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Doctor Steinman stared blankly at the wardrobe before her. For almost two months now she had been running tests, analysing data readouts, attending progress meetings and there was still nothing. Absolutely nothing. The object clearly wasn’t simply a Victorian-style wardrobe, it had to be much more than that. There was simply no other explanation. The structure could not have been of Earth origin. There, she had been thinking it for days but now she was sure of it. The Wardrobe was alien. From outer space. Yes indeed. That was going to go down well when she presented her findings to the board of directors first thing in the morning. It was almost three am and everybody else from this section of the complex had gone home. Only the security detail remained and they were being about as useful as ever, sat in their little office cramming as many donuts into their worthless mouths as possible. Watching Wrestling when they thought Steinman was observing them … and the Days of Our Lives omnibus when they thought she wasn’t. She sighed and turned off her computer. There was nothing else that could be done. Maybe if she could actually manage to open the thing she might get some answers but the doors simply would not budge for love, money or a giant tow truck they’d brought in especially. She sighed again, drank what remained of her now ice-cold coffee and picked up her handbag. She almost made it to the door when a thought suddenly struck her. Where it had come from she had no idea. It was a strange thought. Gamma particles? Why on Earth would gamma particles suddenly pop into her head? It was a silly thought she told herself, but then again. Maybe if she used the gamma reciprocator in the lab and concentrated a high-intensity beam at the Wardrobe, that might just break the seal on the doors, allowing the contents to escape. To escape? That was a strange notion. But then again, this was the best she’d been able to muster in two months, so she supposed she should probably give it a go. She had nothing to loose afterall. The Gamma reciprocator roared into life as she activated it and wheeled into the centre of the lab, positioning the laser so that it was pointing directly at the locking mechanism between the two brass handles. The beam needed to be fired exactly here otherwise the effects of the temporal-transfusion-field could not be nullified. Steinman stopped. Now, she knew that was nonsense. Why was she having such strange notions? She stared at the Wardrobe. ‘Are you doing this?’ She said quietly. ‘Are you planting these ideas in my head?’ No, she was being silly. It was inspiration, that’s all. She’d been awake for too long and she was stressed. This would work, she knew it. She activated the machine, aiming the beam right at the small keyhole. The gamma reciprocator began to shake and spat a few sparks out as the beam intensified of its own accord. It shouldn’t be able to do that. The machine reached critical level, alarms sounded all around the lab, alerting the guards who came bounding up to see what on Earth was going on. ‘What have you done?!’ The first guard shouted furiously. ‘Miss, we’ve got to evacuate!’ The second guard said, his mouth still full of pastry. ‘COME ON!’ But Steinman didn’t move … she didn’t want to move. She was transfixed. The Wardrobe was glowing, the doors were juddering, the lock was rattling as the gamma reciprocator finally exploded. Steinman kept her balance, even when the security guards were knocked over. She stared at the object as the doors flew open and the most evil, most bone-chilling cackle erupted from inside. What had she done? A menacing green light poured out of the inside of the Wardrobe where a figure stood, silhouetted against the sickly green background.
‘Thank you, Erika Steinman,’ A voice cackled. ‘Thank you so very much!’ The figure roared as it extended its hands. Green lightning shot out of its palms, striking the security guards in the heads. Doctor Steinman screamed as the lightning sucked the life energy out of the two men, leaving only grisly, shrivelled skeletons where the two guards had been. ‘LIFE! LIFE ENERGY!’ The voice screamed in apparent ecstasy. ‘This time,’ the voice rasped out of the darkness, as two green eyes glowed brightly. ‘There will be no last minute victory.’ Steinman screamed again as the figure raised its hand towards her. ‘There will be no second chances,’ the voice seethed. ‘There will only be my victory!’ the figure cried as the life-sapping lightning struck Steinman and leeched her remaining years into The Manager’s awaiting palm. Not many, but it would suffice for now, long enough for him to find and destroy The Dr. ‘There will be NO ESCAPE!’ The Manager cackled as the doors of his RETARDIS slammed closed once more. VROOOOOOOOOOOOK! VROOOOOOOOOOOOK! VROOOOOOOOOOOOK! VROOOOOOOOOK! VROOOOOOOOOOK! VROOOOOOOOOOK! VROOOOOOOOOOK! VROOOOOOOOOOK!