid
said.contemptuously.
But you really don't like th
em you'll
So
do you?be glad to know they're going to disappear along with you and along wi
everything else.'Again he waved the wand at her.'This is not a wand, you sad pri
th
mitiveany
It's
'Not
a remote
you.
more,activator.
Josh,' theIt's
Doctor
thesaid
end from
of thetheuniverse.'
entrance to the side gallery. 'No
w it'smore
much
a localised ending.' He nodded at Leela and quickly touched his finger t
o his
to
No
silence
it's
lips
not!'
her.Josh contradicted him angrily. 'You know that's not true. You know
lie
Beckoning
youtocan't
me.toI Leela,
have evolved
the Doctor
beyondsaid,'Did
you, beyond
you kill
your Professor
comprehension.'
Finer, Josh?' He put
toa his
'He
The
finger
waslips
Doctor
a killer,'Josh
pointed,
again andandgestured
said.'And
Leela went
toheLeela
into
wanted
to to
the
hurry.
gallery.
kill me.'
Below her she could see the
aTARDIS
What
'He
But
I'm
'If
'Wrong!'Josh
'Wait!'
blaze
was
the
you
didthe
inyoustrange
of
just
don't
only
press
Doctor
dothat
another
one
raised
want
towhosaid
light.
him?'
to
button
the
rat.
isn't
die,
remote
urgently.
the
Igoing
Josh,
doput
Doctor
you
control.'Pity
darkness
you
toWait!
Josh?'
asked.
die,'Josh
will
You're
in his
the
die,'
Doctor
you'll
said.'I'm
the
right,
mind.'
Doctor
suggested.
never
ofthe
course
said.
know
next.
how
you're
I'm
wrong.'
the
right.
only'Gi
ve us atime to prepare ourselves? What's a little time in an eternity?'
little

'How long do you want?' Josh asked. 'Don't be greedy though. When your time is u
p, your
time
The
Doctor
is up.'shrugged. 'I don't know,' he said. 'How about you count to a hundred?
'Joshcourse
'Of
glarednot."
at him.'Are
The Doctor
you shook
mockinghisme?'
head emphatically. 'I wouldn't dare. It's
just that
we're
little more than children to you after all. It seems an appropriate way to
Josh
time.'
end frowned
our
for a moment, then said,'Very well. I'll count to a hundred. One, t
'wo,
The three
Doctor walked out of the chamber and then sprinted down the gallery. 'In the
Leela,'
cradle,he urged and jumped in after her. 'Hold tight,' he said, and jammed the
liftdownwards
its
into
motion. 'We have about twenty seconds before he gets bored and pre
sseslift
Hullo
button.'
about
'Never,'
The
that
Doctor,'
me.'
the Doctor
cradle
Leela
crashed
protested.
said.
into'Ithe
thought
'Ifloor
wouldyou
ofnever
mightcavern
the
dohave
that.'
forgotten
and
Leela and the Doctor st
aggered
the
TARDIS
to which was already beginning to make small destabilising movements, an
d heaved inside. The Doctor pointed to the screen. The TARDIS had returned to
themselves
the wood. twenty. Ready or not,'Josh said,'here I come.' He was smiling as he pr
Nineteen,
essed
On
button.
thethe
screen in the TARDIS Leela watched herself in the wood. She watched as sh
e gotthe
from
up ground. She watched as she put salve on her scratches. She watched as s
he made
her
mindupnot to wait there in the wood for the Doctor, but rather to set off for
instead.
'I
'It's
'That
'Yes,'
Leela
thedocampus
not
tricky,'
is
said,
theme,'
She
understand,'
Doctor
'We
watched
Leela
the
aresaid.
Doctor
said,
inside
herself
shepointing
agreed.
said.
the
walk
TARDIS
slowly
at but
herand
departing
the
deliberately
TARDISfigure
stayedaway.
onthere
the in
screen.
the wood. S
o wearewere
there
We
'No.'
all
still
thethere,'
time inLeela
the TARDIS.'
persisted. The TARDIS went back to the wood. We went
back in
wood
to the TARDIS. We are still there. Here. We are here before what is going t
o happen
has
No,'
happened.'
the Doctor said. The TARDIS allowed the multiverse to renew, but there was
some local
damage.
Leela
hesitated.
The time 'You
line mean
we were
theyonwere
doesn't
all killed?
exist anyEveryone
more.' we met was killed?' I
mean itlooked
never
Leela
happened.'
relieved. They all survived.'

Only,'you
'They
'Are
Good,'
never
Leela
the
saying
Doctor
existed.'
said.'Because
wesaid,
have 'until
imagined
I remember
weit?'
nextit
No,
step
happening
I'moutnotofsaying
and TARDIS.
the
sothat.'
do you.'
Then we shall for
getdon't
because
TIn
Leela
what
them
wasknow,'
they
way
silent
then?'
never
theforDoctor
existed.
Leela
a moment,
demanded.
admitted.
Notthinking.
in that way'
She turned away from the screen.'Was it
opened
The
youDoctor
whothe turned
doorwayoff
to the observation
shaman's stronghold
screen and
to went
let metoin?'
the control
she asked.
console. 'I
might
'I
Leela
The
think
think
Doctor
have
said,
youyouactivated
done
beamed.'When
'It
areis
that
teasing
some
yourself
the
have
sort
me,'of
TARDIS
you
while
Leela
trick
and
known
youyou
said.
set
meher
were
ever
have
tosearching
to do that?'
played
leave.
ontheme.'
For
aplace
he asked.
moment
fornothing
me.' happe
'There's
ned.
That's
The
ragenothad
a the
reason
gone
sameand
forasthere
everything,'
a purpose
was nothing.
ofhecourse."
said,
A black,
waitingcold
forblankness.
something He
to sat
happen.
staring
body
at the
of his daughter. It took a long time for him to see her. To focus and to re
ally This
her.
see was not his daughter. There was nothing of his daughter in this lifele
ss shell.he whispered. "Oh my God. Oh my God.' He lifted her into his arms. Oh my
Mandy?'
held
God.'herHefor a long moment and then he laid her on the couch and went to the tel
ephone andWhen
'Emergency:
dialled.
'Police.'
which
theyservice
answered
do he
yousaid:
require?'the
My name is
impersonal
John Finer
voice
andsaid.
I've murdered my
For
daughter.'
a moment nothing happened and then the console began its familiar movement a
nd this
TARDIS
In
the began
case it
itscould
familiar
be said
songthat
and what
it settheoffTARDIS
again.did had a reason and a purpos
e andthe
were
Barry
theysame thing.
Hitchins
leant forward
Or it could
and looked
all havesincerely
been a coincidence,'
interested. Bill
the Parnaby
Doctor said.
was a
the
starfield
in of pop philosophy and he wasn't cheap. "So you don't think time travel
actually
"Longevity
is
possible,
depends on
Professor
memory,'Parnaby?'
Parnaby said. Not only is there no point in livin
g for three
hundred
years if all you can remember is yesterday but also, and more to the poi
nt, know
you
'Memory
how of
doyou've
a goldfish,
lived three
me,' Hitchins
hundred years
said.without
At leastanythat's
memorywhat
of Ithem?'
tell them when
next
When
I wake
morning."
the
uplaughter had died down, Parnaby said. Time travel is like longevity. Ho
w can you
travel
through time without a memory of the time through which you have travelle
d?

You wouldn't
And
even if itknow
wereitpossible
was happening.'
what would
'Youbemean
the we
point
could
of be
it?time travellers ourse
lves?'know,
don't
'I Barry,' Parnaby twinkled. 'I can't remember.' Professor Bill Parnaby
gentlemen!'
Hitchins
ladies and
saidBarry
loudly, gesturing towards his guest. The studio audience applauded
Tommy
dutifully.
reached up. 'Boring, pretentious little bugger,' he said, and turned off t
he bar TVjust
'You're
set.
'Because
he'sjealous,'
rich, famous
Meg and
said.good-looking? What have I got to be jealous about
'You right,'
?'
'Still
Joan
'Doh!'
'All
forgot
said,'And
not enough.'
Tommy
brilliant,'
said.
Joan
Chloe
said,
thinks
Ralphhe's
fishing
said.
asex
packonofa tarot
stick.'cards from her case.'Gypsy Rose
Cox began
for
She
is opento lay
business.
Whoout
wants
cards.
theirA tall
fortune
young
told?'
man with a shaved head wandered over to
and
Do
'No
'Excellent,'
'You
'I
thedon't
Icharge,'
watched
tableknow.
have
don't
tobelieve
for
cross
she
he
I'm
asaid.
said,
moment.
yourthis
in
interested
sitting
palmstuff
with
down.
in
dosilver?'
the
you?'
wholeRalph
he asked.
parapsychology
asked.
thing. I reckon there
could be to it. Maybe some-one'll get around to doing a decent scientific study
something
*Ioffered
Leela
of*can*it.'
gethis
came
Heaback
hand.'Josh
grant
tofor
theit.'
Randall.deck
control
I might
looking
havepensive.
a go myself
The Doctor
if
could see she ha
d been about what he had told her and that she was ready to challenge it. He s
thinking
miled to He loved a good argument. And, shaming as it was to admit it, he did ra
himself.
ther enjoy
teasing
Leela. 'You look ready to dazzle and confound me with clear-eyed and unc
logic,'nodded
luttered
Leela
he suggested.
seriously.'I have been studying a book in the library and I can say
certain
for
that you were completely wrong in what you told me.' She paused for effe
ct. "Those
trees
were nothing like scrub oaks,' she said.