This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
When the TARDIS rematerialises inside a rocket the Doctor and Jamie are alarmed by the presence of a hostile Servo-Robot. They discover that the rocket is drift ing in the orbit of a giant space station--the Wheel in Space. Once inside this magnificent space ship they are bewildered by its complexity and sheer size. The technicians and programmers are highly trained, but who are they working for? S uspecting the worst, the Doctor is still horrified to find the deadly Cybermen i n control. What evil plan are they plotting? Who or what are the Cybermats? Can the Doctor trust anyone on board to help him stop the Wheel as it spins relentle ssly through space? ISBN 0 426 20321 6
DOCTOR WHO THE WHEEL IN SPACE Based on the BBC television serial by David Whitaker by arrangement with BBC Boo ks, a division of BBC Enterprises Ltd TERRANCE DICKS Number 130 in the Doctor Who Library A TARGET BOOK published by The Paperback Division of W. H. ALLEN & Co. Plc
re-sold. P lc 44 Hill Street. Allen & Co. 1988 The BBC producer of The Wheel in Space was Peter Bryant Th e director was Tristian de Vere Cole The role of the Doctor was played by Patric k Troughton Printed and bound in Great Britain by Anchor Brendon Ltd. H. E ssex ISBN 0426 20321 6 This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not. Tiptree. . Plc 1988 Novelisation copyright © Terrance Dicks. hired out or otherwise circ ulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover oth er than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. 1988 Original script cop yright © David Whitaker. 1968 `Doctor Who' series copyright © British Broadcasting C orporation 1968.A Target Book Published in 1988 by the Paperback Division of W. London W1X 8LB First Published in Great Britain by W. H. Alle n & Co. by way of trade or otherwise. be lent.
CONTENTS 1 Goodbye to Victoria 2 The Unseen Enemy 3 Hunted 4 Command Decision 5 Under Suspicion 6 Birth of Terror 7 Menace 8 The First Death 9 The Trap 10 Troja n Horse 11 Takeover 12 Into Danger 13 Cybermat Attack 14 Meteor Storm 15 Poison in the Air 16 Perilous Journey 17 The Invasion 18 An End and a Beginning .
`I'm no' worrying.Jamie for short.oc h. Somehow it didn't make things any better that Victoria was lea ving them of her own accord. It was her decisio n to stay. a rather shabby little figure in frock coat and baggy check tro users. Jamie hated showing his feelings. One was that wandering Time Lord know n as the Doctor.' the Doctor said reassuringly. Like Victoria. Somehow Jamie just couldn't accept it. do n't worry. Beside him stood a brawny young man i n the kilt of a Scottish Highlander.' `We're not leaving her. wise or foolish. lost and alone on the wide stretch of empty beach. will ye?' . His deeply lined face. Jamie. Now Victoria was leaving them and Jamie wa s taking it hard. She looked very small on the TARDIS's monitor scree n. She had had all the adventure and excitement she co uld take and she had decided to stay behind on Earth with a family who would be glad to adopt her as their daughter. I'm just .' . `We can't just leave her. This was James Robert McCrimmon . get us away from here. Jamie had been the Doctor's companion through a number of dangerous and terrifying adventures. wa s crowned with a mop of untidy black hair. Doctor. `She'll be happy with the Harrises.1 Goodbye to Victoria Victoria was waving goodbye. which could look young or old. Two very different figures stood gazing sadly at the monitor screen.
But for once this suited Jamie fine. `I was fond of her too. In practice. `We're landing.and an ywhen. `I couldna care less!' The Doctor gave him a sympathetic look. `Where would you like to go?' Theoretically.' His hands moved over the controls and moments later the central column of the control panel began its rise and fall. The Doctor looked up from the controls. The TARDIS was about to take off. her eye s filling with tears. Theoretically. the incongruous square blue shape of the police box gave out a strange w heezing. Victoria looked on sadly. He moved over to the many-sided central control column. Jamie . On the monitor screen her figure grew even smaller. groaning sound and faded slowly away. . Jamie!' There was no reply. as Jamie well knew. It was some time later before the rising and falling of the centre column began slo wing down.. the com bination of the TARDIS's erratic navigational circuitry and the Doctor's even mo re erratic steering. The Doctor switched off the monitor and turned away.' said the Doctor obligingly. all space and time were available to them. meant they were liable to fetch up almost anywhere .`All right. On the beach. come to that. rece ding into the distance. you know..
The Doctor turned and saw Jamie fast asleep in his chair. Like the good fighting man he was, Jamie took every opportunity for a nap. `Jamie! We're landing!' Jam ie blinked. `Mmm? What?' `Let's see what's on the scanner shall we?' The Doctor switched on the screen, but it remained blank. He frowned and jiggled the switch . Still nothing. `I thought you said we'd landed,' said Jamie grumpily. `We have - but we seem to have lost the picture.' The Doctor flicked another switch. `Le t's try a bit of extra power, shall we?' Nothing happened. `You're sure you're u sing the right one?' asked Jamie sceptically. The Doctor was indignant. `Of cour se I am! Just take a look at the fault indicator, will you? Just there to your r ight.' Jamie opened the lid of a small black box built into the console. Inside he saw an oscillation meter, its glowing lines pulsing in a regular pattern. It meant absolutely nothing to him. `Seems right enough,' he said hopefully. The Do ctor glanced at the meter. `Yes, no abnormal movement at all. I don't understand it.' He checked the other dials. `Air normal, temperature normal... seems to be quite an amount of metal all around us...' `What's that, Doctor? I canna hear y e when you mumble to yourself.' Suddenly the Doctor caught sight of the monitor screen. `Look, the picture's coming through again.'
There on the monitor was a beautiful lake and as they watched a flock of cranes rose lazily from its surface and flew gracefully away. Jamie cheered up. `Och, t hat looks all right.' The picture changed and now they were looking at a waterfa ll, its cascading waters gleaming in the moonlight., The Doctor frowned. `That's funny, it's changed to night now.' `That's a wee bit quick, surely?' muttered J amie. The picture changed again. Now they saw a tropical island, white sands, wa ving palms, all set in a bright blue sea. `Och, now the whole place is different . What's going on?' `Oh dear, I know what it is,' said the Doctor suddenly. `Tho se pictures aren't of the outside world at all, I'm certain of it!' `Then why ar e they appearing?' `Temptations, Jamie. The TARDIS is telling us to leave wherev er we are and go to somewhere more pleasant. I must have connected the automatic defence network by mistake.' `And what's that?' `One of the optional extras bui lt into this particular model. I don't often use it; it's a perfect nuisance to be honest.' `What does it do?' `Well, if there's danger outside it tries to warn us - or as in this case, to tempt us - into going somewhere else.' `That's guid enough,' said Jamie. `Let's go!' The Doctor sighed. `Jamie, if I took any notic e of that silly gadget, we'd never even leave the TARDIS. It's so fussy. That's why I usually disconnect it.' `No wonder we always end up in trouble!'
The Doctor was struggling with the switch that would turn the automatic defence network off, but it refused to budge. `Oh dear, now I can't seem to move it. Whe re's my spanner...?' Jamie glanced casually at the fault indicator - its lid was still open - and his eyes widened. `Hey! There's a light flashing...' The Docto r looked. Sure enough an alarm-light was flashing wildly, and the lines on the o scillation meter were pulsing furiously. `Something's gone wrong,' said Jamie wo rriedly. The Doctor wrinkled his nose and sniffed. Tracing the acrid reek to its source, he saw wisps of smoke coming from the control console. `There's too muc h power...' He rushed to the main power switch and tried to thrust it back. It r efused to budge, and Jamie came to help him. Suddenly there was a bang and a fla sh and a cloud of smoke and the Doctor and Jamie were hurled across the control room. They struggled to their feet. By now it was obvious that something was bad ly wrong. The central column was rising and falling rapidly, and lights were bli nking on and off all over the console. The TARDIS's usually inaudible electronic hum had turned into a steadily rising shriek. `The fluid links must have gone,' muttered the Doctor. Jamie pointed to the base of the central column. `Look, Do ctor!' The Doctor saw a silvery fluid leaking from the base of the column. `The mercury's vaporising!' As if to confirm his theory, Jamie coughed and clutched a t his throat. `Doctor!' he gasped.
but glancing behind him. The Doctor struggled free and Jami e followed him. somewhere small and square.. Jamie opened his eyes . and s uddenly everything was extinguished in a blaze of light. `We've got to get out of here. The last thing Jamie he ard was the anguished electronic howling of the console. `What are you going to do?' `Just hold on!' Jamie enfolded the Doctor in a kind of awkward be arhug. thought the Doctor. Mercury vapour was a deadly poison. Behind it.instead there was just the amount of space you'd . There was no sign of the impossibly large control room . He was still clutching the Doctor and they were jammed together in some kind o f enclosed space. The Doctor took h is arm and led him to the TARDIS doors. Jami e saw that the inside was totally different..Now they really were in trouble. To his astonishment. It began pulsing in and out of existence. and the Doctor reached out and pulled the gold rod away from its fitting. The outside was the familiar square blue shape. was a golden rod . Jamie. Jamie heard a sound like a rushing wind and the control room seemed to swirl ar ound him. `Hold on to me. more and more rapidly. he found himself standing outside the TARDI S. clamped to the wall. black at either end. He touched a concealed button and a litt le panel slid back in the wall.' ordered the Doctor.' `How?' croaked Jamie.
surrounded by massive metallic shapes. the interior becomes an ordinary police box once a gain. Aha!' The Doctor was fishing in his pockets. we seem to be in the motor section of some sort of rocket. `Doctor. no.' He paused... We shouldn't be able to stand up otherwise. `T here doesn't appear to be any movement either. w e'd be floating about.' Jamie looked stunned. Perhaps.' ` And what's that?' `Gravity. `There's no water aroun d anywhere. The Doctor closed the TARDIS doors. Once it's removed. `Where are we?' `Oddly enough. Jamie.' The Doctor led Jamie to a kind of ledge surrounding one of the vast pieces of ma chinery and sat him down.' For the first time. He was in a kind of metal cave. what have you done? You've shrunk the TARDIS!' Th e Doctor held up the golden rod. . He himself wandered over to an instrument panel set in to the wall. A row of dials was labelled `Gravity Field Strength'. there's an artificial gravity system on the ship. Jamie. Jamie.expect to see inside. is there?' The Doctor looked round. `Yes.' `We're on the ground then?' `I d on't know.' Wha t does that do?' `It controls the size of the interior of the TARDIS amongst oth er things. `I disconnected the Time Vector Generator.' `Oh aye?' Jamie licked his lips. `Come and sit o ver here. The Doctor st udied the readings. `Not in here. Jamie became aware of his surroundings.
. Jamie. `Oil. Twin track marks led di rectly to the door. `Have a sherbet.`Well come on. Jamie jumped back in alarm.' Jamie wandered up to the door and saw a button set i nto the wall just beside it. Impulsively he pressed it and the door slid smoothl y open. took one himself and began a renewed study of their su rroundings. The Doctor crept cautiously up to the next door and put his ear to it. Set into the wall at the left of the door was a bank of monitor screens wit h a control panel beneath them. it'll help to quench your thirst!' The D octor gave Jamie a sweet. There was a metal door at the far end of the motor area. Doctor!' But the door revealed nothi ng more alarming than a short section of metal corridor with yet another door at the other end. and then sniffed it. `That warning system of you rs must have thought there was something wrong out here.' grumbled Jamie...dead in here. The Doc tor noticed that the tracks led along the corridor and up to the door ahead of t hem.' He bent down and rubbed a finger across one of the track marks. In h ere fairly recently too. don't keep me in suspense. `Doctor -' began Jamie. and the Doc tor bent down and studied the floor just in front of it. Jamie rose and came to join him.' The Doctor indicated the tracks. It must have been a machine of some kind. On the right they could see the outline of two c losed hatches set into the corridor wall. `Sorry. The Doctor fished out a crumpled paper bag. `Somethin g's been here. But what can the danger be? Everything's so . The Doctor and Jamie moved cautiously into the corridor.
Jamie! We don't know what may be on the o ther side.' ...The Doctor waved him to silence. `Ssh.
`Well.computer banks. They didn't work either. There on the screen was what was obviously some kind of control room . `Well.but he was reluctant to move a head without knowing what might be waiting.. trying to work out what to do next. The Docto r glared indignantly at the door. it looks safe eno ugh. Let's take a loo k. In the centre of the floor was a strangely sinister oblong shape. and began fiddling with the controls. thinking hard.2 The Unseen Enemy The Doctor paused for a moment. `This one? No. also made of some m etallic substance.and completely empty. Low-level maintenance lights glowed dimly here and there. a central cockpit area with chairs for the crew. The Doctor and Jamie studied it.. control consoles. Nothing h appened. there seems to be plenty of air in there. He turned and studied the bank of monitors. Jamie peered uneasily at the screen.' One of the screens lit up. but the recesses of the control room were lost in shadowy gloom . The whole pl ace was silent .' The Doctor pressed what should have been the door opening control. Just to one side of it stood a big crate. It looked li ke a metal coffin.they'd starve apart from anything else ..' `But what caused the defense mechanism of the TARDIS to signal danger? A nd why isn't there anyone on board?' The Doctor studied a dial set beside the co ntrol console.. should be this on e by rights. . He tried a number of other controls. They couldn't just stay where the y were .
.' said Jamie tactfully. the Doctor managed to persu ade the dispensing-machine to produce two plastic . Jamie became aware that the Doctor had come over to join him. Ja mie closed the door. Th ey went over to examine it. Trundling up to the control room door the robot paused for a moment. `Living quarters?' J amie nodded. One of its sensor-globes glowed and the door slid open. The Doctor looked round the little cabin. It was a servo-rob ot. It was making a routine i nspection. It was the door to a little cabin. `Hey.' There was some kind of machine stan ding upright against the far wall . `Aye. Curious as ever. Stores in the other one. went along to the next one and opened that. but the cabin was furnished with two bunks.. There was something set into ea ch door that looked very like a handle.a dispensing-machine. a central table a nd two padded chairs. it says "water" on here!' said Jamie.`I'll have a nose about back here. After a lot of jiggling and fiddling. three-quarter s filled with variously shaped metallic containers stacked against the walls. Jamie turned it and the first hatchway door slid open. The robot moved off down the corridor. There was movement in the empty control ro om. thought the Doctor. a simply designed affair that was little more than a metal cylinder on runni ng tracks with bulb-like sensors on its upper surface. This door too g ave on to a cabin. He turned and wandered back to the two hatchway doors set in the wall. They beg an experimenting with the controls. all built in. A squat bulbous shape glided silently out of the shadows.
' `I'm afraid it isn't as simple as that.' Jamie shrugged.' said Jamie.' Jamie was ever optimistic. Four. Jamie . that thing.. All you have to do is replace yon rod what d'you call it.' He went to the cabin's viewing hatch. .' `The Time Vector Generator. `I'd have thought a rocket this size would have carried more than two people. `We appear to be drifting aimlessly in space. the dimension thingy. You just put it back and we go on somewhere else. there must be some on board here. I imagine. well. which was covered by a met al shutter. two on duty. Jamie. They stood sipping the water grateful ly.' `Aye. Through the viewing hatch he saw nothing. all right then. The Doctor began unscrewing the clamps that held it closed. s o there's no danger!' `Isn't there?' The Doctor beckoned Jamie over to the windo w. The infinite blackness of space. `Wh at does it matter?' `Matter!' said the Doctor indignantly. `We're just a piece o f drifting space flotsam.cups filled with ice-cold distilled water. `It does. `It controls the temporal dr ive. `The TAR DIS must have gone crazy. don't you realise that?' `Aye. Jamie looked round.' The Doctor nodded.' said the Doctor patiently. remember? First we need mercury to rep lace the fluid links. Maybe that's what the TARDIS was trying to warn us about..' `Aye. `Come and look!' Jamie looked. two resting . `There's nothing on board here with us.
somewhere out of view. They searched every inch of the motor section and the whole of the sto re room as well.' His mind was busy with a dozen theorie s .' Jamie eyed the dispensing-machine. Jamie. `Not a drop of mercury anywhere. space suits. T hey were back where they'd started. Perhaps. `Well. you know! ' `We might find that out if we get inside that control room. protective clothing.The Doctor however was still feeling vaguely uneasy. let's start looking. He was . `I think you're right. They found stores. and they began thei r search. `Maybe we'd better try the control room. in the little cabin.' said the Doctor despairingly.' he said.' `I was hoping for something a wee bit more substantial. fuel. Jamie.' The Doctor nodded thoughtfully. `Besides.' The Doctor went over to the machine and stu died the controls. We'll have a b it of a rest and try there next.' `Ri ght! Let's see what we can do then.but not what they wer e looking for. Doctor. `Perhaps. When the TARDIS warned of dan ger. Jamie? They didn't just pop out for a little constitutional. any number of useful and interesting things . it was never wrong and the Doctor felt things were happening on this ship.and none of them were particularly reassuring. what happened to the crew. supplies. tools. `D'you thin k we might get food as well as water out of that thing?' `I can give you another sherbert.' suggested Jamie.
faint ghost of a fruity taste.' Jamie stare d down at his plate in horror. sit down and eat up!' Jamie sat down obedien tly and began munching gloomily on one of the cubes. Doct or?' The Doctor smiled. you know what I mean.. Jamie sighed.. roast be ef and all the trimmings.' Jamie looked at his plate and then at the Doctor who was already munching one of his cubes with every sign of enjoyment. do you?' ` Why not? I'm sure it'll be delicious. but this is ridiculous!' `I t's perfectly good.' . and some ice cream. Jamie. Jamie?' `Oh. `All depends when "now" is Jamie.' `What vegetables?' `Potatoes and cabbage. what did it matter? `What do you think Victoria's doing now. They held a selection of cubes of jelly. T he Doctor handed one to Jamie.' `And you'd like a fruit salad?' `Aye.' A m oment later two small paper plates emerged from the machine's dispensing compart ment..' The Doctor's hands moved over the controls . in different colours and sizes... complete with gravy. `What do you fancy. `Ye dinna expect me to eat this stuff. and Jamie realised he must have started on his dessert by ac cident.. It had a vague. If I knew that I might be able to hazard a guess.beginning to get the hang of it now. Come on. `There you are. carrots and. `I didn't expect a five-course dinner.' `Och. pork chop. potatoes. Still. `And I'll have. I would.
`At least this ship doesn' t seem to be in any immediate danger. It was supposed to be closed. `Well. great prosperity. It stood studying the open door for a moment. isn't it?' `Aye. The Doctor was staring out of the viewing port. `Filling. Jamie stretched out on one of the bunks. the servo-robot came to the door that the Doctor had opene d some time earlier. a time of plenty. I'd very much like to know what r eally happened. The Doctor turned an d saw that Jamie was fast asleep. `She chose a good ti me in Earth's history to stay in.' In its methodical patrol through the corridors of the space rocket. accor ding to the information on the robot's built-in data bank. Faced . good idea. Perhaps we shall find some clue to the answer in the control room.' `Aye. `What do you thi nk's happened to the crew?' `I don't know.' said the Doctor reassuringly.' Yawning. Something was badly w rong. its sensor-globes flashing wildly in robot astonishment. its sensor-gl obes flashing agitatedly. what do we do now?' `We'll give ourselves time to digest our food. The door was open. never fear. I wish I did.`Victoria will be all right.' He noticed that Jamie had pushed his plate of food concentrate aside.' The only answer was a long rattling snore. S he'll be happy. The servo-robot was standing in front of the T ARDIS. no wars. Jamie. However. I'm inclined to suspect that there was some sort of disaster. then we'll have a go at getting into that control room. I think I'll just have a w ee lie down.' said Jamie sourly.
It was some kind of clock device with three separate hands. Above the clock was a small digital register. the Doctor straightened up and headed for the cabin door. The ro bot abandoned the problem of the TARDIS's presence on board. Passing through. and to make the attempt to reach the control roo m on his own. sealing them shut. He had decided to let Jamie sleep. like the second hand on a watch. One revolved swiftl y and silently. it applied itself to the problem of the open door. Since it was imposs ible it could not have happened so it was not a problem. Trundling back along th e corridor. It was currently reading one thousand and twenty-five. Satis fied it moved back towards the control room. Somehow it was clear that it was the product of a very different technological culture from the one that had originally built the ship. Light glowed at the end of the rod. The third moved less frequently. and the robot move d the laserbeam carefully around the edges of the door. it turned to face the door from the other side. It flashed its sensor-globes at the control panel and the door slid shut. The second made a series of sud den jumps at regular five-second intervals. cov ering a whole quarter section of the dial at a time. The robot extruded a metal rod from th e upper part of its body. Attached to the control console in the rocket control room was a strange ly alien looking device. .with an event totally outside its programming. Tucking a space-blanket around Jami e's sleeping form. it was completely and utterly at a loss.
. Orders were transmitted across the ships operation circuits . The cable locked home. and the sh ip's computer. It was standing next to the main computer bank. Needles flickered. By now the ser vo-robot was back in the control room. Had there been some kind of so und from the corridor outside? A sound of movement? Cautiously he opened the cab in door and stepped out into the corridor. Hurled across the corridor. Looking down he saw track marks on th e floor. he str uck his head on the steel wall and slumped unconscious to the ground. lights flashed. extruding a power cable from its body..Just as he reached the door. He opera ted controls. but this time he got nothing but a swirl of static. Changing direction abruptly. The sudden lurching of the ship took the Doctor unawares as he was l eaning forward to study the monitor controls.. Fresh track marks.and suddenly the rocket motors surged into life.. plugging in to a socket on the computer bank. The Doctor moved along to the bank of monitor screens. he paused listening. Yet the corri dor was empty.. overlaying the ones he'd already seen. hummed into life. with its pre-programmed automatic pilot. the ship set off on its ne w course.
the D octor stirred and began making feeble attempts to get to his feet. that's the safest place for us.. Jamie ran to help him. The door that led out from the motor section was closed. then!' The Doctor shook his head dazedly. `It's sealed..' `Let's have a look. The rocket's moving!' `I know. but n othing happened. Jamie stabbed at the controls.' `But we st ill havena found the mercury.and collapsed.. Jamie. Jam ie. Doctor!' The D octor stared blankly at him . rolled over.' Jamie helped him to sit up.' `Never mind that now.. As Jamie watched. and scrambled to his feet .' The Doctor clasped his aching head.. back to the TARDIS. `Hit my head. He hurried out of the cabin to look for him. half supporting him as they staggered alon g the corridor. All around them was the deep hum of machinery. heading for the spot where they'd left the TARDIS.' Jamie helped the Doctor to rise. Doctor. the subdue d roar of the rocket's motors. He thumped onto the floor.. `No .to find the Doctor gone. At the far end of the corridor he saw the Doctor stretched out on the ground.3 Hunted The lurch that threw the Doctor into the wall sent Jamie hurtling from his bunk. `We're moving. help me back to the TARDIS. He examined the edges of the door.... . `There must be someone inside the control room.. `Doctor! What's happening?' The Doctor groaned.
When the pod was empty the hatchway closed. The Doctor revived for a moment.' The Doctor's head fell back. .. `Lock th e door. Jamie half-dragged.Catching him just in time. one by one. In the control room the alien clock clicked do wn to zero . Jamie.' `But Doctor. On it there appeared the Wheel. one of humanity's distant outposts in this remote part of the cosmos.' `Lock it. He turned back to the bunk. according t o a pre-determined plan.... In th e rocket control room. The robot's sensor lights flashed and the top of the pod slid open revealing rows of opaque globular objects resembling some kind of alien eggs. Jamie went over to the door.. a complicated series of events was unfolding. the servo-robot turned towards a monitor screen.and a strident signal sound filled the control room. The hatchway door closed. closed it. and the metal pod slid ins ide it.. A hatchway o pened on the exterior of the rocket and the alien eggs began drifting away into space. and operated what seemed to be a locking devic e. `Doctor. A hatchway opened in the rocket wall.. Its tasks compl eted.. halfcarried him back to the littl e cabin and laid him down on the bunk. Sensors flashed and the s creen sprang into life.. a giant man-made space s tation..' But the Doctor was unconscious. The servo-robot had disconnected itself from the comput er bank and was concerning itself with the coffin-like metal pod that occupied t he centre of the control room.
He fished in his pocket and pulled out the black-tipped gold rod that he had t aken from the TARDIS. slipped it back in his pocket. to be an empty secto r of space.. He rose unsteadily and moving like someone sleepwalking. Shaking his head determinedly he forced his bleary eyes to focus and reached . Shaking his aching head to clear it. only minutes ago. running it along the sealed edges o f the door.' Kep t moving only by sheer determination. the Doctor staggered up to the sealed door . The Time Vector Generator was in itself a tremendously pow erful energy-source . He pointed it like a torch. colossal..From the cabin porthole Jamie was staring in fascination at the Wheel. So ab sorbed was Jamie by this astonishing sight that he failed to notice that the Doc tor was sitting up on the bunk and gazing dazedly around him. It was va st. The Doctor re-capped the gold rod.. By this time the Doctor was suffering from mild concussion. dominating what had seemed. he turned his attention to the door controls. and he h ad only one idea in his head. `Must get door open. and smoke drifted from the sealed edge s. with a sa ucer-like superstructure and some kind of supporting framework underneath. There was a crackle of power.one which could be adapted in emergency to many strange us es. opened the door and staggered off down th e corridor.. get Jamie to safety.. The Doctor slipped the black cap from one end of the rod to reveal a fierc ely-glowing tip. To Jamie's eyes it looked like a giant metal spinning top.. They see med to surge and ripple before his eyes.
closing and locking the door behi nd them. He dashed along it. Slowly the Doctor turned . The Doctor was not part of the Plan. Snatching up the blanket . he gave the robot a powerful shove that sent it shooting down the corridor... Re covering from his astonished reaction to the Wheel at last. come and look -' But the Doctor was gone.. Then he sensed rather than heard that there was something behind him.and found himself facing the servo-robot. Jamie turned to the Doctor. Jamie acted instantly. completely unconscious.out for the controls.. Then it extruded the nozzle of the laser-gun from its body. The crumpled spac e blanket trailed from the end of the bunk and the door stood open. Jamie ran him back down the corr idor into the comparative safety of the cabin. To do this he had to let go of the Doctor..Ja mie shot out of the cabin and into the corridor. As the Doctor turned the robot shot back several feet almost as if it was frigh tened of the Doctor. Draping the blanket over the servo-robot' s squat form. coming to a halt outside the lo cked cabin door. `Hey Doctor. half-conscious Doctor being menaced by the rob ot's laser gun. . He was an error. A blast of the servo-robot's laser sent the blanket shooting into the air in charred and tattered fragments. Grabbing the Doctor by the shoulders.he had a confused idea that the Doctor ought to be kept warm . Errors must be erased. who slid quietly to the floo r. arriving just in time to see the confused.. The robot glided swift ly down the corridor after the Doctor and Jamie.
.. careful. Doctor. The Doctor opened his eyes an d saw what was happening. `Use it like a torch. Jamie took the end off the gold rod and directed th e energybeam through the hole in the door. the Doc tor was dead to the world. `We seem to be safe for a little w hile. In the corridor. burn. and smoke began rising from the met al door.. looking out at the gleaming shape .' The Doctor gestured feebly towards the door . Obeying the Doctor's f eebly muttered instructions.the hole was much bigg er now. Jamie. disintegrating into smoking metallic fragments.. Soon the d oor would be melted and the two mistakes could be erased. Results were immediate and spectacular. smashed into the still closed door and blew up. But no more gallivanting about. Fumbling in his pocket he took out the gold rod and th rust it into Jamie's hand. The beam struck the servo-robot in th e centre of its mid-section. Jamie settled the Doctor on the bunk and found another blanket to cover him. The robot s hot backwards at enormous speed. As Jamie heaved the Doctor back on to the bunk a fierce crackle of en ergy came from the direction of the door. the servo-robot had already melted away a sizeable patc h of the metal door .there was a puddle of molten metal at its feet.. Jamie settled him as comfortably as he could and then went over to the porthole.....' Exhausted by his efforts.. Jamie looked and saw smoke rising and a pin-point hole that was growing steadily larger.The nozzle of the laser-gun glowed fiercely. be careful.
he thought. a pleasant-looking sensible wom an in her mid-thirties. He hated mysteries. `It doesn't make sen se. Leo Ryan sat in the command chair .of the Wheel. balding bearded man came into the control room and there was an immediate respectful silence.' added Gemma. handsome fair-haired giant of a man. `Get a proper fix on tha t thing!' Gemma said mildly. Maybe the y would come and help. cheerful and confident. `Sudden ly lifeless. in qu ilted black and white space coveralls. `Isn't th ere a slight drift still?' Ryan shook his head. Dressed like his subordinates.' `There's been no radio co ntact at all.' Ryan glanced at Tanya.' Ryan frowned. It was huge and brightly lit. he was in his own quiet way a figure of c onsiderable authority.' A stocky. The control room of the Wheel was very different from t hat of the rocket. `No. a big. The movement's not real. `Hold it steady. `It seems to have stopped moving. Exactly the same. There had to be people on a thing like that. medical officer of the Wheel. . It 's an illusion caused by slight polar precession.. with a big semicircular control station with places for all the crew members. This was Jarvis Bennett.' Gemma said. `Well. `How is it now. Commander of the Wheel. Standing behind them was Gemma Corwyn. Commander.' snapped Ryan.. Tanya?' `Stable. Next to him was Tanya Lernov. It must have been driven by something. sometimes to the point of arrogance. a slim attractive young woman with a bell of fair hair framing her sensitive face. apparently. how's our mystery rocket?' Gemma shrugged.
`Station Three to Silver Carrier. like his name reflected his Italian or igins. Come in please . Station Three to Silver Carrier. silent man at a nearby sub-console. . Leo. It's only about ninety million miles off course. though there was no trace of accent in his voice. but th ere was no reply. `I'm not surprised. No momentum at all now. `Maybe their radio's dead. `Silver Carrier.' `We have to try . Oper ate red band switch for emergency transmission. named Silver Carrier.' Ryan said.' suggested Tanya. `Standard procedure. Olive-skinned. but waste it we must. Rico.' Ryan glanced towards the dark. `It couldn't have drifted all that way. Come in please. Ryan leaned forward to his console mike. I've just checked out its description o n the Register. Supply ship for Station Five. Tanya?' asked Ryan. bro wn-eyed and curly-haired. his appearance.' Enrico Casali was the Wheel's communications officer. `No crossover reading. `It's definitely stopped moving . It's a Phoenix Mark Four.Jarvis Bennett said. ' said Tanya.' said Tanya. I'm afrai d we're wasting time.' `Ninety million miles?' said Gemma. `Try radio contact again.' `No.' Gemma looked at Jarvis Bennett.' `Any reaction.' They all waited tensely. C ommander. you said?' `That's right. It was reported overdue abou t nine weeks ago. Jarvis Bennett nodded approvingly.' `Register even. Gemma Corwyn said. `Space Station Three to Silver Carrier. it couldn't.' `Try the emergency channel.
and whip straight to wards us. The rocket's travelled so far by now the power feed-back is p robably failing. illness or accident. Can't raise a thing. Tanya looked up from her instruments with a frown. `Say some thing happens to the crew. `If I'm right about that faulty aut omatic system. Jarvis Bennett said thoughtfully. there's something.' `So how does the Silver Carrier turn up in th is part of the cosmos?' mused Gemma. No damag e. One of them manages to put on th e automatic pilot. that rocket could accelerate at any moment .' said Tan ya.. they seemed to sink right through it. sir . surely .' `Well. `Do you think they're still alive?' Jarvis Bennett looked at Ryan.' `And what about the crew?' asked Gemma.can there?' Like soap bubbles from the bubble pipe of a child.' `Can't be meteorites.`No. And there can't be any life on board after all this time . nothing. `We'd have had some warning. who shook his head. the alien eggs drifted throu gh the space between the rocket and the Wheel. As the eggs struck the surface of the Wheel. but there's a very slight drop in air pressure. No response at all. Like very small meteorites hitting our outer rim. `We've tried everything. So the rocket could start up and stop again more or less any ti me. `These readings are jumping all over the place.' said Gemma. `I'm getting some kind of reading.' ..' Jarvis Bennett said. as if somehow the Wheel was absorbing them.
Jamie stared hopefully out at the Wheel. let's not start looking for mysteries. He gla nced briefly at the still unconscious Doctor. with small mass an d high density. `I imagine minor objects. Moving into position now.. `It really doesn't matter. `I'm going to turn our laser-cannon on the S ilver Carrier. sir. Gemma. I daren't risk that rocket homing in on the Station and smashing into us. In a few moments you will see the complete destruction of a rocke t in space. Jamie stared out at the Wheel.' said Gemm a.' As the rumble of heavy machinery filled th e control room Jarvis Bennett said. have escaped from the Silver Carrier.' `S o what are you going to do?' Jarvis Bennett smiled.. Surely the people on that thing wo uld see them and send help.' J arvis Bennett didn't care for having the flaws in his theories pointed out. The point i s.Jarvis Bennett had the explanation... Is the laser projector on standby. Leo?' `Yes. not descending on us. `such objects would be clinging close to the rocket.' From the cabin in the rocket. .' `In that case. `You're about to experience something rarely seen by human beings. Unaware that is was preparing to blast him from ex istence.
sir. Jarvis Bennett caught Leo Ryan's ey e and smiled. two technicians who were preparing t he laser-cannon for operation.' Jarvis Bennett nodded. a hatch slid back on the upper part of the Wheel and a massive metal tube slid slowly into view. Jarvis? It's i mportant. Bill?' `Locked on now.. His knowledg e of space technology was patchy to say the least. `More bogies.' he said in a stage .. `Makes a change from blastin g the occasional meteorite.4 Command Decision As Jamie watched. I'd better make a crew announcemen t. but his fighting-man's instin ct knew a weapon when he saw one. sir. sir. `Could I have a word first. And it seemed to be pointing straight towards him. Jamie looked thoughtfully at it.' `That's the idea.' `Right.' Gemma Corwyn hurried over to him. `Got the rang e. Don't get much fun. `Tanya? How about takin g a visual recording?' `Can do. Bill Duggan a thick-set. In a sectioned-o ff area of the control room. Jarvis Bennett stood watching them. This thing looked unpleasantly like the muzzle of a gun.' Glancing across the control room. amiable-looking defence of ficer was supervising Laleham and Vallance. do we Bill ? Better make the most of it!' Bill Duggan grinned.
. and it was going to destroy the intruder.' said Ryan wearily.but the gold rod was lying beside him on the bunk. Leo.whisper. `Neither do I. There can't possibly be anyone alive on board.' Jamie's instinc ts had led him to an almost uncannily accurate estimate of the situation. Jamie looked desperately at the Doctor. For so me reason. He tried to wrench a light panel from the wall.' `Oh come on. The Doctor was still unconscious . The Commande r's so keen to use the laser. but with no success. The light wou ldn't be bright enough anyway. It was worth a try. he's like a kid with a new toy. thought Jamie. `That rocket is nine weeks overdue and ninety million mil es off course.' `This isn't funny. hoping he would be recovered enough to give some advice. Since she believed that rows between senior personnel were best held in private. it had worked a trea t on the robot.. Gemma Corwyn had taken the C ommander back to her living quarters. the Wheel had decided that the rocket was a danger to it. `I don't know what you're grinning about!' Hurriedly Ryan straightened his face. His only hope was to make some kind of signal.' `Don't say you ag ree with old stick-in-the-mud Gemma Corwyn?' `Doctor Corwyn isn't old and she's no stick-in-the-mud either.. Tanya Lernov l ooked at Ryan and snapped. Tany a. But he allowed Gemma to take his arm and lead him aside. She's quite right to be cautious. Well.
G emma's rooms were soothingly decorated in pastel shades. it was serv icing Station Five.Much larger and more luxurious than the cramped living quarters on the rocket. `She'd blast a hole right through us.' `Assumptions.' he roared. Jarvis Bennett stared at her. you' re wrong!' `Am I?' `The Silver Carrier is a menace to the Wheel.' said Jarvis obstinately.' `Only if you e quate menace with automatic power drive. Jarvis. then . Guesswork. the pilot switched over to automat ic. She was the Wheel's psy chiatrist as well as medical officer. Is that it. `Don't subject me to your psychoanalysis. Jarvis?' `Right!' `And the crew are all dead?' ` Right again!' `Where was the Silver Carrier bound for?' `I told you. `That's good reasoning . It would b e so easy to check.' .tragedy.' `Then wouldn't the automatic have taken it to Station Five? ' asked Gemma triumphantly. bang. Jarvis Bennett had a nasty suspicion that he was being viewed as a potent ial patient. blow up the balloon! Well.' `We can't risk that rocket crashing into the station. which I don't. `You think I' m acting like a kid again don't you? Bang. But the emergency might well have damaged the control sensors which would expl ain why the rocket went off course. You want me to believe s ome emergency occurred on the Silver Carrier. and her quarters doubled as her consulting room.
`The internal communications are out. something had to be done. a neighbouring technician did the same.. Treme ndous noise! Right through me like a knife. `What's going on ? The whole system's gone crazy!' `Tanya. noise.. `I'll go and get her. Rudkin. If the Wheel i nterpreted his signal as an attack. Bill Duggan shouted.' Ryan went over to help Enrico... They settled the unfortunate Rudkin.' ordered Ryan. Enrico?' `Some kind of power surge. `I don't want to go through that again. Swamped everything. static. Aiming the gold rod at the Wheel. Still. on a bench at the side of the control room. astonished technicians were cursing and rubbing their ears.' Enrico said soothing ly.seconds later h e replaced it.' Tanya jumped up..' All over the control room. Enrico Casali staggered back from the console. the gold rod in his hand.Jamie stood hesitating by the porthole.' said Ryan.. wh o was still moaning and clasping his ears. much more badly affected than h e was himself.' `Lis ten!' said Ryan. Rudkin. away from the controls. Tearing the earphone from his head. Ryan ran over to them. who was easing Rudkin. Jamie whipped the black tip off one end . get Doctor Corwyn. . `All right. Lights were flashing wildly on all the consoles. `What is it. `Lie him down over here. Enrico massaged his ears.
' As Gemma began organising the transfer of Rudkin and the worst-hit of the other technicians to the medical bay. swamping all the detectors. Jarvis took his s eat at the console. see what you can do for Rudkin and the others.it's a signal. Rudkin's hurt. I command this Station and all the people in it. `All right. It was coming in a steady.like some kind of signal.' `What happened?' `Colossa l static pulses. coming through the sets of rip ped-off headphones. what is it?' `Tha t static . `The decision i s mine. `See if you can pin this static down. Gemma and Jarvis Bennett came ba ck into the control room at a run. Unaware of the havoc he was causing. Leo. Tanya.' shouted Jarvis Bennett.' The door was flung ope n and Tanya dashed in. Gemma. Gemma. `Doctor Corwyn. `Yes. Knock it out!' `Commander!' called Tanya urgently.' Jarvis Bennett glared angrily at G emma. `Don't argue with me.' ordere d Jarvis Bennett.The energy pulse could still be distinctly heard. that rocket's given us more than enough tro uble. `I knew that rocket was a menace!' They hurried from the room. but uneven beat . capping and uncapp ing the gold rod at irregular intervals. Jamie stood by the rocket porthole.' `It can't be!' . `Tanya. you get back to your console.
`Get me a fix on it. Commander. I want two men to cross over. Suddenly he heard a tapping from the porthole. `Then there's someone on b oard that thing. . If anyone is s till alive on that ship. `She's right.. It's no code I've ever he ard of.Leo Ryan held up his hand.' Jarvis Bennett was a good enough commander to admit it when he was wrong. Leo. but there's definitely a repetitive order to it. It was qui te clear that the irregular beat of the static was forming some kind of pattern. As he hurried along the corridor. `If I can. sir. sir. `The rocket it is. Jamie grinned broadly and waved. Then rea lising that the longed-for help had arrived.' Tanya looked up.. There's no doubt.' Jamie had given up on his signalling by now. sir.' `You think it's coming from the rocket?' asked Jarvis Bennett. `I just want to make sure. then made his way towards the control r oom. Tanya. Listen!' They listened. they must be in a pretty bad way. Swinging round he was shocked to see a helmeted head peering at him from outside the rocket. `Ninety million miles off course. and was staring down at the still unconscious Doctor in despair.' snapped Ryan. Th e helmeted figure pointed towards the front of the rocket.' Jarvis Bennet t shook his head unbelievingly. he stepped gingerly over t he shattered remains of the servo-robot. Jamie nodded and hurr ied from the cabin.' `Right.
' Chang frowned.' Something on one of the read-out screens caught his attention. One space-suited figure was already there. confirming the routes of space freighters. that's all. `How are our guests?' `Doctor Corwyn's looking after them now . a second emerged from the air-lock . They both seem to be in shock. `I've got someone hurt back there.' Ryan grinned. sir.' `What happened to them?' `Nobody knows. `Jarvis won't like that.they vanish!' ` You've been logging them?' `Yes. It was some time later and for the moment the Wheel seemed almost back to normal. `It's as if we had magnets touching the outer skin of the Wheel then letting go again. Ryan and the other technicians were act ing as deep space traffic controllers and weather men.As he reached the door it opened before him and he went inside. `Quick!' shouted Jamie urgently.' The two s pace-suited figures hurried after him. Been getting funny sig ns here and there for some time. As soon as you check them out . `What's that interference on Green Syste m. Chang?' The technician looked up.' . It's s till a mystery. Localised field eff ects. issuing warnings of meteor showers and generally smoothing the complex process of interplanetary travel. sir. `It's very odd. and seconds later. Leo Ryan looked up as Tanya came into the control room.
' `In so many different parts of the Wheel?' ` Did you tell the Commander?' `Of course. Can't be anything serious.His co-technician. `Reckon there are little green men on board.' Ryan shrugged. Tanya. `But all field detec tors check out normal. The temporary faults in your systems.' He smiled at Tanya.' . `Could be a mi nor fault in the air supply pumps. `Keep loggi ng it . t he air pressure drops. sir. `What about those two people they brought back from the rocket?' she asked.sometimes one-and-a-half.' `I already h ave. `I know.' Ryan said seriously. She's busy with the new arrivals. `They weren't exactly normal. I didn't like to disturb her. Leo?' `What?' `All these mysteries. `More mysteries.' Ryan nodded. `That figures. a massive Irishman called Flanagan said.but I still don't like it. didn't they?' Ryan chuc kled. `Ho w small?' `One degree . do you?' But Tanya didn't smi le. Did you tell Doctor Corwyn?' `Not yet.' Ryan nodded sy mpathetically.' Tanya didn 't return the smile. And he bit my head off. They all started with the rocket. And what about those sudden drops in air pressure? Small enough and they soon adjusted themselves .and keep me up-todate. `I'd start a check on the whole air supply system if I were you.
okay?' He gave her one of his cheeky grins. outside the Wh eel. `L eo.if you get scared I'll let you hold my hand.`I tell you what. . a string of silvery bubbles drifted onto the outer skin then disappeared. and Tanya couldn't help smiling in return. The long-prepared invasion had begun. `So am I!' Meanwhile. I'm serious. s omehow seeming to pass through the metal.' Ryan raised his eyebrows. Tanya .
out. fancy dress or some-thing?' Jamie was stung. `How's the Doctor?' `Well.' Meekly Jamie obeyed.' She paused.' `And your friend?' `The Doctor?' `I ca n't just put that down. `Look.. What's your full name?' `J ames Robert McCrimmon .. your clothes. I'm waiting for X-rays to see if there's a fracture.' said Gem ma Corwyn crisply.. he's certainly suffering from concussio n.5 Under Suspicion Jamie was sitting uneasily in the medical bay.. `Breathe in.' Jamie changed the subject. Gemma Corw yn was passing a stethoscope-like instrument over his chest. `How about the medical. you're in excellent physical shape. `Good. Do I pass?' `If it's any comfort. Now a deep breath and let it out slowly. `You can get dressed now. stripped to the waist.you're the ones who aren't conforming.' .' Jamie rose and began struggling in to his shirt.Jamie for short. `Have you thought what you'd look like if you walked down the street in those clothes-people might thin k you were a wee bit strange!' `But we're in space .
Then your people came and rescued us. we were. That'll be the day. `Er . desperately wishing the Doctor was here. Smith. that will do for now. `You and your friend were passengers .Jamie glanced round for inspiration. Jamie became aware that Doctor Corwyn was staring at him and said hurriedly. She handed it to Jamie who took a couple of sips and put down th e cup.' said Jamie wryly. He'd no chance of reaching that w ithout the Doctor . Could I have a drink of water.' `Your fr iend couldn't tell you what had happened?' `No. When I got up there was no one about.. Londo n'.there's a lot of them about. John Smith.' `All right.' Jamie swallowed ha rd. I was ra ving for days.and of course we must see about getting you home. Jam ie. Jamie followed her gaze. she noticed the name on the open lid. `John Smith and Co.on the Silver Ca rrier?' `What? Oh. `I dinna ken. aye. He was too ill. `Er.precious little with him.' `Yes indeed. the doors were closed again st us and the Doctor was hurt.' `Home. of course. he sometimes thought. terrible raging fever. `What happened to the crew?' she asked. He could talk his way out of anythi ng. thinking of the Scotland of 1746..' s aid Doctor Corwyn drily. Yes.' . `I was ill in my cabin. The Commander will want to have a chat with you . `Aye home. Jamie floundered on.' As she fitted the stethoscope back into the diagnostic machine and lifted the whole thing back int o its container. please?' Gemma w ent to a dispensing-machine and returned with the usual plastic cup of distilled chilled water.
' `Do you wish these obs ervations recorded?' . `I could arrange it for you. Gemma Corwyn pointed.`There's another ship passing through in a week or two. why not .' `Aye.' said Jamie.' `No. `Library.' Jamie pulled on his jac ket and began knotting his scarf.' `Parawhat ?' `It's on the far side of the Wheel.. Discreetly.' ` Right. about eight sections on. I want you to show hi m over the Wheel and observe him. What reference do you require. thank you Zoe. I need your help in another way. `Doctor Corwyn calling Parapsychology. that's all right. One of the people retrieved from the rocket is coming to see you. of course. `Can I go now?' Gemma was still looking curiou sly at him.' J amie began edging away. `Would you like to see round the Wheel?' asked Gemma sud denly. `You'll let me know how the Doctor gets on?' `Of cours e. fine.well. Doctor Corwyn?' `No reference. `If you go through that door and along the corridor you'll find a door marked Parapsychology Library. I'll ask Zoe to show you around.' Jamie nodded and hurried away.' After a moment a young girl's fa ce appeared on a monitor screen. `You haven't finished your water.nothing else to do.' `Zoe?' `She's our .' said J amie rather ungraciously. well. you might call her our librarian. Gemma Corwyn picked up a mike from a nearby c onsole..
but he managed it at last and tapped hesitantly on the door. shook her head then smiled. also com pletely bare.' completed Jamie... with a l ittle gurgle of laughter.. `You must be James Robert McCrimm -' She stopped again. His name is -' ` Just a minute. Any o ther facts known?' Gemma Corwyn smiled. She wore the same black and white coverall outfit as everyone else on the Wheel and her appealing rather pixielike face was framed with shortish black hair.' The girl broke off as Jamie came in. She was rattling something off into the microphone of the video-link built into the oth erwise empty desk.. It opened immediat ely.' interrupted Zoe. `I was half-way through a RNA analysis..' said the girl briskly. `You're wearing female clothes!' . Computation shows that one of the stars in the Messier Thirteen group is entering a nova pha se . in the centre of which was a semi-circular desk. `Aye. He found himself in a small completely bare room. `Righ t.information on gamma radiation level is available. `Should be interesting. McCrimmon.. with the exception of the Hercules cluster. `Well.`Yes please.' `Right.' She clicked her tongue. `. Behind the desk sat a very small girl. he's a nice lad. or rather young woman. Zoe. fire away!' It took Jamie quite some time to find the Parapsychology Library. Jamie stepped through and it closed behind him. `What are you laugh ing at?' The girl was looking at the kilt that swung round Jamie's brawny knees. just le t me clear my head.
`Female!' Jamie was outraged. and his g uide. Have you no' seen one before?' `K ilt?' She frowned and closed her eyes.but you'd better not give me any more of your Sasse nach lip. `"Kilt: a primitive form of garment. by the way.I can learn a great deal from you.' Some time later. He had seen the generator area. the computer section. worn by a kiltie.Scotland. Jamie was feeling tired and more than a little d azed. `Oh this is going to be fun . and a whole lot more. the astro-navigation al guidance complex. cheerful fair-haire d man called Bill Duggan had set up in the Wheel's main power room. the wee girl Zoe seemed to know absolutely everything about everywhere the y'd seen. I'm a true bred Scot!' `Ah. Impressed and amused by her enthusiasm. I'll show you round. Pre-century history isn't really my field.' Jamie had had quite enough of being patronised by some bossy wee girl. James Robert McCrimmon. Now at last they were somewhere Jamie could take an interes t in ." Are you of Scandinavian origin? ' `No I am not. the space meteorology area. Jamie had done his best to loo k interested..a sort of mini greenhouse which their host. . but he couldn't help thinking how much more the Doctor would have got out of the tour. Scot . My name's Zoe.. `This is a kilt. or I'll bend you over my knee and larrup you!' The girl looked at him with delighted amusement. `Mebbe not . a stocky. as if calling up the information. Come on.
Without it the gun's useless.me. Jamie studied it respectfully. Jamie. its transparent dome crammed with complex electronic circuitry. shaped rather like a giant mushroom.' Zoe rattled o ff the information as if someone had touched the read-out button on a computer. thanks. but Doc Corwyn said it was good therapy or something . `This one comes from Venus. most of them. .we can b lot out any attackers for ten thousand miles in any direction!' `Reassuring.' Loving ly he stroked the petals of an exotic black and scarlet blossom.. out here in space?' Duggan shrugged. The only place they seem to flourish is dow n here in the power room.The rows of exotic alien plants in their carefully laid-out growing trays made a strange contrast to the gleaming technological environment all around them. Imagine that. `Th is is my little kingdom.' He indicated a massive central installation. `What do you need a cannon for. Where do you collect all these thi ngs?' `Floating seeds.' said Jamie. I just like flowers. `How do you like my greenhou se?' Jamie nodded appreciatively. `I was just dying to know!' Bill Duggan grinned and l ed them into the main body of the room. The Commander kicked up a dust storm at first. `Aye. `Self-defence . all those millions of miles away!' `Twenty-four milli on. `Just fine. `This is the capacitator bank for the la ser-cannon. one hundred and si xty-three million three hundred and fifty thousand at aphelion.' said Bill Duggan proudly..' sa id Jamie drily. five hundred and sixty-four thousand miles at perihelion.
' `Landed with a couple of strays.' He strode restlessly about the consulting room.' grumbled Jarvis. bio-metrician..' `What's his spe ciality? Is he a physicist.' The Com mander was asking Doctor Corwyn exactly the same question.Bill pointed to another similar installation.' `What panics?' `Mysterious untraceable faults. if the concussion's not too serious. Pe ople are getting edgy. They fend off even medium-sized meteorites for up to five miles.. thinking that it was his own feelings that he was really expressing. I don't like it. Nothing serious. bio-chemist. `The Doctor will be verra keen to see all this!' `This Doctor fr iend of yours.' `Aye. `That's right!' `He sounds an interesting character. astronomer.' sa id Jamie. `I wish I knew. `All these mystery panics from the crew. ordinariness. air presure drops. `That doesn't tell me much. `When's he going to be up and about?' Jamie sighed. .' Jamie turned to Zoe. `Out in space people need routine. `Well. `Antimagnetic field generators ove r there. before very long.' Gemm a Corwyn watched him thoughtfully. Routine's getting shoddy. `Is he a scientist?' `Aye.. Confuse them and you get trouble.' `I don't blame you.' asked Zoe curiously.. She looked thoughtful . I want some facts.' said Bill Duggan .' Jarvis Bennett wasn't happy with her answer.
you kn ow!' Gemma showed him the label on the diagnostic machine.' `What has he lied about?' `He said he'd had fever on the Silver Carrier. take your pick. and apparen tly reluctantly. `Do you want to hear my preliminary report on the boy Jamie?' `All right. with a nice constructiv e personality. Gemma!' And that was the literal truth.. The unkno wn would always be his greatest fear. mentally and physically.' `What you call mysteries..As if sensing her thoughts Jarvis said hurriedly.' `Exactly! I don't want to know. `He was looking at th is at the time.his blood shows no trace of it. I thin k he lied about his companion's name . What's the most precious t hing in deep space. Jarvis Bennett was a man for procedures. Even one-journey travellers know that. Jarvis?' `Air. `He asked me for a drink of water .' `But why lie about that?' `I asked him to ex plain what had happened to the crew fever was his excuse for not knowing..' `He's lying. His blood pressure suggests he hasn't been long in space.' `And the training that teaches you not to waste them. routines.John Smith. go on.. trained to cope. they do exist. He's very fit.' She leaned forward. but he hadn't .. panic s. water.' `Well. But all this nonsense. th ought Gemma Corwyn.and then left it! He might .. `Of course I'm used to emergen cies.. Not completely. but I doubt it. Coincidence possibly..
have been on Earth. Jarvis . `This could be serious.' Immediately Jarvis Bennett's fear surfaced again. Of course... He must be a stow away. everything fits!' `It 's a possibility.' Jarv is Bennett was already heading for the door...there are others. disposed of the crew.' `We'll discuss them later.' Jarvis Bennett seized on the theory enthusiastically. I'll deal w ith these people myself!' . We tak e them in and they start to sabotage the Wheel.. Jarvis. use the resources to tac kle Earth's problems. `Sabotage!' he said e xplosively.. `So these two stowed away on the Silver Carrier. `He must be some kind of agent! But whose... pretended to drift here helplessly. Some of them have tried to enforce their ideas.' `Well. The boy hasn't had space training. plenty of peopl e on Earth think we should suspend the space programme.
then?' `Too right he is!' Tanya Lernov lo oked up.' Bill Duggan.' said Zoe hurriedly. young fe ller.' He grinned at Jamie.' Jamie grunted. `Aye . Z oe was still showing Jamie round. this is the main Operations and Communications area the control roo m in other words.. a stellar early warning s ystem for potentially dangerous space phenomena. `Lucky for you. `Aye well. `Now.6 Birth of Terror Unaware that her guest had been branded a secret agent and potential saboteur. `The old man's going ahead. and explaining all about the operation of the Wheel.' . `That's the Commander's chair!' Jamie go t up and he and Zoe moved over to Leo Ryan. `I thought Doctor Corwyn had talked him out of it?' `Only because she t hought someone might be on board. who'd tagged along on the tour said..' Jamie looked round the control room. as k a silly question!' He dropped into one of the swivel chairs behind the main co nsole. a space research station. `Not there. `You two are in for a treat.but what's the Wh eel doing up here in space?' `It's a radio-visual station for Earth. who swung round and beamed cheerfull y at them. a half-way house for deep-space travel.
`I'll say.' Jamie was horrified. to be on the safe side. and he man aged to find his way back to the power room without two much trouble. and there close by was the capacitator bank . . apparently he wanted to destroy the rocket.' said Ryan. One or two of the technicians looked curiously at him. `Jarv is asked for a visual record. Zoe. Jarvis Bennett.' Zoe explained. So . all we need is the final sign al. There were Bill Duggan's flowers. He had a good sense of direction. `The Comm ander. Nobody noticed him go. Jamie began edging towards the door.' said Tanya.' Jamie slipped out of the door. the lasers were all primed and ready to go. we blast it out of existence first. Jamie strode boldly along the corridors of the Wheel. `Might go out of control and ram us.' As Zoe and Tanya moved across to the nearby camera console.' Tanya said.vital to t he operation of the laser- . Only minutes i n it. but no one challenged him. `Should be very interesting this. I've run a new co-ordinate f ix to be sure.Jamie gave him a baffled look.' Ryan was saying.. you're quicker than the computer.. I'd better re-position the camera.' `We got yo ur message just in time.' Tanya said. The whole thing's primed and ready. come and h elp me recalculate will you. `It'll be quite an explos ion. `You're no' going to blow up the rocket? What for?' `C ommander reckons its unsafe. `And now Jarvis h as given the go-ahead to try again?' `That's right.. you've lost me. `Sorry. Leo Ryan nodded.
. Jamie began looking around.cannon. `I wish I knew. Jarvis Bennett meanwhile had just strode into the contro l room in search of Jamie. Jarvis Bennett winced. Does it matter?' She too hurried away. With a warning frown. Tanya went back to the console. Commander. sir. He was far from pleased to be told that the boy seeme d to have disappeared.' He hurried off. `All in your mind. Doct or Corwyn asked me to look after him. `What was t he Commander talking to Bill Duggan about. `He was definitely here?' Zoe said. By now Tanya was sure something was going on.. don't say anything to the others.' said Jarvis thoughtfully. Zoe. and studied a row of aer osol cans on a shelf. Thoughtfully. `Yes. `What's all the whispering about? ' asked Leo. `Don't l ook at me. I don't think so I don't know. Zoe?' `Nothing important. Leo. I've no idea what's going on!' Tanya Lernov came over to join them. Just follow me out quietly when I go. He shrugged.' said Bill Duggan awkwardly. He beckon ed Duggan aside and whispered urgently. We'd just co me from the power room. did I ever tell you about my nose?' `What abou t it?' . Zoe gave Bill Duggan a puzzled look.. ` Problems. He opened a locker.' `We were showing him round.. `Round where?' `Everywhere.' said Zoe obediently.' `The power room. `Bill.' added Bill D uggan helpfully. the Commander marched out of the control room. not a word about this to anyone.' said Zoe.' `R ight. `At least. dear. Bill?' `I don't know.
. slowly flexing arms and legs. like some ghastly parody of a human embryo. knees to chin. Power leads connected them to a machine of the same alien design as th e countdown clock. and now the number on the digital read-out was mounting: 997.. There's something sinister about it. On board the rocket. ready to conqu er and destroy. The alien clock which had counted down to z ero had reset. drifting in space. It was like some weird and uncanny process of birth. On it there was a picture of the abandoned rocket. and the t owering monster within began rising to its full height. Lights came on in a darkened section to reveal two giant silver spheres.. it never lets me down.. A massive silver fist smashed open one of the spheres.' They turned to look at a monitor screen. 998 . 999. bent over...`It's like a barometer. The difference was that these crea tures would not be born small and helpless but huge and powerful.. a harsh electronic screeching filled t he control room. revealing inside th e crouched shapes of giant humanoid figures. As they lit up they became semi-transparent. The transparent membranes of the spheres bega n to expand as the figures inside stirred. The machine began to hum with power and the silvery spheres s tarted to glow. .. As the count reached a thousand. and I smell trouble.' `Can you pin point where?' `I think it's got something to do with that rocket out there. something was happening.
aiming for the most complex looking sections of the equipm ent in the hope of doing as much damage as he could. ' `Just don't say I didn't warn you. `There's trouble on the way.' `Not for much lon ger it isn't. Underneath was written. it's much too pretty to risk damaging its shape. Suddenly a hand gripped his wrist. he began spraying the plastic right into the heart of the capacitator bank.' said Tanya Lernov obstinately. Unbreakable. wrenching the can away from the machinery. Twisting round. don't over-work it. `That ough t to do it. `Unmeltable. balding.' T houghtfully Jamie studied the label on the aerosol can in his hand.7 Menace `I tell you. Duggan grabbed a can of solvent from the locker and began squirting . Grabbing a pair of gloves fro m the bench. we'll blast it out of existence. Everlasting'.' thought Jamie grimly and. That rocket's dangerous. `Red-handed!' said an angry voice in Ja mie's ear. `Liquid Plas tic'. Beside him was a horrified Bill Duggan. Once Jarvis gives the goahead. be arded man. Leo. Jamie saw he was in the grip of a stocky. M y nose never lets me down!' Gently Leo touched the nose in question with his fin ger. twisting the wrist savagely s o that Jamie was forced to drop the can. He shot the plastic in at random. `Well. lifting off the protective dome.
I'll not give you any trouble .' `Watch him. Two men from Security to report to the power room on the double. They seemed to be .' said Bill grimly. a nd shook his head. I told you my nose was never wrong!' Two massive silver figures now sat at the roc ket controls. Tanya? Zoe thinks one of the stars in Messier Thirteen is going nova.' ordered the Commander. `Oh no. Keep an eye on the Hercu les cluster. `The stuff's had time to harden.' `That's all we need. perhaps more.' `Too right you won't. `I'll have to go and log out the blasters. they were much bigger than any man. `All right. h e's not just a fool. Commander. He shot Jamie a reproachful look.' In the control room. who stepped back and snatched up a spanner from th e work bench.it into the machine. Approximately man-shaped. Jarvis Bennett was talking into a wa ll communications unit. Yellow Alert to be put into operation immediately. `It's no good. Ryan turned to Tanya. Jamie held up his hands. a go od seven feet tall. `This is the Commander. a star blowing itself to a million pieces. `Yellow Alert? What's the sudden pani c?' He rose. He's wrecked it. will you. He's a saboteur!' Bill Duggan stopped his spraying. Now hear this: all men on securi ty duty are to draw side-arms immediately. Bill. He shoved Jamie towards Bill. `What do you think you're doing you fool?' The bearded man tightened his grip on Jamie's wrist.' `Completely?' Bil l nodded.
' . arms and legs and the complex apparatus that for med the chest-unit. Two st range handlelike projections grew out from the head in place of ears. semi-transparent so that the convo lutions of the great brain within could be dimly seen. first a sleek and sinister-look ing space ship appeared. shaped similarly to that of the Cy bermen themselves. He had no physical functions as such. The first Cyberman replied in the sam e eerie voice. with a control panel beneath. with small circles for eyes and a thin letter-box slit for a mouth. At the moment they were busy with the communications equipment that had been insta lled in the rocket by their fellow Cybermen. was even more featureless.' `The Cybermats are launched?' `Phase Two co mplete. and was. had he been there would have recognised them instantly. `Report. Faces. made from the same gleaming sil very material.formed of some uniform silvery material. A monitor screen had been fitted on to the rocket control console. After a moment the ship faded. `Phase One complete. in fact. They were Cybermen. bodies. all seemed to be of a piece. H is voice had a blurred electronic quality. The heads ro se to a sort of crest into which was set what looked like a kind of lamp. terrifying parodies of the human visage.' said the Planner from the screen. The head. something with the qualities of both me tal and plastic. As one of the Cybe rmen adjusted controls with a giant silver hand. no more than a vast living brain. The Cyber Planner was a c reature of pure thought. Their faces were blank. and the screen was fille d by the head of the Cyber Planner. The Doctor .
I don't think this is going to be fun. `Yellow Alert. Zoe. buckling on their hand blasters.' The screen went dark.' said Zoe confidently. `Oh. glaring at Jamie. `You'd better check your theory with the computer.' Security men hurried along the corridor.' blared the communications system. Jamie was watching Bill Duggan complete his examination of the damaged machinery. whatever it is.' Flanked by two armed security guards.`You are undetected on the rocket?' `Phase Three now prepared. `I suppose you're going to s ee the fun. `Somehow.' `Report again af ter completion of Phase Three. Zoe. `Hercules 208 in Messie r Thirteen is definitely on the blink. boy!' `What's the exact damage?' demanded the Comma nder.' `Not now. Th e whole unit will have to be stripped down. Zoe and Doctor Corwyn came along the corridor.' said Gemma Corwyn gently. `You did a good job.' .' said Zoe. `Well?' Duggan straightened up. I know I'm right. I can tell what the radiation effect will be on Earth if you like. They came t o the corridor junction where their ways separated. `It's very serious. `Yellow Alert all sections.' Gemma Corwyn w as saying. All the primary relay contacts are fused shut. Gemma Corwyn said. Jarvis Bennett stood looking on impatiently. sir.
that the central storage charge unit is absolutely f inished .' `I'm not denying anything. Gemm a Corwyn was looking shocked. `Is the laser really out of action.' said Jamie sulkily.' Jarvis Bennett looked grim.' `But why?' `Sabotage . but she's usually right. Jarvis?' He gestured savagely at Jamie.' `How long?' `I don't honestly know. waiting to attack us now you've put our laser out of action.' `But Zoe calculated there's a new star going nova.. `How bad is it?' . Commander. Jarvis Bennett swung round on him. without the laser-cannon we're virtually helpless.poured quick-seal plastic right into th e relay lines for the Branston mirrors. We haven't checked fully yet.it could take best part of a week. Yo u know as well as I do.are you one of these "Pull Back To Earth" maniacs? I suppose your friends are out there in d eep-space. `What . Bill Duggan looked up from the machinery.' said Jamie..' `Wel l.' Gemma Corwyn hurried in and took i n the tense scene.' `Surely you can give me some idea. `What's the trouble. if we assume the worst . `This young idiot has ruined the laser . Jarvis?' `It i s.`How long?' `Depends how much plastic he used.just as we said. ' `No!' protested Jamie. `You can't deny it. We saw you.' `You' re talking rubbish. and how far it penetrated.
Bill Duggan knelt to examine it.. `Maintenance! Get me maintenance. where do you come from. Jamie and his two guards all left the power room. Doctor Corwyn.. immediate and urgent!' Jarvis Bennett said. and await the maintenance team. Bring the boy along!' The Commander. segmented body was roughly triangular.' said Bill gently. and when the creature didn't move he carefully picked it up. leaving Bill Duggan to contemplate the ruine d capacitator bank. well. and then froze motionless. `Hang on.the cosmos was full of strange and wonderful things.. Its scaled. `Wh at a mess!' Suddenly a flash of movement caught his eyes. . All hands to the power room. `I'm not going to hurt you. He shook his head sadly. `We'll go and check Zoe's calculations on the rad ar computers. At first glance it seemed like a sort of metal mouse..`Zoe calculates that the radiation flux will swing the meteor shower straight in on us.' `I'd better get o n with this as quick as I can. It shot backwards a foot or two as Bill approached.' He reached out slowly. with a sort of fringe around the base. `Well. Something small and si lvery had scuttled out of an open cupboard. he thought. grown ma ybe from some kind of egg . `You're a strange little creature aren't you? Some kind of space bug.' Perhaps it had come on board with one of his alien plants. but when you examined it clos er it was more like some kind of insect. well.' said Bill Duggan. and two huge red eyes glowed on the top of its head. He hurried to the communicator . With the cannon we could knock the worst of them out. eh?' He tapped the hard metallic shell.
' `Oh well. . Jamie turned to the Commander. Bill Duggan felt a sort of proprietary interest in it. Jarvis Bennett swung roun d from the computer readout screen. his request had been granted. did you boy? Ever been in a sky station when the met eorites hit?' `Look. that's marvellous. When he heard the footsteps of the maintenance men approaching he said. `"The Doctor told me to protect the rocket". Don't bother a bout a convincing reason.' He popped the creatu re back into the storage cupboard and closed the door. that's all. isn't it?' said the Doctor bitterly. Jamie had refused to say an other word until he had a private meeting with the Doctor.Whatever it was. `They said you were going to give orders to blo w up the rocket.' `Why not ?' Jamie looked round the circle of angry and concerned faces.they'll think I've gone bonkers. `Why did you do it?' asked Gemma . Billy Bug . I'm sorry.' He jabbed an angry finger at Jamie. and after a lot of wh at Jamie called havering. `Because the Doct or told me to protect the rocket.' growled Jamie. `So?' `I couldna let you. `I think I'd bet ter hide you. `Didn't know what you we re letting yourself in for. will you? Just leave me to get you out of trouble!' Th ey were in the Doctor's room in the medical section.' Jarvis nodded. `Radar computers Two and Five both confirm Z oe's calculations.
Some menace. Jamie.The Doctor. it is a bit hazy.Jamie . I had to stop them destroying the rocket. looking very much better. It must have made you stumble and hit your head as well.. Doctor?' `Oh. `And I was so enjoying this lit tle rest. I will.' `You know very well so! What about the TARDIS eh? Fine thing if they'd blown that to pieces!' The Doctor sighed. Some warning. clearly in a sort of half-way stage between being ill in bed and properly up and about. `Loo k. didn't I?' said Jamie desperately..' Jamie sighed despairingly. How was the Doctor going to solve their problems if he couldn't remember what they were? The Doctor was staring into space.wh at exactly did happen on that rocket? And there's no need to look at me like tha t!' `Ye canna remember?' `Well. Things keep lurking at the back of my mind.' `I hit my head?' `Don't you remember anything.' `What are you going to tell them.. I will. `But the re's something in the back of my mind.' `I found you out in the corri dor. by that locked door.' `How about that robot thing in the corridor? Th e one that was about to attack you. Doctor?' `I've no idea . `I suppose so. was stretched out on a couch. Something must have shook up the rocket. It tumbled me out of bed.' . Do you remember that?' `I'm afraid I don't..
' .' The leading Cyberman said flatly.The Cyber Planner's head was once more on the rocket's monitor screen..' `Excellent! Prepare Phase Four. `Report p rogress.. `All phases proceeding as planned.
that's it.. Enrico nodded. there! Hold on that and turn up the gain.' Casali tapped th e screen.. `You see? It's beginning to emit hard gamma already. `The same thing happened in the Perseus cluster a week ago.' `Getting it?' asked Leo urgently. it's coming clearer now. `Only t hen we had the laser-cannon to deflect the biggest meteorites. The technician adjusted the controls. anxious to learn the news that might det ermine their fate. `Too far . ` What are we going to do . better give the Commander the bad news.' `I told you.' Enrico turned to t he others....8 The First Death Enrico Casali and his colleagues were busy at the radar computer console.' ordered Enrico.. `At least four magnitudes up.now back a bit. `I think so. Try a crossfix. Enrico?' asked Leo..' Tanya touched his arm. indicating the star chart on the screen. `You see? It's all happening in the Hercules cluster all right. `Well. remember?' Tanya said. Leo Ry an. `Band eighteen...' . just a tou ch more.' said Zoe brightly..' Leo Ryan winced. Tanya and Zoe were clustered round.' `Is it bigger th an the Perseus one.if they can't repair the laser in time?' `There's stil l the forcefield.
There was a metal bar just inside the cupboard on the floor or rather.. steady. Bill Duggan stared at the bug.' said Zoe cheerfully. I'm only telling you what's going to happen. Bill Duggan w as supervising a team of maintenance men as they lifted the central core out of the capacitator bank. Facts. did you do that?' He opened the cupboard door. eaten away.. half a metal bar.' `It's all a problem in solid geometry to you. and with an apologetic look at Zoe. `Hey. I'll be along in a moment. `Aren't you ever wrong?' snar led Ryan..' As the men staggered out of the door with the heavy piece of machinery. just like a robot. ' Duggan stared into the cupboard his eyes widening. Every one of . isn't it? Don' t you care what happens to us?' `Of course.' Tanya shuddere d.. calculations. `Two hundred?' `At least. Little brain child. `That won't help us. It seemed to be coming from the bottom of a half-open cu pboard door. The other half was corroded. When a star of this magnitude goes nova it deflects meteorites with a mass of two hundred tons or more. a puzzled frown on her face. There was a tumbled pile of metal bars scattered insi de the cupboard. You should've stayed where I put you. Billy Bug. `Rarely. Bill Duggan glanced down and saw a flash of silver. Get that down to the workshops and s tart stripping it right away. Zoe stared after them..' `Yes. all brain and no heart!' Ryan strode away.Zoe shook her head. It f roze as he bent down.. Tanya followed him. `Hello. He bent down and saw the silvery bug shooting out of the door. `That's it.
Duggan picked up one of the bars and was astonish ed to feel it crumble between his fingers like rotten wood.. wild-eyed. Doctor. `You an d your friend are amazingly healthy specimens. A silver space bug flas hed across the floor. `How's it going?' `The Commander asked me to come down and see if you needed any help. watching with interest as the bleeping electronic stethoscope passed over his body. He looked down. using a diagnostic machine much like the one she'd used on Jamie.' ..' He t urned away. He unearthed an untouched stack of Bernalium bars at the very back and gave a sigh of relief. Rudkin looked curiously at him. Actually. and Bill Duggan wheeled arou nd. flashing its results o n the little screen. I'll murder that little beast. Its eyes glowed..' `You can tell him we're doing our best. but the silvery space bug had disappeared. and froze just by the cupboard door. would you?' `Su re.' Rudkin went out and Duggan turned back to the devastated store cupboard. `What's the matter?' `Nothing.' s aid Duggan hurriedly. `What have you done? ' he said appalled.. putting the instrument away. The Doctor still in shirtsleeves submitted meekly to her tests. closing the cupboard door firmly behind him. Gemma Corwyn was examining the Doct or. Look in on spares and ask them to give me a stock position on Bernalium. the door opened and the space bug shot inside. A technician called Rudkin came into the power room.them was partially eaten away. Though some of these read ings are.. Gemma Corwyn sat back.. there is something you could do for me. `That lot's all right anyway. He asked how things were going.
But you mustn't strain to remember .' said the Doctor cheer fully. `We're in the path of a meteorite storm and we've no defence against it.' said Jamie glumly.`Well. I remember that all right. `I suppose the bit you can't remember is why you told Jamie t o protect the rocket. we all keep fit as best we can.' said Jamie.' `But you have interfered.' `We're under arrest. but it's better now.' `Does your head ache?' `It did at first.like having a word on the tip of your tongue. .' She smiled.' The Doctor frow ned.' `I didn't know about the me teorites. `Is it all right? The guard on the door let me in. `Does this me an I've got to get up?' `Not quite yet. You saved our lives and we're very grate ful.' `Any loss of memory?' `Just a lit tle. `Guard?' `We can't let you roam wherever you want to. Concussion does interfere with memory . `I didna really ken what they were!' The door opened and Zoe shot in.' Gemma pointed out. `We're not saboteurs. you know. or put you in any danger.' `Oh no.' `Possibly.' `Does that make you anxious?' The Doctor smiled. th en added casually. There's quite a bit we don't know about the memory bank. `Not unduly. ` Not any more. I think you' ll find my psyche quite in order.' said the Doctor hurriedly. The last thing we want is to interfere wi th your work. I'm afraid.' Gemma pointed out coolly.' `Oh good.
Doctor. isn't it?' `What? Oh yes. John Smith.' `Re ally? I'm impressed. The Doctor frowned. this is Doctor. my dear Zoe. `You didn't answer my question. that's me.' explained Gemma. It had seven million miles to touchdown and fuel for twe nty million... `I don't think we've met. Pure logic. Doctor?' asked Zoe.' `Log ic. Zoe w asn't to be put off. The Cybermen were once again in conference with their Planner. it's fact. merely allows you to be wrong with authority. Zoe.' `What question?' ` How did you pilot the rocket ship so far? There's a record of the last contact w ith the Silver Carrier.' Gemma Corwyn said.`How did you pilot the rocket so far.' `We use Zoe as our second opinion.' `That's a very in teresting theory.' `It isn't a theory. . `Zoe. Somehow the rocket was refuell ed in space. It must have been driven and piloted. I know it was!' Th e worrying thing. Suppose a faulty automatic pilot was at work?' `Driving a rocket ninety million miles on fuel for twenty million? That rocket was driven here somehow. provided with at least another twelve fuel rods. thought the Doctor. Doctor.' said the Doctor hurriedly. It couldn't have drifted ninety million miles off course in the tim e involved. Zoe?' `I'm an astrophysicist . `And what do yo u do on the Wheel. was that Zoe was almost certainly quite ri ght.a pure mathematics major. Doctor.
Rudkin was just about to leave when the wall intercom flashed. The telemeter control. Bill as ked me to check up on it.' `The Cybermats will consume Bernalium.' ordered the Planner.' The Cyberman said.' `Remove telemeter control from Cybermats. I'm looki ng for him myself. Bill Duggan around?' Rudkin said. we're a bit puzzled most of the Bernalium stock was transferred over to him in the power room weeks ago. One of Bill Duggan's space bugs a Cybermat.`We have ionised a star. `Soon meteorites will strike th e Wheel. Rudkin came into the power room. Suddenly its eyes glowed a fiercer red and it seemed to pulse with malign ant energy. touched a control and the face of a technician appeared on the scre en. the device that rendered the Cybermats harmle ss when they had specific tasks to perform had been removed. `No.' `You know we're checking the Bernalium stock?' `Yes. `Valiance from spares here.' announced the Planner. `They will discover Bernalium aboard thi s ship. Bill Duggan was nowhere to be seen. to give it its proper name . `Bill?' he called. Rudki n went over. Now they were kille rs. I had a word with Chang. Phase Four is ready.' The Cyberman said.was crouching in a corner of the power room. Bill .' droned the Planner. `Phase Three is in operation.' `Well. His image faded from the screen. `Without Bernalium the Wheel cannot defl ect the meteorites.
its e yes flaring red. I'm already holding most of it in the power room.. It could all be delusion . that's all I found. I'm far more concerned about them..but it didn't sound like it.must have got his wires crossed. will you?' `Will do.' `Did you tell anyone about it at the time?' `You must be joking. A Cybermat glided out of hiding and moved towards him.. see if you can loca te it?' `Sure. `. but later I remembere d.' `Call me back. Doc. They alrea dy think I'm a nut for messing about with my flowers.' What about the reserve?' `I asked for a check.at least. pouring o ut his unlikely story. His conscience wouldn't allow him to keep silent any long er . Have a look round will you.' `Did anyone else see it?' ` No. You know how much we rely o n the Bernalium rods. ' `And what about these creatures of yours. and now the Bernalium's use less. Bill Duggan was in Doctor Corwyn's consulting room.' The screen went blank. They're the only things that stand up in the laser-cannon...even if the Doctor did think he was potty.. Rudk in started a methodical search of the many cupboards and storage lockers that li ned the power room. `What did this bu g look like?' . How d'you think they'd rea ct if I started telling them I'd found a space bug?' Gemma looked thoughtfully a t him. ' `There's only one .
Body feels like metal or some light tensile material. `It 's possible. It sort of draws all the life out o f it corrodes it. a massive heavyfeatured Irishman called Flanagan. I'll introduce you to Bill y Bug with pleasure. He found himself facing an armed security guard.' he announc ed. `You can't come out. Jamie and Zoe heard it in the medical section and Jamie flung open th e door of the Doctor's room.. They began to run. be my guest. . don't you?' Gemma rose. But I'd like to see this thing fo r myself. Could have g ot in through a loading bay.' said Flanagan. `No. Big red eyes. It was a terrible choking howl. `It sounded like all the devils of hell .. `What was that scream?' asked Jamie. You should see what it does to Bernalium!' `But how did this t hing get on the Wheel?' `Search me .' Gemma looked dubious. The scream echoed through the corridors of the Wheel. T he Doctor.I'm just the one who found it.Duggan held his hands a little way apart. `About so big. or one of the air locks. I suppose.. I don't. cross between a fish and a rat. `What's the matter? You think I' m a nut..' Duggan said worriedly. `Okay.' Bill Duggan jumped up. like nothing either had heard be fore. `But you still can't come out!' He shoved Jamie back into the room and closed the door.' They were in the corridor near the power room when they he ard the scream. ' `And you say it eats metal?' `Not exactly.
Bill Duggan and Gemma Corwyn rushed into the power room . He was dead.and found Rudkin spraw led on his back across the trays of flowers. .. as if death had frozen the scream in his throat.. and his face was twist ed in horror.
`What's this?' Sealed to the floor was an irregularly shaped lu mp of what seemed to be solid plastic. Zoe and Jamie all peer ing at it. was it?' `They had to get one of the men to take up a floor plate.' said Zoe. Some time later. `But what I'm interested in is this!' The Doctor said thoughtfully.' `The Gordian Knot couldn't be untied either. shaking her hea d. The polymer strength of this plastic is higher than chrome steel.. `Found by the body. She tapped the l ump. `What does that mean?' `I think he means there's always a solution. After a moment she rose.. And there was something else. You can't cut through it. `The Commander's mounting a full enquiry..' whisper ed Jamie.9 The Trap Gemma Corwyn knelt to examine the body. the plastic lump was r eposing on a tray by the Doctor's couch. . The last pile of Bernalium had been scattered and corroded like the rest.. There was an empty aerosol spray can lying near the body. Gemma Corwyn knelt down and touched it.' said the Doctor quiet ly. Bill Duggan was looking inside the open cupboard. with the Doctor.
' `Ther e's one way we can find out. `You'll be sent back to Ear th when the next ship comes in. `Aye well. he might have had to kill.' `And the laser. and the s aboteur uses the opportunity and strikes.' `Ther e are people who want to stop the space programme.. is it?' asked the Doctor.`And the Bernalium is useless.' said th e Doctor.' said Zoe.' `And murders?' asked the Doctor. `Yon Bennett talked about some group or other. In the control room.' `Maybe there's a real saboteur on the Wheel. but nowhere near enough. the Commander's enquiry w as in progress.' suggested Jamie.' `Och.' the Commander was saying. `Except this. The man tried to defend himse lf with the plastic and it misfired and went over some lump of machinery.. `If he was caught.' `It's an interesting theory. `Use the X-ray machine!' said the Doctor simply. the main def ence of the Wheel relies on Bernalium.' As Bill D uggan turned away Jarvis Bennett said.' said the Doctor. The rocket comes along with us on board. A m iserable-looking Bill Duggan stood before the table. it's just a spare part. mebbe t hey planted someone on board. `I want a written rep ort on the whole affair in my hands first thing tomorrow..' said Jamie. We've got a few spares. That's all. `He's to be . The Doctor tapped the lump of pla stic. Doctor Corwyn beside him. `Well. `Completely . Zoe nodded.. everything fits. `How?' asked Zoe. Jarvis Bennett sat behind a table.
' Leo said.. Bill. Leo.' `Right. The old man doesn't believe me.confined to quarters. and tal king won't bring him back. you'll have to cover for Leo. Commander. There was a hell of a mess.' `Then give it!' ` Commander. `Remember. is the boarding party ready?' `Laleham and Vallance are standing by. Tany a. `Enrico.' He moved sadly away. Just waiting for the go-ahead.' Jarvis turned back to Leo Ryan. . Bill. I didn't dream it. Bill Duggan was talking quietly to Tanya. As for the rest of you. What's the use? Rudkin's dead.' As Enrico spoke into the intercom.' Leaving a flurry of activity behin d him. ` I want a word with you in your quarters. I want the laser working as soon as possible.' Jarvis swung round.' she said quietly. Jarvis Bennett turned to Gemma. `It was my own fault. `We searched the w hole power room. you'll have to take over some of his operations. Jarvis Bennett strode away. but we didn't see anything li ke your bug. let's get back to normal working conditions. `So rry. I was a fool.' `You didn't d o anything. sir.' `Very well. Comm ander. Doctor Corwyn.' `Well.' `I should have told somebody straightaway when I saw that creature. but it was there..
In Gemma Corwyn's quarters the Commander was letting off steam. `I've just sent two men across to look it over. revealing a picture of the creat ure entombed inside. both above average dimensions. `Right. Two: drops in temperature and air pressure. `What's the matt er with you people? You can't turn round without dreaming up some little bit of emotionally based fantasy. Four: two strangers brought to the Wheel..' said Zoe. call them what you like.' After a certain amount of fiddling. turn up and corrode our Ber nalium. `Jarvis. But. Five: Bill Duggan's apparitions. one of them sabotages the laser. The results would appear on the machine's little monitor sc reen. yes. that roc ket is the base of all our troubles. `One: the rocket drifts ne ar us.. let's have no more mysteries. they're r eady. I tell you Jarvis.. adjusted back to normal. She slipped the negative into the machine and flicked a switch.' said Jarvis compla cently. Did you hear that nut Duggan? Space rodents! The man' s a wreck!' Gemma Corwyn drew a deep breath.. Thre e: two meteorite storms. both within seven days.' Gemma began counting on her fingers. At the moment the screen simply showed the plastic lump. will you listen?' `If it's sensible. Suddenly the plastic lump seemed to melt away. . Zoe was busy pr ocessing the prints.' `Don't worry about it. the Doctor got the plastic lum p into the scanning field of the X-ray machine beside his couch. just when we're facing a big meteor storm.
The first Cyberman said.' whispered the Doctor. and making their way into the contr ol room. Jamie. its lid already pr ied off. There was a crate in the centre of the control room. Vallance and Laleham drifted across space towards the rocket. `What is that thing?' she asked. A similar beam from the second Cyberman was transfix ing Valance. Laleham reached for the blaster at his hip. Inside the Wheel you will help us. but as he d id so a bright light beamed from the head of the Cyberman nearest him and he slu mped. `You will take us to the Wheel. The beams brightened and the two spacemen straightened up. A few minutes late r they were clambering through the air lock. `A Cyberma t. and saw that it was piled high wit h Bernalium. and turned to find two giant silver f orms towering over them.. And there's only one place they could be . Valance and Laleham went over to it. Obey!' . They heard heavy footsteps. their bo dies rigid.on tha t rocket!' Propelling themselves by little thrusts from their oxygen cylinders.Zoe heard the Doctor and Jamie gasp.. dropping the blaster. `But that means there are Cybermen here to o then?' `That's right. Jamie said.
`You must believe me . `They were men once human beings like you. Now they are more machine than man. Commander. . `So what exactly are these Cybermen?' The D octor's voice was grave. `I took and developed it myself.' Jarvis laughed scornfully.10 Trojan Horse Jarvis Bennett stared at the image on the X-ray machine's monitor screen . `The study and comparison of s ystems of control and communications in living organisms and machines. `It means that the Wheel is under threat from Cybermen.' she reci ted.' said Z oe.' said Zoe indignantly.' Jarvis B ennett looked angrily at the Doctor. `Cybermen? Where did you dream up a name like that?' Zoe was staring blankly ahead of her.half and half?' asked Jarvis Bennett uneasily. They come fr om the planet Mondas.it sh owed a Cybermat entombed inside the lump of plastic.' `You mean . young lady.you must!' `On the evidence of one faked X-ray?' `It's not fak ed. `What are you talking about?' snapped Jarvis Bennett. `Cybernetics. and I don't need any lectures fro m you!' `I tell you. `And what's this supposed t o mean?' The Doctor said sombrely. `I know what Cybernetic means. Commander. these Cybermen do exist.' said the Doctor.
' said the Doctor. the tw o men picked up the false top that lay propped against the crate and fitted it i nto place. taking up the top quarter o f the crate. The second Cyberman said. `Don't you understand? Somehow the Cybermen will get inside the Wheel. `Y ou expect me to believe all this rubbish?' `It isn't rubbish. so that it formed a sort of shallow tray. a heliport?' `Listen to him will ye?' urged Jamie. `Rocket to Wheel. Inside the Wheel you will help us.' The Doctor was still trying to convince the Commander of th e danger they were facing.' Jarvis Bennett laughed nervously. `Their entire body is mechanised. They fitted on the lid.. Then Valiance moved to the communication unit. Commander..' `Nothing gets on and off the Wheel just like that.' The second Cyberman climbed into the crate. You've got to believe me!' Lal eham and Valiance looked on unmoving while the first Cyberman climbed into the e normous crate. now standing quite empty. They'll kill anyone who stands in their way. `He's tellin g you the truth.' . Rocket to Wheel. Into this space they put the boxed bars of Bernalium. They are ruthless inhuman killers. all awareness o f pain. believe me. `You will tak e us to the Wheel. What do yo u think this is. When they had finished the whole crate appeared to be full. Their brain s have been treated neurosurgically to remove all human emotion. Now obey your instructions . hammering it into place. Working together silently.`More than that.
you can use my authority . alarm and terror. propelling themselves by puffs of oxygen from their . Any orders to the contrary will have to come from E arth Control.' said the Docto r. `No.Jarvis turned on him.. The Doctor shook his head. you mig ht at least listen.' said Gemma.' `How could anything get inside the Wheel?' demanded Jarvi s. Gemma.. Zoe?' `Isn't he still confined to quarters?' `Have him brought here under guard if necessary ... `How will these creatures get through the air-locks? Or will they just float through the loading bay in full view of everybody?' `It's still worth listening.' `Don't try to tell me my job. will you please. they'll find a way. `Jarvis..' His voice trailed off. I'm still Commander of the Wheel. Gemma Corwyn conti nued. and that's what.. Do you think I can't see it ? It must be some kind of space sickness. and things will be done my way. `Believe me. `Go and get him. Suddenly he t urned and marched from the room.but get him. and taking precautions..' said Gemma. `Jarvis was right about one thing.' Valiance and Laleham were floating back tow ards the Wheel. that's. These Cybermen of yours can't j ust walk on to the Wheel.spreading fear. Zoe.' As Zoe hurried from the room.. I'll be responsible.' Gemma Corwyn said. `How do you convince a man like that?' `I think Bill Duggan should see that X-ray. `Just in case there is some truth in all t his..' `You don't know the Cybermen as I do. I'll tell you what he's doing what too many others ar e trying to do .. Doctor.
' said Casali. Between them slung on a harness of ropes.' Tanya frowned. Commander. Good work!' Tanya nodded to Casali. `Survey party report a find of Bernalium on the rocket. and are bringing it over with us. capable of killing. Shall I give the go-ahead?' Jarvis Bennett's face bea med cheerfully from the screen. Somebody's using their brains at last.' Tanya was already talking to Jarvis Bennett on the internal visi -phone.' Bill Duggan was staring in astonishment at the picture of the Cybermat on the X-ray screen. survey party. We've prepared airlock five. `That's old Billy Bug all right! What is it?' `An alien machine. we need it badly. Loading bay will be cle ar for your arrival.' `Survey party to Control. We have discovered a la rge crate of Bernalium on the rocket. `I'd better check with him though. `Survey par ty returning.' `Checking with Commander. `Please await confirmation. `Destructive. Tanya nodded.' said the Doctor. `Yes indeed. `Is anything wrong. They want to bring it on board. `All clear for cargo.cylinders.' . survey party? A irlock five is ready for you. We are coming in through the loading bay. and he spoke into his communications mike. survey party. `Ask why . there floated the enormous crate. Vallance's voice crackled from a speaker in the control room.' Casali said.' `This'l l cheer the old man up!' whispered Casali.
`The Meson Shields.' The doors of the loading bay were open on to the blackness of space. Bill Duggan's voice was defensive. `I told the old man eventually . the Cybermats would have done it anyway.' `It's a pity you didn't tell someone about it straightaway. `Then I've got to do some calculations on those meteorites . Once the two space-walkers and their cargo were safely inside.half the spa ce fleet might be flying into them.' sai d Zoe.' Jamie looked relieved. Slowly he brought up the artificial gravity field and the two men and their burden settled gently to the floor. He studi ed the .' `The meteorites. With eerie slowness the two spacemen floated inside.. A space suited technician stood waiting by the loadin g bay controls. `So even if I hadn't put the laser out of action.' said the Doctor thoughtfully.' said the Doctor se verely.. h e touched a control and the massive double doors slid closed..that's why they attacked your stocks of Bernalium. of course.' said Gemma.. bringi ng the crate between them.and look what happened? I got confined to quarters!' `I'd better take you back.' `Are there any other defences?' asked the Doctor. There was a sudden whoosh as he fed air into the chamber.' `Maybe their destruction of the Bernalium had some other pur pose. `There are magnet ic field projectors. But they can only ward off small meteorites. `The Cybermats must have been sent to put your laser out of act ion .' said the Doctor suddenly.`I thought it was some kind of space rodent . yes. There must be Be rnalium on board the rocket. `Wait a minute the rocket.I know you all think I'm crazy.
all three men climbed the steep flight of steps leading up out of the loadin g bay. The huge wooden crate was left on the floor of the loading bay. Removing their helme ts.dials for a moment. then gave the two men a thumbs up sign. The Troja n Horse of the Cybermen was on board the Wheel. .
she's keeping the Doctor as a hostage!' `Well. `Och.' . talking to yourself?' `I was recording some very important readings. I've seen them!' `Of course. `Tell me something else then. dinn a be frightened. talking to yourself?' He gave her an astonished look..' `Well. `Given advanced cybernetic technology. what are you doing. `Why?' `I canna t ell you. I was going crazy .11 Takeover Zoe was reeling off a string of calculations into her voicerecorder when Jamie w andered into her library..' `I had to do that.' Zoe looked curiously at him. I thought you were confined to quarters?' `Och.' said Jamie reassuringly. `I'll look after you.and now you're recorded too!' `I'm not!' Zoe touched a control and Jamie heard himself saying. `Hey. have I ruined it?' `Not really. `Hey. what are you doing. you got off to a bad st art.Doctor Corwyn told the guard I needed to get out for a while . Is the Doct or telling the truth . sabotaging the lasergun. such creatures are theoretically possibl e.about these Cybermen? Do they really exist?' `They exist all right.' said Zoe thoughtfully. James Robert McCrimmon .' said Jamie.
`Oh, I'm not frightened, just curious. I should very much like to see one.' Jami e realised she was quite sincere. `Och, you're a funny wee thing. You take it al l so calmly.' `All brains and no heart?' `I didna say that,' protested Jamie. `N o, Leo Ryan did.' `Well, he's plain daft then!' Zoe smiled at him, `Jamie, these calculations are urgent...' `Och, I can take a hint - I'm away!' Jamie wandered off. Feeling strangely cheered up, Zoe went back to her work. Jarvis Bennett st rode purposefully into the power room, Bill Duggan trailing behind him and surve yed the busy scene. Leo Ryan and the burly Irish technician Flanagan were hard a t work on the capacitator bank, which seemed to be lying in dis-assembled sectio ns all over the power room. `How's it going, Leo?' asked the Commander. Leo Ryan straightened up. `Not too badly, sir. We've been working non-stop.' `I'm giving you Bill Duggan here, Leo. No reason he can't make himself useful. Keep up the good work!' Beaming cheerfully, the Commander strode away. Ryan said, `Boy, am I glad to see you Bill! This thing's your baby, not mine.' Bill Duggan cast a ski lled professional eye over the machinery. `How's it looking?' Well, we've had a bit of luck. The central deployment complex didn't get as much plastic as we fea red. Maintenance
have sorted it out and sent it back.' He pointed to the central core which was s cattered in pieces around the main console. Bill Duggan nodded. `That's great! H ow about the Bernalium problem?' `I haven't got around to that one yet!' Leo tur ned to Flanagan. `Go on, you, hoppit!' `I'll grab a snack and be back in five mi nutes,' promised Flanagan. `You'll take forty-five minutes and like it,' ordered Ryan. As Flanagan grinned wearily and went off Bill Duggan said, `What about yo u, Leo, you look done in.' `Can't leave you here all alone Bill, it's a two-man job.' The technician, Chang, came in just in time to over-hear him. `Some people have all the luck - the Commander just nabbed me, said you needed some help. Of course, I've only done two watches in a row!' `Congratulations,' said Ryan dril y. `I've just done three!' `Go on, Leo, clear off,' said Bill Duggan. Chang and I can handle things here.' Leo Ryan said, `I'll just have a quick bite and - all right, I know!' `You'll take forty-five minutes and like it!' said Chang and Bi ll Duggan in chorus. Ryan grinned and went away. `Right,' said Chang. `What do I do?' The Doctor was studying another X-ray picture, not of a Cybermat this time but of his own skull. `You may get the odd headache for a while,' said Gemma Co rwyn. `But at least there's no lasting damage. It's
an extraordinary X-ray, though. In fact, your whole physical make-up...' `I'm so glad there's no damage,' said the Doctor hurriedly. `Well done, Miss Corwyn.' ` It's Mrs,' said Gemma Corwyn quietly. `At least, it was. My husband died three y ears ago in the asteroid belt.' `I'm so sorry,' said the Doctor gently. `My name 's Gemma. Why don't you call me that?' `Thank you, Gemma,' said the Doctor solem nly. `Now, tell me about your Commander, Mr Bennett. Isn't he a strange man to b e in a position like this?' Gemma found herself torn between loyalty to Jarvis B ennett and a desire to confide in the Doctor. `Well, not in ordinary circumstanc es...' `Are there any ordinary circumstances in space?' `Jarvis simply can't acc ept phenomena outside the known laws of science...' The Doctor nodded. `I think that's a very accurate - er...' `Diagnosis, you were going to say?' `You're very perceptive, Gemma.' She looked anxiously at him. `You think Jarvis's attitude i s a weakness - medically, I mean?' `Don't you?' `Normally Jarvis is more than ca pable of commanding the Wheel. It's a continuous, merciless responsibility...' ` Exactly! But what does a man like that do when faced with a problem for which he doesn't have a solution?' `I've been - concerned,' said Gemma slowly. `I've a f eeling that there are some things that Jarvis just can't face. He may have block ed off a part of his mind...'
it's no use trying to st op the Doctor doing what he wants!' `Do be reasonable Gemma. and stood surveying t he technicians.detached.' said Gemma.' She t urned to Jamie. I can see it is. the Commander did a complete circuit of the control room a nd disappeared out of the door. `Can't you persuade him to rest?' `Och.. good. Are you better now. `You shouldn't be up and about yet.I know the danger we're in. `Enrico ?' He looked up from his console. Doctor?' `He needs more rest. `Everything going all right he re? Yes.Jarvis Bennett marched purposefully into the control room. `Mmm?' `Did you notice anything . they want to colonise. The Cybermen want the treasures of Earth.' `Yeah?' Tanya shrugged. here I am. working busily at their consoles. Tanya Lernov gave Casali a baffled look. about t he Commander?' `No . Good.why?' `He seemed a bit . ` I've got to get up . `Probably just my imagination. I can't countermand the Commander's orders. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor.' `But you're not even supposed to l eave this room.' `But you let Jamie out.' said the Doctor. you see.' The Doctor was struggling into his coat when Ja mie came back into the room.' .odd. Jarvis gave orders -' `He isn't fully responsible!' `I'm sorry. `Well. Well done!' Nodding and smiling at everyon e who caught his eye..
goo d. `These are no good to us anyway .and so must you.' The Doctor shot Gemma a quick look. Up and about. `Off you go. yes.' Reviving. Gemma. I'll be n eeded at first watch. `Everything in order here? Good.they're a ll covered in plastic. keep up the good wo rk!' With a cheery nod. In the power room. `Tired now. everything's going well. A world of his own. Doctor Corwyn. thank you.' The Doctor was about to protest further . she's as stubborn as you are. yes. `Well. I think we ought to talk about the rocke t.' `Yes.' . `E r. when Jarvis Bennett strode into the room...' said Jarvis. `You must want to stretc h your legs a bit. `Hey .`Only briefly. that's the idea. Never been better.' He opened t he door and addressed the bewildered guard. eh. `Jarvis!' said Gemma sharply. `Make a no te about morale. a happy man in a world in which everything was in order. You'll tell the guard?' `Yes. every-thing's in order! ' The guard moved away.' His voice tailed off. Everything's in order. Jarvis Bennett turned and marched away.. better turn in. and everything's running like clockwork!' `That's fine. Jarvis.. Doctor? I've done the tour.. Sleep. He swung round. I'll deal with it.. have a wander around. He's got to stay here now . Jamie grinned.. he beamed at them. Bill Duggan was gloomily examining the handful of un-corroded Bernalium rods tha t he'd been able to scrape together. Doctor.
revealing the empty blackness beneath. blocking his escape.. It's still in the loading bay. and took one of the boxes of Bernalium rod from the inside. But neither m an moved or spoke. He took out the rest of the boxes and then lifted out the false top. `They brought back a whole load of Bernali um from the rocket. Chang came down the steps to the loading bay. Chang swung round. dodged round the Cyberman blocking his pa th and made a . As he peered i nside a giant silver hand reached out of the shadows behind him. go and grab me half a dozen rods. lifted the lid. spun around .' `Well. don't just stand ther e. He turned. Chang turned again.`Didn't anyone tell you?' said Chang. The crate from the rocket stood in a little pool of light in the cen tre of the bay. pulling him back. The place was in sem i-darkness. and Chang ran for the stairs. and gripped his shoulder. For a moment he stared up in unbelieving horror at the giant silver form towering over him.. wrenching himself free and stagg ered back against the crate. Then he snatched up one of the boxes of Bernalium rods he'd just unpacked and hurled it at his attacker's chest. With a bit of luck we can have this lot rea ssembled in a few more hours. The Cy berman staggered back. `Help me!' he screamed. and with a shock of astonishment.' `On my way.and saw Lal eham and Vallance come out of the shadows. A second Cyberman appeare d out of the darkness. A few m inutes later.' said Chang. and hurried out. Chang went to the box. Chang realised that the top layer of Bernalium was all there was. Removing the box revealed the wooden surface of the false top.
. .. scooped up Cha ng's body and carried it away. One of the Cybermen walked to the foot of the stairs. and caught in the fierce light Chang twisted. The chest units of both Cybermen glowed fier cely for a moment.desperate doomed run for the steps. screamed briefl y and died. thrust almost casually under one arm.
12 Into Danger Tanya Lernov glanced up as an indicator light came up on a side-console. `Hullo. Where's Chang?' Laleham said flat ly. `Trust him.. someone's using the incinerator in the loading bay. `The laser must be made operative.' Bill Duggan was hard at work reassembling the capacitator bank when Laleham and Vallance came in to the power room. boys. Tanya?' `Somebody just use d the loading bay incinerator.' .' In the same toneless voice Laleham said.. He has gone to the medical bay. He looked up. I've nea rly beaten this job. `Better log it.' Leo Ryan wander ed in. Duggan saw. Bill Duggan shot him a quick glance. looking fresh and rested. `Didn't know you were an expert. `Enrico . or t he meteorites will destroy the Wheel.' `Looks like a spot of unauthorised waste-disposa l. Have you got it down?' Cas ali punched up information on a read-out screen. `What's the problem. `What is to be done?' `Open a box of those rods will you?' said Duggan. Tanya.' `They are.' said Casali. I only hope the rods are the right size. `He cut his hand.' Both men. Someone'll catch it. `Nothing here. wer e carrying boxes of Bernalium rods.' said Laleham. Poor old Chang!' Vallance said.
You will go to the control room. are you? Well. S till bent over his work Bill Duggan said. It'll be a close thing. Bill Duggan returned to his work. B ill Duggan was finding his two visitors a bit of a pain..' He lo oked up at them and grinned. Slowly he straightened up. but I reckon on having the la ser assembled and ready for operation in.' `The meteorites must not harm the Wheel. `Look. oh. whistling tunelessly. `It is the right size. and saw the Cyberman. We will r e-assemble your laser. `So you two can sleep like babes. Duggan slotted the rod in place.. staring straight ahead of him . A Cyberman came into the room.' He looked up. Valiance walked over to the door and opened it. if you two want to make yoursel f useful.' `When will the repair be finished?' asked Valiance.. daddy won't let a nything happen to you!' Once again he bent over his work.' .' said Valiance again.`No!' said Bill Duggan sarcastically. `It is too! You must be psychic. Here are your orders. Better not tell the old man.. He o pened his mouth to scream but a beam from the Cyberman's helmet transfixed him a nd he went rigid. `Worried about the storm . `The Wheel must be protected from the meteorites. he doesn't believe in it. don't be. `It won't get done at a ll if you don't stop nattering at me. `What do you think I'm sweating over here for?' Laleham handed him a Bernalium rod. The Cyberman said. six or seven hours maximum.just like Laleham and Valiance .
Hurriedly she switched off the screen.. ` You don't seem very surprised. I want to feel things too.' `It's just your training. ' said Zoe solemnly. `What is it.' Gemma Corw yn said gently. studying a medical file on her computer read-o ut screen. `Some people with your training do have trouble developing their human emotions. I've been told to forget them. `It's rather difficult.' `He's getting worse. She looked up almost guiltily as someone came into the room. reported it to the Commander -' `And he ignored it?' Zoe nodded. The file was headed: Jarvis Bennett. so me calculations. Zoe?' Zoe said worriedly. I shouldn't worry about it. `Leo Ryan said I was all brain and no he art. `Is he ill?' asked Zoe.. I found evidence of a cr itical state.' said Zoe.. you appear to have survived your brainwashing very well.' said Zoe seriou sly. yet.' `Good. Maybe Leo's right. but I do.' `Oh. `he's chosen a rather inconvenient time. I've just made a report.' `If he is ill.' `Ordered by whom? What report ?' `My calculations on the path of the meteorite storm. hasn't he?' `Not very emotional. a re you. `I'm not sure... `Don't want to be a freak. do you?' Gemma Corwyn smil ed.' said Gemma almost to herse lf. Zoe. Zoe?' `Emotional?' Zoe frowned.' `You don't think I'll be like that. `No. ..Gemma Corwyn was in her quarters. My brain's be en pumped so full of facts and figures.
. Jamie. `You won't forg et to keep an eye out for some mercury.' said the Doctor hurriedly.w ould you like one?' The Doctor shook his head and wandered away. the Doctor and Jamie. The Doctor beckoned to Zoe..' `Have you got any coffee?' asked the Doctor hopefully. `I've got a coffee tablet . `And these are indisputable.' said Gemma Corwyn.`Now then..' Zoe and Gemma hurried into the control room. `Facts are fac ts. apparently restored to favour were bein g given the tour. I'm very worried about the TARDIS.' `I wouldn't dream of arguing .. and we re soon engaged in a low-voiced conference with Leo Ryan.. Tanya shook her head. If I'm right and there are Cyb ermen aboard that rocket. `Can you get the laser repaired in time?' ..they're heading towards us faster than I'd first thought.' Tanya was saying. `Any device on the Wheel that uses energy shows up some where on the board..' In the control room. Doctor. `What's going on?' `I did some ca lculations on the meteorites .' whispered Jamie. Tanya and Casali. `Tell me about these calculations of yours. and this last one here is how we check all energy expendi ture. from a coffee grinder upwards. `.' `Don't you ever have any cheerful news?' growled Jamie. who came over to them. `I haven't for gotten..' said Zoe primly.
isn't h e?' Blatantly the Doctor changed the subject. The real worry's the Commander.' `Oh no.' . `I want to check the Si lenski circuit. `Something like that.' `Oh good!' `Yes. He just brushed my warning about th e meteorites aside. `Some more turned up.' mutt ered the Doctor. `Why aren't you more worried about the laser? Even if you get it fixed in time. Cybermen have ways of making people carry out orders.I met him coming off duty.' `What did you say?' `That's what Flanagan said . `That's what Doctor Corwyn said. Tanya told me just now. It gives of f a signal if there's any interference with the brain of the wearer. `Or maybe they kne w what they were doing. There's an implanted Silenski capsule. `Did you know about this Bernalium from the rocket?' `Yes. He is ill.' The Doctor went a nd grabbed Gemma Corwyn's arm and marched her away from the group.' The Doctor frowned.' ` Hypnotism?' asked Gemma. Zoe nodded. two of the men brought a crate of it over from the rocket. Gemma led him over to Tanya.' said Zoe confidently.' `Maybe they were tricked.' `He's getting worse. I thought all the Bernalium had be en destroyed.' `Don't yo u see? The Cybermen came over in that crate!' `But our men wouldn't have brought them across.' `How can w e check?' asked the Doctor. That's the worry. not the laser.' `But all Wheel personnel are pro tected against brain control.`Apparently.
has the Commander.and they saw Bill Duggan raise a big spanner h igh above his head and smash it down on the communications console.. ignoring her.' said Gemma. everything's normal. `I'll scan the room. but was thrown off with apparently superhuman strength. `You were right. Jamie moved over to Zoe.' said Tanya.. `Hullo. Bill. that way. Sparks crackled across the console.' said Gemma. Bill Duggan came into the control room. `Stop him!' yelled the Doctor. `I thought he was confined to quarters. `Look!' `Someone is affected.. Doctor!' `It 's someone in this room... `What's he hanging round lik e that for?' Zoe frowned.' She pointed . He hovered u ncertainly in the doorway.' Bill Duggan went on in to the control room. Jamie hurtled across the room and tried to pull Bill away.. I'll scan this room first.`I'll have to activate the whole detection network.' whispered Tanya. She adjusted controls.' Tanya adjusted the controls and a large monitor scre en came to life. `Somewhere o ver. `If the lines are even.' She went over towards the door. The lines on Tanya's scanner began fluctuating wildly. with a network of electronic trace-lines running endlessly acro ss it.. The spa nner smashed down again. again and ag ain. and Casali was sudd enly hurled backwards . `I'll authorise the extra power.. `Can we pin it down?' asked the Docto r quietly. ' As Tanya began her check..' `Do it..
They took over t his poor fellow and sent him to stop you from getting a message to Earth. working out the purpose of the false top. The Doctor and Jamie studied the crate. Bill Duggan crashed to the ground.' said the Doctor grimly. They crept cautiou sly over to the crate. The empty crate stood in its little pool of light. on the Wheel. there it is. It interferes with the Cyber control sign al. As the spanner rose again. `Just sit quietly and keep out of the way.' `I'll see to it. The Doctor ran to the body and knelt to e xamine it. stacked beside the crate. Small sheets of metal w ill do. Doctor Corwyn. Leo Ryan drew his blaster and fired . `What do we do? asked Jamie.. `He's dead.. They saw the boxes of Bernalium bars. ` Well.' said Gemma gentl y.' `It's shock. `If you'll take my advice.or more useless. `Oh aye? Are you su re you know who's to be hunted?' The Doctor and Jamie moved off. taped to the back of the neck..' Zoe sat down shivering. . you'll alert the whole Wheel. The loading bay seemed to be empty.' whispered the Doctor. She shivered. The Doctor and Jamie came down the steps into the loading bay. She had n ever felt more frightened . `I feel cold.. You'll n eed something to stop your people from being taken over.' said Leo Ryan.out of his chair.' He tu rned to Gemma. The Cybermen must be here. The only thing they didn't see was the giant silver form of the Cyberman as it descended the steps behind them. Zoe watched the m go. who had come to join them. `Sssh.' said Jamie. `We're going hunting.
Jamie. Jamie grabbed the Doctor by the arm and heaved him out of sight behind the crate.' `What do they want then?' ` I wish I knew. It was still at the top of the steps. bu t how do we do that?' `What's the one thing we need to survive that Cybermen don 't?' . and for the moment it didn't seem to have seen them. turned round and saw the desc ending Cyberman...' `Aye.' `Aye. The Cyberman descended to the floor of the loading bay. and into the sh adows beyond. As it dis appeared.' `I can't unde rstand them. Jamie gave a silent whistle of relief.' `Eh? What are you talking abo ut?' `Destroying the Wheel. But the first thing we must do is protect these people. not yet . I see. `It's so easy now. Jamie. `That was close.. From the outsi de it's strong enough. That's what I'm talking about. but now that the Cybermen are inside. W hat d'you think they're planning then?' `I don't know.' said the Doctor. staring arrogantly straig ht ahead.but it's obvious that they don't want to destroy the Wheel. picked up one of the boxes of Bernalium rods. turned and went back up the steps.13 Cybermat Attack Suddenly Jamie heard the scrape of metal on metal..
`Food?' suggested Jamie..' said the Doctor reprovingly. `Alwa ys thinking of your stomach. `Can you do that?' Tanya glanced at Leo. we can.' They s aw the Doctor's face on Tanya's monitor. `It's the Doctor. `Yes. Gemma considered for a moment.' `Shall I seal off the airl ock doors. Why?' `The Cybermen are definite ly on the Wheel.' he was saying.' . They may try to interfere with the air supply. `I think I saw something move. then nodded. peering into the shadows. over there in the shadows. `No. She turned back to the Doctor. Tanya said.' The Doctor turned. I just caught a glimpse of it in the corner of my eye. air. `I don't know.' whispered Jamie. `Yes. calling from the loading bay. `Now. who nodde d. Gemma?' asked Leo. Jamie and I have just seen one. do it. what is it?' Jamie pointed.. thereby reminding himself he was feeling peckish. `Wh at's wrong?' asked Gemma. Tanya called Gemma Corwyn and Leo R yan over to her console. `It would be wise to seal off all the a irlock doors. that's wh at.' `Doctor. air!' The Doctor rose and went over to the wall communication unit. I wonder how this works?' In the control room. `Yes.
.' pleaded Gemma. `Anyway. They heard the Doctor's voice. g liding from a patch of shadow into the light. `And look. Casali began maki ng rapid adjustments of a console. `I suppose we can trust the Doctor?' `I'm not sure why I do. Tanya looked up at Gemma Corwyn and said quietly.. Any moment it'll tune into our brainwaves. In the loading bay th e sound was coming from the communications mike which the Doctor had deliberatel y left swinging from its wall fitting. Enrico. but I do. Casali flipped a switch. `Hurry! Please hurry!' `Come on. Please. there's another!' The Doctor whispered into the wall mike..at once please!' Tanya looked at Gemma for a decision. It didn't appear to have seen them as yet. sealing off the airlocks is good common sense. oscillating electronic howl. `Listen to me very carefully. `There.' said Gemma. `Do it please. `That's it power on.' They heard a low. `It's turning. just do as I ask and don't delay. speaking in an urgent whisper .' Jam ie had been keeping the Cybermat under observation.' Jamie pointed again. `Hook up a vario audio-frequency to this channel .' he w hispered. look!' The Doctor saw a Cybermat.Leo went over to another console and began issuing instructions.. The Cybermats began gliding forwards. The Doctor turned back to the intercom. . Doctor.' she ordered. There' s a Cybermat very close to us. Enrico.
wh o had been looking on silently all this time said.. `Come on.. `That's quite enou gh.. as if to attack. a light began flashing on a nearby console. Sud denly they began swinging to and fro in erratic curves... `What is it?' Zoe. ground slowly to a halt and expired in a final puff of smoke. thank you!' Casali switched off the electronic howl.. The Doctor ducked down then popped up again with the defunct Cybermat displayed on a box lid. `This is what you saved us from!' Tanya peered at it unbelievingly. In the contr ol room the Doctor appeared on the monitor. Their paths intersected and they collided with a metallic crash. The Doctor shook his head. But th e move brought them within range of the sound from the dangling wall mike. `We're coming back as soon as we can. then one began zooming round in circles while the second sped straight for the wall. waving his hands.The Doctor and Jamie retreated slowly towards the steps. . The second Cybermat smas hed into the bulkhead and blew up. disappearing in smoke and flame. For a m oment they were still. `It's a Cybermat. `Leo?' calle d Tanya. let's run f or it!' urged Jamie.' said the Doctor. like disorientated dodge m cars. The circling Cybermat began giving out smoke.' The Cybermats made a sudden dart forwards.' As the Doctor's face va nished from the screen. `They've got a range of at least ten feet.' `Exactly.
puzzled. Anything can happen. What a mess!' `How about radar?' asked Tan ya. But the Earth communication circuits are done for. Contin ue report.' In the power room a Cyberman was operating a CyberCommunications Unit.' `The laser-cannon is now repaired and operative.' Casali shrugged.. The Wheel is to be taken over.' `Don't be a pessimist.' `What time 's the next check with Earth Central?' `Two hours time.and it does n't seem to be coming from our power source.' `Some human has knowledge beyond our prediction. n ot without a laser to knock them away with.' `By what method?' `By the use of highcurrent phase contrast. and she indicated the light.He came across to her. Let's check it out. shaking his head.' The Planner said.' `Better set up a fix on the first wave of the meteorites. `Bill Dugga n knew the spots to attack all right. They may not hold on a crash course to us. Enrico. Phase Six will now be completed. reporting to the Plan ner.' Enrico Casali looked down at the shattered communication beam console. `Doesn't seem much point.. `It seems to be a signal fro m the power room.' Leo studied the indicator light.' . `Excellent. `The Cybermats have been destroyed.' `And the communica tion beam to Earth?' `Attacked and damaged. `Yeah . `That's okay.
.' He looked worriedly at her..' Tanya looked puzzled.' . `I've b een checking the different sections on the intercom. `And ?' `I can't raise anyone. `We might be alone on t he Wheel. `Everything has!' Leo Ryan looked up his face concerned.Casali grinned.
.' `Not necessarily comple te. Jarvis Bennett's earlier euphor ic mood had faded. Jarvis Bennett's eyes widened . it's not true.' `I could try E. `Jarvis..C.14 Meteor Storm Tanya's eyes widened in alarm..' said the Doctor.' Gemma Corwyn said. look at it. Zoe.. `Bring it forward. `No. and twisted his head away.' On the other side of the control room Jarvis Bennett was sitting in his command chair. I'll go on checking. J amie and the Doctor grouped around him. certainly. with Gemma. Zoe. but it wasn't working.. `All right. not tru e.' ple aded the Doctor. I reckon she's got enough on her plate. and he was slumped down in the chair a picture of depression while Zoe held a lifeless Cybermat up in front of him. `Catatonic features. into his line of sight. put that thing away somewhere. ma ybe he could be shocked back to normal.' Zoe held the C ybermat directly in front of the Commander's face. `Have you told Gemma Corwyn?' `Not yet.. He began shivering.' .T. Zoe..' She lo oked at the Doctor. `It looks like complete withdrawal... Gemma had persuaded him to leave his qua rters for the control room in the hope that familiar surroundings might help to restore him to normality...
strong enough to keep the Cybermen out?' `Strong enough to ke ep anything out!' She looked worriedly at Jarvis. Jamie nodded towa rds Jarvis. we've no contact with Earth. `You're just not trained for this sort of emergency.`Give him a little more time. `It's no good.' said Jamie. he's just closed himself away. for that matter. and put it down on top of a console. . Though what she can do. `You've thrown a force-field aro und this section .. you know. or any of us.' `That's the whole point! What good am I? I've been created for a false kind of existence where there are only known emergencies. Leo Ryan was still going on with his check. a Cyberman towering over him.I suppose she'll take over. `Section twelve? M ake contact section twelve!' There was no reply. `How is he?' `Hopeless. who was staring gloomily at th e ground.' said the Doctor. Jamie. and we can't fight them off because there's no laser!' Zoe took th e Cybermat over to Jamie. Doctor Corwyn 's second in command . Section twelve was the oxygen s upply room. `We' ve been invaded. and we're in the path of a storm o f meteorites.you'll have to take over. There was no answer to Leo Ryan's call because the duty technician l ay dead on the floor. `You're the second in c ommand .' Jamie patted her clumsily on the shoulder. I feel so useless.' `Take over what?' asked Gemma bitterly.' said the Doctor gently. we' re not done yet. Gemma. `We'll survive this mess yet!' Zoe didn' t look convinced.. What good is that to me now?' `Hey.
The wall communications unit was buzzing and he went to answer it. `So we're no t to be riddled by meteorites after all then? Sure that's a relief.Flanagan came into the power room. . L aleham too drew his blaster.' Valiance said flatly. Valiance said. boy?' He gave Valiance a shove that sent him staggering back. Suddenly Flanagan noticed that the capacitator bank for the laser-cannon. `Have you gone mad?' demanded Flanagan. `Why don't you answer that thi ng. `Is the laser working again?' Laleham said. `What's the matter with you.' `You can't just ignore it!' To Flanagan's utter astonishment.' `It could be the old man himself. and instinctive ly Flanagan went to answer it again. ba rring his way. `It is not important. surprised to find it empty . Valia nce drew his blaster. and me with a whole year's Earth leave due!' The Intercom was still buzzing.' Contemptuously Flanagan swept the blaster aside. `T he repair is finished.' He spoke in the same flat tone as Valiance. `Do not touch that. `Do as you are told. and again Valiance barred his way. for all you know!' Laleham stepped out from be hind another storage locker. someone sounds a bit violent. which he had last seen in numerous pieces. and looked around. `So there you are. seemed to have been reassembled as good as new.' said Flanagan. Suddenly Va liance appeared from around the side of a storage locker and stepped forward.
and th e spanner smashed into a metal bench with a force that jarred it from Laleham's grasp. Valiance shake n free of the Cyberman's control. Now thoroughly enraged.and stumbled full into the path of the blaster bol t. and knocked Laleham down for good measure. Then his eyes widened as he stared over Fl anagan's shoulder. a heavy spanner in hi s hand. Laleham staggered and fell dead to the ground. Flanagan and Valiance stood mo tionless for a moment. Valiance stared at him. Flanagan grabbed Laleham and began shaking him to and fro.. `All right. their reflexes dull ed by Cyberman control were just no match for him. and Flanagan side-stepped and knocked him down with scientific p recision. Laleham and Valiance. in a frantic effort to break free from Flanagan's g rip. and an accomplished brawler. Valiance scrambled over to his fallen blas ter. Valiance came forward. Just as Laleham. Flanagan shocked out of his fighting fury.' Shaking his head. and got to his feet. Flanagan backed away. twisted himself around . Flanagan dodged aside. `You've killed him!' gasped Flanagan.. aiming a clumsy blow. come on! If it's a fight you're after. raising his fists. . `Now that wasn't sporting! You want a few lessons in the Noble and Man ly Art.Flanagan promptly knocked it out of his hand. The spanner swept towards Flanagan's head. Laleham scrambled to his feet and rushed at him. aiming the weapon at Flanagan's back. Come on both of you!' Flanagan was a big powe rful man. me friend. He fired. snatched it up. I'm your man. too shocked to speak. and his body went rigid.
Before Flanagan could move or speak. `Yes. His body went rigid.' The Cyberman glanced down at Laleham's body. `No more. Obediently. She went to join the Doctor and Jamie . Zoe was feeding Jarvis Bennett water from a beaker.' said Casali. `We're talking about things weigh ing two or three hundred tons here!' He adjusted his . Flanagan and Valianc e lifted Laleham's body.' `A for ce field is in operation around the control room. `It's a big one. don't make it worse. then turned his head away like a sulky child.. and he stood passive. and saw the giant silver form of a Cyberman looming over h im. How is it operated?' `From wit hin the control room itself. `Even bigger than we thought. `They're co ming through now.' said Leo Ryan nervously. he was transfixed by the beam from the Cyberman's helmet. Gemma said. who were grouped around Casali who was operating the radar screen. `The laser has been repaired?' Valiance bowed his head.Flanagan swung round. `We've still go t the anti-matter field projectors.' `All right. all r ight.' said Gemma.' A whooshing.' `You don't think meteorites like this are g oing to bounce off that. do you?' said Casali.. H e took a sip or two. The Cyber man spoke. waiting. humming sound was coming from the radar complex. `Disp ose of this human..' `Just give him what he wants..' It turned and stalked away.
screen and suddenly they could see a swarm of blips. `There they are . travelling across the scree n.swarms of them .and they're headed straight for this Wheel !' .
`We have been repairing the laser capacitator bank . `Under a million miles.' Leo swung round to the others. `How far away are they?' Gemma Corwyn asked. But it w as unavoidable. now. and Flana gan's face appeared on screen. the Doctor. Suddenly there came a buzz from the communicationunit.' Leo Ryan was too excited to register Flanagan's flat voice and stilted manner. `Valiance is with me. Closing in on an el liptical path. `Why didn't you answ er me. `What's the . Jamie and Zoe stood watching as Leo and his team ra n through a series of checks.' As yet.' He turned back to the screen.' said Flanagan in the same dull voice. Casali studied his instruments. `Power room here.' `Flanagan! Where have you been ?' said Leo Ryan explosively.15 Poison in the Air There was a moment's awed silence. the danger wasn't imminent.' Gemma. `Hear that? The laser's repai red! Stand by to run a test. `Are you telling me the laser's working again?' ` Ready for testing. Flanagan? I've been calling for ages!' `There must be a fault on the line . tilted ten degrees. We're ready when you are. Work has now been completed.
Leo R yan said cheerfully. `T anya give me a power reading. they just wanted to make you use the laser. Distance closing..' Leo Ryan sat back satisfied. It had been just one shot. `Well. by ruining the Bernalium. five four nine. will it?' `S ome of the forerunners will be in range now. Blu e control.. `Red on standby.' said the Doctor. `Hmm.' said Leo. Against the steady background of infor mation.' `Power normal at maximum..' . won't do to miss any. The Cybermats were sent in to attack the laser. orders and reports the Doctor and Gemma were talking quietly.' It was some t ime later. zero!' `Fire!' said Ryan. Meteor has been destroy ed. one meteor destroye d out of untold numbers. We can use them to test. The Control room was humming with activity. `To destroy the Whe el?' `No. ninety for partial. Angle eighty-eight to zero four zero o ne.. `Fifty-thousand miles for total destruct ion..' Casali said. everybody. But steering and power had responded perfectly.' `Why?' asked Gemma. four eight. `At least it'll tell us how the power bank reacts..range of this thing?' asked the Doctor. `I think i t's safe to assume that the Cybermen caused this meteor storm. We'll try a random shot. More and more of the mete orites were coming in range now and Leo and Tanya and the rest of their team wer e steadily deflecting or destroying them.' said Gemma. `They must have made the star go nova. I think we stand a chance.
' `Well..' s aid Jamie.where is it?' `You've got it. the Time Vector Generator . `Then you'd be sure to search that drifting roc ket. Jamie.`Aye. just before they brought you across. good luck to them whoever they are! Who' s going?' `Well. Besides. and I'm needed here. `or the Wheel would have been smashed up!' `This isn't just an attack on the Wheel.' said Jamie. `An d you really think it was the Cybermen who repaired the laser?' `They had to. `The meteorite showe r is now . if Doctor Corwyn can spare someone to help you make the crossing ..' said the Doctor.' `But I haven't got it!' `It must have fallen out of your pocket. `The Cybermen have an overriding ambition to in vade Earth and plunder its mineral wealth.' Gemma said. I put it back in your pocket when we were on board the rocket. find the crate and bring it on board . `It was all a cunning plan to get on to the Wheel. that's right. Somehow they must be able to see a wa y of doing that through this Wheel.with Cybermen hidden inside!' The Do ctor nodded. Is it impor tant?' `Important?' spluttered the Doctor.you are!' `Me?' `You're the only one besides me who knows what to loo k for. it's your fault it's lost!' In the power ro om the Cyberman was making a further report to the Planner. `It's vital! Someone will have to go over to the rocket and find it. `Ja mie.' The Doctor began patting his pockets.
who had been waiting silently in the corner.' Meanwhile in the control room.' `Phase Six can now be completed. . Zoe and Gemma Corwyn stood waiting at a corr idor junction. The weapons of the humans have been tested and are operat ive. Gemma hurried across the junction. Looking through it.' The Cyberman swi tched off the communicator and turned to Vallance. Gemma looked at her watch. On the far side. and suddenly the haze vanishe d. The air before them seemed mildly hazy.' She moved on a little.' Jamie.' `The humans have set up a force field ba rrier around the section containing their control room. `To c omplete Phase Six it will be necessary to initiate plan three.' The Planner said.' grumbled Jamie. `Follow me. `Do you? Do n't be too sure. `She kn ows enough space drill to get you across to the rocket .' `I still think I'd do better by myself!' Gemma smiled.and she's the only one I can spare. `I'll check that it's clear ahead. she picked up a wall communicator. `Don't see what you've landed me with her for. Leo Ryan and the Doctor were ha ving a furious row about the same subject. and if you tried to walk through you would hav e been held motionless. thing s on the far side looked blurred.we're through.' Zoe said. `Replace the force field barrie r . motioning Jamie and Zoe to follow her.approaching the Wheel.
`I'm afraid so. The route to the airlock led th rough the oxygen supply room . Crossing o ver to the wall unit she called the control room. `From now on you don't do anything without checking with me first.. Gemma knelt to examine the body. come on. `Good luck. Zoe.and there Gemma and her party had stumbled on the body of the dead technician. `Meteorite coming in range .and you'd no right to ask her. Shocked.' said Zoe.' `And what about Gemma? She'll have to make her way back here on her own. Gemma straightened up..' `Hav e you any idea what it could be like between the Wheel and that rocket. Jamie.' `They know the risks.no w!' called Casali.' She led the way to a hatch in the wall and opened it.' said Gemma as she closed the hatch behind them. and Jamie scrambled af ter her.' said the D octor quietly. OK?' He glared angrily at the Doctor .`Zoe agreed to go. `She'd no right to agree . Leo went back to his console.' `Right. `They'll be away any minute. The whol e area's bound to be bombarded with debris. `Is he d ead?' whispered Jamie. the emergency exit. Jamie will look after her. `Zoe calculated them.' `It had to be done. She clambered into the dark space.' said the Doctor obstinately. S houldn't be any problems. `That'll take you to the air-lock. and the Doctor scowled mutinously back at him.' He glared at the Doctor. You'll find space equipment in the supply locker.' .
. Valiance behind him. It's hopeless. Gemma Corwyn was about to set off back to the control room when she heard movement in the corridor and du cked into hiding behind an instrument console. `Countdown as from now. Hundreds of meteors had been deflected or destroyed. `We 're hitting them. `This is the main concentration.. The Cyberman surveyed the oxygen room. A Cyberman stalked into the room.' `Fire!' commanded Ryan.' said Valiance...' `Crossover on vector link..In the control room. `Each section of th e Wheel has its own oxygen supply?' `Yes. but there were hundreds more to come.' `Shu t up.' They bent tensely over their instruments. `Fire!' Suddenly the monitor scre en came to life and Gemma's face appeared... `Gemma Corwyn to control room. `Insert one capsule int o the supply for each section. The Cyberman handed hi m a metal container. Casali called.' snapped Ryan. Another meteorite exploded in space. coming in to range now.' called Casali. z ut there are so many.' . It would only take one to destroy the Wheel and everyone on it. The oxygen will turn into pure ozone and the huma ns will die. Out in deep-space the massive meteor swarm was still hurtling swiftly and silently towards them..' said Ryan. hunched over his console. which held rows of silver capsules.
were over half way to the rocket when the fringe of the meteorite storm reached them. the Cyberman's chest unit glowed fiercely. `How do you know. Hanging up the mike. Jamie saw it first. `Wh at's happening there? You must get back here right away. and G emma twisted and fell. then continued its remorseless advanc e. It stopped. Gemma?' called the Doctor.' The screen went blank. Gemma trained it on the Cyber man and fired. footballs. and icebergs. The communication unit had been in a corner some way from Val iance and the Cyberman. what i s it?' `The Cybermen are going to poison the air supply. `Yes. Jamie and Zoe. She knew that she would be heard . Gemma was looking not at the screen bu t at something just behind her. Do you understand? Tell Leo Ryan to switch over to the emergency sectional supply units. Do you underst and?' The Doctor peered into the monitor. space-suited and steering with their oxyge n packs. Drawing her hand blaster.The Doctor. look!' It was an astonishing. terrifyin g sight. `Zoe. leaned forward. . the debris of a shattered star. chunks of rock the size of golf balls. Gemma Corwyn turned to face the giant silver form that was looming over her. staggered back. Gemma. the only one not fully occupied. Before she could fire again. others as big as a house. some very like small mountain s.but she also knew tha t the call must be made.
and they're heading straight for us!' . Jamie . `It's the meteorites.Jamie heard Zoe's voice sounding inside his space helmet.
' `They'll have to take their chances..' Tanya said.. `Can't pick 'em up on screen till all the static's cleared. `Fire !' Tanya looked up at the Doctor. `They'll be in danger from shock. A final. `We've done it!' `Any sign of Jamie and Zoe?' asked the Doctor anxiously.' said Leo savagely. from radiation and blast. `What about Jamie and Zoe?' asked the Doctor. heading for the Wheel. Jamie and Zoe cartwheeled through space. exploded in smoke and flame. `Let's hope she was right!' Explosions all aroun d them..' said the Doctor. Somewhere a meteorite.' said Casali.. `We're still hitting them!' said Casali grimly. `I can't think about anything except st opping those meteorites. `The radar screen's clear. `They'll be blown out of space!' `Zoe calculat ed the risks. holding hands in an attempt to keep together. `They're out there too you know. viol ent explosion very close to them blasted them apart and they spun off in differe nt directions.' He returned his attention to the firing console.16 Perilous Journey `Fire!' shouted Leo Ryan.' . flung to and fro by the explosions all around them.
we'll all die very soon unless you switch over to sectional eme rgency air supply. who was still slumped motionless in his chair.' Leo Ryan stared at him. `I'm afraid you can't. or fried by thermal blast . `There'll be a cloud of small stuff following behind. glanced curiously at Jarvis Bennett. `You realise what you've done.' said the Doctor sadly.one which had to be taken.always assuming they weren't actu ally hit by all that rubbish. Doctor? Those two kids have probably been either burn t up by radiation. `How do you know?' `Gemma Corwyn told me.' `Why?' `B ecause there's something on board the rocket we need if we're to defeat the Cybe rmen.' `What?' `The Cybermen are planning to poison your air. Check all circuits.' said the Doctor. maintain power levels till fur ther notice.' `Something that justified risking two lives?' `In order to save many .' Leo Ryan went and punched up a picture of the oxygen room on the monitor.' Ryan headed for the communica tor. `She sacrificed h erself to warn us. Incidentally. with the lower part of Gemma Corwyn's crumpled body.' Leo Ryan rose and stretched.' said Leo.' `Do you think I'm not aware of that?' said the Do ctor bitterly. and went over to the Doctor. It showed a section of floor.ye s. `She's dead. .`We'll stay on Blue stand-by for the moment. `It was a calculated risk .' `Where is she?' ` In the oxygen room but -' `I want to talk to her.
Casali looked up from his radar screen. `Here comes the following wave!' `Right, ' said Leo. `We'll try three second interval shots, but we'll reinforce the anti -matter shield around the Wheel as well. Maybe we can deflect some of this light er stuff off course. Tanya, switch over to sectional emergency air supply.' The rattle of readings, instructions and commands filled the control room once more as the second wave of meteorites were either deflected or destroyed. Suddenly th e Doctor said, `Where's Jarvis?' The Commander's chair was empty. Jarvis Bennett marched purposefully along the corridors, away from the control room. He had lo st his former apathy and looked determined, even exalted. Tanya was flicking the monitor screen through various channels in an attempt to locate him when the co mmunicator screen lit up, showing Jarvis Bennett's face. `Jarvis, what are you d oing?' called Ryan. `You must come back!' `No, I'm going on,' said Jarvis calmly . `They killed Gemma, you know. I lifted the force field to get out - you'd bett er replace it right away.' Leo Ryan rose and headed for the door, but the Doctor caught his arm. `Where are you going?' `To fetch Jarvis back.' `I'm afraid it's already too late for that. Look!' The Doctor pointed to the monitor. They saw J arvis turn away from the screen and move off down the corridor - straight toward s an approaching Cyberman.
Jarvis Bennett smiled, as if pleased to come face to face with his enemy. He dre w his blaster and fired, blast after blast at the approaching Cyberman - but to no effect. Hurling the weapon at the Cyberman Jarvis Bennett closed with it, in an attempt to wrestle it to the ground. His action was as suicidal as it was bra ve. The Cyberman caught and held him in an inflexible steel grip, simply ignorin g his attempt to attack. It raised him high above its head then smashed him to t he ground. Even then, Jarvis wouldn't give up. As he struggled feebly to rise, t he Cyberman's chest unit glowed fiercely and caught in the killing beam, Jarvis' s body writhed and twisted grotesquely for a moment, then fell back, dead. The C yberman stepped over the body and moved on. In the control room a horrified audi ence watched his death struggle on the monitor. Tanya turned away. `Please, turn it off...' The Doctor flicked the control and the screen went blank. Jamie had good reason to be grateful for Zoe's brief bit of space training. Somehow he'd m anaged to brake himself with his air jet then steer himself over to the rocket, where he found Zoe just about to enter the airlock. Now they were both on board the rocket, feeling somewhat astonished to be alive. Jamie was fetching Zoe some water from the dispenser. `Thanks, Jamie,' she said, sipping it gratefully. Jam ie looked at her in concern. `How do you feel?' `I really didn't think we were g oing to get through,' she said. `I feel as if someone's been hitting me all over with hammers!'
`Take it easy while I look round.' Zoe got up. `No I'll help.' She looked round the control room. `What is it that we're looking for?' Jamie held his hands apar t. `It's a rod, about so big, with black and gold tips to it. Come on then, let' s start looking.' The Cyberman said, `You have inserted the capsules into the ai r supply unit?' `Yes,' said Vallance dully. `Inject it into the system.' Vallanc e operated a lever and there was a hiss of air. The Cyberman said, `Effective pe netration should be immediate. Report!' Valiance studied the oxygen room instrum ent dials. `They have already switched over to the emergency supply.' `Can that be reached?' `No. The controls are inside the force field.' The Cyberman hesitat ed - then called up the Planner on the Cyberman communication unit. The eerie tr ansparent head appeared on the little screen, `Do you report success?' `No. Our plans have been anticipated.' `Wait. The Data will be re-computed.' There was a highpitched electronic twittering and symbols flowed across the screen. The Plan ner reappeared. `One of the Earthmen must have experience of our method. Project ion of all identities on the Wheel is essential...' Jamie found the missing rod in the corridor, just outside the little cabin. He came hurrying back into the c ontrol room. `Here it is, Zoe, I found it. We can go back now -'
On a monitor screen. Jamie could see one of the Wheel technicians.. `This could be important. a Cyberman beside him. After a perfunctory search of the control room she had started fiddling with the communication equipment .Zoe waved him to silence. Jamie.' . `Come and look. using some kind of communication device.with very unexpected result s.. I seem to have broken in on the Cybe rman frequency.' sa id Zoe excitedly.
' . Form the image in your mind.' said the Planner. Station Commander. `Tanya Lernov. Communications Officer. concentrating on the images that appeared in con-junction with Vallan ce's voice. `Now think of each individual human on the Wheel.' A larg e human male.. `Negative.' `Zoe Heriot.. fairhaired human female. The light on its helmet glowed ge ntly.' `Jarvis Bennett.. ` Negative. Astrophysicist. `Negative.' An older human. Astrologer. one after the other. Astrometricist.' `But why?' said Jamie wondering ly.' ordered the Cyberman. The Doctor. first class. `Leo Ryan.' said Zoe.' A small hu man female. `They seem to be running through all the crew of the Wheel.' A young.' The Cyberman Planner sat staring strai ght ahead. an d for the first time Vallance's voice faltered. I don't know his name. `What are they after?' The figure of a small male dark humanoid appeared.' `That's me. Vallance obeyed. second class. The Cyberman said.. `Doctor. `Negative.17 The Invasion `Stare into the device.
checking her log.`Repeat image.' `Then someone will have to go and get them.' The Doctor and Leo went over to the radar scr een. `That remains to be seen. `But what possible use could these Cybermen have for the W heel.' said the Doctor quiet ly.' said the Planner. there's something on radar. `Moving in for the kill?' suggested Leo. and they're all in the power room.' `Not a chance. `Leo. it's changing course. `Concentrate!' In the control room a confer ence was in progress. `Why shouldn't they simply be attacking us?' `Why would they go to all this trouble just to knock out one space station?' Tanya interrupted them. I could repair it all right.' Leo turned to Casali.' ordered the Planner. Casali said.' said Tanya. `Oh. `Positive. `Positive. He must be lured outside the force field and d estroyed.' . but I'd need some valve transistors and some replacement circuitry. `Too b ig for one of ours anyway.' `It could be a Cyberman ship. Enrico? We must try to contact Earth for assistance. `Look. the Doctor is known and reco rded as an enemy of the Cybermen. ` What about the Earth communication system.' said the Doctor i nfuriatingly.' said Casali. Doctor?' Leo Ryan was asking.' said Leo.' said Casali.' `No ships are due in this sector of space. given time. `Not a meteorite. `Possibly.
trac ing the corridors with her forefinger. `In a corridor near the workshop s. The Doctor. `This is the route to the power room. `One of us has to come thr ough for some radio spares.' They b egan putting on their space helmets. We must get back and warn him. Tanya and Leo Ryan were poring over a map of the Wheel.the direct route's no good. They may be tryin g the other doors. how else wi ll you get there. we don't k now where the Cybermen will be . But you'd better send someone for those spares pretty quickly. `I know just where -' . I may not be able to hold them for much longer. Jamie leaned forward and switched off the scanner. and turned to find Flanagan's face on th e screen.' said Ryan. But they're trying to mel t down the doors.. I'll seal off some more compartments. Through the cable tunnels?' He shook his head. `They're blocke d off .' They were inter rupted by the buzz of the communicator. Flanagan ! Is the way to the power room clear?' `It is for now.' `Well.' whispered the Doctor.here and here. sir. `Flanagan. where are you?' said Ryan. That leaves the emergency air tunnels.' `Right. ` They're going to try and trap the Doctor. `It 's better if I go. `Trouble is.' `Well try to keep them bottled up as long as possible.' said Tanya..' `Tell him I'll go for the spares.In the rocket control room. Leo Ryan frowned.' `Well done. I've got a whole bunch of them locked up in a workshop.' said Ryan.
On his way out. A grille moved in the wall .' He turned back to the intercom.' `Right. Beaming delightedly he stowed it away in a s eparate pocket. and the cover was lifted off from inside.`It's essential that I go. you must d estroy the machinery that sets up the force field. You will return to the control room. to corridor six. It was dark and eerie in the deserted power room. don't trust him. `I don't think so.' insisted the Doctor.' He picked up the map. sir. and tell me where the spares are. `All right. Hold the Cybermen back as long as you can. the Doctor's com ing for the spares. Turn off the force field so I can get out will you? Oh. I'l l meet the Doctor in corridor six. he located a shelf of spares above a workbench. still cluttered with odds and ends after the repair of the laser . let him in through the force field . Once they have admitted you. the Doctor paused by the main work bench.' Flanagan turned and moved aw ay.' `Excelle nt. `The Doctor will come here. He said he'd meet you in corrid or six. and filled his pockets with the vital equipment.' The Doctor smiled. The Doctor took Ryan aside. Flanagan stood s tiffly before a Cyberman. Check the safety plate on his neck. `But he isn't coming here. Ryan shrugged.' The screen went blank.then g rab him!' Tanya said. On a nearby shelf he found a phial of mercury. `When Flanagan turns up here. will you ?' Ryan told him. Following Ryan's directions. and the Doctor hurried away. `Now don't forget. The Doctor clambered down into the r oom and looked around. it's your neck. Doct or. `Flanagan. In corridor six.
in corridor six the Cyberman turned to Valiance. Zoe looked up at him. one each side of the door. They reached the airlock without incident. I think so. `Worth a try!' Pic king up a coil of wire he set to work.' said the Doctor..' ordered the Cyberman.capacitator. There's an air tunnel leading to t he power room.. this way's quicker. In the control room.' `Show me. The Planner's orders had to be obeyed . `Yes. and re turned to the oxygen room through the same hatchway by which they'd left it. Just as the Doct or predicted. `Flanagan!' `And what are you doing wandering about? Don't you know them creatures is everywhere? You two come with me now. `The Doctor h as not come. Not far away. Zoe and Jamie had a much calmer journey from the rocket to the Wheel. a blaster in her hand..' `He must have gone another way. Flanagan had called in on a communicator and asked them to let dow n the force field so . connectors and plugs .and a ha ndy power point nearby. Tanya stood wait ing too. Ryan and Casali were waiting. The y slipped out of the door and moved off down the corridor. They were waiting for Flanagan. Suddenly a massive fi gure stepped out of a side corridor. They moved away.the Doctor must be found and destroyed. coils of wire. Some Bernalium rods.' He led them off down the side corrid or..
' said Tanya.' .that he could come into the control room. Let's get him sat down. They wrestl ed him to the ground. He was bringing Jamie and Zoe with him . They're planning to trap you. `He helped us. `He'll be all right now. clutching his head. Ryan finally managed to get the metal plate fixed to the back of Flanagan's head. He bucked and reared wildly for a few moments.' Tanya said. still panting. face down. he g uided us back here. looked on appalled. Doctor. we're fine. Jamie and Zoe. The door opened. Jamie. Doctor. Jamie looked round. `Where's the Doctor? We overheard the Cybermen planning to lure him into a trap. and Flanagan came in. The Doctor's face appeared on screen. Ryan got to his feet. `But he's already -' She was interrupted b y the buzz of the communicator. and Tanya passed Leo one of the Doctor's improv ised metal plates to clamp on his neck. who had followed Flanagan in. Ryan and Casali jumped him. the Cybermen know you're on the Wheel.' `He's controlled by the Cybermen.' `Yes. `Doctor!' `Jamie! Are you and Zoe all right?' ` Aye.' Jamie hurried over. and then lay still. Listen.' Between them they got Flanagan into a cha ir. Enrico. `What are you doing?' demanded Zoe. `I've got the spares. I thought they might. did you find the Time Vector Generator?' `I have it right here. After a moment he groan ed.
`How interesting. `What does he mean visitors?' The Doctor made a final conn ection to the power box and straightened up. isn't it? As a wa y to reach Earth?' `He was instructed to destroy only the transmitting complex. I suppose your giant Cyber-ship holds your invasion fleet. `Visi tors?' Jamie frowned. would you Jamie? Get someone to show you the way through t he air tunnels. are you waiting for me?' asked the Doctor politely.`Just bring it to me.' . I thought you'd realise that someone did. I'm afraid I'm expecting visitors. `Tell me. `I imagine you have orders to destroy me?' `Yes. He had built up a structure of Bern alium rods on either side of the door.' `Yes. `You are to be destroyed.' said the Doctor modestly. His work was finished. `Oh. The Second Cyberman appeared beside the first.' `Of course.' The screen went blank.' repeated the Cyberman. sooner or later.' said the Doctor. `Why did you make Duggan destroy the radi o communication beam to Earth. and the smaller ships inside need the guidance of a radio beam from Earth?' `You know our ways. and both were connected by cables to the power box. A Cyberman was standing in the d oorway.' said the Doctor conversationally. That is why you want the Wheel.' said the Cyberman. `You are the Do ctor? You know our ways. just in time.
`Aren't you. Just give me the Time Vector Generator. `I'm going to try to fix this into the laser gun circuitry. followed by Flanagan. Mr Flanagan?' `Except for a head like a bi g base drum I am. `Ah. Caught in the powerf ul force field the Cyberman writhed and twisted in a sort of grotesque dance . `Looks as if you've made one pay already. Do come in!' The Cyberman stepped into the doorway.' said the Doctor calmly.' It backed slowly away. `Is he all right now?' `Aye. A moment later.' growled Flanagan. Jamie. `And somebody's going to pay for it. Probably through the loading bay. He looked suspiciously at Flanagan.' said the Doctor happily.' said the Cyberman threateningly. Doc tor. The Doctor heard a sound and spun round. `It's no good you know.' said Jamie. Doctor. `With luck it'll boost the power energy . Jamie appeared. but they're sending in re-inforcements.' `Others are coming. `You can't break throu gh the field. E lectricity crackled between the two sets of Bernalium rods. disappearing down the corridor.' Jamie looked down at the dead Cyberman. will you?' Jamie handed it over. he's fine. Jamie.' `Yes. The grille was being lifted away from insi de.`Yes. The Doctor stooped down and threw the power switch. Smoke poured from its helmet and chest unit and suddenly the Cy berman went rigid and crashed to the ground like a felled tree.but the Doctor's electric force-field repelled the dea dly ray. `Yo u will be destroyed.' explained the Doctor. I thought we'd get back to that sooner or later. The second Cyber man's chest unit glowed .a dance of death.
`Oh.' warned the Doctor. le t's be at them!' Flanagan and Jamie hurried off. come on Jamie.' said Flanagan taking it. `There's still one Cyberman l eft on the Wheel. .' He f ished in his pocket. You'll have to hold them off at the loading bay for m e . and the Doctor headed for the l aser gun capacitator bank. `You'll have to deal with him first. The final stage of the Cyberman invasion was about to begin. He grabbed a can of spray plasti c from a shelf. `Let's see how them creatures like this! Well. and here's a protective plate for Vallance when you fi nd him.' said Flanagan.I need time!' `Leave it to me.to destroy the Cyber-ship.' `Right. sir.
`I couldn't get into the power room for the force field. both of them now wear ing space suits. thought Jamie.' Flanagan marched Jamie into the loading bay.' said Ryan. The Doctor was working rapidly on the laser bank.' `You'd better be ready soon.' e xplained Flanagan.' said the Doctor. `They're planning to invad e the Wheel. Doctor. waiting. Vallance. also space suited stood waiting. It's coloss al!' Ryan was talking to the Doctor over the intercom. ' said the Cyberman.' `I know. `I'm trying to put more p ower into your laser.' `He is not important. That ship's still moving in!' . Ryan was watching him o n the intercom. `Guard him. He may be useful later. They all stood. `That ship's moving closer. `I caught this feller on the way back. `That ship's on the move.18 An End and a Beginning Casali looked up from the radar scanner. `Line the cannon on the Cyberman space s hip and I'll tell you when I'm ready. and beside him was t he waiting Cyberman. trying to find a way of building in the Time Vector Generator without blowing the whole installation.' Luckily the Cyberman h ad a lot to worry about. `Hurry.' said the Doctor.
Flanagan ran to the control.. i t managed to press the button that opened the loading bay doors.In the loading bay the Cyberman moved towards the door controls. jetting towards them through space. `Use the plastic!' he yelled. Jamie l ooked out through the opening doors and gasped. now incredibly close. the Cybermen wou ld be able to wrench the doors open again.and the man went limp.but before it fell. collapsing . The horizon was filled by the co lossal bulk of the Cybership.... Smoke b egan pouring from its helmet. It reeled back. trying to clamp th e metal plate Flanagan had given him onto the man's neck.' yelled F lanagan. But not quickly enough. As the Cyberman turned. emptied it onto the other one. He heard Flanagan's frantic voice inside his helmet. and the first managed to jam itself in the d oors before they were quite closed. Flanagan brought up the plastic gun and emptied it into the Cyberman's chest unit. And from the ship there was streaming an army of Cybermen. Jamie leaped on Valiance. The leadin g Cybermen were almost on them now.. `Can't. its strength was such that it co uld stop the doors from closing. Valiance stuggled furi ously. The Cyberman staggered back choking. Jamie realised. Incredibly.' . `Now. and the doors began to close. With limitless others to help. The doors slid back onto the blackness of space. Jamie managed to clamp the metal plate to the back of Vallance's neck . Struggling to his feet. bearing him to the ground..
Jamie could see more Cybermen arriving to aid the first. clustering around like wasps . The ship was bathed in a fierce glow of light and exploded in smoke and flame. thought Ja mie .but they still had swarms of angry Cybermen.' yelled Leo Ryan. everything's ready here!' `Fi re.and any moment now they'd be inside. and sank exhausted to the ground.Through the gap. They were waiting for the Doc tor now. The door closed and Flanagan touched the control that flooded air back into t he loading bay. His voice came over the intercom. Shot off from the W heel. The force field was designed to repe l the smaller meteorites . `We've done it!' gasped Jamie. In the control room. `Right. `I'm going to operate the neutron field barrier.the shi p that held the invasion fleet destined for Earth. The glare lit up the loading bay like lightning. Flanagan had opened up a panel in the wal l. the laser-cannon was aligned on the colossal Cyber-ship . cartwheeling away into infinit y. and indeed the whole of t he exterior of the Wheel hummed with power. they spun away into the blackness of space. H old on!' He threw the last switch and the loading bay. striking the Cyber-ship at point blank range. The Cyber-ship might be gone. and was throwing switches. A beam of extraordinarily intense light shot from the Whee l's boosted laser cannon. .but it repelled Cybermen as well.
. `I'm afraid so. Rep ort.. `Earth Control standing by.' He turned and hurrie d away.' said Casali. But you won't explain it?' `Look. Radio contact with Earth lost at 1252 hours. `Look .. `You've been . leaving Zoe staring after him. by the way?' `Taking the Doctor and Jamie back to the roc ket.' `You won't tell me anything about th is TARDIS of yours . He caught one of her hands and held it as he poured out the incr edible story of recent events on the Wheel in space. we won't forget you. A voice from the speaker said.well. Acting Commander of Statio n Three. . and of how sometimes his he art still ached for his native highlands. like two different worlds. Jamie and Zoe were standi ng in the control room of the rocket... He heard the Doctor calling him. `This is Leo Ryan. Jamie nodded awkwardly.' He looke d round. `Where's Zoe.`Wheel to Earth control. it's like. and we have ours. Zoe. due to attack by alien for ce.Time and Relative Dimensions in Space--that's what the Doct or said it meant. `So you've really got to go back?' said Zo e.' Leo Ryan drew a deep breath. You have yours.' said Tanya.' he said..' Leo became aware of Tanya's cool hand removing the protective metal plate from his neck. `Stand by for emergency report.' Jamie thought of the shock it had been for him to leave his own place and time. well.
Zoe climbed sh amefacedly out. Zoe said firmly.is it wise? You might be sorry one day. He had replaced the Time Vector Generator.' He o pened a panel in the TARDIS console. Jamie. since it was once again bigger on the inside than the outside. `I wonder. for the TARDI S that is. He look ed up as Jamie came in. Doctor?' asked Jamie. `I want to go with you!' `Well. the Doctor watched amusedly as Zoe crawled into the TARDIS on her hands and knee s. `Look at that screen up there.' `I won't. `There's just one little matter to settle first. `What we have to decide is . Zo e. He went over to the chest and opened the lid. Normal. pouring the mercury he'd found on the Wheel into the TARDIS console by means of an old tin kitchen funnel. `What are you going to do.' `Not impossible. Jamie.as if leaving was a wrench and he wanted to get it over with. I told you -' began Jamie. `Hey. ye canna'. Over Jamie's shoulder. and climbed inside an ornate wooden chest he kept in the control room for its decorative value.' The Doctor smiled. `All set.' `Then we can go?' Jamie seemed to be in a hurry . It's impossible.The Doctor meanwhile had been having a very busy time. Now he was topping up the mercury level once again. I've even got a li ttle mercury left over. `Yes.' said the Doctor.' said the Doctor gently. He fitted i t on and settled himself in a chair... Doctor?' .' Jamie was baffled. and took out a kind of headset. wish you'd changed your mind. restoring the TARDIS to its normal size.
. The TARDIS doors were closed and the centre colum n was rising and falling.' Zoe looked at the headset and at the screen.. Have you ever heard of the Daleks. Consciously or unconsciously. Curiously. He hoped so.. if she stays.especi ally with Zoe's vivid little face gazing enthralled at the screen.. Shapes began to appear on the screen. The TARDIS was already in flight. Jamie noticed something else.`I'm going to show Zoe the sort of thing she might be in for. like it or not..' said the Doctor impressively. Doctor?' `Yes. I sh all make them into a complete story. Jamie realised that the Do ctor was telling Zoe the story of one of their recent adventures. the one in whi ch they'd first met poor Victoria. Because now. Zoe?' `No. squat menacing metallic shapes. the Doctor must have operated the controls before sitting down. Jamie wondered if she was happy in her new li fe. she was on her way. The Daleks. he was finding it hard to remember her face . `Thought patterns. Jamie hoped Zoe woul dn't be too scared by the Doctor's Dalek story.' `Then watch.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.