The TARDIS arrives on the planet Manussa much to the Doctor s surprise, because Tegan has mysteriously set

the co-ordinates. But Tegan, once again a member of the TARDIS crew, is not her own boss. An unsuspecting medium for the sinister Mara, she enables the evil exile to return to his home planet. On Manussa the ten-yearly celebration of the Mara s banishment is about to take place. Only the Doctor realises that this could in fact mark the spectacular revival of a reign of terror but no one will heed his warning.

DOCTOR WHO SNAKEDANCE TERRANCE DICKS Based on the BBC television serial by Christopher Bailey by arrangement with the British Broadcasting Corporation Number 83 in the Doctor Who Library A Target Book Published in 1984 By the Paperback Division of W. H. Allen & Co. PLC

A Target Book Published in 1984 By the Paperback Division of W.H. Allen & Co. PLC 44 Hill Street, London W1X 8LB First published in Great Britain by W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd 1984 Novelisation copyright © Terrance Dicks 1984 Original Script copyright © Christopher Bailey, 1983 Doctor Who series copyright © British Broadcasting Corporation 1983, 1984 Printed and bound in Great Britain by Anchor Brendon Ltd, Tiptree, Essex ISBN 0 426 19457 8 The BBC producer of Snakedance was John Nathan Turner, the director was Fiona Cummings This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

Voice of the Mara. The Becoming of the Mara . Death Sentence 10. The Sign of the Mara 6. Nightmare 2 . Dojjen 12. The Escape 11. Cave of the Snake 3. Dinner with Ambril 7. The Origin of Evil 9. Hall of Mirrors 5. Dojjen s Journey 8.Contents 1. 4.

He was dressed in the fawn frock-coat and striped trousers of an Edwardian cricketer. fair-haired youngish man with a pleasant. Now in his fifth incarnation he was a sl ight. Around Dojjen's neck hung a gem-s tone pendant. The Doctor gave her a distracted glance. She was awaiting the Doctor's reaction to her new outfit. open face. a bluea ndwhite striped top with a white collar.1 Nightmare On a rocky hillside between two great jagged stones sat Dojjen the Snakedancer. A gaunt. it wasn't the Doctor's appearance but Nyssa's own which concerned her.' he repeated.' 'Shall I wake Tegan?' Tegan was their other companion. Nyssa gave him a 'what's-the-use' look. 'Where are we. The effect of the new outfit was both colourful and striking but it didn't make the slightest impression on him. 'Well?' she asked. he wore simple leather garments as sun-bleached and serviceable as his own wrinkled brown skin. emerald eye s glinting. and there was a fresh sprig of celery in his buttonhole. now sound asleep in her room. The crystal glowed.' The Doctor studied the instruments. Thrust into the ground at his side was his forked Snakedancer's stick. then?' 'I don't know. white-haired old man. 'We are not where we are supposed to be!' Nyssa came into the control room in time to hear the Doctor's words. 'It's not a navigational malfunction. 'We'r e not where we're supposed to be. Nyssa looked expectantly at the Doctor. At the moment. the blue crystal of the Snakedancers. staring wide-eyed into infinity. He sat cross-legged. She felt no great surprise. In Nyssa's experience. the TARDIS was very seldom where it was supposed to be. quite motionless. A live snake was coiled around its head. forked tongue flickering in and out. . and rainbow-striped skirt.

no! You remember. thought Nyssa. Somehow it seemed unsporting to get her sleeping friend into trouble. But the Doctor was clearly put out by the error. 98% Terran normal. She stirred a little.' 'I can. Type 314S. Someone's been playing about. Doctor. Present Economy: Subsistence Agriculture and Tourism!' 'Former Homeworld?' interrupted the Doctor. Who was it? ' Nyssa remembered quite clearly. It was Tegan!' Tegan slept. no. Who set these co-ordinates?' 'You did. though.' 'No. that's something. 'Planet G 139901 Kb in the Scrampus System. Nyssa. And stranger still that both empires should be swallowed up in barbarism. She read out the data. Former Homeworld Sumaran Empire: Destroyed. Third planet in Federation System. 'Manussan Empire. Atmosphere. Status Colony. Tegan was dreaming.' He looked accusingly a t her. Gravity. The Doctor was checking instruments. how did we get here?' 'There's more data.' Strange that one insignificant planet should be the homeworld for two mighty empires. 'This is serious.' 'No. . 'Let's see where we are'. Inhabited. She could see Tegan reading out the long string of co-ordinate numbers.' 'Well at least we can breathe the air. there isn't any danger. I was trying to teach you and Tegan to read the star charts.' 'Yes. One of you actually read out the co-ordinates for me to set. Her face twisted and she muttered incoherentl y. It's puzzling. 'I can't really remem ber.' 'The question is.' 'Former Homeworld: Sumaran Empire.'No need. 'You look different. Doctor. 96% Terran normal.' Nyssa came to join him at the console and punched up navigational data on a read out screen. Very puzzling. Former Homeworld Manussan Empire: Destroyed. Local name: Manussa. the other one.

handsome young man. eyes glowing red. The area around the cave had been carved to resemble the head of a snake. thought Lon. It was the dream . He was occupying the finest guest suite in the Palace of Manussa. were reflected in this very room. low tables and chairs and an astonishing variety of art objects from all periods of the planet's long and colourful history. Slowly and relucta ntly she began walking towards the cave mouth. the Lord Lon strolled out of his bedchamber and stood gazing disdainfully around him. since Lon was the favoured son of the Federator of the Three Worlds. looked up. Beautifully carved from crystalline rock by some ancient. The mouth of the snake formed the cave entrance . bony jaws opening and closing angrily. but the workmanship was good . Lon exami ned it with languid interest.In her dream. The snake skull grew immense. and Tegan felt small. It was primitive of course. and gave a gasp of horror. He strolled indolently across the room. He reached out and picked it up. Lon yawned and stretched.not surprisingly. wide-eyed with terror. He was a tall. Wrapping the scarlet lounging-robe about his body. wa s the skull of a giant snake. . tapestries. reclining couches. There was something strangely fascinating about it. Tegan screamed. There were fur rugs. There. The room was luxuriously. and sank down onto a couch. even opulently furnished in a bewildering variety of styles. Manussa had been the ruling planet of two great star-empires. . Tegan's scream sent the Doctor and Nyssa running to her room. turning the statuette over in his hands. 'The dream. a jumble of innumerable cultural influences. looming over her. filling the entire cave. drawn by some irresistible power. They found her sitting upright in bed. wellfe d look of one born to wealth and privilege . she stood before a cave. alone and afraid. with the sleek. what's the matter? What happened?' asked Nyssa. t he statuette was in the form of a coiled snake with a jewel in its mouth. . Lon lay back on the couch. still querulous and disorientated by the journey from Federation Home-world. On a table close by stood a statuette. . The planet and its people were a melting-pot. 'Tegan. Most of them. She passed inside. wall-hangings . and it was now a colony planet of the all-powerful Federation of Three Worlds. long-dead craftsman.' . It loomed very large. Somehow the skull was hideously alive.

What dream?' 'I can't remember. 'You have. and Tegan's eyes filled with tears. 'Tegan. 'You're upsetting her. that's nonsense.' said Nyssa. . you're awake no w. She was a n intelligent. almost accusing. practised charm of an experienced consort. but over the years she had learned not to show it .' 'But you've had this particular dream before?' His tone was sharp. then. 'Stop it. Her jewelled head-dress looked very like a crown. A charm polishe d by countless state visits to provincial cities.' said the Doctor quietly. you're not dressed yet! Ambril will be here in a moment. Nyssa was alarmed. 'It doesn't matter Tegan.' 'She means it. Tanha had the gentle.' Tegan shook her head.' .' 'But the feelings. I think so. This was the L ady Tanha. haven't you?' 'Yes . 'Leave her alone. it wasn't somehow. and endless demonstrations of folk dancing and native art.' said Nyssa. I can never remember. mother. 'Lon. Doctor. . It was only a dream. I hadn't forgotten.' 'Well. The images fade so quickly. Tegan. we must make an effort. Doctor. He promised to show us the caves this morning. 'No. 'And I think she could be right. innumerable official receptions and civic ceremonies. Tanha was frequently bored to extinction by her official duties. the feelings of fear remain?' Tegan nodded. Lon looked up as a handsome middle-aged woman i n sumptuous rose-coloured robes came into the guest suite.' Still toying with the statuette.' The Doctor ignored her.'The dream?' said the Doctor sharply.' For a moment she looked almost haunted. Indeed she was a queen in all but name. It was more than just a dream. Lon's mother. had you forgotten?' Lon yawned.unlike Lon. quietly determined woman.' 'Always exactly the same dream?' 'Yes. wife of the Federator. She looked at her so n's lounging-robe in mild dismay. 'No. somewhat trapped in her never-ending role as the great lady.

Tegan. her eyes filling with tears. In a more gentle voice the Doctor said.' 'Why?' 'Because it's expected of us. tell me what's wrong.' 'Well-are we?' 'Yes we are.' Lon yawned again. . You are the Federator's son.' Lon gave her a long-suffering look. 'What is wrong. Tegan.' The Doctor was studying the TARDIS console when Tegan came into the control room.where are we?' 'How should I know?' 'Think. Where are we?' 'Aren't we on Earth?' 'No. we're not.' said the Doctor seriously. She said gently.' Tegan gave him a puzzled stare. and seemed fully recovered from her nightmare. is that the Federator's son is bored . Tegan. 'Please. think! Reach back into t he recesses of your mind. She was dressed in her white camisole top.' 'Manussa . mother.'Must we?' 'Well of course we must. . She stared miserably back at him. . Think!' Once again. are we on Manussa?' 'Good! Well done. Tegan. 'Doctor!' protested Nyssa. Nyssa followed close behind. and a light fawn jacket and ski rt. the urgency of the Doctor's questioning seemed to leave Tegan puzzle d and distressed. 'Come along. 'Where are we?' 'What?' 'It's a very simple question. So . 'Now then. . 'But .how did I know that?' .

" Though mind y ou. .' said Tanha placidly. Director Ambril is rather trying. Now. The Mara was destroyed. The Empire of the Mara.' 'And so it is. 'Formerly Homeworld of the Sumaran Empire . what was the man's name.' said Lon cynically. the Legend of the Return. Life under the Mara must have been gruesome in the extreme.' Tanha was trying to persuade her son to take his official duties a little more seriously. 'Not just banished to another dimension. Lon. You know Lon. everyth ing It's all such nonsense. . you ought to take more interest in our heritage. 'On the whole I rather pre ferred his predecessor.' 'If you say so. He was very impressive in his way.' 'I think I just have!' . and we' re still celebrating the event. he didn't think it was just a legend.' 'Is it?' 'Of course it is. .' said the Doctor thoughtfully. Oh. you know.' Tanha indicated the statuette in Lon's hands. Does it.' 'Really? Why?' 'It's the root of this world's culture. It's all of it. . but much more fun!' 'It's not just Ambril. am I supposed to take an interest in the ramblings of some madman?' 'Oh. 'Is it?' 'Of course it is. but he means well. 'that the whole thing is only kept going to remind the people here how much better life is under the Federation.' She smiled reminiscently. Mother. what . he didn't ramble.five hundred years ago.which may or may not ring a bell. 'You must learn to be tolerant. the ceremony only happens every ten years. Tegan? The Su-Maran Empire . oh. but destroyed. I agree.' said Lon emphatically. It's gro tesque.' 'Mother.' 'It occurs to me. what was the man's name? He was completely dotty. Anyway.'Manussa. 'Just look at that thing. the director before Ambril. The Ceremony of the Mara.' 'The Mara was destroyed. It will not return "in a dream" or in any other form. Why?' 'Why not? After all. He thought the Mara really would return.

choosing another victim.' said the Doctor. remembering events not so very long ago. 'There!' He was holding a smal l electronic device. Nyssa looked on dubiously.' The Doctor was silent for a moment. terminating in ear-pieces. Tegan had indeed been possessed . Once there was a man who fell asleep and dreamt that he was a frog . . anyway. When he awoke he didn't know if he was a man who'd dreamt that he was a frog. He slipped the device over Tegan's head. 'Well?' demanded Tegan. She stared at it. Somehow it seemed that Dojjen's unblinking gaze wasn't really turned on the surrounding hills at all. it made a very good story. Quite ma de my hair stand on end!' She smiled the Mara.even if he was talking nonsense . on a planet called Deva Loka. 'Is this really necessary. and hypnosis is the quickest way. Ambril's predecessor was rather good value . 'What's it for?' 'Hypnosis. Waiting.' Still Dojjen sat motionless between the two great stones.who was dreaming of being a man.Tanha was not to be deterred. 'I'm still possessed. and beside him the snake coiled lazily about the head of the Snakedancer's staff. or a frog dreaming he was a man. staring wide-eyed acro ss the hills. The blue pendant glowed on his lean brown chest. a little black box. "Why must we recover the dream?' The Doctor was adjusting the controls on the device. Nyssa studied Tegan's unhappy face. so that it could be worn around the neck. The whole thing was slung on a thong. an evil entity from some other dimension that manifested itself a s a snake. but Tegan had always feared that some trace of the Mara was still left i nside her mind.' Worriedly. 'Well. the world of the Kinda. aren't I Doctor? The Mara is still insi de my head. adjusting it until it was comfortable. "Because dreams are very important! Never underestimate them. 'Yes. . Doctor?' 'Yes! We must recover Tegan's dream. It reminded Tegan of the portable stereo sets tha t were just coming into use when she was last on Earth. Fortunately the Mara had passed on from Tegan's mind. From the box ca me two wires. with switches in the top. The Doctor rushed into the control room and said. . He seemed to be looking inward.' Tegan said flatly.

A low soothing rushing sound filled her ears. his face concerned. But in sleep it loosens its grip. Now then. I'm sorry. where? 'It's obviously below the level of conscious thought. 'There. Doctor. 'But that is what you think . Your waking mind is strong enough to resist it. ' 'The battle for what?' 'Control. punctuated by occasional bleeps. 'There's a possibility that the Mara seized temporary control and brought itself home . Slowly she seemed to be relaxing.' said Nyssa slowly. Insert the ear-pieces. that should do it. . try to relax a nd when switched on. Tegan. .' 'But how. . and the battle is joined. The Doctor nodded.isn't it?' 'It does seem likely.' said the Doctor evasively. . The Doctor watched her intently.'We'll just have to see. Tegan. .' Tegan obeyed. The battle for Tegan's mind was about to begin .' 'So that's why Tegan mis-read the co-ordinates and brought us here. listen to the sound.' said the Doctor simply.

2 Cave of the Snake Lon listened with weary indulgence as his mother rambled on about that earlier s tate visit to Manussa. .' Ambril was a thin-faced. 'Oh they were frightful! They were all covered in ash. . They lived on roots and berries and things. my Lady Tanha. Of course it was all madly unofficial. . even as a young man.' Lon smiled. She was particularly taken with her memories of the previous Director. was not amused . and some of them were almost naked. I remember . They handled live snakes. Director Ambril. your father in disguise! I mean. The art of the Sumaran era was a . 'Come in. Far more of a scholar than a diplomat. 'And di d they?' 'Did who what?' 'Did these Snakedancers know the real truth about the Mara?' 'It was so dark and they were all so dirty it was difficult to tell. . 'He thought that the only people who knew the real truth about the Mara were the Snakedancers. taking part in so undignified an adventure. once he even took us to visit them? It was miles from anywhere. . as usual. even then. recalling the stern dignity of the Federator.' 'And what did father think?' 'The Federator. Can you imagine. fussy man in his fifties. 'Good morning. It was hard to imagine his father. and his black fur hat. Tanha called.' Lon chuckled.' 'Good morning. There was a deferential tap upon the door. ' 'Whatever for?' 'It was something to do with their religion. splendid in his official black robes trimmed with purpl e. Do you know.' said Tanha frankly. he had accepted the post of Director of Historical Research solely bec ause of the archaeological opportunities it presented. . way up in the hills. He bowed low. It was all quite disgusting. We had to go in disguise. and they put themselves into trances.' Director Ambril entered.

'Well. Tanha smiled apologetically at Ambril. . who didn't move.' 'No. she thou ght. 'Oh no. as he realised he was b eing teased.' She looked imploringly at Lon. . Director. 'Are we all ready?' Tanha sighed.tossed the statue. no. Lon sauntered unhurriedly towards his bedchamber. Ambril looked at the statuette in Lon's careless hands. He rubbed his hands eagerly. Ambril leaped forwards and caught it just in time. my Lord? It is a gift to you both.' She nodded towards the still supine Lon. 'That. my Lord Lon smiled. 'It is exquisite. My son can dress quite quickly. Please stay. A small token in honour of your presence here. deputising for your father. It is from my own collection. is it not?' 'Is it a fake?' asked Lon insolently. in that case. my Lord.then relaxed. I unearthed it myself.passion with Ambril.' 'Did you really?' 'Yes. I'm afraid. Lon held up the little statue.' said Tanha graciously. 'What's this?' Ambril peered at it. It is seven hundred years old. Lon studied the statuette. 'Not quite. perhaps I should withdraw.' 'Thank you. catch!' said Lon suddenly. from the middle Sumaran era. and pretended to toss the statuette. no. Ambril's face fell. and he meant to make the most of it. . It had been quite a wren ch to part with it. my Lord!' 'Here then. and . making no reply. Ambril was shocked. who set the statuette down on a table wit h trembling hands. She really must talk to Lon about these little pranks. Ambril reached out with a gasp of horror . As a matter of fact. 'Oh. I trust you approve. Showing two such distinguished visitors the historic sites of Manussa was a rare opportunity. The boy could be so thoughtless at times.

Tegan.' 'What are you doing there?' Tegan's voice came in anguished gasps. . Can you hear me . Something inside my head . . silly. 'Tegan. 'No! I will never agree to what you ask. .' . 'Doctor. too. Tegan?' 'In my garden.' Tegan's face relaxed. 'Deeper and further.' commanded the Doctor. you are perfectly safe.' 'Out where?' 'I'm .' Tegan stiffened in terror. where are you now?' asked the Doctor gently. am I free of the Mara now? Forever? Am I?' "You must go deeper. 'Now. ..' 'Tegan. 'It's horrible. I'm safe here. . On Deva Loka. no!' 'Why not?' 'Because I mustn't!' The Doctor leaned over her. outside. You must go into the dream. . Much deeper. 'Where are you now. and people d on't always notice. . 'Go deeper.' said the Doctor. It always works. .. and people always come back. becoming angry. 'No . . 'Everything grows in my ga rden. studying Tegan's twitching face.' The voice changed again.' The voice was that of a child. Out. you must leave your garden now.Tegan lay stretched out on her bed. why?' whined Tegan. If you must know. . . silly. 'Tegan. 'To go still deeper. I'm being fed this image. Snake mouth cave. Out.' 'How old are you?' 'I'm six.. I can tell lies. Suddenly she smiled. 'Cave. fearful. Tegan. never . I want you to go into the dream. the device around her neck in operation. The world of the Kinda .' He paused for a moment.' 'Oh. I climbed a tree and dropped apples on his head!' Her voice changed. where are you?' The words seemed almost forced from Tegan's lips.

'Go away? The Doctor knew that the voice was not Tegan's voice. 'How about you. Suddenly the fear faded from her face. She glared angrily at the Doctor and the voic e that came from her lips was deep and harsh and terrible. brawny labourers. robed and hooded. . no . laughing and chattering and arguing and crying their wares. Many of the stalls sold food and drink and the warm air was heavy with the smells of cooking fires. a sturdy barrel-chested man with a voice like a bull. buying and selling and haggling. They were narrow. The old market quarter sprawled through the warren of streets that surrounded th e palace. You must look. 'Roll up. you are perfectly safe. and it became cold and hard. We need to kno w what's there.' roared Dugdale.' gasped Tegan. Resplendent in a military-looking tunic with tarnished gold froggings. It was the voice of the Ma ra. and they were lined with shops and stalls and booths of every kind. 'Something . Mustn't ever look. roughly cobbled. Loudest of all were the showmen. I'm safe if I don't look. 'Tegan. They jostled through the ever-busy streets.' 'No. drawn in s uch a way that the entrance to the hall led through the mouth of the snake. richly dressed merchants and officials. the voy age . baking pastries and spicy sweetmeats. 'Tegan. The Doctor's voice was firm. . Mustn't. roast meats.'Go in. . . you must go into the cave. offduty soldiers in steel and leather. bellowing the delights of the various attractions inside their booths. eatin g and drinking. turning over the goods. Slowly her head turned to her left and her face twiste d with fear as she focused on some unseen horror..' Tegan's eyes opened wide. Dugdale stood before his Hall of Mystery . One of the noisiest was Dugdale. Must n't look.' 'Tegan!' 'No . On the front of the long booth there was painted a huge coiled snake. winding streets. a g old sash and a somewhat moth-eaten fur hat. We n eed to know what is in there. in here. Over there.. I invite you to take the most exciting journey of all.' Tegan's eyes were screwed tightly shut. sir? You Madam? Step this way if you would be so kind. Manussans from all over the planet thronged the narrow alleys: lean brown hillme n.' The Doctor said remorselessly.

please. . 'Children half price!' The crowd flowed unheedingly. and looked coldly down at him. 'I address you in the silence of your own hearts. you have the look of a humble seeker after life's truth. Come along now. 'Of course you do! Now sir. Trade had been slack for weeks now. The rest of the group had come up by now. But no one was laughing. A tightly-knit little g roup was forcing its way along the street.' The little group came level with his booth. sir.' 'Do you know who I am?' A little crowd was gathering. Maybe it was the excitement of the approaching ceremony. 'Are you addressing me?' Undeterred. 'You sir. Hop efully. The kind of people who carried purses full of gold coins. Suddenly Dugdale spotted a swirl of movement just ahead. He thought about going over to the tavern for a mug of wine to cool his throat. Dare you bear witness to what the Mara shows? Dare you gaze upon the Unspeakable? Dare you come face to face with the finally Unfaceable?' He paused and added hopefully. In desperation Dugdale stepped out in front of them. burly guards clearing the way before them. and the high official hovering deferentially at her elbow. I do not! Nor do these good people. I offer my person al challenge. if you'd care to step inside . 'I beg your pardon. Suddenly Dugdale's head felt loose upon his shoulders. and for no good reason. o ut for a little slumming. the brawny Federation bodyguards in their terrifying mask-like helmets. Though you'd think that would increase the appeal of an attraction that dared to use the Mara itself as a come-on.' . Do tell us. my Lady. He bowed low. Come face to face with the truth ab out yourselves. Dugdale sighed. please. young man. and showed every sign of moving straight past it. 'No. Dugdale ploughed on. The journey to meet yourself The crowd ignored him. Undeterred. . my Lords. 'I'm sure I didn't mean to give offence.inside. for instance. Nobs. Dugdale saw the richly dress ed woman. A party of aristocrats from the palace. thought Dugdale in satisfaction. You!' The young man stopped. Dugdale pressed on with his spiel. 'Step this way.' 'Do I really?' There was a silky menace in the young man's voice. Instinctively Dugdale played up to it. he raised his voice. addressing a richly-clad yo ung man who strode a little ahead of the rest. Who are you?' By now the crowd should have been joining in the mockery. 'Now.

' With a last chilling glance at Dugdale.' Nyssa tried to remember the Doctor's account of events on Deva Loka. what was it?' 'The Mara . 'Well.' she called. But this time I can prevent it. Distorting mirrors. 'Mirrors?' 'Yes. But the young man stayed where he was. 'Are you coming?' 'Coming.speaking through Tegan's mouth. 'Yes.' said Dugdale miserably. Doctor. what's in there?' 'In there?' babbled Dugdale. but it will give us a little time. but at least his head was still where it belonged .To Dugdale's relief the woman smiled graciously.' 'Are they really?' 'Yes. Nyssa said worriedly. dismissing the incident. 'Lon.' 'How?' The Doctor tapped the device round Tegan's neck. It happens as the victim's mental resistance weakens. my Lord. the young man stalked away.' . Tegan lay back on the bed. It can't be used indefinitely. People are amused. sneering down at Dugdale. my Lord. 'That voice. That's all. He'd missed his purse of gold. It can be adjusted to inhibit the production of the brain waves associated with dreaming. She moved on her way. 'Lon' thought Dugdale. Generally. my Lord. escorted by the official and by her bodyguards. 'With this. The Doctor was making some adjustments to his hypnotic device.' The woman had paused a little way ahead. 'I thought you said there was a physical change when people were possessed by the Mara?' 'There is. What exactly does one face in your shoddy little booth?' 'Mirrors. apparently quite calm and relaxed. He had been exercising his wit at the expense of the son of the Federator! Dugdale leaned back against the facade of the Hall of Mirrors sweating with reli ef. Mother.

' Nyssa nodded. 'But surely she can't dream now? She's awake.' 'Dreams are occurring in the mind all the time. remember Nyssa. the Doctor. 'is the entrance to the cave system itself. and. remembering. looking rather as if she were sleepwalking. They were in semi-darkness. 'Helloo-o. 'Come on.' said Ambril. Tegan is experiencing total exclusion of all outside sound. Tegan gazed calmly abou t her. Ambril and his party had climbed the steps and were standing just inside the entrance to the cave.' Ambril winced. I would guess that it's some where very close to us.' The entrance of the Cave of the Snake was set into a low rocky hill on the outsk irts of the oldest part of the city.' Tanha nodded. just as in Tegan's dream. Lon yelled into the darkness. 'Hello!' His voice echoed around the cave. worn o ut of the solid rock over hundreds of thousands of years by a now-vanished underground river.the cave of the snake mouth from Tegan's dream. looked profoundly bored. 'I had forgotten how impressive it is. Nyssa and Tegan found themselves beside some empty booths in a quiet corner of the market-place.' 'It's a real place then?' 'Oh yes.' Ambril looked pleased. You must be her ears. though lights gleamed deeper in the caves. the entrance of the cave formed the mouth of the snake. A flight of time-eroded stone steps led up to the gaping black hole. Lon. The rock round the cave mouth had been carved in to an elaborate snake's head. Emerging from the TARDIS. 'This. as usual. 'What's more.' said the Doctor solemnly. 'The cave system itself is a natural geological formation. we must hurry!' By now. 'Now.' said the Doctor definitely. The Doctor closed the TARDIS door behind them.'To do what?' 'We must find the cave .' .

it seems. The Doctor came back towards them. could he free Tegan's mind from the evil within. 'Hello!' yelled Lon once again. There's a cave system at the edge of town. Again there came the echo. Ambril sighed. She smiled apologetically at Ambril. uncertain what they would find there. Many of the most important archaeological finds -' Lon was staring round the vast shadowy cave.' said Ambril patiently. 'Hello-o-o.'Hello!' yelled Lon again.' 'Yes. taking in the noisy colourful scene. One thing was certain. The Doctor. 'The Chamber of the Mara is the largest natural cav ern thus formed. She could see t he Doctor talking animatedly to a man at a nearby stall. . 'Big isn't it?' he interrupted. To Teg an in her silent world things were very different. Only by finding and confronting the Mara once again. . Ambril sighed and continued.' The Doctor led them towards the caves. Nyssa and Tegan threaded their way through the bustling market. 'Beg pardon. .' came the echoes. It's big. I suppose it is. It's this way. 'I was right. Doctor?' asked Nyssa. 'What did he say. 'Hello-o-o . and she saw the man pointi ng down one of the narrow side streets. She felt trapped in a meaningles s confusion. Nyss a and the Doctor looked round eagerly. and the entra nce fits the description exactly. my Lord?' 'This place.' 'Lon!' said Tanha reprovingly. filled with eerily-mouthing faces that made no sound.

my Lord?' 'The Legend of the Return. the Doctor stared up at the Cave of the Snake in admiration. Little stick man figures were scattered about the panels. 'The Legend of the Return is nonsense. . a huge area of cave wall divided into separate panels. Ambril blinked at him. Lon said abruptly. neither speculative nor proved. 'This wall. However. The last panel of all was blank. known as the Pictogram. in his torical fact!' From the bottom of the long flight of steps. 'What about the Legend?' Interrupted in mid lecture.3 Voice of the Mara Still in his role of guide.' Ambril droned on and Tanha listened with her unvarying politeness. Do you have an opinion?' 'Yes. and not allowing our imagination to run away with us. . Of course. It has no basis. superstitio us nonsense invented by the people. constit utes an invaluable record of the Sumaran era. academic interpretations of the precise meaning differ considerably. each panel covered with faded figures and symbols. 'The Legend. . we can form the glimmering of an idea as to what these pictograms may mean . Pure. paying scrupulous attention to det ail. Ambril paused before one such section. and it was noticeable that dotted energy lines from their heads came together in a diagrammed crystal which filled most of the last-but-one panel. simply to give themselves something with which to frighten their children. as if the remai ns of the picture had been deliberately scraped away. with particularly interesting areas discreetly illuminated. my Lord. Ambril ushered his party down the steeply sloping tu nnel that led into the caves. Ambril looked lovingly at the mural.' 'Well?'' Ambril drew himself up. I'm rather afraid I do. The entire cave system had been converted into a kind of rambling underground museum.

Ambril beamed.'Extraordinary.' . Doctor. my lady. she can't hear you . Here in the cave system the real work was sadly neglected. She was hunched forwards. Look at Tegan. there's nothing to be frightened of. 'Dojjen! Of course. her face filled with terror. 'There's nothing to be afraid of .' Tegan backed away. 'Your predecessor apparently believed in the Legend. Tegan pulled away. 'Shall we proceed into the Chamber of the Mara?' Tegan was sitting on the top step of the flight that led up to the cave mouth. my dear Ambril. You mean poking about in the ruins.' protested Ambril. 'Look. 'I have tried to re-establish o ur work here on a scientific basis. isn't it?' Tegan was backing away. her arms about her knees.' 'Yes.' Lon was saying. 'I t's all right. and she would go no furt her.' said the Doctor again. Tegan. h er back to the entrance of the cave. 'Doctor. that was it!' Tanha was delighted. Tegan. 'Dojjen!' 'I am afraid Dojjen came to believe in so many things.' He took her arm and trie d to lead her up the steps.' 'The real work?' asked Lon idly.' He leaned forward. Nyssa tugged at the Doctor's sleeve. 'He b ecame very erratic towards the end. 'This must be the cave from her dream. 'Oh. No! 'It's all right.' The Doctor looked.' said Ambril sadly.remember?' 'Nevertheless. Digging for trinkets?' 'I mean archaeology. 'Now what was the man's name?' 'His name was Dojjen. Nyssa said. so he did!' said Tanha. It had taken all the Doctor's urgings to get her this far. I see.' said Ambril stiffly. She's too frightened. 'What are we going to do?' asked Nyssa.' 'And I'm sure we are all very grateful. 'She can't go in. my Lord.' said Tanha soothingly.

'As you see.' 'Where is it now? Is it lost?' 'Oh no.' 'Someone's very well-informed. 'What was in its mouth?' 'The Great Crystal. . The most famous exhibit in the caves was the carving known as the Great Snake. my Lord. but in general. Ambril was still droning on. .' thought the Doctor. For a long moment they all stared up at the great carved snake. the Doctor heard what sounded like the voice of some ki nd of tour guide.' By now even Tanha was losing patience. with only insignificant variations . 'Exquisite is it not?' Lon nodded towards the empty socket. I t occupied almost the whole of one wall of the Chamber of the Mara. . as if trying to break free. 'This imagery of the rearing snake is consistent throughout the m idSumaran period. turned and gave them a reassuring wave and then went inside. Ambril peered up at it. . my Lord. I'll go into the cave alone. In the Chamber of the Mara. do be quiet. . 'Just for a moment!' Ambril fell silent. He headed towards the voice. Ambril went on with his lecture. the huge serpent seemed about to spring out of the solid rock into which it was carved. . malevolent. in other words?' 'At present I have that honour. you'll just have to stay with her.'Well. the safe keeping of the Great Crystal is the responsibility of th e Director of Historical Research.' she pleaded.' Moving along the tunnel. Immense. Between the open jaws was an empty socket. terrifying. 'Oh. Purely decorative. 'In the Sumaran Three period the head has a tendency to be marginally less pronounced.' The Doctor went up to the cave mouth. Traditionally.' And if anxious to change the subject. So realistic wer e the stone coils that they seemed to writhe and twist.' 'You. . Director. It was removed from its socket when the Mara was destroyed. the image of the Mara is sculpted out of solid rock . my Lord.

'No thank you. isn't it? You're quite sure?' The Doctor stepped into view. 'This is a private view. garishly-painted articulated toys that w riggled convincingly with the aid of a stick. A huge helmeted figure stepped out of the shadows by the door and clamped a massive forearm across the Doctor's throat . she ran down the steps after Tegan. Then. lady?' Tegan couldn't hear his words of course. 'Throw him out!' . I'm afraid it's not!' Lady Tanha jumped. he leaned over and wriggled the snake in her face. ladies. 'There's really no need for this. 'You have no business to be h ere. A passing hawker decided that they were a couple of likely prospects and came ambling over with his tray.' The hawker turned his attention to Tegan. The Federation bodyguards were never far away. Tanha shuddered. 'No. only the silent rushing sound of the Doctor's device.The Doctor came quietly into the chamber and stood watching the little group. The Doctor wriggled frantically.' he gasped. watched anxiously by Nyssa. not now. disappearing down the narrow street that led to the market quarter. Suddenly Tegan leaped to her feet.' he called. 'Souvenir snakes. 'It is just a story. and gave a little scream. the mouthing face of the hawker and behind him the snake-mouth entrance of the cave. trying to keep his feet on the ground. 'Souvenir snake.' She turned appealingly to Ambril. The hawker shrugged his shoulders and wandered off. 'Look here. 'Tegan.' He waved the bodyguard. very nice.' said Ambril indignantly. very good!' Nyssa looked at the tray and waved him away. 'It really is horrible. realising that shouting was useless. Tegan still sat hunched up at the top of the steps outside the cave. come back!' called Nyssa. She thrust the hawker aside and ran down the steps. I'm so glad the Legend of the Return is just a story. Not surprisingly he was selling snakes. She looked up and saw the grimacing snake. Picking up a snake from the tray.

' said Tanha wearily. Lon was the most sceptical of all. and Tegan fainted. however. is the Mara now ?' The Doctor said carefully.right at the feet of Madame Zara. 'And where. 'At present it exists as a latent force in the mind o f my companion.' He smiled mockingly at his mother. the man is quite clearly dera nged. 'I really think the Director should deal with this.' spluttered Ambril. She tried to follow her.' Nyssa reached the far end of the street just in time to see Tegan disappearing i nto the market quarter. Nyssa turned and headed back towards the Cave of the Snake. please. Jostled by the crow ds she stumbled along.The bodyguard looked to Lady Tanha for confirmation. Tanha looked baffled and Ambril was openly scornful. The Doctor's story of renewed danger from the Mara was meeting a sceptical response.' said Ambril haughtily. my Lord. but Tegan was out of sight. collapsing in a heap before a fortune-teller's booth .' 'Are you indeed? Then you may be able to help. the Doctor shouted. I have something very important to tell you -about the Ma ra.' 'But why.' .' 'Is he?' 'Of course he is!' 'Lon. She nodded.' snapped Lon. according to you. 'Wait!' he ordered. Giving up the hopeless search. 'I sh ould think so too! No then. The colourful crowded scene began spinning around like a kaleidoscope. the fortune-teller.' 'Just a moment.' 'I think not. Lon. 'After all. Tegan meanwhile was still lost in her strange. 'At least let the man have his say. welcomed any interruption to Ambril's lecture. and he began heaving the struggling Doctor away. 'I am Director of Research effort into the Sumaran era. 'Throw the fellow out. 'Director? Directo r of what?' Ambril drew himself up. silent world.' Still in the grip of the giant bodyguard. it has been suggested that I take more interest in our l egends!' The bodyguard released the Doctor who straightened his collar indignantly. staring wildly at the silently mouthing faces all around Suddenl y it all became too much for her. 'After all. 'First let him speak. lost in the teeming crowd. Ambril.

'She was frightened you say?' 'Terrified. Doctor. How sad!' Nyssa told the Doctor what had happened. Doctor. 'She's outside.' 'Well. his hand on his sword. apparently."' 'You have disappointed me.' said Lon. Why don't you come and meet her?' Lon shrugged.' The bodyguard took a step forward. 'After all. and it was impossible to pick out one person amongst so many. But I've put together a device to inhibit this. 'Nyssa! Where's Tegan. what's the point?' The Doctor and Nyssa had no more luck in finding Tegan than Nyssa had on her own.' . 'Oh. She might try to find her way back there. 'I really should have you punished .' The Doctor said urgently. at l east temporarily. She just t ook fright and ran. 'What's happened.where he saw Nyssa hurrying up the steps to meet him.' said the Doctor at last.if it can.' said Lon wearily. Eventually it will take over her mind altogether. Nyssa?' Nyssa was gasping for breath. we must find her. let's go back to the TARDIS.' Lon turned to Ambril and Tanha and said mockingly. The Doctor ignored him. 'Why not? Take us to her. 'Oh let them go. Nyssa.' 'Is this your companion?' asked Lon. If you'll follow me?' The Doctor led them back along the access tunnel and outside the cave . 'She's gone.'Does it really?' 'The Mara is using her dream to increase its power.' 'Certainly. 'It all happened so quickly. 'Oh dear! She's gone. 'Come on.' 'How very resourceful! And where is this young lady?' The mockery in Lon's tone was obvious now. this is hopeless. The press of the crowd made it difficult to move at any speed.

I expect it was t he heat. 'Where am I?' 'In my little booth. . 'Where can she be?' 'Who knows? As long as she's wearing the anti-dreaming device she should still b e safe. She lifted the device from around Tegan's neck . and all the people .' He began pacing about the control room. dear.' said Madame Zara chattily.' repeated Tegan slowly. rather motherly face looking at her in concern. You passed out and they brought you in here. I don't know . who are you?' 'Madame Zara.' said Tegan haltingly. Nyssa looked despairingly at the Doctor. Can you hear me now?' 'No. 'I just don't know. . 'It's easy to get confused in cr owds. Madame Zara patted Tegan's shoulder. . trying desperately to regain her grip on reality.' 'Why ever not?' said Madame Zara. .' . Are you feeling better?' Tegan rubbed her hands over her eyes. I'm glad you're feeling better. Faded red and green hangings draped the walls. and a sinister hooded figure was hovering over her.' protested Tegan feebly. 'I mustn't take it off.' Why mustn't I.' 'And if she takes it off?' 'I don't know. I see into the future. 'Yes . that's better. dear.' She looked appealing ly up at Madame Zara. 'There's so much we don't know. Tegan gasped and shrank back and the sinister figure pushed back its hood to reveal a plump. For some r eason it was very important. after so long? What does it want?' Tegan awoke to find herself slumped in a chair inside a cramped and gloomy booth . . it was. 'I mustn't . the fortune-teller. am I?' She looked at the device.' said the Doctor helplessly. 'There! Feeling better dear?' Tegan stared blankly at her.' 'I expect it was all the people. Please.But there was no sign of Tegan in the TARDIS either. Madame Zara reached forward and slipped the earpieces from Tegan's ears... 'What is it? What does it do?' 'I can't remember. . 'There. isn't it? Anyway. . Why has the Mara returned? Why now. 'Of course. .

whatever comes into my head. and spoke in a deep harsh voice. 'Is it? Is it surprising? There was a terrible. gaze deep into the ball and then . I pretend. She screamed in terror as the crystal ball shattered in to a thousand pieces. 'What is it dear? What's wrong?' Suddenly Tegan sat bolt upright. . The shape of a snake's skull. . . surprising.There was a small round black-draped table in the booth. I flutter my fingers. Tegan's eyes seemed drawn to it. .' She shrug ged. with a gleaming crystal ball in the centre. between you and me. . Tegan stared at her. . 'Look now? Madame Zara stared as if hypnotised into her own crystal ball. they're paying! It doesn't do any harm. does it? Mind you it's astonishing what does come into your head . . with gnashing. 'In that? You see the future in that?' 'Oh yes!' Madame Zara giggled.' Madame Zara was alarmed. 'Well. She saw swirling mists. what is i t.sometimes I amaze myself!' Tegan was swaying to and fro in her chair. then a gradually solidifying shape. not really dear. drooling jaws. 'Is it. . really-after all. mocking laugh. . Whatever I think they want to hear. 'And then?' 'Then I make something up.

watching with the others. . but Tegan saw her. The answers we want are out there. It seeme d that something very dramatic had happened inside. we' re simply blundering around in the dark. Tegan was gone.' the Doctor was saying. A couple of market officials w ere with the hysterical fortune-teller now. Tegan stood in the middle of the crowd. Maybe I can make him listen this time. Tegan threw back her head and laughed. smiling strangely at her. 'Come to see the fun?' 'What fun?' . Nyssa felt a tap on her shoulder. I'll try the Director of Research again. she stared fixedly at Madame Zara. still screaming in fear. Then. 'This is the Mara's : homeworld. 'We ' don't know nearly enough. 'The trouble is. She didn't see Teg an.4 Hall of Mirrors Madame Zara jumped up.' Quite a crowd had gathered outside Madame Zara's fortune-telling booth. . Without more information. cupping her chin in her hands. We'll meet back here.' 'What about the TARDIS's data banks?' The Doctor shook his head. seeming to drink in the woman's screams of terror with fierce satisfaction.' 'What about me?' 'You have another go at looking for Tegan in the market-place. and Madame Zara backed away. a harsh and terrifying laugh. Pushing her way through the market-place. malicious amusement on her face . Instinctively she made her way towards it. When she looked again. The Doctor and Nyssa were in conference in the TARDIS. Nyssa was attracted by the bustle outside the booth. Tegan laughed again. covering her face. remember. She turned and saw Tegan.

'Just leave me alone!' Thrusting Nyssa aside.' 'I took it off. Nyssa watched as the fortune-teller was led away. 'I ma de it appear? 'Made what appear?' Tegan's face and voice changed dramatically. 'Are you all right. 'You fool! Leave me alone!' She sprang to her feet. they're bringing her out!' Nyssa looked and saw two men supporting a sobbing middle-aged woman. It was unlike Tegan to take pleasure in someone's else's misfortune.'The fortune-teller's having hysterics. 'Tegan. 'Look. refusing to meet Nyssa's eye. look at me!' Tegan stared up at her. took Tegan's chin in her hand. come back!' called Nyssa. and then the facade of confident def iance crumbled.' She hurried after her.' she whispered. Why shouldn't I be?' 'You're not wearing the Doctor's anti-dreaming device. 'Nyssa. and forced Tegan to look her i n the face. Tegan? Where have you been?' Tegan looked away. Tegan sniggered. there she is. help me. 'It wasn't necessary. You could see right down her throat!' Tegan looked away again. 'Of course I'm all right. defiantly at first.' 'Tegan! What about the Mara?' 'Stop fussing! What Mara?' Tegan was jumping up and down to get a better view. 'She mustn't see me!' To Nyssa's astonishment Tegan sank cross-legged to the ground covering her face like a child. 'You should have seen her face though! It was so funny! She screamed and screamed and screamed. Tegan looked cunningly up at her. leading her out of the booth. She's still in there. leaving an air of utter misery. then looked down at Tegan. Nyssa leaned down. 'What's the matter with you? What's been going on? Tegan.' said Tegan loftily. Tegan disappea red into the crows.' . She screamed and screamed and screamed!' Nyssa looked curiously at her.

but you know. Tell him to go aw ay.' said Chela excitedly. should I. the Director. How am I doing so far?' 'If you'd only listen' began the Doctor.' said the Doctor firmly. that man! No. the Doctor strode in. you're hardl y the first. 'Moreover. what is it?' 'He's here. . Ambril's assistant. Ambril sighed. . This was Ch ela. some still waiting Ambril's attention.' 'What ceremony?' 'The Ceremony of the Mara.' Ambril rose. Ambril was studying an ancient scroll at his desk when a curly-haired young man entered. we celebrate the end of the Mara's r ule and its final destruction by the Federation. He was a solemn young man who took his duties very seriously . since you're here . Ambril interrupted him. So me were sorted and classified.The offices of the Director of Historical Research would have been luxurious if they hadn't been so cluttered with artefacts from every period of Sumaran history. Chela.' said Ambril airily. 'What?' . 'Yes. At the far end of t he room was a dining area and a table. Mind you. I can't possibly spare the time to see him. He stood waiting deferentially by Ambril's desk. 'Hello!' he sai d cheerfully. 'Well. The Doctor was taken aback. Ambril looked up. And they seem particularly numerous whenever a ceremon y is due. Ambril's work was his life and he spent most of his waking hours in this room.' 'Impossible.' 'Oh certainly. fail to take sufficient notice of your colourful theories. 'I'm sorry to disappoint you. Every ten years. Surprise me. For some reason the study of the Sumaran Era has always attracted more th an its fair share of cranks. I know exactly what you want!' 'You do?' 'You've come to pester me with some more of the extravagant theories you've dreamed up concerning the Mara. upon which a servant was laying dinner. 'The man you were telling me about. T he man from the cave!' 'Oh. 'It must be called off. at least till my c ompanion is found. it will mean the end of Ci vilisation As We Know It. wearing the brown robes and white collar of a sub-official. Tell me you didn't kno w!' 'Exactly when is this ceremony to be held?' 'Tomorrow.' Never one for hanging about in ante-rooms.

'What harm can it do?' Ambril threw his hands in the air. why should she do that? Why here? Secondly. the Mara will return in a dream. you see. please. 'It proves nothing.' 'To the Dark Places of the Inside?' Chela nodded.' Chela nodded. Chela. 'Merely that he is acquainted with t he Legend.' 'But how can minds meet?' demanded the Doctor. the Mara was not destroyed by the founders of the Federation. 'What about the Snakedancers?' 'More mumbo-jumbo.' 'Of course. I'm sorry to see that even my assistant isn't immune. to this world. But remember -where the Legend is concerned there are no actual facts to impede the full flow of the popular imagination!' Chela turned to the Doctor. Lazy. 'It's wishy-washy mystical mumbo-jumbo. 'All right all right! Humour him if you must.' 'Don't encourage him Chela. but the Doctor waved him away. but only banished.' said Ambril crossly. 'That's enough. 'The Legend of the Return. 'According to the Legend. primitive. 'Director.' said Chela. but don't you worry.' said the Doctor.' 'But Director.' snapped Ambril. wi thout ever having heard of it before.' protested Chela. Now.' 'What does it want?' 'The Legend foretells that the Mara will return to regain its power over men whe n the minds meet again in the Great Crystal. the Federator's son as guest of honour. Chela.' Ambril had been listening with increasing unease.' Chela came forward. uneduca ted minds mostly. It appeals to certain types of mind. She has this recurring dream.' said Ambril hurriedly. You'll find that . 'Now if you'll excuse me? My assistant here will show you out. 'A dream? Did you say a dream?' He looked significantly at Ambril. 'What does it mean?' 'What indeed. I'll just cancel the whole thing!' This time the mockery in Ambril's voic e was plain. . 'Look. 'According to the Legend. 'According to the Legend .'A whole year of preparation. won't you at least consider the facts? First of all my companion brought us here. I was able to use hypnosis to establish the presence of the Mara in her mind. . and in the dream -' Chela said.

unusually.' Chela looked blank. I just want to demonstrate something. That was probably the idea. two. artistically. 'I'm afraid this k ind of mystical vagueness pervades the entire culture.' ordered Ambril. . 'Well. Chela counted. very well. the reference is to the 'Six Faces of Delusion'. count the faces.' Ambril was holding a kind of ornate head-dress.' Ambril stroked the headdr ess lovingly.' suggested the Doctor suddenly. an undoubted masterpiece.' Chela saw the puzzled face of Ambril beneath the head-dress. The piece is exquisite. The sixth Face of Delusion is the wearer's own. my point is this. three. and. Ther e can be no doubt. he snatched something from a shelf and held it up. 'Exactly. . Ambril perched the hat on top of his head. 'Out.' Awkwardly. five .' The Doctor said thoughtfully. 'And one more makes six. . not six as the Lege nd would have it! Now. two. There were the masks. 'This particular artefact dates from the mid dle Sumaran era. . don't you think?' Ambril was spluttering with rage. I do find it extraordinarily difficult to take seriously a Legend that cannot even count accurately. You will observe that there are only five masks. It was surmounted by an elaborat e crest which consisted of a number of face-masks in the shape of a fan. Five faces. is mentioned quite specifically in the Legend.' Ambril rose and began pacing about the room.' 'Try it on. The Doctor looked at Chela. it's an entirely-different matter.the Legend becomes more and more vague the more you try to elicit any kind of factual detail. of course. "One. Then I'll go and leave you in pea ce. 'Now take this. Triumphantly A mbril held up the head-dress. five . for example.' Glancing about the room. 'It's a head-dress you say? A kind of hat?' 'Yes. 'What?' 'Try it on!' 'Certainly not! Whatever for?' 'Please. 'Of course. four. One. 'Now. four. get out!' The Doctor moved hurriedly towards the door. count the faces.' said the Doctor. Catching the Doctor 's eye he gave an involuntary smile.' 'Oh. Get out! Go on. now. 'Do as he says. Ambril's voice took on his lecturer's drone. . three.

Tegan was about to move away. Chela hurried after him. Now Tegan seemed to have vanished. Tegan passed through the tiny vestibule and through a curtained door into the Ha ll itself. The Hall had been temporarily deserted by its weary proprietor. when suddenly she changed her mind. just a long tent-room. Although s he hadn't managed to catch up with Tegan she'd managed to keep her in sight at leas t for a time. Retracing her steps. and saw herself as a dumpy dwarf. As soon as she was out of sight Tegan stepped out of her hiding place . It wasn't really much of a hall. ranged along the walls. And there. 'Hello! Anyone there?' No answer. She looked i n the second. . She turned and went into the Hall. She remembered that somehow Tegan had been concerned in whatever had happened there. Peering round in the gloom she saw the fragments of the shattered crystal ball. and saw an impossibly tall.Struggling to keep his face straight. Nyssa picked it up. on the table. Each mirror was framed with a crudely-drawn snake mouth. Nyssa slipped inside. Choosing a direction more or less at random.which wa s in fact the entrance to Dugdale's Hall of Mirrors. elongated Tegan. Nyssa found herself outside the abandoned fortune-teller's booth. She looked in the third mir ror and saw the Mara. Nyssa went on with her search. Tegan looked in the first mirror. Nyssa stood in one of the market streets looking anxiously about her. was the Doctor's anti-dreaming device. It was lined wit h mirrors. She went up to the doorway. who was consoling himself with a mug of wine a t the local tavern. a kind of parody of the Cave of the Snake.

A stranger in your own mind. Tegan shook her head. I was trapped in a circle of mirrors.' Tegan rubbed a hand over her eyes.' said the hateful voi ce..' 'On the Kinda world.smiled. try ing not to look. 'Please.' ''Then borrow my strength.' ' Why not? What are you afraid of? Just who do you think you are?' In spite of herself.5 The Sign of the Mara The giant snake-skull filled the entire mirror. no. but it was coming from Tegan's lip s. . . then slowly faded away. . The Mara was in command. "How is it possible? On the K inda world the Mara was repelled by mirrors. triumphant smile. 'No. 'No..' she whispered. The Mara snake-skull seemed to glow brighter for a moment.' 'Face me!' 'I'm so tired.' muttered Tegan weakly. Tegan looked down at her left arm and saw the mark of the Mara. Tegan backed away in horror.or rather the Mara inside her . You are pathetic ' Tegan closed her eyes. A snake design ran down her forearm. I can't.' The Mara said 'Face me!' The voice was deep and harsh.' Tegan struggled to regain control of her own mind. I mustn't. 'I can make up your mind? 'No. Tegan straightened up and stared full into the mirror. 'There is no circle here. 'Why am I so confused?' 'You are divided against yourself. 'Look at me!' commanded the Mara. the head of the snake on the back of her hand. a cold. Tegan . the Mara voice. 'No no.

' He turned and saw Chela running after him. but Ambril woul dn't let me. He heard a voice calling out behind him. take this. Born showman that he was. 'Perhaps they're even made of the sa me substance. a blue crystal on a golden chain. of course not. Dugdale's first reaction. 'Indeed?' said the Doctor thoughtfully. 'Why-are you telling me all this?' I must go. Dugdale had returned to his Hall of Mirrors some little time ago. glancing over his shoulder to see that he wasn't observed. I just don't know. unaware that she was being watched.' The Doctor weighed the pendant in his hand.' said Chela. The Doctor stood gazing after him. The Doctor examined it. Doctor. and found.' 'Wait. to his astonishment. a girl standing before one of his mirrors talking to herself in tw o completely different voices. 'Perhaps there's a connection. the Great Crystal is called the "Great Mind's Eye" '. They call them "Little Mind's Eye".' Chela thrust something into the Doctor's hands.who are the Snakedancers?' But Chela had disappeared into the crowd. pushing his way abstractedly through the crowds. the crystal pendant in his hand. looking into the blue depths of the stone. In the Legend. do you believe in the Legend of the Re turn?' 'No. 'What is it?' 'The Snakedancers use them in their rituals. once he was over his astonishment.' said the Doctor. Tegan stood looking into the mirror. Chela.' Chela turned and hurried away.The Doctor walked back through the market. wait. . It was a pendant. He held it up to the light. I wanted to run tests on this one. The Doctor waited and Chela hurried up to him. 'One more question . was to think that here was a talent that coul d be put to good commercial use. 'Here. 'Doctor! Doctor. The Doctor called after him. 'Tell me.

I decided long ago that person might as well be me. Yo u inside in the half-dark talking away to yourself in two voices . What do you think?' Still no reply. 'I saw Tegan. Or. transfixed by her hypnotic glare. Swinging the pendant thoughtfully. Two voices in d ifferent registers. relieving them at the door of some small token of their sincere interest. my girl. young lady. the Doctor walked on.' He gave a self-mocking!' Suddenly Tegan swung round to face him. At the end of the day. She ran away from me.. the art of the ventriloquist.. Should you be interested in something along the lines of . various possibilitie s present themselves immediately. when the lights come up . 'She wasn't wearing this when I found h er and she was acting very. 'Doctor. I lost her in the crowd. . 'Who exactly are you?' She studied him. I spoke to her. perhaps. Very original. This time he saw Nyssa. look!' Nyssa held out the anti-dreaming device. Dugdale was getting impatient. Highly satisfactory all round. voice projection..there's always someone standing with their hand out waiting to be paid. There is only one who is important. all in all!' Tegan stood staring at her reflection. and turned. and of finding the device in the fortune-teller's booth.' 'Where is she?' 'I don't know. a Treader of the Secret Pathways. Doctor. oddly. A partnership. and so forth. 'When you saw Tegan was she marked?' .' She told the Doctor of Tegan's strange manner.and scaring them half to death. She spoke in the harsh. 'Now. a Humble Stude nt of Life's Mysteries.'' Dugdale shrunk back. 'You are not important. as impressed as I need to be. The Doctor listened keenly. a Delver into the Darker Corners. compelling Mara voice. Only he matters in what is to be done here.He stepped forward. Dugdale walked around her. perhaps? Me outside enticing the passers-by. 'Highly convincing. A tri ck of course. in present circumstances . Once again he heard running footsteps behind him. I said I wa s impressed . 'I was once a long time ago. I'm not a curious man -though I was they always do come up in one form or another .' she gasped. studying her thoughtfully. enough's enough. talkin g 'em in. 'All right. ignoring him completely. applauding ironically.

do you know I rather suspect I am. 'Oh please.' 'I am not going to be anything. remember?' 'I'm not coming.' 'Good.the mark of a snake. After all.' 'I didn't see . Lon. and wearing a jewelled head-dress. 'Isn't it time you were changed. You were taking advantage of your position. . you'd only spoil things any way. Nyssa hurrying after him. 'Oh.' Tucking the device in h is pocket he strode away. and swept out of the room. do come to dinner. 'Yes.' Lon turned ostentatiously away. Are yo u just going to lie there being bored?' Lon stretched and smiled lazily at her. gazing vaguely into space.' Lon yawned. She paused on the threshold.' said the Doctor fiercely. 'It's probably just as well. Lon didn't like having his sulks ignored. what else is there to do?' Tanha walked majestically to the doorway. and turned away. Tanha sighed. Lon had resumed his usual supine position. Poor Ambril was quite disconcerted. if you're going to be dreary. Running up the steps he paused by the entrance. and I am going.' 'It's the Mara. The Doctor marched Nyssa swiftly through the market and down the long narrow road that led to the Cave of the Snake.' said Tanha briskly. 'Come on!' 'What are we doing here?' .' repeated Tanha. His mother appeared. Lon? Lon? We're having dinner with Ambril. 'I beg your pardon?' 'Good. .'What?' 'On her arm . Your behaviour in the caves this morning was unforgivable. stretched out on the couch. 'It must be. sumptuously robed in blue and gold. We are invited to dinner. waiting for Nyssa to catch up.

taking in the little stick-men. perhaps. 'That could represent the Great Crystal. 'There. So . I ne ed to take a closer look. 'Who is it?' The door opened revealing a palace attendant. 'Excuse me for intruding. As they walked along it Nyssa asked.' The attendant disappeared and a moment later Dugdale entered the chamber looking around in awe.' said the Doctor. I think it plans to be -spectac ular. couldn't it?' 'I suppose so.' When they reached the Pictogram the Doctor stood gazing at it absorbedly. The attendant bowed. 'Everything in this pictogr am tells us something. what do you make of that?' Nyssa shrugged helplessly. if you know how to read it. He pointed to the demon figures.' 'Minds meet in the Great Crystal. There's something I noticed here earlier. Nyssa. There's a ceremony taking place here tomorrow. He opened his eye s. more facts. The lines go from the crystal to the head s of the figures.what are these?' Lon's half-doze was interrupted by a discreet tap on the door. my Lord. and the dotted lines that ran from their heads to the crys tal in the last panel. Any break in the boredom was welcome. my Lord. 'There is someone here. Nyssa.' They plunged through the snake-mouth and into the darkness of the tunnel.' 'And these lines represent energy of some sort?' Nyssa nodded. 'Mental energy. let him come in.' . Shall I send him away?' Lon considered. look. Behind him in the corridor loomed the inevitable figure of the bodyguard. 'No. He insists that he must see you. lurking in the background of the Pictogram.' 'So?' 'The Mara has waited a long time for its return. bowing and scraping with every step. He pointed to the drawing of the crystal.' mused the Doctor. 'Look. 'Take a closer look at what?' 'The Pictogram.'I need facts. commemorating the supposed destruction of the Mara.

dusted his knees and came to join her.' 'I remember your impertinence. .' 'What do you want?' snarled Lon. 'Yes my Lord.' 'And meeting in the Great Crystal?' The Doctor nodded. .' Lon sat up and stared menacingly at the terrified showman. and then laughed. where she was looking at the great carved snake. various misunderstandings . 'Summoned? I am summoned! How extraordinary.' 'Have you indeed!' Dugdale stumbled on. my Lord. The Doctor got up. 'I've been sent to fetch you. 'Just as a lens focuses the rays of the sun. 'Oh. and so forth. The Doctor stepped back. the showman!' 'I'm flattered you remember me. blank panel. of course. that is whe re it would have fitted. The Great Mind's Eye. Dugdale swallowed hard and said miserably. co ming from them. Heat of the moment. there !' 'But it's been scratched out!' . pre ss of the crowd. 'Redirecting them. but not going to the figures. You are summoned. . logically. 'What?' 'If the Great Crystal of the Legend really existed -then. By whom?' The Doctor was on all fours peering at a figure in the bottom of the Pictogram.' The Doctor indicated the last. Nyssa had moved on into the Chamber of the Mara. Things were beginning to come together. 'Yes. 'The Great Crystal .' 'Our previous encounter was rather unfortunate. my Lord. Go away.' Nyssa pointed to the blank socket between the snake's jaws. studying the terrifying snake carving. The lines do represent a flow of mental energy. the Great Mind's Eye gathered all the individual thought-energies and concentrated and amplified them . .Lon stared at him. presumably. it's obvious. 'Doctor!' she called.' 'What is?' He led the way back to the Pictogram.

the Great Crystal is the source of the Mara's power. spinning a fantastic tale to arouse his interest. She held out her hand. She's waiting inside. .' For a moment Tegan took no notice of him. . A little uncertainly Lon moved through the darkened hall. after all. 'Unless . Dugdale gave him an anguished look. drawn by the glamour of his great position.' 'Can I have your personal assurance?' 'She's inside. Nyssa. why not?' He took Tegan's hand . He saw there was a reddening about her eyes and mouth. So. but here I am. 'In here. He advanced towards her. But where is it now ? What exactly are its properties? If only I could get a look at the Great Crystal itself. .' Lon stared at him. just as long as h e found it amusing. Quite an attra ctive one. 'So I should hope. my Lord. 'What happens now?' Tegan turned slowly towards him. according to the Legend. . . We're going to try an experiment!' Dugdale paused outside his Hall of Mirrors.' repeated Dugdale. waving Lon forward. It's not something I'm accustomed to.The Doctor turned and strode back into the main chamber. It was just as he had expected. 'You summoned me. and stared thoughtfully at it.' said Lon. but Tegan's grip held hi m powerless.' 'Where to?' 'Back to the TARDIS.' The Doctor fished the crystal pendant from his pocket. 'Here . my Lor d. 'Please. 'Well?' said Lon impatiently. . 'Yes . Some local gi rl he supposed. 'Now. . He smiled when he saw Tegan standing before the mirror. there was a girl after your Hall of Mirrors? I hope for your sake I'm not going to be disappointed?' Lon had listened with amused disbelief to Dugdale's story o f a strange girl with extraordinary powers who insisted on seeing him. unless . Come on. In the mirror behind him.and was immediately transfixed as a current of energy flowed between them. Lon smiled. He went into the booth. . Frightened. there appeared the snake-skull of the Mara. he tried to pull away. . He had decided to go along with the game.

the one Tegan was holding. .Suddenly Lon relaxed. He looked wonderingly down at his hand. On the back of his forearm. was the design of the snake. as on Tegan's. The Mara had marked another follower.

'Yes indeed. the Manussan civilisation simply disappeared. degra dation and cruelty.' 'What a shame your son was indisposed this evening. my Lady?' Lady Tanha smiled and nodded. Now she was trapped with her host . staring at the distorted refle ctions. I'm sure he would have found it all most illuminating. you see. It's q uite clear that the Manussan's of the Pre-Sumaran era were a highly civilised people. as if cut off by a switch. Ambril was too absorbed to hear her. 'Are you all right.' By now Tanha was hungry as well as bored. Their technology. . my Lady. then. some six hundred years later. who was launched into yet another interminable lecture on his favourite. Instantly Lon followed her. 'And. almost overnight. Eviden tly it was subjected to a cultural catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. a big one this time. topic of conversation. in some respects. Ambril droned on. Tegan turned and walked stiffly out of the door. 'Shall we eat?' she suggested brightly .' Lady Tanha stifled another yawn. we draw a complete blank. and laughing hysterically. do go on. sunk in barbarity.' Lady Tanha sighed. The laughter stopped. And suddenly. 'Silence.' said Tegan. in thrall to the Mara. was considerably in advance of our own.6 Dinner with Ambril Very delicately and unobtrusively. Ambril peered worriedly at her. 'Yes. Ambril's little dinner party had just begun. 'Yes indeed. yes of course. they speak of the Manussans as a primitive people. to such an extent that when th e Federation records begin. and ind eed only. Various local dignitaries had paid their respects and withdrawn to a discreet distance.' Lon was striding up and down the Hall of Mirrors. the Lady Tanha stifled a yawn.

as an aid to concentration.' He fished the anti-dreaming device out of his pocket and began making careful adjustments. 'Doctor. I just can't seem to concentrate hard enough. if you say so. Nyssa stared fixedly at the crystal. you just stay there. Nyssa sat cross-legged opposite him. He closed his eyes frowning in concentration. The Doctor sat cross-legged on the floor of the TARDIS control room holding the Snakedancer crystal between finger and thumb. if this is the same sort of crystal it should exhibit some of the same properties. brighter and brighter. Watch the crystal closely and observe any changes. For a moment it seemed as if this experimen t too would be a failure. 'I'm sorry. So. we must direc t our thoughts at it. let's try again. Nyssa watched him puzzled. Doctor. 'What are you doing?' 'I'm adjusting the frequency . and stood up. Dugdale was wondering what the devil he was getting himself into. 'Right. . But suddenly the little crystal began to glow. Now?' 'Yes.' 'All right. Miserably he trailed after th em.' The Doctor was thinking hard. Nyssa gasped. 'Right. Ar e you ready?' Nyssa nodded. If the Great Crystal focuses thought in some way. Doctor. 'That's impossible!' The Doctor opened his eyes and the glow faded. . We'll try another way. I feel so foolish. There!' The Doctor sl ipped the device over his head and slipped in the ear-pieces. it was too late to draw back now.By now.' said the Doctor. Now then. 'Never mind. and see what happens. Now!' Nothing happened. . Whatever it was. After several minutes Nyssa opened her eyes. I'm not at all clear what we're supposed to be doing.' 'Just think about it!' 'About what? What are we doing?' 'A simple test.

'Exactly! The Mara needs the Great Crystal in order to make itself reoccur . . of course.' Nyssa couldn't see what the Doctor was so excited about. Don't you see? Just think of the power the Grea t Crystal must have. Dugdale hung back. The Doctor looked thoughtfully at the crystal. paused for a moment waiting for Dugdale who was puffing along behind. in cas e Tegan returns. I've got to make him liste n. staring angrily up at the empty jaw s of the great carved snake. . It's not what you saw.'What happened?' he asked.' 'Where are you going?' 'To warn Ambril. 'Come on. I'll be back as soon as I can. and dragged Dugdale into the cave. 'I don't like this . Whatever is in your thoughts. . . who was close behind her. 'Come along. 'All it did was glow wi th a blue light. Nyssa told him. speaking in the deep harsh voice of the Mara.' 'You're missing the point.' said Nyssa's the fact that you saw any thing at all. "Who has dared to remove the Great Crystal? Where is the Crystal?' . He knows where the Great Crystal is. it can actually m ake it occur!' 'And if the Mara is in Tegan's mind .' repeated Lon. Dugdale saw the snake-design on Lon's arm. . 'Come on. ' The Doctor leaped up and headed for the door.' Lon reached out and gripped his arm. . Looking down. Perhaps even into matter itself. Showman. but the potential power . . 'You'd better stay here. It proves that the crystal has the power of transforming thought into energ y. Nyssa. Lon. in your mind.' said Lon yet again. Hurry up' 'Where's she taking us?' gasped Dugdale. They found Tegan in the Chamber of the Mara. . She swung round.' Tegan strode swiftly up the steps that led to the Cave of the Snake and on into the tunnel. 'It's only small.

Without waiting for a reply, she stepped forward and pressed the snake-mark on h er arm against the wall. With a heavy grinding sound a section of wall at the base of the snake-carving rolled back, revealing a small inner chamber. Tegan moved inside a nd the others followed. Dugdale paused in the doorway, looking round. They were in a small stone room, thick with dust. It seemed to be completely empty, except for some kind of rubbi sh heap in the corner. Dugdale looked more closely, and saw that the rubbish consis ted of gold and silver plates, crystal goblets, intricately-carved statuettes, rings and bracelets and necklaces, wrist and head-bands . , . There were precious objects of every kind, all covered in a thick coating of dust and grime. Dugdale ran forward and began scrabbling in the pile. He snatched up a crystal goblet and polished it with the edge of his coat. Lon stood watching, a faint sm ile on his face. 'You are not impressed?' asked Tegan. 'Not overly - did you expect me to be?' Tegan looked down at Dugdale. 'Leave them alone.' 'You don't understand what there is here . . .' 'Toys for children,' sneered Lon. Dugdale was frantic with excitement. 'Toys? These are the real thing. The genuin e article. They're worth money - a fortune.' Tegan beckoned imperiously. Reluctantly Dugdale got to his feet and stood starin g wistfully down at the pile of treasure. Tegan turned to Lon. 'Now, tell me about the Great Crystal. That interests me. I t interests me very much indeed. Do you know where it is?' 'Yes, as a matter of fact I do.' 'Where?' demanded Tegan fiercely. 'To be more precise,' said Lon. 'I know who knows where it is.' He plucked the c rystal goblet from Dugdale's fingers. 'And I know how he may be persuaded to tell us!' Ambril's dinner was coming to an end at last. Flanked by Ambril and his assistan t Chela, Lady Tanha sat smiling graciously at the head of the table. She had a ter rible feeling that Ambril was about to make a speech. He raised his glass. 'A toast! T o the Federation, as embodied in the person of this gracious lady!'

But before he could utter another word the Doctor hotly pursued by a number of attendants, burst into the room and skidded to a halt before the table. The bodyguard behind Lady Tanha's chair dropped his hand to the hilt of his swor d. 'Where is the Great Mind's Eye?' shouted the Doctor 'The what?' 'The Great Crystal, the one that was taken from the head of the snake in the Chamber of the Mara.' Ambril turned deferentially to Lady Tanha. 'I beg your pardon for this interrupt ion, my Lady, I will have the man removed . . .' The Doctor leaned over the table, staring accusingly at Ambril. 'You know where it is!' 'I certainly do.' 'Where?' 'Wherever it is, I assure you it is perfectly safe.' 'You don't understand,' said the Doctor frantically. 'The Great Crystal is the s ource of the Mara's power. It needs that power to make itself reoccur. That is how it pla ns to return.' 'I think we've heard enough,' said Ambril. 'Take him away.' At a nod from Lady Tanha, the giant bodyguard advanced on the Doctor, great hands outstretched. 'You don't understand,' shouted the Doctor. 'Through the Great Crystal the Mara will reoccur, as a physical fact - here on Manussa!' The bodyguard closed in. Dugdale stood in the secret chamber, the treasure of a lifetime piled in a dusty heap at his feet. Tegan and Lon were finishing a rapid conference. Both turned and lo oked at Dugdale. 'So,' said Lon. 'Only one problem remains.' Dugdale gulped. 'Me? Oh, I could assist in your enterprise in whatever capacity. . using my discretion.' Tegan and Lon clasped their snake-marked hands.

'Or alternatively,' babbled Dugdale, T could simply forget. Whichever and whatev er you prefer.' Tegan glanced at Lon. 'He has served his purpose.' Lon smiled coldly at Dugdale. 'You are no longer necessary.' 'Look at me,' commanded Tegan. Dugdale tried to hide his face in his hands. 'No,' he sobbed. 'No. What are you doing?' 'Look at me,' commanded Tegan's voice. 'I'm not going to harm you. Look at me.' Unwillingly Dugdale looked up and realised to his horror that Tegan's voice was coming from Lon's mouth. 'That's right,' said the Mara cruelly. 'Look at me! Look at me!' Dugdale looked fearfully down at the linked snake-marked hands, and then up into Tegan's face. Her eyes glowed fiery red . . .

' 'You are to be kept here until after this afternoon's ceremony. 'It doesn't matter. how long are they keeping me here.' 'What happened to him?' Chela hesitated.' Managing to eat and drink at the same time.' 'How long am I going to be locked up?' Chela offered the tray. rather ungraciously. The Doctor slammed his fists against the bars in frustration.' said the Doctor. Doctor.' 'But you're not sure?' challenged the Doctor. T have brought you food and drink. He reached through the bars a nd took bread. Chela . he too was convinced that the Mara would return. . the Doctor gave Chela an account of what he had so far learned. came into t he cell carrying a small tray.' 'Then why did you give me that crystal?' Reluctantly Chela said..' 'Do you think I'm inventing it all? What would I have to gain?' 'I don't know. Dojje n. 'Don't you want it?' 'Thank you. It was a large cage-like affair in a grey metal prison area. Ambril's assistant. and a jug of water from the tray. The Great Crystal is safe in Ambril's charg e. Chela said wonderingly. Doctor. and you are deluded. at least you can tell me that.' 'That will be too late! Whatever happens will happen at the ceremony. 'Because you are not the first to hold such views. 'You're not sure it's all nonsense . 'Listen to me. the Director before Ambril . 'Come on. 'It is hard to believe. about the Mara and its plans to return. ..' The Docto r forced himself to calm down. . Chela.are you?' 'Of course I am. Perhaps Ambril is right.' He left the prison area. a variety of fruits.7 Dojjen's Journal The Doctor was in a cell. and it looked uncomfortably escape-proof.

taken aback at the sight of her.' 'Embarrass me?' Tanha smiled fondly.' 'Whatever for?' 'I want to look at you.well. Instinctively he concealed his left arm behind him. having f un while your poor mother was being bored to tiny pieces at that official dinner . 'He may still be useful. speaking through Tegan's mouth. isn't there? Show me!' Relieved. as it happens I wasn't out having fun. 'If you were not amusing yourself last night . but I didn't want to embarrass you. She noticed the hand behind his bac k. . rigid. 'It's antique.' He left the secret chamber and the door closed behind him.' 'Come here. I must have it!' Lon picked a crystal goblet from the pile of treasures and tucked it into his tu nic. She examined it with interest. 'No.' said Tanha indulgently.' replied Tegan dismissively. out there.' It was the Mara. What are you hiding?' Lon gave her an angry look. Only the Great Crystal is important. Lon transferred the goblet from left hand to right. a living corpse. and held it out to his mother. Tanha pushed aside her dish of toasted grains and fruit. I shall never forgive you. He paused. 'Lon! Where have you been?' 'Oh. Mother. isn't it?' . I understand. . The Lady Tanha was breakfasting when Lon came into the guest suite. 'I will do all I can.' 'No. 'What?' 'There's something in your hand.' 'You must not fail me. motionless. 'You will leave him like that?' Lon asked. Lon studied the snake pattern on his arm.' 'Really? You promise?' said Tanha teasingly.The showman Dugdale stood in a corner of the secret chamber. 'I nearly raised the alarm when I realised your room was empty last night. 'He is not important.

'Is there something else. She ducked back out o f sight as a tall. . Be good enough to tell your mas ter I want to see him. he turned and walked off in the opposite direction. immersed in the study of a tattered leather-cove red notebook.' said Lon impatiently. He looked up impatiently.' 'Since when have you been interested in such things?' 'It caught my eye. 'I'm sure the man has no academic standing whatever!' As Nyssa approached the prison area she heard a familiar voice.' A door at the end of the corridor opened and an angry palace servant carrying a pile of blankets emerged.' Ambril returned to his book. . For a moment he had seemed almost like a different person. Assuming that the Doctor was (a) in trouble and (b) probably locked up. and then blurted out. 'Mother! I will not have y ou continually asking questions!' He stormed off to his room. Nyssa ha d persuaded a friendly kitchen servant to direct her to the prison area. We'll let him go after the ceremo ny. Nyssa spent an uneasy night in the TARDIS. She stared after him in astonishment. curly-haired young man came along the corridor and turned into the doorway of one of the larger rooms.' 'Doctor of what?' asked Ambril scornfully. . 'I think he's harmless. 'No. Chela?' Chela bit his lip. though she also liked to think there was no real harm in him. All I want is to get out of here.' 'He is a doctor . But the vicious an ger in his manner was something new.'It's just a cheap fake. Now she w as moving cautiously through the palace corridors towards it. leaving the goblet in Lady Tanha's hands. Chela found Ambril at his desk. that's all. I do not wa nt more blankets.' 'Harmless? Of course the poor fool's harmless. I picked it up in the market. realised his assistant was still there and looked up. 'Well?' 'I've taken our prisoner some food.' 'I hope he's grateful. She knew in her heart that Lon was spoiled . Slamming the door behind him. When the Doctor still hadn't returned next day she had decided to go to the palace and look for him.

'Well. Director?' 'The meanderings of another crank . 'Just look at this. But there was no reply. Lady Tanha was still holding the goblet. She looked worriedly after him. Nyssa headed towards the prison area. Here is th e Mara. and by now Ambril had got us ed to his presence. It's nonsense. Pure and simple.Pleased to find her theories confirmed. 'Give i t to me!' Lady Tanha handed it over. 'Is it a code. Director?' 'Code? Of course it's not a code.' he said delightedly. He had washed and changed his clothes and he was wearing elbow-high gauntlets that conveniently hid the snake design on his a rm. and Lon stretched out his hand. Here in the depths of the human heart. 'It was written by Dojjen . woolly-minded nonsense. Ambril waved his hand impatiently. He pushed aside the journal and looked up. Where the Fires of Greed burn. "Where is th e Mara?" ' Chela turned to the end of the journal. 'Where are you going?' called Lady Tanha.' . 'You'll find the last entry of interest .' He tossed Chel a the your friend the Doctor. that is! Dojjen addresses what remains of his wits to the question. Lon came out of his the months before he decided that his parti cular line of research was best pursued up in the hills with a snake wrapped round his neck!' Ambril snorted. Che la!' 'What is it.mental health i nterest. Only one of the cells was occupied. giving on to a row of cage-like cells with slanting metal bars. Where Hatred chills the blood. Pacing up and down inside it was the Doctor.' 'You see. why don't you read it out?' Chela struggled to decipher the thin spidery handwriting. 'Nyssa. Nyssa ran towards him. clasping his hands through the bars. 'Where the Winds of Restlessness blow. Lon turned and marched from the room.' said Ambril triumphantly. On the other side of the door she found a corridor. Here! In the Great Mind's Eye. Chela was still lingering in the Director's office.

of course. out. Ambril turned eagerly to Lon. 'It's no use. since the key is what we d on't have. 'The lock's very primitive.' 'There must be something we can do!' They heard approaching footsteps. 'Quick. It was Lon. 'Have you come to let me out?' 'I have brought you this.' grumbled the Doctor as he too k the book. The cell had a heavy old-fashioned lock.' He glanced at Chela. No electronic impulse matrix to decode. Ambril rose and bowed.' 'Good morning to you both. Look at the last pag e.' said Ambril. Director. 'I need to ask a favour of you. out. Practically a museum piece. I can't do that. but before she found one Chela ente red. if you don't mind?' 'Of course. Nyssa rattled the door angrily. Nyssa. you see. hide!' said the Doctor. It was written by Dojjen. mechanical six-barrel lock movement. and it was firmly closed.' said a voice from the doorway. Just a crude. operated by a very large key.more than adequate actually. out!' Chela bowed and withdrew. Primitive but adequate . carrying a leather-bound book. 'My Lord. 'Why not? Don't you have the key?' . 'A private favour.' 'I'd sooner you unlocked the door and let me out. 'Out. 'Well?' demanded the Doctor. Chela.'I'm very pleased to hear it.' said Lon pleasantly. why should he mind. I've already tried that!' 'But this is so stupid!' The Doctor said wryly. my Lord how may I serve you?' Nyssa soon realised that although she had found the Doctor she was powerless to free him. Doctor. no sonic micro circuitry to disru pt. Nyssa looked frantically for a hiding-place. 'And now. He nodded to Nyssa as if taking her presence for granted.

eyes shining. as a matter of fact he does.and made a discreet 'off-you-go' signal to Nyssa ov er Chela's shoulder. I am bound by my oath of office. Nyssa edged behind Chela's back and slipped quietly out of the cell area.' said Chela impatiently.' 'And rare?' 'It is unique.' 'Well. but you don't realise what a find like this means to me. may I say how grateful I am by your renewed interest in our antiquities. as it happens. where did you find this? Where di d you find it? I must know. but if you can't be bothered . Surprising what one can turn up . 'I thought you'd be interested in Doyen's book. . dating back to the time of the destruction of the Mara. Ambril stared at it in astonishment for a moment.' 'Is it valuable?' 'It is beyond price. 'I imagine he keeps the key in his rooms?' 'Yes. Ambril was shocked and horrified. 'My Lord. and then took it from him with trembling hands.' said the Doctor. I suppose. my Lord. 'Of course I'm interested.' 'But you do know where the Great Crystal is?' 'Yes. and Ambril said apologetically. for instance.' suggested the Doctor casually. I don't. Doctor. Snatching up a magnifying glass from the desk he studied it eagerly. 'With time on one's hand one poke s around. As the Doctor began studying the book.' .like this. wait. 'Oh my Lord. He looked up. my Lord.' He held out a carved crystal goblet. . Lon had made his request. The last page you say?' The Doctor opened the book . But not even the Federator himself may actually see the Great Crystal. I'm sorry to be so insistent.'No. However.' said Lon casually.' 'Ambril does. 'My Lord. An oath. you know how it is. wait.' 'No.' Lon stared at him in mock astonishment.

how many?. open-mouthed. . a secret chamber. There seemed to be lots of things like that. 'Well?' asked Chela eagerly.of a kind easily misunderstood . the Return of the Mara could only be resisted by those of a perfectly clear mind. .' 'There were many such objects though.' 'Yes. rubbing his chin thoughtfully.' 'What kind of powers?' 'Mental powers . .' The Doctor stared at him in astonishment.' 'Why were they so against it?' 'According to the Legend. Whe n was this journal written?' 'It was the last thing Dojjen did before -' 'Before what?' 'Nothing. 'But.certain powers. 'I see he refers to "The Great Mind's Eye" . 'However. in readiness to com bat the return. The Doctor looked up from Dojjen's journal. 'Perhaps you'd like me to show you where they are?' he suggested casually.' Chela shrugged.' 'Scattered?' gasped Ambril. Ambril stared at him. . of course . I picked this one up at rando m. It was when I w as poking about in the cave system.' 'Why were they so against the dance?' 'Apparently it involved the use of.' 'Before he what?' 'Before he danced the Dance of the Snake. They banned the lance and drove the Snakedancers into the hills. tell me!' Lon smiled. . nearly a hundred years ago. . 'Dojjen? But I thought the Snakedance was banned by the Federation?' 'It was.or misused. the Federation held that since the Mara n o longer existed the dance was no longer necessary. The dance was a dance of purification. They were scattered around rather. my Lord?' Ambril's voice was trembling. . Give me back the book. 'Many? Lots? My Lord.' 'I really didn't count. as far as I could see.'How strange! I found a sort of cache you see. . The Doctor tapped the book.' .

inside a carved wooden box. 'And what do you think you are doing?' Nyssa whirled round. As her fing ers closed upon it a voice behind her said. There in the doorway stood a handsome middle-aged woman in sumptuous rosecoloure d robes.Nyssa found Ambril's rooms without difficulty. slipped inside and began to searc h for the key to the Doctor's cell. Behind her in the corridor was a giant bodyguard. a tiara gleaming in her hair. Since the place was so cluttered. . her search was n ot an easy one. But she found the key at last.

Lon had led him here. he really should be here. The bodyguard followed. and painted in garish snake-patterns.' She took the key from Nyssa's hand and said politely. 'Just what we need. 'Where is Ambril. 'I think perh aps you'd better come with me. This is not a situation to which one is accustomed. carrying a couple of lanterns. He was in a fever of impatience.' Lon led the astonished Director through the crowd. but the bodyguard was too quick for her. . Ambril stood staring at it unseeingly. 'Here we are. There was a puppet-show in the market.' 'What are they for. chased off the Federation civic guard. the kind carried during the ceremony. we must be properly equipped. Grabbing her as she tried to dodge past. But to Ambril's reli ef. Isn't that what one usually says in these circumstanc es?' Pleased to have found an acceptable formula. The Doctor was still absorbed in Dojjen's journal. bringing Nyssa with him. and was fin ally swallowed up by a giant puppet snake which rose from the depths of the little bo oth.8 The Origin of Evil Nyssa tried to run.' said Lon. he saw Lon returning. Come on. made of rice-pap er with a candle inside. They were paper lanterns. Lady Tanha nodded to the bodyguard and left the room. he seized her arms with hands like metal clamps and dragged her back into the room. Hordes of enthusiastic children. then left him while he went off to another stall. and some adults too. . I am really not sure what to do . Lady Tanha regarded her prisoner uneasily. 'So Dojjen believed the Legen d of the Mara to such an extent he gave up everything and went up into the hills to p urify himself in readiness?' . gathered round to watch the beaky-nosed figure of the villain-hero a s he attacked and abused his wife.' 'But where are we going?' 'Just you wait and see. my Lord?' 'Oh.

'My Lady.' 'He was here. 'A blindfold.' she said. Apparently he had something confidential to discuss with the Director.' said Lon cheerfully. 'It just depends how much you want the honour of making this important archaeological discovery on your own. 'Bring her in. 'Nobody believes in the Legend these days.'He was mad.' He slipped a scarf from around his n eck. and watched her return the key to the desk. my Lady.' 'My Lord what is this?' spluttered Ambril. 'In there? My Lord? But that's impossible. 'It's up to you!' 'Very well.' The door opened and Lady Tanha appeared. By now the entrance to the Cave of the Snake was draped with festive banners and bunting.' 'Did he really? How odd. 'No.' Lon held up the blindfold.' ordered Tanha. All the passages have been thoroughly explored over the years. How very odd!' . The bodyguard marched Nyssa into the cell area. 'I'm afraid I have another prisoner for you.' said Lon negligently.' He paused.' 'Certainly not!' 'You don't have to wear it.' said Chela uneasily. 'Come along. 'One moment. 'I was actually look ing for my son. 'I caught the girl quite by chance.' 'That's what you think.' Lon and Ambril had reached the top of the flight of steps. in honour of the coming ceremony. and let Lon tie the scarf about his eyes.' Nervously Ambril came forward.' 'You would allow me the credit?' 'Certainly. Director. Ambril looked at Lon in astonishment. Chela ushered Lady Tanha back into Ambril's room. wait a moment. Almost apologetically Tanha said . pulling away. we might as well do this properly.' said Chela in astonishment.

I trust you will not be disappointed.' . Ambril saw the treasures piled carelessly in the corner and was overwhelmed. The little circle of light illuminated Dugdal e's booted feet. He made a pathetic attempt at a laugh. aren't they? It is all an elaborate hoax . children half pri ce. 'Roll up. 'Where am I? What is this place?' A harsh voice spoke from the shadows. 'There! You've done splendidly. 'Where is the Great Crystal?' Ambril looked round wildly. . 'Forward. which was illuminated only by the faint yellow light of the lanterns. 'Another three steps.' Like Dugdale before him. over the ste p.' As the door closed behind them.' Ambril moved his lantern to reveal more of the treasure trove. Ambril looked at Lon in horror.' Tegan stepped forward . isn't it. revealing Dugdale's blank. my Lord. staring face. . . with t he pressure of the snake-mark on his arm against a section of the rock. But eventually he led the apprehensive Director to the entrance to the secret chamber. opening it. Then suddenly he jerked into l ife like an automaton. Now. It' s amazing. 'It's all a h oax. 'Are they part of the hoax? After all. leading him stumbling up and down the cave passages. as had Tegan. For a moment the showman gave no reaction to the light. . my Lord? Just a prank at my expense? There are some noble friends of yours. 'So entirely unexpected. . . He knelt reverently to examine them. Slowly Ambril raised the lantern. Visit the dark and distant shores of the imagination .' Ambril peered around the chamber. 'Over there. red-mouthed. 'Stop wasting time. this is the greatest moment . Now wait there. 'My Lord the very existence of these objects . 'And these?' He took a fine p orcelain vase from Ambril's hands.' he said brokenly. wonderful entertainment. Lon slipped the blindfold from Ambril's eyes. roll up.Lon complicated Ambril's blindfold journey as much as he could. then?" Ambril was examining the treasures with trembling hands.'The cracked voice cut out as suddenly as it had begun. my Lord? No indeed!' 'It was all worth it. red-eyed. you're the expe rt.isn't it?' Lon jabbed at the pile of treasures with his foot. Step this way please for the Spectacle of a Lifetime. Lon pointed. 'Disappointed.' directed Lon. three more steps forwards and stop. Tread the misty corridors of Ti me.

' Ambril could have resisted bribes or threats but to watch the wanton destruction of irreplaceable antiques was more than he could bear. my friend Tegan here has a th eory. To Nyssa's exasperation. and the vase dropped from his hands. I agree. 'Who else?' demanded Tegan. I'll do as you ask. If you do not co-operate. In order to test it. 'You see. Lon bent down and scooped up a double handful of precious objects. 'What are we going to do. I shall destroy them. Doctor?' . It's up to you.' said Lon. 'Now listen t o me.' said Tegan flatly. 'Oh. shattering on the ston e floor.somewhere. 'And then lost them forever.' A vase followed the figurine. 'No!' Through Tegan's mouth the Mara spoke again.once.' he sobbed.' Ambril looked at her in horror. And you will always know that they existed .' The Doctor was still locked up in his cell. 'No. I will guarantee that you will never set e yes on any of these trinkets again. the Great Crystal must be placed in its socket during the Ceremony. 'That you discovered them . 'No. . the Doctor was sitting placidly on his bunk reading Doj jen's journal.' An other crystal goblet shattered. wait.He opened his hands. some crank .' screamed Ambril. ' Where is the Great Crystal?' 'Why?' said Ambril distractedly. 'Why is everyone so interested in the Great Cry stal?' 'Everyone?' said Lon. 'Killed?' 'Forget the Doctor. Director. 'All right. The difference was that now he had N yssa for company.' Tegan moved closer. 'Held them in your hands . 'His name?' 'He calls himself the Doctor.once. Ambril looked at their threatening faces.' 'No! That is quite impossible!' 'Nothing is impossible. .' hissed Tegan. Ambril. although personally I rather doubt that he has the right -' 'The Doctor must not interfere.' He dashed a figurine to the ground. 'He must be killed.

"Doctor!' He looked up again. 'So for the time being we must make good use of what we do have. 'Well. reluctantly at first. 'Shush!' He went on reading. the crystals are man-made.' 'How?' 'If only we still had the sonic screwdriver!' 'Well.' said the Doctor mildly. 'That journal is a record of a journey.' 'But the Manussans aren't that advanced.' Suddenly a theory was forming in Nyssa's mind. A private. . even the minute distortion induced by the effects of grav ity. I should have realised. They must be!' The Doctor stared at her. we haven't. He passed it to Nyssa.' He took the crystal pendant from his pocket and studied it.but according to Chela.The Doctor looked up. 'Yes. 'It's fascinating. Doctor. inclu ding the Great Crystal. Doctor. Time passed.' . attuned to the exact wavelengths of the human mind. the origins of the c rystals .' 'Not now . must have been designed by a people who had mastered the techniques of molecular engineering in a zero-gravity environment. the history of this planet. 'Here. Dojjen must have discovered something that finally decided him. 'The crystals. free of all flaws and distortions. The Doctor sat waiting patiently. 'The Mara. 'To function as they do. 'It has to be structurally perfect.' The Doctor's mind was racing now as he built up his theory. the crys tals must possess a perfect molecular structure.' Nyssa took the diary and started to read it. Eventually Nyssa looked up. try it. this crystal is eight hundred years old. of course.' 'But to do with what?' The Doctor shrugged. But does it help us?' The Doctor rose and began pacing about the cell. mental journey. then with inc reasing interest.' 'And what's that?' 'This!' said the Doctor tapping Dojjen's journal. . what do you suggest?' 'We've got to get out of here.

absorbed it. amplified it. the restlessness. 'Exactly! And in the reign of evil which followed. the greed. 'I suspect that when they made the Great Cry stal they overlooked one vital factor. the hatred.Nyssa said. reflected it -' 'And created the Mara!' whispered Nys sa.' said the Doctor.their civilisation wouldn't have just vani shed. 'If the Manussans had been a people capable of sophisticated molecul ar engineering eight hundred years ago . The nature of the mental energy absorbed would determine the nature of the matter created. probably all kinds of traces. they must have forgotten the most important thing of all .' 'Not necessarily.that the Mara was something that they themselves had bl indly brought into being. Suppose the Great Crystal absorbed only the evil that was in their minds. There would be records.' . at least.

where a re they?' 'They are quite safe. cooper ate. you will b e able to 'discover' them again . 'Do you still dream of my success? Perhaps you do.' began Nyssa. come. the snake twisting lazily around the staff. palm down in front of her. 'If you co-operate fully.9 Death Sentence Ambril found himself blinking in the sunshine outside the Cave of the Snake. the crystal at his thr oat growing brightly. Lon had insisted on blindfolding him again before takin g him out of the hidden chamber. the antiques . . He looked wildly about him.' 'And your friend .after the ceremony. 'If Dojjen had worked out what happened . her eyes glowing fiercely red . 'Well. Please. staring at the snake desi gn. It will be greater than you could imagine! You have no choice you know. He sensed that the danger for which he had prepared for so many long years was very close . 'The objects you showed me. the snake began to pulse and swell. . Still Dojjen sat motionless between the two jagged rocks. .' sneered Tegan.' said Lon soothingly. 'And remember. and you can discover the treasures after the ceremony.' The snake grew larger. To Dugdale's fascinated horror. concentrating fiercely. . The credit will be yours -all yours!' Tegan stood motionless in the lantern-lit chamber.' He put a hand on Ambril's arm. There was a fierce alertness to his concentration now. we must get back to your quarters. You have to look.that strange girl -' 'She will look after them for you. and now Ambril was haunted by the thought that his ne wfound treasures might be lost to him forever. He turned to Lon. You have arrangements to make. Somehow it became a real snake. She held out her left hand. Showman. . Now.

Ambril here has been showing me round the Caves again. She found the young man's company very soothing. as a rule? You may-speak freely. dishevelled. what do we do now?' 'We wait. and I don't know the answer. he sat down on the bunk and resumed his reading. and she felt sure that she could rely on his discretion.exploring. 'Where have you been?' 'Nowhere. hidden in traditions and legends. He knows that one day he will be Federator and rule over the Three Worlds. My husband is an old man but he is .' interrupted the Doctor. strictly between ourselv es.' 'So Dojjen became convinced the Mara would return?' 'That's right.' 'So now we've worked it all out. Lady Tanha was talking to Chela in Ambril's room. Picking up Dojjen's journal. . and showing strong evidence of suppressed excitement. .'Only some of it.lingering on. 'Lon!' said Tanha reproachfully. 'My poor Lon. He could live for many y ears yet. It was dangerous enough to list en to this kind of talk.' she was saying. imp atient. 'The rest he must have learned from h is contact with the Snake-dancers. just . 'The young do n ot like to wait. nobody would listen to him.and anyway. He might almost have been drunk. and so my son must wait. haven't you Ambril?' Ambril didn't seem able to reply. Why didn't he simply destroy the Great Crys tal when it was in his charge?' 'Good question . Mother.' She looked thoughtfully at Chela. let alone join in. Just as no one will listen to us!' 'But Dojjen was Director for a time.' Chela was petrified with fear and embarrassment. They'd kept the old knowledge alive. . Chela was quiet and respectful. do they. Lon and Ambril appeared in the doorway and Chela was shocked to see that the usually meticulous Director was grimy.' said the Doctor simply. He is young. But he didn't know exactly when . 'It's difficult for him you see. rather.

' He paused. 'Ah yes.' Lon was dusting Ambril down rather like a father whose child has been playing in the mud. the Great Mind's Eye.' 'But you can't be sure. five hundred years ago. I think he'll help us. 'In honour of the sp ecial esteem in which we hold -' 'Get to the bit about the ceremony.Nyssa was rapidly approaching explosion point.' shouted Chela instinctively. struck dumb by embarrassment. the ceremony. 'And meanwhile Tegan is in the power of the Mara.' said Lon in steely tones.' . 'I can't be sure. parrot-like. caught Lon's eye and stumbled on. Unless we can help her soon. I'm afraid he got himself a little dusty in the process. concerned.' Nyssa resumed her pacing. wi ll for the first time be inserted in its rightful place -' 'No. 'I know these last-minute ch anges of plan can sometimes cause problems. We explored the deepest rec esses of the caves you see. 'In honour of this special occasion. pacing up and down the cell like a captive animal. Ambril cleared his throat. sending up clouds of dust. Lord Lon. 'Now then. patience. th e Director has an announcement to make. the Great Crystal.' 'And if he doesn't?' 'I think he will.' He gave Ambril a final pat on the back. Doctor?' 'Patience.' Ambril drew himself up with a pathetic attempt at formal dignity.' Ambril coughed and choked. I did rather insist.' 'Oh yes?' 'Young Chela was far more convinced than he let on.' said Lon wearily. and began reciting. He fell silent. can you?' 'No. you have. will that be difficult?' asked Lon. 'In the ceremony this afternoon. I have an idea we may be out of here soon. Nyssa. I'm afraid. defeated the Mara and founded the Federation. will play the part of his illustrious ancestor. 'All my fault. who. son of the present Federator . 'Have I?' 'Yes. it will destroy her. 'How can you just sit there.' said the Doctor gently. 'Oh.

'Those are my instructions.' Chela backed towards the door. He began edging towards the letter!' 'Then fetch the Great Crystal. 'With the greatest of pleasure.'Director.' said Lon cheerfully.' said Tanha protestingly. Why not now? We may as well have a look at it. my Lord.' Ambril stumbled out of the room. my Lord?' 'Yes. 'Well. 'What was it?' . Mother.' Chela stepped back. of course. 'You mustn't neglect your duties. will you tell me what is going on?' Lon seemed to be in high spirits. I'm afraid I have duties. bowing his head. Chela looked at the big metal key. 'I will hav e them obeyed . 'Do you have any objection?' Lady Tanha shook her head. 'He picked something up off the table. 'Of course. on Ambril's desk.' 'Lon.' said Lon. his hands reaching out behind hi m. will you?' said Lon affably.' By now Chela was at the door.' said Chela desperately. Lon rounded on Lady Tanha. very commendable.' said Lon.I'll send a servant to bring you wine.' He smiled a t Chela. 'No thank you my Lor He straightened up. Ambril blenched. I'm afraid. 'It was all my idea. He bowed. 'A drink while we're waiting. They touched the cold metal of the key.' Lon turned looked at his mother. 'You mean . 'Excuse me. 'Will you join us?' By now Chela was leaning against Ambril's desk. 'Please.' 'It's all my fault. I think. 'What was on the table?' Lady Tanha stared at him.' said Ambril with nervous determination.' Chela slipped out of the room. 'My Lord. my Lady . 'It is expressly forbidden by your oath of o ffice -' 'Superstition! Just foolish superstition.

' said Nyssa. Mother. 'My dear Mother .Chela hurried into the cell area. and now Lon was pacing up and down Ambril's study. 'Come on' said Chela. What about Tegan?' In Ambril's office.' 'Be quiet.' said the Doctor delightedly. waiting for news. perhaps.' ' We will.' He un locked the cell door.' 'And back to the TARDIS. didn't he? That proves he's involved.' protested Tanha. Lon was berating a guard.' Lon said impatiently.' Chela led them swiftly along the back corridors.' 'Are you sure? He seems such a pleasant young man. 'We'll be safe there. 'What made you change your mind?' asked the you really expect me to allow those who plot my death to go free?' 'Your death?' 'Isn't it obvious? This whole thing is a plot against my life . The bodyguards had been alerted. 'We must hurry. it's about time. 'Mind you.' said Chela impatiently. there is little time. 'He's a trai tor. and led the way from the room. 'Well done. 'We must get out of the buildin g at once.' 'He took the key. I really do feel you're making too much of this. key in hand.' The guard hurried away 'Lon. 'Why haven't they been found yet? I want every entrance sealed. 'It's no use making excuses for him.and those respon sible must die!' . They must not escape.

' Lon came around the corner.but there was another bodyguard behind them. They turned to run . 'Kill them!' he said. 'All right.' Lon clicked his fingers and the bodyguards drew their huge. all right. . curved swords. The three fugitives turned a corner and found themselves facing one of the bodyguards .a giant of a man in a terrifying mask-like helmet. Docto r. The death penalty would be automatic. and instant. 'Oh no. Lon paused. we give in. savouring the moment. thought Lon.It would solve a lot of problems. 'Give in? You talk as though you had a choice. The Doctor raised his hands. 'Back the way we came!' ordered the Doctor.' gasped Chela. An attack on the Federator or one of his family was the most dreadful crime imaginable.

'Of course we can do this if we wi sh. 'Haven't you?' .' She glanced at Ambril.10 The Escape The bodyguards raised their swords.and to see that the Great Crystal i s not misused.' At this moment Ambril came along the corridor. 'You cannot do this Lon.' She turned to the Doctor and said reasonably. 'It is preposterous to think that anyone is plotting against you.' The Doctor gave a sigh of relief.' 'And why not?' asked Tanha calmly. preparations for the ceremony were well under way. An imperious voice called. The Doctor looked in fascinated horror at the little carved chest in Ambril's ha nds. The Director has agreed. clutching a small carved chest. 'If I'm allowed to liv e long enough. 'No!' Lady Tanha was standing at the end of the corridor. 'No! Let the man have his say. I'll explain. 'Your mother is quite right!' 'Naturally you deny everything. 'Use the real Great Crystal in the Ceremony? No. 'Why not?' he demanded petulantly.' In the market-place. ' Why should the Great Crystal concern you. however preposterous.' 'My only concern is for my companion Tegan . Least of all t hese people. 'That is only to be expected .' said Lon morosely. 'Mother -' began Lon impatiently. you mustn't do it.' There was new firmness in her voice. and for the moment Lon seemed reduced to a sulky child. Doctor?' The Doctor indicated the sword still close to his throat. Children looked on wide-eyed as the long painted cloth body of the ceremonial snake was unfurled by cat-faced demons in scarlet robes. She waved him to silence.

' he said softly. Doctor. Nyssa. I've been very stupid. Doctor. who is this Tegan?' 'One of the Doctor's companions. How foolish of me.' The Doctor looked hard at Ambril. 'For interfer ing with your precious traditions?' 'I thought we'd cleared that up. 'But why? Why?' 'Why what?' asked Lon idly. 'Whoever said we wanted to assassinate yo u?' Lon was forced to take refuge in bluster. 'No of course not. Lady Tanha looked from one to the other.' said Lady Tanha wearily. The Great Crystal will be returned to its rightful place during the ceremony. 'They'd never believe you. one of the few advantages of being a member of the Federator's family. It is. 'You won't succeed in the end. pulling it higher to make sure the snake design was concealed.' He tugged uneasily at the gauntlet that covered his left arm. 'But it is forbidden. 'Lon. you m ight say. addressing only Lon. on the Kinda world? I should have realised. 'Why did you make this request? And why did the Director agree to it?' 'Why not?' said Tanha reasonably.Ambril clasped the chest tighter. Ev il never does.' . you know. The Doctor looked at Lon in disbelief. haven't I?' He turned to Nyssa. 'I am not here to be questioned by you . 'Where is Tegan? What have you done with her?' 'Tegan?' said Tanha. 'Call it the indulging of a whim. and his eyes widened. It's forbidden by a tra dition going back five hundred years. 'I have. Apparently he's managed to lose her.' Chela could keep silent no longer.' The Doctor was still looking at Lon.' Lon smiled.' 'Why is he asking you about her?' 'How should I know. The Doctor noticed the gesture. Yes. 'You remember me telling you about the Mark of the Mara. 'What are you two talking about?' The Doctor ignored her.' 'Is that why you proposed to assassinate me?' accused Lon swiftly. Mother? That man is a complete and utter fool.

'Lon what does he mean?' asked Tanha uneasily. 'Evil? Who is evil?' Lon gestured extravagantly. 'Oh I am, Mother, of course. Isn't it obvious? Your son is evil. Why else would they want to kill me? Don't you see?' Anv threat to her son made Lady Tanha both angry and defensive. Something about the Doctor's words to Lon had made her very uneasy. 'I most certainly do.' She waved to the guards. 'Take them away. Take them all away!' Lon wanted to savour his triumph a little longer. 'Wait, Mother. On this day of all days I think we can afford to be a little generous. Let them see the Great Crystal. J ust once. Just for a moment. Don't you think so, Director?' 'My Lord,' protested Ambril. Lon's voice hardened. 'Indulge me.' Lon signalled, and the guards brought the three prisoners closer to Ambril. Lon raised his hand. 'That's far enough.' He nodded to Ambril. 'Right.' 'Must I, my Lord?' 'If you wouldn't mind,' said Lon in that same tone of silky command. Ambril opened the little chest. Every eye was fixed on the opening lid, eager for a glimpse of what was inside . . . 'Now,' shouted the Doctor. Nyssa grabbed one arm of the nearest bodyguard, the Doctor grabbed the other, and they yanked the man forwards with all their combin ed strength. Caught off guard and off balance the giant sprawled clumsily forwards, tripped over the Doctor's outstretched foot and fell, bringing down Lon and Lady Tanha with him. For a moment the room seemed full of a sprawling pile of bodies. Chela made a move towards the Great Crystal, but the second bodyguard stepped in front of it, drawing his sword. 'No time for that, Chela,' yelled the Doctor. He grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the door. A moment later, all three fugitives were disappearing down the corridor. The bodyguard hovered, torn between pursuing the fugitives and protecting his master and mistress while Ambril stood watching events in utter amazement. Lon struggled to his feet. 'Well, don't just stand there, man, after them.' 'Me, my Lord?' said Ambril dubiously. 'Yes, you. And take that fool with you.' H e nodded towards the second bodyguard. 'Leave the chest with me.'

'Very well, my Lord.' Reluctantly putting down the chest Ambril set off after th e Doctor and the others, followed by the bodyguard. Lon turned to the other bodyguard, who was lumbering to his feet. 'You - go with them. Off you go!' Trying to straighten his armour and his face-mask, the bodyguard obeyed. Lady Tanha was still sprawled out on the floor, though even in this position she managed to look dignified. 'Lon, will you please help me?' Lon helped his mother to rise. She brushed at her dress. 'Oughtn't we to call out the palace guards - or someth ing?' Lon went over to the chest. 'It doesn't matter. What can they do now? I have the Great Crystal!' Exultantly, he took the crystal out of the box. It wasn't particularly spectacular to look at, just a large dull stone, about th e size of an orange. Lon held it up exultantly. 'Now everything is prepared!' The Doctor and his two friends headed for the crowded market area, busier than ever now with the preparation for the coming ceremony. They hid for a moment behind a stall, as a pursuing bodyguard went by. As they hurried on their way Chela gasped. 'Where are we going, Doctor?' 'To find Tegan. She won't be far away, not with the ceremony so close.' 'We don't even know if she's still alive,' said Nyssa. 'Tegan won't die,' said the Doctor confidently. 'Not while the Mara still needs her. Not till the Mara inside her is free.' 'If Lon has been infected by the Mara, why hasn't he changed completely?' 'Same reason as with Tegan. He's got a very strong personality of his own, and there's still quite a lot of it left.' 'But he is - influenced?' asked Chela. The Doctor nodded grimly. 'Very much so. Come on. We must find Tegan before it's too late.'

In the secret chamber, in the dim yellow light of the paper lanterns, the Mara h ad begun its Becoming. Eyes wide, face streaming with sweat, Dugdale stood watching as the great snake coiled about Tegan's arm. Tegan, or rather the Mara, delighted in his terror. Fear was meat and drink to t he Mara. 'Puzzling, isn't it Showman? How can it be happening? Can you believe your eyes? You have no choice! Dream on, Showman. I shall soon be triumphant.' The snake coiled about Tegan's arm grew slowly larger. Ambril staggered wearily back into his room, to find Lon still caressing the Gre at Crystal. 'Well?' 'No sign, my Lord. They seem to have got away.' Lon received the news without particular interest. 'Do they?' 'I have issued the necessary instructions. A search is being organised.' Lon stared into the Great Crystal. 'It doesn't matter. What can they do now?' 'As you say, my Lord.' Lon nodded dismissively, but Ambril stood his ground. Lon looked at him in mild surprise. 'Well?' 'I would only wish to remind you, my Lord . . . our-arrangement. . .' Lon glanced quickly at Lady Tanha. 'Yes, yes. I have not forgotten.' 'You promised - immediately after the ceremony, my Lord.' 'Go away,' snarled Lon. Ambril recoiled, bowed, and hurried from the room. Lady Tanha turned from the window, 'Lon, what is this arrangement? What did you promise him?' 'Nothing Mother. It really doesn't matter.' 'I know you, you're planning something. Is it to be a surprise?' Lon smiled. 'Yes, Mother. A surprise.' He pushed back the chair and Tanha's eyes followed the movement. Suddenly she leaned forward. 'Lon - what's wrong with your arm?'

' The Demon gibbered. 'Here you are. 'How long have we got -before the ceremony begins?' .' Chela reached into the pouch at his belt and handed the Demon a coin. and they welcomed the chan ce to get their breath back.' gasped Chela. the Attendant Demons seek out the unwary.' 'Or what?' Chela grinned. gloomy place. 'It's all right. recognising a Manussan version of trick or treat. The Doctor turned to Chela. 'I'm sorry. Doctor. The Doctor peered out at the excited throng. The creature darted forwards. and reached threateningly for a bucket of water at its feet. . Anyone they 'touch with evil' has to pay up or . 'Or get water tipped over them. 'I think we've shaken them off? Suddenly a red-cloaked cat-faced apparition leaped at them out of the shadows. It's the custom. tapped the Doctor on the shoulder and stood waitin g expectantly. 'I'm afraid I haven't got a coin. The Doctor said ruefully. what are we going to do?' said Nyssa. 'I wish it was that easy to deal with the Mara!' 'Doctor. The Doctor smiled. a nd they jumped back in alarm. The whole area was boiling with the excitement of the coming ceremony.' said Chela solemnly."' The Demon picked up his bucket and moved off to look for fresh victims.The Doctor and his companions were resting in an abandoned archway behind the lines of market stalls. 'You must forfeit a coin.' 'The custom?' 'On the day of the ceremony. you look so surprised. The Doctor and Nyssa peered apprehensively at it. It's part of the fun. Chela was doubled up with laughter. .' 'Do you wonder? What is it?' 'You've been touched by an Attendant Demon. I'm afraid. hand outstretched. "May you never feel the Serpent's Tooth. It was a quiet.

We must find Dojjen.' I know. I must have Dojjen's help. 'Change of plan. Is there still ti me?' He seemed to reach a decision. 'That's impossible. He could be anywhere. If I'm to free Tegan and destroy the Mara. There's onl y one way to defeat the Mara now.' 'Now where are we going?' asked Chela. It's our only-chance. Dojjen hasn't been seen for ten years or more. Doctor.' 'How long?' 'A few hours. 'I wonder. 'It's too late to look for Tegan.' The Doctor stood for a long moment lost in thought.' said the Doctor. But we've got to find him. no more. you two.'First the Great Snake has to be taken in procession through the street.' Chela stared at him. before going up to the Cave of the Snake. 'Come on.' .

'Mother. the real Mara. What no one realised as yet was that the Mara. At the head of the Snake walked the Voice of the Mara. familiar ritual. a brightly painted affair attached to sticks held high by three men. and she was quite determined to examine Lon's arm. Nyssa and Chela were clambering up the rockface above the Cave of the Snake. The Doctor seemed determined to reach the summit of the hill behind t he .' said Lon sulki ly. 'It's just a scratch. The great snake coiled slowly round Tegan's arm. It was an accident. The Doctor. As the Snake weaved through the crowd. a tall red-rob ed apparition carrying a large red megaphone. 'But if it's nothing.11 Dojjen Lady Tanha was gentle. the Voice strode by its fiercely-grimacin g head.' Tanha went on fussing. will you leave me alone?' He strode from the room. claiming the ir tributes of coins. The Ceremonial Snake. Who has the power to turn away his face? Which one of yo u has the strength to resist? Who can protect us now? Submit! Submit! Submit!' The age-old terror of the Mara had been domesticated. Its time was near. turned into a comfortable.' 'What sort of accident? Show me Lon.' Lon turned on her. 'But it could become infected. was winding its way to and fro through the streets. was very close to its long-planned return. for the last time. why won't you let me see?' 'I've told you. Attendant Demons darted through the crowd. leaving Lady Tanha staring after him in dismay. eyes blazing with anger. bawling out the words of the ritual chant. splashing reluctant payers with water to howls of laughter fr om the onlookers. I want to see. How did it happen? Why didn't you tell me?' 'It's nothing I tell you. but she could also be very persistent. Excitement was rising high in the crowd by now. 'Now the time has come for the Snake to claim his own.

gazing out at the crowded city streets.' protested Chela. Lon lay on the couch. It would conti nue to exist as a mental force. and Ambril entered. 'We wouldn't be preventing the Mara's return. Now. 'Besides. we have this!' 'How will that help us find him?' 'It won't! But it will help him to find us. 'Come on. 'How?' 'I don't know. Lady Tanha stood at the window. The costume of the Sky Hero. 'You're forgetting.' 'You'd only have got yourself killed. H e could be anywhere. it's no t as simple as that.' Nyssa gave him a despairing look.' 'Why not?' asked Nyssa. this time we must destroy it completely. He leaned down and pulled first Nyssa and then Chela on to a ledge beside him. It was some time since they had spoken. 'If you'd let me steal the Great Crystal when we had the chan ce this trek wouldn't be necessary. my Lord. 'On we go. No. From the city spread out below them. 'I have taken the liberty of bringing the clothes you mus t wear for the Ceremony.' Chela didn't move. a neatly-folded pile o f garments in his hands. Doctor. trust me . . the low drone of the megaphone-amplified voice.' Tanha didn't move.' 'But I told you.caves. 'Dojjen hasn't been seen for years.and keep moving!' They resumed their laborious climb. there drifted the buzz of the crowd and the faint tinkling of bells. Mother.' Lon sprang to his feet.' the Doctor pointed out. 'Oh good! Look. only postponing it.' 'But you think Dojjen will be able to tell us?' 'I can only hope so. brooding. and they paused for a moment to rest.' The Doctor held up the Snakedancer pendant. There was a discreet tap on the door. We don't even know if he's still alive.' said the Doctor.

are you coming?' Still there was no reply. There was a shallow depression at the very top of the hill.' The Doctor sat down. Here will do very well. directed at this crystal.' 'I beg your pardon. the Founder of the Federation. don't they?' 'I believe so. the Snakedancers wear these crystals. Lon shrugged. 'What now?' 'Sympathetic resonance!' 'Sympathetic what?' 'Thought. Mother. Mother?' asked Lon.' 'With Dojjen?' asked Chela. Lon took the costume from Ambril's arms. rimmed with huge boulders. Nyssa looked at him. and left the room. 'So?' 'Well. establishing a mental link. transmitting thoughts instead of words. The Doctor nodded.'It is an exact replica of the costume worn by your ancestor.' Nyssa sat down as well. Tanha ignored him. who destroyed the Mara five hundred years ago. 'Well. 'Of course.' Chela sat cross-legged beside the Doctor. The crystal will act like a radio wave.' 'How very appropriate. reached for the crystal ar ound his neck.' 'But will it work?' . Tucking the costume under one arm. and held it up before his eyes. 'I very much hope so. should set up a resonance which is picked up and echoed by others. he scooped up the little chest containing the Great Crystal with the other. 'Right. I'm going to try it on. The Doctor regarded it with satisfaction. my Lord?' 'Don't you think so.

Let me look at you. Direct or Ambril?' 'No. 'You have your .' 'I do .' 'Let me look at you. Lady Tanha gazed broodingly out of the window. The glow of the crysta l faded.' Lon went over to her. 'Of course. my Lady. . I have never married. 'Be patient. . Ambril?' Ambril beamed with pride.' Ambril produced a faded sheet of parchment. into which there was set a gleaming jewel. 'Nothi ng!' 'He's not coming.' She turned from the window. You hold it in your hand and it belongs to you.objects. are the Responses.'We can only try. The Doctor said. and Tanha couldn't help being pleased. as if expecting Dojjen to appear in a puff of smoke. Don't you think so. 'Am I forgiven?' Tanha sighed.' . My work . On his head was an elaborate golden hat. 'A remarkable fit. 'Mother? Look!' Lon was resplendent in the costume of the Sky Hero. tied by a golden sash. It began to glow . my Lady. Wait.' said Lady Tanha again. Aren't you always? You do look splendid. Children can be very disappointing in that respect. the Doctor closed his eyes. 'And here. crowned by a golden sunburst design. Nyssa looked around. 'How splendid you are. my Lord. as Lon came back into the room. An object lasts. don't you think so?' 'My Lady Tanha. He gazed deep into the crystal. .' said Ambril unhappily. 'I really don't know. It consisted of a white toga with a starburst design on the breast.' said Chela sadly. He cut a handsome.' Exhausted with concentration. 'Do you have any children. 'I'm going to be so proud of you at the ceremony. . . Truly remarkable. .' said Tanha levelly. and it fits exactly.' said the Doctor gently.' 'You are very sensible. heroic figure.

a few feet apart. The Doctor and Dojjen sat facing each other.' Suddenly the crystal around the Doctor's neck began to glow again. Silhouetted between two great rocks stood the figure of a tall white-haired old man. . and follow the path of the Snake! Follow the path! Who can resist the power of t he Snake?' Laughing and chattering excitedly. watching from a respectful distance. Perhaps it is as I said before -destroying the Great Crystal woul d have left the Mara in existence as a latent force. Maybe we need the Great Crystal to expose and destroy the Mara. Slowly Dojjen reached into his pouch and produced a small green snake. the crowd followed the Snake. 'Doctor?' said Chela. 'Dojjen!' Bells tinkled and cymbals clashed and horns blew as the Ceremonial Snake weaved its way towards the Cave.' 'Well?' 'I don't know. as if in answer t o the Doctor's own. He reached out and to ok the snake in his right hand. Nyssa asked me exactly the same thing. dressed in worn leather garments.They waited. The Doctor smiled in relief. Gripping it just behind the neck with his right hand. The megaphone voice boomed out: 'Abandon yourselves. Chela. As soon as it was in range. hissing angrily. rushing all unknowing towards the horror that awaited them. 'What?' 'If your theory about the Great Crystal is true. Chela and Nyssa had moved away. Slowly the Doctor pushed back his left sleeve. then he held the still-writhing snake out to the Doctor. forming a sort of informal procession. She pointed. The crystal around his neck was glowing brightly. Dojjen slowly and deliberately moved the snake towards his own bare left forearm. cross-legged. and there was a leather po uch at his belt. why didn't Dojjen destroy it wh en he was still Director?' 'Good question. the snake darted its head forwards and bit him. 'Doctor!' whispered Nyssa. It writhed in his hands. He carried a staff. Instinctively. Dojjen sat quite motionless for a moment.

Many of the crowd carri ed lanterns. . chee ring and clapping as the official party marched up the steps. You must not give in to fear. not i f we're to have any chance of saving Tegan and defeating the Mara.' 'Ask your question. 'It's the poison .' repeated the Doctor. Magnificent in the Sky Hero costume. The only thing that was real. cheeri ng and waving. .. 'Fear is 'the poison . how can I. .' The Doctor seemed to be peering through a thickening mist. The voice spoke inside the Doctor's head. . to spin and fade away. 'Look into my eyes. Strangely enough the voice did not come from Dojjen's lips. . . was Dojjen's voice. Behind him came Ambril and Lady Tanha.' Eyes fixed on Dojjen's.' 'But the venom could be deadly. The Doctor could feel the deadly snake venom flooding through his veins. .' said Dojjen. my fault. a small group of high officials. . How can the Mara .' The calm old voice said.' Somehow the Doctor managed to force the words from his lips. and behind them. H e winced as he felt the sudden stab of its fangs.'No. perhaps even to touch. 'Look at me!' 'Can't.' muttered the Doctor. Dojjen's face bagan t o quiver and dissolve. . be destroyed?. must save Tegan. . . . By now the crowd was lining the steps that led up to the Cave of the Snake. the effect of the poison. The crowd pressed forwards.' called Nyssa. Doctor.' 'Fear . the Sky Hero as he strode up the steps. both suitably robed. 'Fear is the only poison. 'No!' said Dojjen's voice.. the Doctor brought the snake closer to his left wrist. Lon marched at the head of the official procession. . 'You have come this far.' His voiced faded and he swayed dizzily. 'How . .' The Doctor tightened his grip on the snake. I know. My fault . 'What are you doing? You mustn't let it bite you. others blew horns and threw streamers. Look. 'I'm afraid there's no choice.' 'Yes. the only lifeline. . He coul d feel his senses slipping away. frantic to see.

The Doctor moistened his lips and whispered. 'Still point? A point of safety? Somewhere in the Chamber?' 'No! The still point is within yourself. 'Follow the path of the Great Snake! Submit! Abandon yourself. In the Chamber of the Mara.' said Lady Tanha graciously. and the Doctor was swallowed up in darkness. ' 'Certainly. . and suddenly the Doctor was looking at Dojjen's face. chairs had been arranged on a raised dais. To destroy the Mara you must find the still point . Be lls jangled. and follow the path of the Great Snake!' As the Snake climbed the steps and disappeared into the Cave. My Lord. The spinning stopped. and went up t o Lady Tanha. horns wailed. 'My Lady. Let go of your fear . Ambril bustled in. point. the Great Crystal-' 'I will tell you when. It was as if the rising tide of poison in his blood had halted. We must take our places. calling to him in the darkness. So you must find the still point.' A roar of excitement went up from the crowd as the great Ceremonial Snake writhe d its way along the lane and began climbing the steps to the Cave of the Snake. nowhere else. There were three larger. . She sat on one of the three central cha irs. . Ambril went up to Lon.' said Lon tensely. blurred but perfectly recognisable. my Lord. set up beneath the carving of the Great Snake. Ambril bowed. cymbals clashed. The dance goes On.' The Doctor strove to obey. . the Ceremonial Snake is approaching. . begun to recede. It is all the dance. throne-like cha irs in front of the others. the mists cleared.' The voice echoed and faded away. We should take our places. and once again the red-robed Voice of th e Mara bellowed the ritual threats. 'What is the Snakedance?' 'This is. The Doctor heard a voice. 'Attach to nothing. carrying the chest that held the Great Crystal.' commanded the voice. . Here and now. Only then can the Mara be defeated. and the dignitaries moved to their places.' The Doctor frowned in concentration. point. The little group of dignitaries stood waiting in a murmu ring group. the excited crowd surged after it. everywhere and always. .'Steady your mind. 'Very well.

. We'll just have to see. 'Doctor. . 'Yes. I only hope we're not too late!' . The Doctor smiled. the Doctor was sure of that. the mind controlling the body completely. . . He opened his eyes. It was Nyssa. cross-legged. . The snake venom had been deadly. Nyssa .'Doctor! Doctor wake up.survived. Yet he felt perfec tly well. Come on!' The Doctor turned to hurry away.' 'Thank goodness! I thought for a moment. The Doctor watched as Chela folded his arms across his chest and bowed low to Dojjen. 'We must hurry. 'I'm perfectly all right. 'Stop the ceremony. The Snakedancers must have learned to neutralise the venom. and saw her worried face. the Doctor did the same. 'Yes. Somehow Dojjen had managed to transmit the power. who sat placidly.' It was a voice that he recognised.' said Chela. He looked down at t he two faint puncture marks. and frowned warningly. With the Doctor leading the way. but Chela put a hand on his arm.' 'But how?' 'I don't know. So did Nyssa. staring into space. and looked at Dojjen.' 'Thought what?' The Doctor felt a faint soreness on his arm. they scrambled down the steep path to the Cave of the Snake.' 'But did you find out what you needed to know?' asked Nyssa. The Doctor managed a smile . . The Doctor jumped to his feet. Somehow Dojjen saw me through. Copying the gesture.' Distant sounds of noise and excitement floated up to the hill top. of course. I've . I think I did. what are we going to do?' asked Chela. The ceremony. 'Hel lo.

The Voice continued the ritual chant. leaving a respectful space around the dais and of dignitaries. 'Who will challenge the Mara? Who will plu ck the Great Crystal of knowledge from between the Mara's jaws and set us free?' (Lady Tanha leaned over and whispered. The Voice of the Mara bowed his head in mock grief. 'The Mara has brought darknes s to our hearts. There was a glass jewel in its jaws.' commanded the Voice. The Snake made its way into the Chamber of the e dais. 'For the third and final time!' Ambril tapped Lon on the shoulder.') 'For the second time I ask.' More clacking of castanets and a ritual moan of assent from the crowd. m y Lady. 'The thoughts of the Mara ar e black in my mind. 'I will!' There was wild applause from the spectators.12 The Becoming of the Mara Ambril stood in the centre of the little group left. But I am too weak to resist . 'We are all too weak to resist!' boomed the Voice. The ber. 'I speak here for the Mara! The Great Snake! The Father of Lies!' There was a ceremonial rattling of castanets like the sound of angry rattlesnake s. Lady Tanha on his Mara and came to a halt before th crowd pressed into the great Cham the Ceremonial Snake. Lon on his right. 'Bring the Stranger forward. Lon rose to his feet. bellowing through his megaphone. Its words are bitter on my tongue. There was a hushed. expectant silence.' bellowed the Voice. 'Lon?' Ambril shook his head. It shows us death!' More moans of grief and despair. . 'Who will challenge the Mara?' Another rattling of castanets. The Voice of the Mara stepped forward. 'Not yet.

jump!' He reached out and took her arm. It poured the dust in a fine stream over Lon's outstretched hand. are you ready to face the triple temptation?' 'I am ready. you have earned it.' 'The first temptation is Fear. and turned to Nyssa. and t he helmet with its great jewelled sunburst.' Lon struck the Ceremonial Snake a token blow on its papier-mâché head. I offer you fear. 'I know that whilst I live. and in my own.and the Demons pushed back his sleeve. bearing a human skull filled with dust.' 'Stranger. 'Come on. Lon made the ritual response in which Ambril had coached him before the Ceremony.' An Attendant Demon came forward. 'I do.' 'And in whose name do you do so?' 'In the Federation's name.' Yet another burst of applause. an impressive figure in his white-and-gold toga.' Lon s uited the action to the words. in a handful of dust. 'First let the Stranger prove his worthiness. That is enough.' There was more applause. my eyes a re bright.' commanded the Voice.Lon strode from the dais. my hand is clean. Chela jumped down. . 'Prepare him for the Test!' Lon drew the gauntlet from one arm . The Doctor and his two companions heard the chanting and the applause as they climbed down the last few feet of the path. 'You dare to challenge the Power of the Mara?' boomed the Voice. Two red-robed cat-faced Attendant Demon s took him by the arms and pulled him to stand before the Ceremonial Snake. 'I claim the right to strike the first blow.the unmarked one . The Doctor followed. He held out his arm. I spread my fingers and the dust trickles away. 'I do not fear. 'Stranger. half-lifting her down.

That is enough.' Lon gave the Ceremonial Snake a second token th e mouth of the Ceremonial Snake.'Thank you. Lon said.' By now Lon was weary of the Ceremony. The Voice boomed. you must look into the Crystal. look!' Nyssa pointed down the tunnel. I turn my hand. you have earned it. and Ambril hurried forward. 'Look into the Crystal without greed for knowledge.a lump of coloured glass . Stranger. my Lord. you must not touch it yet.' said Chela. 'Just so long as it hasn't finished!' 'Doctor. 'No. There was a murmur from the onlookers. 'The ceremony must have started. I offer you despair in a withered branch. the roots will sprout. I o ffer you greed. 'I claim the right to strike the second blow. 'I do not despair.' . the branch drops to the ground. in the hidden depths. 'Are you ready for the second temptation?' 'I am ready.' said Nyssa stiffly. 'The third and final temptation is to succumb to Greed.' A Demon thrust a withered branch into Lon's hand.' The voice indicated the Crystal . It was one of the Federation bodyguards. A massive figure was striding purposefully towards them. It was obvious that he had recognised them as fugitives. The Doctor and his two companions heard the applause as they hurried down the access tunnel.' The second temptation is to Despair.' The onlookers clapped again.' They hurried into the Cave. 'But it wasn't necessary. The Doctor nodded.' 'Stranger.' Lon let the branch fall. 'I know the sap will rise again. Shaking off the Demons he reached out to take the fake crystal.

'Why mustn't I touch it?' The Voice attempted to resume the ritual.' L on crossed over to Ambril.' He dashed it to the ground and it shattered on the rocky floor.' 'What do you mean? Hidden depths! Show them to me. . . no .' 'My Lord. Lon held the mock crystal high. It's just a fake. . It's just glass. created by a civilisation that has gone soft. Suddenly Chela leaped out of the shadows and delivered a chopping blow at the bulging muscle at the back of the man's neck. The sacred ritual. The Doctor gave Chela a reproving look. The guard moved closer. Unfortunately the bodyguard was more than a match for both of them. 'A childish farce. unchange d for five hundred years. 'Lon. 'Beware. The guard slumped to the ground. please! . reaching out for the chest that held the real Great Crys tal.' shouted Lon. Stranger. The Doctor and Nyssa separated. The Doctor realised it would only be a matter of moments before he broke free. 'Give it to me. There were more horrified mutterings from the crowd. grabbing the man's a rm and thrusting the sword aside. The Crystal of Knowledge has hidden depths. Today I bring real knowledge and real power. 'You left that a bit late! Come on. hurr y!' They ran towards the Chamber of the Mara. 'It's nothing. 'This whole Ceremony is a fake. Lon pushed Ambril aside. And if he go t a chance to use that sword . As he drew his sword to strike. Look!' Lon reached up and snatched the chunk of glass from t he Snake's jaws. Nyssa ran to help him.' Lady Tanha put her hand on the chest.There was a whole complicated ritual of questions and answers still to be gone through.' 'Give me the Great Crystal. the Doctor sprang forwards. was being profaned. Your whole Ceremony is a fake. .

'No. 'Lon! What is that?' Thrusting her aside. afte r five hundred years the Mara has returned. and the snake dropped to the ground. Chela. He raised his voice. He stripped off his other gauntlet.' Lon reached out and pressed the snake design on his arm against a section of the wall. Energy lines flared brightly in the.What's wrong with you?' 'Mother.and Tegan appeared. Lady Tanha stared at it appalled. The door to the secret chamber swung open . Lon held up the Crystal to the socket and Tegan hissed. The Great Crystal that was removed from the socket here by my ancestor. Do it now!' He was about to thrust the Great Crystal into the socket when the Doctor's voice rang out. . The Great Crystal is absorbing the belief and creat ing the Mara. writhing snake. hypnotised by its evil presence. Tegan emerged from the doorway. listen to me. opened it. There was a gasp of terror from the crowd. People were screaming.' he shouted. For a moment time seemed froze n. Dugdale stumbling behind her. Now. Lon reached up and thrust the Crystal into place. 'Now. It needs your fear. It is fitting that I should be the one to restore the Great Crystal to its rightful place. 'No. The Doctor sa w that even Chela and Nyssa were in its grip.the real one. revealing the Mara snake sign on his arm. the spectators -nobody was in a state to heed the Doctor's words. strode over to the carving of the Great Snake . falling to the ground . wall. and raised his voice commandingly. He turned. I hold in my hand s the Great Crystal. No. It began to grow. your belief. She held out her arm. and took out the Great Crystal . the dignitaries. You must no t believe what you are seeing. Lon snatched the chest. Don't look! Reach into yourself and find the still point!' It was no use. Nyssa. and the Snake that encased her arm. You must not look. that filled the ears and numbed th e mind. you mustn't.' But he was too late. The Mara is feeding off the fear and the panic. carrying a surge of power to Te gan. covering their ears. all of you. but nothing could shut out that terrible sound. when the Mara was banished to the Dark Places of the Inside. 'Don't look. The eyes of the crow d were riveted on the living Snake. It is doubtful if they were even heard. hissing sound. let go!' snarled Lon. Around Tegan's arm was coiled an enormous. Then there came a low roaring. 'Go on.

it is impossible.' said the voice in the Doctor's head. and reached up to take the Great Crystal from its socket. Lon flung himself upon the Doctor.' 'No!' roared the Mara.' she pleaded.' Still staring into the glowing crystal. Everyone but the Doctor. The Doctor felt as if invisible hands were trying to twist his head to force him to look at Tegan. 'Destroy that crystal. 'What is happening? Who dares to inter rupt the Becoming? Who does not believe?' The Doctor moved slowly forward. 'All minds must submit. 'Submit? roared the Mara. natural voice. 'Find the still point. 'No!' he shouted. 'What's happening to me? Please. Look at me. a surge of energy threw him across the cave. to be absorbed. 'Stop him. . the Father of Lies. The colossal Snake pulsed and blurred for a moment. Everyone in the great cave was under the sway of the Mara. 'The still point.' screamed the Mara. Tegan gazed up at it. towering over the crowd. Tegan spoke in the Mara voice. 'Doctor. then the wise old face of Dojjen appeared in the crystal. Suddenly Tegan spoke in her own. He couldn't move it. from out of the jaws of the snake. You cannot resist. Then he realised this wasn't the real Tega n. ran to the carving of the Great Snake. Everyone believed in its reality. To the Doctor's horror she seemed to blur into it. look at me Doctor! I need your help. so that her face looked out from between the slavering jaws . 'I will n ot submit!' The deep pulsing roar swelled to unbearable force and the Doctor could feel the anger of the Mara battering against his mind. Lon and Dugdale moved to intercept the Doctor. its invincible power.The Snake was colossal now. For a moment he faltered. looking not at the Mara but at the crystal arou nd his neck.' For a moment the Doctor was deceived. 'He must be destroyed. His eyes opened and he gazed placidly at the Doctor. swallowed. but a trick of the Mara. It will prevent my Becoming!' Dugdale lumbered forward and grabbed at the crystal around the Doctor's throat but the moment he touched it. The Doctor dodged. the Doctor advanced.' Zombie-like. but he gazed steadfastly into the crystal. You must look at m e. help me.

'It's all right now. and restoring it lovingly to the wooden chest. The Doctor went and sat beside her. Chela was rubbing his eyes. The feelings of hate and rage . As it came out of the socket. Doctor. But you're free of it now.. too astonished to speak. On the hill above the Cave of the Snake. I wanted to destroy everything. with Lady Tanha cradling his head in her lap. sitting hunched on the edge of the dais. 'I know. The Doctor tugged in vain. staring aro und . Dojjen rose from his sitting position. and the mar k of the Mara was gone from her arm. staring wild ly at each other. It's all over. and moved slowly away. a blessedly normal Tegan. She was white-faced and trembling but her eyes were clear. as if time had been speeded up.The Great Crystal seemed fixed in place as if magnetised by the energy-flow. She looked up at him and sobbed. The colossal Snake slumped to the floor. I n a matter of seconds. 'It was awful. People everywhere were slowly recovering. it was a rotting mass of carrion.' 'Has it really gone . 'Yes.' 'You don't understand. Tegan .' He looked round the cave. the Mara serpent gave one last terrible scream.forever?' The Doctor looked at the pile of putrefying snake flesh in the centre of the cav e. The disintegrating Snake writhed and hissed and steamed. Lon flung himself upon the Doctor's back. Awful!' The Doctor put a comforting arm around her shoulders. The Doctor saw Ambril picking up the Gre at Crystal. body-fluids spurting. Instantly it began to decay. It was terrible .' Awkwardly the Doctor patted her shoulder. His work was done. trying to drag him away. The Mara has been destroved. He saw Lon still dazed. The Doctor found Tegan.. The Doctor tightened his grip on the Great Crystal -and their combined weights pulled it free.

down the steps. Despite his exhaustion the Doctor felt strangely at peace. collected a still-dazed Nyssa. thought the Docto r. Best to slip away now. he could see Dojjen striding away into the hills. Manussa was free at last of the menace of Mara.him in astonishment. In his mind's eye. and led them ou t of the Cave. They could all take up their lives again. and through the deserted market quarter towards the TARDIS. . Let the Manussans make what sense they could of their terrifying escape. The Doctor took Tegan by the arm. He felt too tired for explanations and thanks and congratulations. The old man turned and waved in farewell. Th ey could invent another ceremony.

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