Associated Links

Recent Blog Entries

Excerpts from the Staggering Stories Blog:


Staggering Stories Podcast #276: Whittaker Calling Orson
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:15

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith and the Real Keith Dunn discuss Doctor Who subjects such as the Thirteenth Doctor’s costume, the 60s and 70s composer Dudley Simpson and director Paddy Russell, review the second season of Stranger Things, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #204: Babylon 5 – And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, inquiring, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder’, and spout our usual nonsense! Mollari is feeling left out, Lennier has some hot footage and G’Kar wants to guard Londo’s body. But enough of their problems, please […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #275: Business is Business
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 05 Nov 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review Big Finish’s version of the Doctor Who stage play The Ultimate Adventure, the fifth and sixth episodes of Star Trek: Discovery and the new Red Dwarf episode Timewave, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #203 Doctor Who – The Pyramid at the End of the World
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 29 Oct 2017 10:00

Summary: The Doctor is trapped in an even more artificial situation than last week, Bill considers the meaning of consent and the Monks have gained god-like powers in the real world. But enough of their problems, please sit down with us to enjoy The Pyramid at the End of the World… Vital Links: Staggering Stories. […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #274: The Seven Keys to Starbug
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Crumbly, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review Big Finish’s version of the Doctor Who stage play The Seven Keys to Doomsday, the third and fourth episodes of Star Trek: Discovery and the new Red Dwarf episodes Cured and Siliconia, find some general […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #202: Babylon 5 – Phoenix Rising
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 15 Oct 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, roasted, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘Phoenix Rising’, and spout our usual nonsense! Byron is losing control of more than his flowing locks, Garibaldi has a word with Bester and the rogue telepaths are burning bright. But enough of their […]

Website works best with

Firefox Download Button

Google Chrome

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict

Doctor Who Logo

Doctor Who: Re-Birth, Episode One

By Ashley Myles


The heavens above the bingo hall were dark and filled with twinkling stars. All was peaceful, meteor showers streaked across the void. A Chinese man stood alone on a hill, silhouetted against the glory of the horizon. David Choi scanned the heavens with a pair of binoculars. He had always been interested in the stars. He watched for the telltale streaks of meteors as they passed. As he looked, a bright ball of flame appeared in the darkness and fell to earth near the bingo hall. He couldn't believe his luck, he was about to find a meteor for himself. David Choi started to run down the hill, and then stopped suddenly. He couldn't see a crater; instead he saw an ornate looking cabinet. Copper filigree work was etched onto its surface. The cabinet was still steaming with the heat of its passage through the Earth's atmosphere. David Choi approached it with a sense of awe and caution..... Suddenly the front of the cabinet swung open, and a ghastly apparition fell onto the grass in front of the cabinet. David Choi gasped in horror. Deep within the darkest recess of his oriental mind, an ancient race memory started to stir..... Memories of a god of his ancestors, a great and vengeful god. A god of abundance..... From ground level, the apparition's eyes contacted with David Choi's eyes. The apparition's gaze burnt into the Chinese man's brain. He started to stare blankly at the apparition, totally in it's power. The apparition rose painfully from the damp grass and hobbled back inside the cabinet. David Choi still stood still and silent, waiting for command..... After a few seconds, the cabinet disappeared. It then reappeared for a moment against the brick outer wall of the bingo hall. The cabinet shimmered for a moment, and then it became part of the wall itself. David Choi suddenly walked towards the part of the wall where the cabinet had merged. As he neared it, a talon like hand grabbed him. He disappeared into the wall.....

Footsteps echoed around the half empty car park of the bingo hall..... The owner of the feet that made the sounds plodded up, down and around the hallowed patrol area. Despondency tugged at the mind of the security guard. He was not a happy man at all. He yearned for the humdrum days of his life to be filled with excitement, adventure and really wild things..... That would illuminate his dull and dreary existence..... All day, and night long, he checked on the vehicles in the car park. Same old cars, same old owners. All the owners grasping for luck, grasping for the chance to win big money. They too sought excitement in their lives. Some of them would have more luck in finding the Holy Grail itself. The security guard would soon have his wished granted. Then the trouble would truly begin.....

The next night was much the same as all the others. The security guard waved hello to a customer as he exited his car and locked it. They smiled at each other, passing pleasantries. Neither meaning what they said nor caring about the other. It's amazing how falseness seems to breed falseness in polite society. The customer started to make his way towards the bingo hall's entrance. He seemed happy at the prospect of winning a pretty penny. The security guard noticed that the customer had left his lights on, a common occurrence. He called to the customer, who turned to face him. Then a most improbable thing happened..... The customer winked out of existence. He vanished into thin air. The security guard blinked in disbelief. There was no trace of the customer..... That was only the start.....

Detective Sargeant Mitchell sat behind his cluttered desk. Another day, same old shit he thought. He looked at his cup of coffee and sighed. "Definitely one of those days" he said to himself. He looked out of his window, still the same old view. He looked back at his rapidly cooling drink. Just as he decided to take a sip, a young constable barged in to his office at speed. Mitchell noticed the constable had a worried look on his face. It looks as if his day just became complicated.....

The security guard sat in the interview room of a nearby police station. He looked at the Detective Sargeant who was interviewing him and said, "That's all I can tell you..... That's what happened..... He just vanished in front of my eyes..... One second he was there, then he wasn't." Mitchell didn't seem to believe him. You couldn't blame him for that. The police were used to handling missing person reports. It was just that not very often they had an eyewitness coming forward who swears that the missing person disappeared into thin air. Mitchell smiled and quickly formed a cover all explanation..... "Been drinking had you? Been smoking the funny fags? Or had you been eating the freaky fungi?" He asked the guard in a sarcastic tone. "No. I never drink on patrol or envibe illegal substances, and I resent you asking that question." Mitchell looked at him and said, "Very well. If we need you we'll be in touch." The guard went to leave and paused by the room's door. He surveyed Mitchell and the Detective Constable closely..... He said gravely, "Mark my words..... And mark them well..... If anything happens to anybody else, on your head be it." He turned and left the room. He left behind him the sound of mocking laughter.....

Over the next few months the disappearances increased. The bingo hall was losing trade in more ways than one. The public who visited the bingo hall dropped and then ceased altogether. The security guard now patrolled any empty car park, and an empty bingo hall. It was once again evening, and the sun was just retreating to its nighttime rest. As he walked around the corner of the building, he caught a glimpse of a cloaked figure hunched over something. As he stared closer he could see it was a body. The cloaked apparition heard the guard's footsteps and hobbled away around another corner of the building. Curiosity got the better of the guard, and he went to examine the body. He touched it..... There was a flash..... The corpse dissolved away like the last snows of winter. He glanced around him; fear now gripped his very soul. He heard a dragging, shuffling sound behind him..... A laugh echoed around the walls of the building. It would seem that the apparition was coming back for a second helping.....

Two legs protruded from underneath the TARDIS console. Noises of work echoed around the console room. In a swift movement, the Doctor pushed himself clear of the upper plinth. He stood up suddenly..... He had a component in his hand, and his sonic screwdriver in the other. He placed the screwdriver on the console, and then he reached into his pocket and removed a jeweller's eyeglass. The Doctor put the glass to his eye and scrutinised the component. He stared at it even closer. "Nothing wrong with that." He announced to no one in particular. He sat back down and slid himself back under the brass and wooden console. As he did so, he winced in pain...

He looked towards the area of pain..... A splinter of the oak carved floor poke out of his leg through the weave of his trousers. In a second he had removed it, and flicked it across the console room. He wondered why he had decided to use such primitive materials to re-configure the console room. Still, it looked rather impressive. He replaced the component he had checked. It clicked back into place with a contented noise, and then he got up and went to the opposite side of the console. He flicked on of the brass switches that littered the console. He reached up and grabbed the pull down monitor. The display worried the Doctor, who looked at it closely. It still showed the same fault in the component he had just replaced. The Doctor was perplexed. He was also worried about the spate of niggling little circuit faults the TARDIS had experienced since leaving Earth after his recent regeneration. In fact, they had all started after the Master had been sucked into the link with the Eye of Harmony. Surely not even the Master could survive that.....

His heart leapt to the security guard's throat and the power of movement left all his limbs. He was totally immobilised..... The cloaked apparition hobbled towards him, talon like hands extended towards his hapless prey..... A look of terror crossed the guard's face as the apparition opened his cracked and decayed mouth to reveal rotting teeth and gums. Fetid breath reached the guard's nose. He would have flinched, or even vomited, but the guard couldn't control any of his functions..... A voice that sounded like a hissing snake passed the apparition's lips, "Don't struggle my friend..... All of your troubles will soon be over." His lips curled into an evil smile..... As it did so, a piece of decayed flesh peeled from the apparition's face and fell to the floor. He looked at the flesh, picked it up, popped it into his mouth and happily chewed on the tasty morsel. "Waste not..... Want not....." He rasped. Sweat now poured down the guard's face. After he swallowed his food, the apparition placed withered fingers on the guard's chest. They pieced through his clothes and into his chest. There was no resistance, the entered as easily as a hot knife through butter. They soon found their goal..... The bodies' natural binding energy. The guard's body shook like a leaf in a breeze. After a second the shaking stopped and the apparition withdrew his hands, and an empty lifeless husk slipped to the car park floor..... The apparition breathed in heavily. His skull like face looked different. Parts of it had started to gain a more healthy pallor. But as always, it wouldn't be long before the tissue returned to it's rotting form. As he hobbled towards the corner of the building and disappeared from view, his sinister laugh echoed around the empty car park.....

Deep inside the heart of the TARDIS lurked an evil entity. All thought that the Master had breathed his last. How wrong..... As his stolen body was absorbed into the link with the Eye of Harmony on Gallifrey, the Morphant that held the Master's intellect had morphed once more. This time it did not morph into a stolen body. It converted itself into pure energy, which now inhabited a storage unit. It now had access to the whole of the TARDIS circuitry. It could now course through the circuits as freely as a pervert in Soho. In the time since his apparent demise, the Master/Morphant combination had been testing his ability to take over flight control of the TARDIS. Also he had been trying to annoy the Doctor, a task in which he was succeeding. His ultimate goal was to force the TARDIS to land somewhere the to allow the Master to escape and get some help for his current condition. During this time he had remembered something that could restore him and bring about his release. All he needed was to get there.....

Two policemen walked along a corridor. "Okay. Where did you find this one?" Detective Sargeant Mitchell asked Detective Constable Carter. "Found him hanging around the bingo hall." He replied. Mitchell thought about that and said, "It's a bit odd to find a lone Chinese man hanging around a disused bingo hall..... I think we need to have a little chat with him." They made their way to the holding cells. On arrival, they transferred the Chinese man into the interview room. They sat the desk and looked across at the Chinese man.....He seemed not to be in the least bit worried.....

The apparition viewed the scene in the interview room on a scanner screen. He saw through the eyes of David Choi. He could also hear what was going on. "Don't sing too loudly..... My Chinese lark." He rasped. His hand hovered over a switch below the scanner.....

"So. What have you got to do with the disappearances?" David Choi heard Detective Sargeant Mitchell say. He looked at him and said, "I serve my lord..... I bring him tributes." Mitchell questioned him further, "What tributes would those be?" David Choi smiled and replied, "The souls of the living." Mitchell and Carter looked at each other in amazement. "What does your lord what with people's souls?" David Choi considered this and said, "They make him strong." Carter decided to ask a question, "Where did he come from?" A smile crossed the face of the Chinese man. He said, "Months ago my lord arrived from the heavens in a blazing cabinet. It was just the same as in the stories of legend. His journey had left him tired and hurt. I agreed to help him. The souls heal his terrible wounds." David Choi looked at his questioners and smiled.....

The apparition's hand flicked the switch. The view on the screen went blank. The sound of static from the scanner's speaker filled the room. The apparition was pleased with his work.....

David Choi was still smiling as he fell dead across the interview desk. The skin peeling from his face, like the skin of an over ripe tomato. He was dead. Mitchell picked up the phone from the desk, "Get a doctor down to interview room 1." He paused, catching the smell of decay coming from the corpse. He said, "On second thoughts, get the coroner instead." As they look, the corpse promptly melted away into nothingness.....

The Doctor's eyes were fixed on the pull down monitor at the side of the console. He frowned at what he saw..... The screen showed the present flight course of the TARDIS as a graphical representation. The Doctor frowned once more, reached over and flicked a switch on the console..... The screen changed. Now it showed, overlaid on the last display, the course from a few minutes ago. To the Doctor's surprise it was a different course..... This proved what the Doctor had sensed a few minutes ago. He checked the co-ordinate-setting panel of the console. What he found only confounded the mystery..... It read that the course was that which the Doctor had set. The TARDIS, according to the panel, was still on course for a well-earned rest on the Eye of Orion..... He went to look at the pull down monitor again. It told him the destination was the planet Earth..... The Doctor was rather angry. He exclaimed, "I'll soon put a stop to this!" He reached for the brass hand brake on the console..... Crackle.....

Energy leapt from the brake lever and coursed through the Doctor's body. He was flung across the room, to land in a heap near the console room's ornately carved doors.....

Earth weeks pass..... The bingo hall car park, once deserted, was now full again. Members of a police armed response team now swarmed across it, like ants looking for a particularly sweet meal. Row of suited up police officers lined the spaces where cars once parked. All the officers lined up like a string of sausages. All identical, all with the same purpose..... To avenge the deaths of their uniformed brothers who had been sent to investigate the eerie bingo hall and never returned..... In the furthest corner of the car park was a mobile head quarters. Inside sat at the command desk was the head of the response team - Commander Howell. He surveyed his troops on a bank of monitors. He was most impressed with what he saw. Howell picked up a microphone from the command desk, which was the latest in surveillance technology. The microphone connected him to the headsets of each team member. He pressed a key on a keyboard in front of him..... The view on the monitors changed. He was now seeing the view from the mini video cameras mounted on the shoulder of each of the team's body armour..... He pressed the transmit key on the microphone and said, "This is it, men..... Alpha team will enter the building. Beta team will be back up..... Proceed with extreme caution." Howell paused and continued thus, "We don't know what we are dealing with..... Try to capture it alive..... If not, destroy whatever it is." The members of Alpha team could be heard from inside the mobile H.Q. "Yes sir!" They all chorused together..... Howell smiled and watched the monitors as Alpha team entered the bingo hall.....

On the road near the bingo hall, a police car pulled up at the curb. From it came two figures that walked towards the hall. They stopped a safe distance away from the bustle of the car park. It was Detective Sargeant Mitchell and the Detective Constable that had originally interviewed David Choi. They surveyed the scene before them..... Mitchell turned to his companion and said, "It's well and truly out of our hands now." Carter replied, "It's just as well you passed on the information when you did." Mitchell frowned at him with sadness on his face. He said, "Maybe if I had done so sooner, a few good coppers would still be alive." He turned and went back to the police car. His companion trudged after him.....

The TARDIS travelled through the almost infinite Space/Time vortex. Inside, the Doctor still lay unconscious on the console room floor. All around him was normal and tidy. The groaning sound of the vortex drive echoed around the corners of the room. The rhythmic rise and fall of the central column was starting to slow. The TARDIS was nearing its destination. Inside the very workings of the TARDIS console, the Master/Morphant combination moved itself into the relay for the door opening mechanism of the main doors. It waited in sweet anticipation of release and escape. It only hoped that it still had the power to possess a new body.....

There was a thud as Alpha team kicked open the main door to the centre area of the bingo hall. A gruesome sight greeted their eyes, and the stench of death reached their noses. The whole of the hall resembled an abattoir. Pieces of assorted bodies hung from the ceiling on makeshift hooks...

Congealed blood was caked all over the hall's floor..... The team leader received a message from Howell, who was still at his desk in the mobile head quarters, "Proceed with caution." The team leader replied, "You don't have to tell us that..... Alpha team out." He then looked towards the centre of the hall. Shrouded in semi darkness, sat the apparition..... Immediately, Alpha team all drew their side arms. The team leader shouted, "Freeze..... Don't move a muscle." The apparition's laugh filled the hall..... Then he said, "What a good idea." He reached forward and pressed a button on the arm of his chair..... Every member of Alpha team tried to fire at the ghastly shape, but they were frozen to the spot..... The apparition rose from his seat, and hobbled towards a cabinet-like machine that stood in an even darker corner of the hall. He climbed into it..... Then he pressed his hand against a panel on the machine's interior. With the sound of well-oiled gears, an aerial like device rose from the top of the cabinet. The aerial was, in seconds, enveloped in a green glow. Crackle..... A wildly arcing beam of sickly green emanated from the aerial and struck all the members of Alpha team, one by one..... It vaporised them on contact, converting their bodies into pure transmittable life force. Where the team had been, now there was a swirling vortex of living energy. The apparition smiled, and reached for another panel on the interior of the cabinet..... The sickly green vortex was now irresistibly drawn to the cabinet. Then the apparition tensed his decaying body..... This time the result was not as before. Usually the life force would repair the damage to his body. This time however, it only made him feel stronger. His skin was unaffected..... His features did not, even slightly, return. All the energy seemed to have done was repair his internal structure. He then wondered if a little snack might repair the damage. He went over to one of the limbs that were hanging from the ceiling. With a quick movement, he grabbed a leg, sat back down and began to happily chew on the wet end..... This wasn't cannibalism, he thought. This was survival. Anyway, these creatures were of an inferior race, and anything lower in the food chain than him was obviously on the menu.....

From inside the mobile head quarters, Howell couldn't believe what he was seeing..... All his highly trained officers had just been wiped out by one man. In anger he shouted a command to Beta team, "Move in and wipe out that bastard." He watched as Beta team made it's way to the entrance doors of the building, and then he thought better of the order. He leaned towards the mike on the desk and said, "Cancel that order..... Withdraw to safety point." Howell could see on the monitor that Beta team was withdrawing. Howell decided to add something to his last order, "If anything comes out of the building, I want it dead."

The apparition monitored the previous exchanged from Howell. He smiled to himself and said, "Many have tried my friend..... Good hunting....." The smile on the apparition grew wider, and a rotten tooth dropped on his lap. It looked as if a second course was delayed for a while. He would just have to make do with his tasty leg of man.....

Billions of miles and uncounted centuries away on the planet Gallifrey, two Prydon Academy students sneaked into the Matrix room. They sat at a terminal in front of the massive Matrix screen that toward over the whole room. Their names were Kalex and Tarn. Kalex laid her hand against a touch sensitive panel on the terminal.

She said, "Subject: Prydonian renegade - The Doctor." Tarn looked at Kalex in amazement. Kalex continued, "Show me most recent data." Almost immediately, the massive screen showed what was happening to the Doctor on earth..... Tarn was still in shock. He said, "We shouldn't be doing this..... Information on the Doctor is restricted to the High Council." Kalex smiled at her companion with fondness in her eyes. She whispered to Tarn, "Where do you think I got the access codes from..... Being related to the Castellan does have its bonuses." This didn't relieve Tarn's worries. He replied, "If the Keeper of the Matrix finds us, he'll exile us to the wastelands for good." Kalex considered that and said, "What's the harm..... And where is your sense of adventure?" Tarn considered that and said, "What use is that when you'll be scraping for food outside the citadel." Kalex just smiled and gently kissed Tarn on the forehead. They both watched intently the story that was unfolding on the Matrix screen. Unknown to them in a secret chamber near the Matrix room, the Keeper of the Matrix was watching their every move. He watched them as eagerly as they watched the Doctor on the screen.....

The sudden arrival of the TARDIS shattered the silence of a grassy area in the corner of the car park. Howell observed the blue police box melt into existence on the monitors in the mobile headquarters. He considered what he had just seen for a moment..... Then he spoke into his microphone. He said seriously, "Beta Team leader..... Investigate the blue object in the corner of area 2. Use extreme caution." Team Leader Caldwell replied, "Yes Sir. I don't think I'll risk any more men. I am going in alone..... One more thing sir, am I sanctioned to use terminal force?" Caldwell waited eagerly for the answer..... Howell didn't hesitate. He answered; "If the need arises....." Caldwell checked his ammunition and hand grenades. He then inspected all his body armour. It was all in order. He smiled towards, and saluted, to his fellow team members. They saluted back. Caldwell took a Havana cigar from his pocket, bit the end off and lit it. He drew deeply from it, exhaled, and headed towards the TARDIS.....

Within the TARDIS, the Master/Morphant energy combination swirled angrily inside the wiring of the console. In stopping the Doctor from arresting the flight of the TARDIS, it had deprived itself the chance of possessing the Doctor's body. The Master/Morphant needed direct contact with the Doctor..... In it's present form the Master/Morphant had to make contact by the Doctor touching the console's brass switches. Then it could enter the body like an electric shock. Unfortunately, the Doctor's body was insulated from contact by the wooden floor on which it lay unconscious. The Master/Morphant thought it would only be a matter of time before a third party would enter the TARDIS. Then it would be free at last. Suddenly it shook in spasm, arcing sparks headed towards the door circuits. Almost immediately the main doors open to await any curious creature. "Come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly," the Master/Morphant thought amusingly to itself.....

Caldwell nearly choked on his cigar as he crossed the threshold of the TARDIS doors. His simple human brain could not comprehend the images it was being sent from Caldwell's wide-open eyes. He saw the wide-open expanse of the console room. His eyes zeroed in on the console and it's flashing lights. He thought it wouldn't be out of place in a Jules Verne or H.G. Wells novel... He said to himself in amazement, "This is crazy. I must have gone mad." He steadily pulled himself together. As he watched, the central column caught Caldwell's attention. His stomach began to churn..... Instead of the usual cold blue glow, there was a sickly green light emanating from it. The light cast its unwell hue all over the console room. Caldwell blinked and looked further around the room. He noticed the unconscious form of the Doctor. The form on the floor was dressed in a manner that seemed to match the decor of the Console room. Caldwell drew deeply from his cigar again and decided to contact Howell. He spoke into his headset, "Caldwell to Howell. You just wouldn't believe the interior of this thing." Howell's voice crackled from Caldwell's headset, "We can't see anything, you're shoulder camera seems to be out. We can worry about that later. Please leave the full report till after. Is there anyone inside?" Caldwell smiled and replied, "There's a strangely dressed guy on the floor. He seems out for the count. Apart from that, the place seems quiet." Howell said to Caldwell, "Be careful and make regular reports. Howell out." Caldwell moved to where the Doctor lay. He gave him a cursory once over. As he touched him, the Doctor began to stir. Caldwell decided to withdraw to a safe distance. He decided to move behind the console.....

The Master/Morphant crackled with glee as it sensed a living creature approach the console. It sensed that the creature that neared it wasn't the Doctor. It was a pity because it meant that the Master/Morphant would have to vacate it as soon as the body started to decay. It needed a Timelord's DNA structure to supply a permanent home. It happily writhed and squirmed inside the console. Soon it would be free of its confinement.....

The Doctor suddenly sat bolt upright from the floor. His eyes sparkled like the reflection of the stars on a rippled pool. The Doctor's movement was so sudden that Caldwell nearly jumped out of his skin and almost fell over. Luckily for him, he managed to grasp the brass brake lever of the console. Or was it unluckily for him? It was certainly lucky for the foul fiend that lay inside the console.....

The Master/Morphant sensed the nearness of a living being, the warmth of blood coursing through a living body. It immediately entered the brass brake lever, and then into the helpless Caldwell. His scream of agony echoed of every surface in the console room. As it entered the nervous system of it's host, one thought passed it's mind - this fit specimen of Homo Sapiens would make a great home from home, even if it was hired on a time share agreement. The body that had once been Caldwell arched in absolute pain. The Master/Morphant was now in residence. Suddenly there was a thud as the ex-Caldwell's body hit the wooden floor around the console.....

Howell had lost contact with Caldwell; he was getting a little worried. Every time he tried to contact Caldwell, all he got was the steady hiss of static. A question tugged at his mind. Should he risk any more men to save Caldwell? He needed to think.....

The sound of the body hitting the floor startled the Doctor, who rose quickly from his prone position to his feet. He quickly crossed to where the body lay. He crouched down to inspect the convulsing and contorting shape. As he tried to take the pulse, the body stopped spasming. "Stranger and stranger," the Doctor said to himself. He reached over to the ex-Caldwell's eyes. The Doctor carefully opened the tightly shuteyes. He recoiled at the sight that greeted him and said, "Not you again." Two reptile-like eyes returned the Doctor's gaze.....

Howell sat with the continuing look of worry on his usually happy face. He rapped his fingers on the surface of his desk. Then he decided the answer to the question. He spoke seriously to his men outside in the car park. His voice echoed through their headsets, "Back up team..... Advance towards the Police Box," he paused, "I think Team Leader Caldwell needs some assistance." On his monitors, Howell could see his crack back-up team move towards the defenceless TARDIS.....

There was a swoosh in the air, as the Doctor's coat tails cut through it. He had quickly risen, and now standing, he began to back away from the Master's temporary new body. The Master seemed to have more lives than a Gallifreyan Tom Cat, and had once more cheated his natural demise. The Doctor was a good distance from the Master, and nearing the TARDIS doors, when an all too familiar laugh sounded around the console room. It chilled his bones, but only slightly. As he nearly reached the doors, the Master rose from the floor and the Doctor found he was looking towards the business end of an automatic weapon..... The Master smiled at him and said, "You cannot leave yet Doctor..... The entertainment is about to start." The Doctor answered, "I wouldn't consider my death as suitable entertainment for me!" The Master smiled, "It not for you my dear fellow, it's for me." With the conversation over the Master smiled once more, and pulled the trigger..... A hail of bullets shot towards the Doctor, and within a split second he ducked, and in one fluid movement rolled out of the TARDIS' open doors. This didn't worry the Master; it only made the game more interesting..... The Doctor was feeling pleased with himself. He picked himself up from the floor and dusted himself down. As he turned around, the smile vanished from his face. He now stood facing three more loaded weapons.....

"Isn't this brilliant!" Exclaimed Kalex. Tarn looked at her with his usual disapproving look. "Oh yes..... Most exhilarating. I can feel my hearts pounding with the fear of discovery." He replied. They had just watched the Doctor escaping from the clutches of the Master, and then running into the arms of the back up team. Kalex, for a moment looked deeply into Tarn's eyes. She loved this man; she loved him so much. She embraced and kissed him passionately. In the middle of the kiss, Kalex heard her wrist chrono-reader go off. She broke the embrace and said to him, "Got to go now." Tarn smiled lovingly and nodded.....

He asked her, "Same time tomorrow?" Kalex nodded in agreement and said, "Same time, same academy." She waved to him as she left the Matrix room. Tarn followed her dutifully, but stopped before the doors. A question struck him and he said to himself, "I wonder who the Master is?" He'd find out tomorrow he thought to himself..... From his hidden chamber, the Keeper of the Matrix was pleased. "Excellent." He said happily. His plan was proceeding at an agreeable pace.....

The Master blinked..... He was having slight adjustment problems with Caldwell's corpse. He blinked again and his blurred vision sharpened into focus on the Doctor. He was being held firmly in the grasp of Caldwell's back up team. The Master laughed at the Doctor and his predicament...

He said to the Doctor, "Well. Well. Out of the frying pan, into another hotter one." The Doctor looked at his enemy and said, "Your wit doesn't seem to improve with age." The Master smiled and replied; "Neither do your put down lines." The back up team looked at each other with a look of bafflement on their faces..... The Master noticed their looks and barked an order, "What are you waiting for kill him!" Both men considered that..... One of them, whose name was Griffin asked The Master a question, "Wouldn't it be better to question him?" The Master fixed them both with a strong stare. "I am the Master and you will obey me..... Obey me....." Both men listened to the Master's rich deep voice. They easily, and quickly, slipped under the Master's excellent hypnotic control. They dropped the Doctor to the tarmac of the car park. Slowly, they raised their weapons towards the Doctor's head.....

The Matrix room was now dark and silent. The Keeper of the Matrix had left his hiding place and viewed the continuing happenings on Earth via the large Matrix screen. He wasn't very pleased with what he saw..... "Not yet..... I won't let you deprive me of my sport....." He touched a panel on the desk in front of him, and said to himself, "That death is too quick. I want him to suffer and die humiliated." He initiated a change in the Doctor's present time-stream. "There that's more like it." He then continued his viewing.....

On Earth, another person watched the unfolding events. He also didn't like what he saw on his monitors. He tried to contact Caldwell or the back up team. There was no response. So he decided to intervene. He got up from his seat suddenly, flung the doors of his Mobile Headquarters open and jumped down its steps. Howell belted across the car park towards the TARDIS. He screamed at Caldwell and the back up team, "What on earth do you think you are doing?" The sound of his voice broke the Master's hold on Griffin and his companion. They both shook their heads, as if waking from a long sleep. The Master looked at Howell and not wanting to start a battle that he could not win, decided to make a break for it towards the Bingo hall, and disappeared inside. Howell looked sternly towards the back up team. "We'll discuss this later." They looked at him sheepishly..... Howell looked at the Doctor and said to Griffin, "Get him over to the local police. Get them to dump him in a cell. I'll be around to question him later." Griffin replied, "What about Caldwell?" Howell thought about that and answered, "Don't worry about him, he's a dead man now." He then turned and walked slowly back towards his headquarters. Griffin grabbed the Doctor and whispered in his ear, "Okay chummy. It's a nice ride to the local for you." The Doctor's old sense of humour returned, "Great. I haven't had a drink in a local pub for ages." Griffin wasn't amused, "No. The local nick, you cretin." He radioed for a police van, and when it arrived a few minutes later, the Doctor was man handled into the back of it. The "Black Mariah" then sped off, sirens wailing towards the local police station. Howell's walk stopped a few steps from the mobile headquarters and watched the Doctor go. He heard a voice behind him ask, "What about Caldwell?" It was the voice of Gamma Team leader Johns. "He's on his own now, if he's still alive..... I won't risk any more lives." Johns agreed with Howell and asked, "Any new orders sir?" Howell answered him, "No. My previous orders stand..... If anything comes out of there, I want it dead." Johns frowned, and Howell picked up on that, "That includes Caldwell." Johns gulped and returned to Gamma team.....

From the void that exists outside the normal space-time continuum, another entity watched the Doctor's present adventure. It knew the Doctor and the Timelords of old. It had existed and flourished before both. It watched as intently as the Keeper of the Matrix on Gallifrey did, but luckily for the Doctor it was more powerful than all the Timelords put together. What's more it was on his side. When the time arose, the entity would help the Doctor. It had a debt to the Doctor that would be discharged.....

The Doctor stood in the heart of the local police station. He was laying the contents of his pockets on a desk. A duty sargeant was putting them into a clear plastic bag... The Doctor watched as the sargeant place the bag in a drawer. "Do you think I might have my glasses? I think I might need them." The sargeant picked a pair of gold-rimmed half moon spectacles from the plastic bag, and handed them to the Doctor. Strangely the Doctor didn't put them on. Instead he slipped the glasses in his velvet coat pocket. The sargeant said. "They will have to be surrendered after the interview. We can't have prisoner going themselves a mischief in their cells..... Who would clean up the mess?" The Doctor happily agreed. The duty sargeant continued to talk, "I think Detective Sargeant Mitchell would like the pleasure of your company. I'll have you escorted down." The Doctor smiled at him and said, "Sorry to be a burden." After a moment two burly coppers were escorting the Doctor towards the interview room. He was bustled unceremoniously into the room. Three pairs of eyes greeted him: Commander Howell, Mitchell and Carter. The Doctor bowed to them and then asked. "I may be seated?" Mitchell nodded. It would seem as if they had found an accomplice to mass murder.....

Kalex yawned loudly and the sound echoed around her room in the Capitol on Gallifrey. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, and got out of her sleep cubicle. Almost immediately her room computer greeted her. It announced, "You have a message from student Tarn..... Would you like to access it?" Kalex ran her hands through her shoulder length blond hair. She sighed and said,"Yes, I suppose so." She sat heavily back down on her sleep cubicle. A screen that filled a wall of her room sprung into life. Tarn's smiling face appeared on it. "Hello sleepy. I've got an idea and I'll tell you about it in the Matrix room..... By the way, I'll also be a little late for our usual meeting..... Bye for now." His features faded from the screen. Kalex smiled to herself and said,"Well it would seem that old Tarn is starting to lose that timidity at last." She wondered what was going to make Tarn late for a date? She then eagerly got dressed and headed for the Matrix room..... Tarn was, in the meantime, heading for TARDIS storage depots in the heart of the Capitol.....

The main doors to the bingo hall auditorium were flung open, and a gong like bang echoed around the auditorium, then faded like a miser when his round is called. The Master strode confidently through them. He was now in total control of Caldwell's corpse. A look of triumph crossed his, sorry, Caldwell's face. As the doors came to a stop, they hit one of the rotting limbs that hung on their hooks all around the hall. It slithered off it's home and dropped to the floor with a sickly sounding plop. The carpet eagerly absorbed the dead fluids released from the limb. A strange, but strangely familiar voice to the Master broke the silence. It rasped, "It is not usual for my meals to come to me willingly." A dry tongue licked at decayed lips after saying that. The Master stared at the creature that had risen from its chair and approached him...

He looked at it in pity and said, "I would hardly consider myself to be meals on wheels." The apparition laughed and replied, "I always find that killing a person with a sense of humour most fulfilling..... I wonder if it will rub off on me." Then it smiled and said, "I suppose it will depend on what I do with your skin." For a moment Master's eyes met the Apparition's in a direct stare. The Apparition seemed to back up slightly, "Do I know you?" It said. The Master answered, "No, but I know you..... I travelled a long way to find you." He advanced towards the Apparition with welcoming arms outstretched..... It slowly backed away from the Master's advance. It hobbled towards the safety of the shadows. "Keep away from me..... Keep away....." Fear coursed through its fibre. The Master advanced farther towards the ghastly figure that now cowered before him. The Apparition suddenly stood as upright as it could, and withdrew a stubby cylinder like weapon from its cloak. It pointed the device towards the Master. He smiled at the apparition and said, "You wouldn't destroy your saviour and benefactor, would you?" The Apparition's eyes and the Master's eyes met, and the Apparition stared deeply into the Master's eyes and comprehension dawned...the shock caused it to collapse in a decaying, fetid heap. Tears dripped across dry and cracked skin, they seemed to irrigate the desert that was the Apparition's face.....

Tarn cautiously opened the Matrix room doors; his head peaked around the corner of them. He saw the object of his love: Kalex. He looked at the way the light from the Matrix screen fell on her shiny blond hair. He had it really bad for her. He closed the doors and went over to where she sat. She turned and said, "And what kept you?" He replied, "I'll tell you later." Kalex frowned at him, and watched as he took a seat beside her, and gently kissed her on the cheek. He whispered to her, "Why don't we have a look at the Doctor's past?" She nodded agreement and said to the Matrix, "Play random sequence..... The Doctor's past please....." In a few seconds an image hit the screen and as Kalex and Tarn watched they saw a vastly different Doctor.....

The Doctor, in his fourth body, sat on the console room floor, a totally different one from his current incarnation, his massive scarf draped in a heap around him, his head cradled in his arms. He really hated not knowing the TARDIS destination, and his thoughts were about whether it had been worth fitting the Randomiser in the first place. Still, if it kept the Black Guardian out of his curly hair, it would be worth the hassle. Suddenly, the Doctor jumped to his feet and approached the console. As he watched, the central column began to slow its rhythmic rise and fall. The TARDIS was about to materialise.....

Tarn slowly put his hand on Kalex's.....

It was a very drizzly day on the planet. It had once been a most tranquil place, until the Humans had arrived. They brought their machinery and pollution, they brought death. The Humans had come to mine the soil for the valuable minerals and elements below it. This was the present, but they had also had come before. They had promised when they left to keep secret the planets great mineral wealth. In the present they returned with massive mining machines and claimed the planet in the name of Earth, in the name of IMC..... The peace loving people of the planet were herded from their majestic cities using the power of the dark, and the weapon of sharp sounds.

IMC troopers then ruthlessly exterminated them, and then the company executives calmly filed a claim on their planet. They claimed a mysterious virus had wiped out the indigenous population. There were no objections to the claim because the company practically owned the Earth. Besides, what was good for IMC was good for Earth.....

Kalex gripped Tarn's hand. She really loved him, and He loved her.....

The drizzle had finally abated, and the sun was desperately trying to peek through the dark clouds of pollution. A feeble ray of light touched the city. Meanwhile, on the steep hill that overlooked the ruins of the once noble city, the population of which had been supplied with water from an impressive Aqueduct, there stood a statue..... This statue was ancient and pitted. It was a most amazing sight. In front of its imposing looks, a blue box was just appearing. The noise of its arrival echoed around the devastated valley that surrounded the ruins. After a while, the door of the TARDIS opened and out stepped the Doctor, slowly followed by Romana, who was now in her second regeneration. He sniffed the air and his face creased in disgust. Romana did the same, she then coughed. The air was rancid with by-products of the mining industry. The Doctor and Romana stood for a while, with the chilly wind lashing at their bodies. The Doctor surveyed the scene before them. Large scars were gouged out of the once fertile soil; smoke billowed from large ugly factories that were scattered around all over the landscape. As the Doctor looked, he noticed the words "PROPERTY OF INTERPLANETARY MINING CORPORATION" stencilled over all the equipment and buildings. This sparked an old memory, a memory of a bleak and barren planet and the suffering of its innocent colonists at the hands of the tyrannical IMC. As he switched his view to the city ruins, his vast memory got another jolt. He looked at Romana and said, "I do believe I have been here before, but I cannot for the lives of me what this benighted planets name is!" Romana questioned him thus; "Do you want to stay in this slag heap to find out?" The Doctor looked at her and shook his head, and then they both turned and entered the TARDIS. Just before he followed Romana inside, he paused and turned, and then he said sadly, "SOMETIMES HUMAN GREED REALLY REVOLTS ME."

Tarn rapped his arms around her and they kissed deeply.....

As the TARDIS melted back into the vortex, the sun broke fully through the filth. It shone on the statue that had been hidden by the TARDIS; its features were now visible to the valley. The statue was vaguely human in shape. It had a baldhead fringed by fine wispy hair. It wore a one-piece coverall with thin black overlapping sashes across its chest. The strangest thing about the statue was its feet. They resembled two large plates.....

The couple broke their embrace as the Matrix announced it had completed playback of the random event from the Doctor's past. They both looked into each other's eyes. Kalex asked, "Shall we have another random sequence?" Tarn smiled and replied, "and why not?" He then said to the Matrix, "Another random sequence please." The Matrix complied.....

The old man slept. He had slept for millennia, timeless and unaged. He only ever stirred when his "alarm clock" went off. It was linked to a bank of computers: these were then linked to the greatest repository of data in the entirety of the Cosmos..... Something was wrong. As the old man awoke, his awareness was transferred to a private area of the data store. Once inside his own personal domain, he was protected from the prying eyes of his own race. He yawned and checked a console on which a program had been running; the program had triggered his untimely waking. Long ago he had set it running and he had given it a name. It was known as the "UNIVERSAL DOMINATION PROGRAM" and now alerted him to the fact that two races in the universe had now reached the level of progress needed to dominate or destroy it. In the past, or was it future, his race had made various attempts to hinder the races involved, but they always returned stronger and more powerful than before. This time thought the old man, he would make certain and there would be no mistakes. All he needed was a pawn. Oh, but what pawn?

Kalex started to say something, but She was shushed into silence by Tarn. He was starting to get really interested.....

The TARDIS spun happily on its way, and was totally unaware of what was about to happen. Its course took it close to the planet Lakertya. As the TARDIS neared the planet, a beam struck it and scrambled the destination settings. This would normally force it to make an impromptu materialisation..... Meanwhile inside, the Doctor, now in his sixth incarnation and Mel were tossed about the console room like a pair of rag dolls. As he bounced from wall to wall, the Doctor caught his head on the side of the console. He was out for the count. At almost the same time, the passage of time for the whole area of space stopped abruptly.....

The Doctor awoke in a void, or at least his mind did. His body was still in a stasis field back in the TARDIS... The only other thing he could see in the void was a large ornate throne, and on it sat the old man, or as the Doctor knew him - RASSILON.....

Kalex and Tarn were amazed at what they heard and saw.....

Rassilon looked at the Doctor. He was saddened that he would have to use him the way he must, and said, "Welcome to my private part of the Matrix, Doctor. I have a little job for you to do." Rassilon then raised himself from the throne and lifted his hands aloft. With this gesture, the void ceased and was replaced by a room that was dominated by a large bank of computers. The Doctor finally got his bearings. He looked at Rassilon and said, "I demand to know what gives you the right to waylay me in this manner! If you think I'm going to do any little jobs for you then you've got the wrong idea." He paused before continuing, "I think you know of my feelings about interference in my life!" Rassilon looked at the Doctor with a stare that could have turned the fiery heart of a sun to ice. "At this moment you do not exist. Your personal time stream is suspended. My reasons for doing so will soon become clear." On hearing this The Doctor looked flabbergasted, he could not believe his ears. He refused to be a pawn in anyone's game of chess..... "I won't help you unless you tell me what is going on." Said the Doctor...

His earlier rage was now subsiding, he then continued, "You usually give me a little notice of an errand for you lot." Rassilon paused and then explained about the program that had woken him up. Then he dropped the real bombshell, the part of the plan the Doctor would never agree to. "I intend to alter your perceptions. To do this I will have to induce a regeneration." Rassilon completed his speech and waited calmly for the Doctor's reaction..... The Doctor looked as if he was going to burst a blood vessel. He shouted, "Do you really expect me to roll over like a puppy and just calmly except what you have just said? Well, I'm afraid the answer is a definite no!" After finishing, the Doctor stood defiantly before Rassilon. The old man said chillingly, "My dear Doctor, you have no choice in the matter." The Doctor was just about to reply when Rassilon pointed a bony finger at him. A spark of power shot from it and struck the Doctor. Suddenly, the lights that twinkled in his eyes went out.....

Now it seemed to Kalex that they were playing with fire. What would happen if the High Council found out what they had seen?

 

Rassilon smiled to himself. Soon the enemies of time would be halted in their tracks. He turned to the bank of computers behind him. The DNA modifier program was already running and all that it needed was a sample of DNA to use. He decided to use his own genetic material and bio-data extract. He laughed. The "new" Doctor would have all the Timelord attributes that had been programmed out during the development of his descendants. He would have Rassilon's own ancient killer instincts. These instincts had been repressed in all Timelords after the dark times. There would now be a true defender of Gallifrey..... The modifier eagerly accepted a sample of Rassilon's genetic material and his hand hovered above the activator. He paused and smiled, and then he pressed it. The machine completed its task in a few minutes, then the newly regenerated Doctor was returned to the TARDIS. Rassilon yawned and clicked his fingers. In a flash he was down loaded back to his rest until he was needed again..... When the "new" Doctor awoke, and time rolled onto an even keel again, He would certainly have a new outlook on life, Daleks and Cybermen. Yes, it would be definitely a totally new outlook.....

Although still worried, the two students wanted to know more. Kalex looked, once more to Tarn and said, "We've seen some of the Doctor's present and past..... So how about his future?" Kalex addressed the Matrix once more.....

It had been several hours since the Doctor had been arrested. He sat quietly in the interview room. Calm and serene..... Unlike his interviewers. Howell paced up and down the room, Carter stared out of the window and Mitchell sat at the desk in front of the Doctor, who smiled at him. This wasn't going like any other interview Mitchell had ever done. "When are we going to get some sense, Dr. John Smith?" He paused, "Or what ever your real name is." The Doctor replied quietly, "I've told you all I can. I don't know who is killing your men..... But I am willing to offer my services to help you." Carter cut in, "Oh yes, and what makes you think we are in need of help?" The Doctor considered this and said, "The amount of deaths you've had and your seeming inability to deal with it scream it out to me, actually." Carter suddenly snapped on hearing that, and made a lunge towards the Doctor. As he neared him, the Doctor stood up and calmly swatted him away...

Carter hit the floor in an unceremonious heap. The Doctor sat slowly back down, he saw Howell had drawn his side arm and was pointing it at his head. Slowly the Doctor reached into his pocket and put on his half moon spectacles. He stared hard at Howell, and said, "Re-holster your gun, sit down and be quiet." Howell nodded and obeyed like a well-trained puppy. The Doctor looked now at Carter. "Get up and fetch us all a relaxing cup of tea." Carter also nodded and did as he was bid. He left the room to get the tea. During all this Mitchell had been watching dumbfounded. He stared at the Doctor, "How on earth did you do that?" The Doctor removed the glasses from the end of his nose, "Just as well I borrowed the from an evil alien race called the War Lords..... They used them to enforce their wills on lesser races. I always thought they would be handy in a tight squeeze." Mitchell gulped, "So all you told us during the interview was true..... You are an alien time traveller?" The Doctor smiled, "Yes, I'm afraid so." Howell chipped in, "And you do work for UNIT?" The Doctor nodded, "If you contact UNIT headquarters in Geneva, I'm sure they would confirm it." At that moment, Carter re-entered the room with a tray containing four cups of tea and a plate with a generous helping of chocolate digestives on it. He placed it on the desk, and then took his place on a chair. The Doctor picked up a cup and grabbed for a digestive, the others then followed his lead. "That's better. This is much more civilised." He eagerly sipped his tea.....

The Master slowly picked up the Apparition from the floor, and placed him back to his chair. The skeletal form was very light and it was hardly an effort. He took the liberty of disarming his opponent. He looked at the weapon with a smile and pocketed it for use in the future. The Apparition still visibly shook from their encounter. It rasped, "Why have you come? Why now?" The Master was silent for a second and then answered, "I am your only hope for the future..... And you are mine....." He then said, "We need each other's help." The Apparition considered what the Master had said and addressed him, "What If I don't want your interference?" The Master laughed. "Look around you..... At what you have become..... Do you really want to stay like this? Do you want to live off the cadaverous bodies of others all your remaining life? Are you content with living the existence of a ghoul?" This argument struck a raw nerve in the Apparition, and he visible shrunk away. "Can you cure me, or are you suggesting I commit suicide?" The Master's voice became as sweet as honey; "Of course I can cure you, and cure myself in the meantime." They both shook hands..... Unfortunately, with a squelching snapping sound, the Apparition's wrist snapped and the Master was left hold a severed hand, and a look of repulsion showed upon his face.....

"All data on the future of Prydonian Renegade known as The Doctor is classified. Access is only given with presidential code." Kalex listened to the voice of the Matrix. "Well that just about wraps us up," she said to Tarn. He smiled at her and replied, "Maybe not....." She seemed to be rather amazed, "You've got the code?" Tarn said that he did. He faced the Matrix screen and said, "Code Access is Z244-6DF-54SE-X/FLAVIA..... Confirm....." The Matrix was silent for a moment, "Access allowed: All areas including VALEYARD data." Kalex was puzzled, she had never heard of the Valeyard. "Visual display for subject known as The Valeyard," she said. They watched as the Matrix displayed the required information.....

From the wall behind them a panel slid forward revealing the shape of the Keeper of the Matrix, or in reality the Valeyard. Kalex breathed deeply and said to Tarn, "So, the Valeyard is an amalgam of the Doctor's dark side..... I wonder what happened to him? Surely he must have been captured?" Tarn checked the Matrix again, this time it showed the final moments of the Doctor's trial, just after the he and his companion Mel had left. Tarn and Kalex saw, for the first time since the event that the Valeyard had become the Keeper of the Matrix. Kalex gasped and said, "I don't believe it. The Keeper seems to be such a harmless creature..... We've got to inform the High Council as once." They turned from the Matrix screen and found themselves facing the Valeyard. "Going somewhere? I think not," he said menacingly. He pointed a Staser at them. "Good-bye cruel world....." The Staser was set to maximum and if it hit them Kalex and Tarn would be atomised. His finger tightened on the trigger. The Valeyard would savour the moment..... The doors to the Matrix room were flung open, and the Castellan entered the room. He shouted with authority, "What's going on here? I've just discovered a security breach in the Matrix..... Will someone explain....." The Valeyard looked at him and said, "Let me enlighten you, Castellan....." He fired and laughed loudly as the Castellan evaporated into ozone. "I hope that satisfies your curiosity....." In the confusion, Kalex and Tarn rushed out of the Matrix room doors, and into the corridor outside. The Valeyard followed, and let loose with a Staser bolt. It happily sizzled towards Kalex and Tarn, but missed them as they flung themselves around a corner. The Valeyard started to follow them, but stopped as he heard the heavy boots of the Chancellery Guards coming to investigate the commotion. He decided to treat discretion as the better part of valour, and quickly went back to the Matrix room. He concealed himself in his hidden lair..... Kalex and Tarn moved as fast as their legs could carry them. As they ran, Kalex gasped to Tarn, "Where to now?" He answered her still running at a fair pace, "Where going to the TARDIS storage depot..... We are going to take a leaf out off the Doctor's book!" Their footfalls echoed around the corridor.....

The noise of a fax machine broke the air of calm that existed in the interview room. All had finished their tea and biscuits. Mitchell walked to the machine and picked it up and started to read. "According to this, and I quote: The Doctor is to be given all co-operation he needs," Mitchell paused then continued, "and it's signed by the commander-in-chief of UNIT in Geneva himself." Carter and Howell looked at the Doctor, who happily smiled at them in return. Howell spoke, "You do seem to have some powerful friends, Doctor..... What's going on and what happened to Caldwell?" The Doctor stood up and began to pace the length of the room. If it had been carpeted, there would be deep furrows of wear in it. He thought to himself before saying, "Your Mr. Caldwell isn't quite himself..... Actually the person known as Caldwell is dead." Mitchell queried what the Doctor had said, "How can he be dead? Howell had to stop him from ordering your death." The Doctor replied, "That wasn't Caldwell. It was his animated corpse," the Doctor shivered, "it now houses a long standing enemy of UNIT and myself." Howell moved towards the Doctor and asked, "Who the hell is it?" The Doctor stopped pacing and said, "He likes to be referred to as The Master..... He's a renegade from my own people, the Timelords..... If you need to know anymore about him, I suggest you again contact UNIT from a copy of his file. It happens to be rather large."

The Doctor sat down on his chair with his head in his hands. He addressed Mitchell; "I think you'd better fill me in on the details of your little problem." Mitchell began to tell his tale.....

The Master helped the Apparition into the machine that it had used to drain the life force from its victims. The creature spoke to the Master, "Is this the only way?" The Master nodded and said, "It's the only way for both of us to be whole again....." He smiled and asked, "Are you afraid to live again?" The Apparition shook for a moment and replied, "No, I am afraid to trust you." A laugh from the Master escaped from his lips, "Trusting me is like trusting yourself." The Apparition smiled and rasped, "Shall I operate the machine now?" The Master nodded. The Apparition reached for the activator..... He stopped, and said, "Before I make the supreme sacrifice, I think I can feel a pang of hunger coming on....." He hobbled from the machine and headed towards the bingo hall's entrance..... He was gone for several minutes. When he reappeared there was a smile on his cracked lips. His voice rasped at The Master, "Well that sorts of my elevenses." He quickly popped a piece of raw flesh into his mouth.....

"From what you told me, I think were dealing with a most evil entity called Weng Chiang," the Doctor announced and then continued, "well that's what he likes to be called..... His real name is Magnus Greel, a most sadistic criminal from the far future." Carter, Mitchell and Howell were gobsmacked. Mitchell asked, "You've meet him before, this Greel?" The Doctor nodded, "I thought I'd dealt with him in Victorian London..... Maybe I did, and this is before that. That's the trouble with time travel, you never quite know where or when you've done something." The Doctor stated to pace again. "I wonder what the Master wants with Greel. I never knew they were acquainted." Mitchell stood up and moved to the Doctor and asked, "So what's our next move?" The Doctor moved towards the door, "First we get all your men away to safety, and then we four pay the Master and Greel a visit." The Doctor left the room, swiftly followed by the others. Here goes nothing thought Mitchell.....

There was a slight hiss as the doors to the TARDIS storage depot effortlessly opened, and the slim figure of Kalex wafted through them. A gust from the air conditioning system disturbed her long blond hair, causing it to billow behind her like a veil in a high wind. TARDIS technician Kamon looked up from his workbench. He looked like a thin scarecrow that someone had put an ill-fitting suit on. His narrow eyes looked at her, soon to be followed by a smile from his thin lips. "Long time no see. What can I do for you Kalex?" She smiled back and replied in a sensuous voice; "I just came in to see you....." She waited for a moment to see Kamon's reaction..... He looked taken aback, and a pregnant pause was broken by Kalex. "And to ask for some help with dimensional quotient theory." She crossed to Kamon's workbench and saw that he had been working on a burnt out Artron relay. She sat on the workbench; she casually let her robes reveal a lot of bare leg. Kamon looked at them longingly. Kalex watched the look of lust on his face. She said, "I'm out of your league..... I'm really here to steal a TARDIS." Kamon suddenly rose and went to press an alarm to alert the guards..... Only to find a large sonic manipulator that was held by Tarn suddenly impact the back of his head. He slumped over his usually tidy workbench. Kalex looked rather concerned, "I hope you haven't killed him? He must be on his last regeneration by now."

Tarn reached over Kamon and felt for the telltale double pulse. He paused for effect and then answered, "He's okay. And any way Kamon always did have a rather thick skull." He grabbed Kalex's hand and led her to the nearest TARDIS. Luckily all stored vehicles always had their key left in the locks for easy access. They both entered the bland silver box and after about a minute or so, the door to the time capsule opened again. A piece of complex circuitry was haphazardly tossed through them. It shattered as it hit the floor, sending parts all over the depot. Then the doors closed once more. The stolen TARDIS then slowly dematerialised; the noise of its Demat-Motors waking Kamon from his oblivion. He rose shakily from the heap in which he lay. He rubbed the back of his head, and winced at the tenderness of the area he touched. If Kamon ever got his hands on Tarn, he would really regret hitting Kamon. As the mists cleared, the realisation of what had just occurred hit him. How on Gallifrey was he going to explain the theft of a prototype time capsule, the only one of it's kind: the new Type 100. Kamon shook his head to clear away the tweeting birds that circled it. He staggered to a Com panel on the wall of the depot. He stabbed at its activator and slurred, "Priority alert..... I repeat priority alert..... This is Tech Kamon in the storage depot. Please inform the Castellan of a TARDIS theft." Kamon listened to the voice that replied to his message. He paused for a moment, "What do you mean he's dead? If that's the case, please inform his successor!" Kamon went back to his workbench. As he slouched over it, he noticed the shattered recall circuit on the floor in front of where the Type 100 had stood. He smiled to himself. There was now no possible way to recall the capsule automatically. The only way was for a Timelord to brush the dust of his robes and give chase.....

It was a scene of total carnage that greeted the Doctor, Howell, Carter and Mitchell as they arrived at the bingo hall. Emaciated corpses were strewn around the car park, like rag dolls that had outlived their owner's games. There was a stench of death about the place. The Doctor's party slowly got out of their car and headed towards the entrance to the bingo hall. They all advanced slowly, and Mitchell reached into his coat and produced a revolver. He passed it to the Doctor, who looked at it and said, "No thank you. I'm trying to give them up." Mitchell asked in a concerned tone, "Are you sure you don't want it? It might just save your life." The Doctor considered what Mitchell had said and he smiled. He replied, "My dear Mr. Mitchell, a life belt can save your life. But it doesn't mean I'm going to wear one all the time." His companions shrugged their shoulders in disbelief. They all now drew weapons and felt all the better for it. Like a few gunmen short of a posse, they advanced into the dark bingo hall.....

Kalex and Tarn relaxed for a moment and fully took in their new surroundings. It was unlike any TARDIS console room they had ever seen before..... Its walls were made from organic material interspersed with the odd electronic component. A blood red light bled from the walls and cast shadows over the central console. It was also composed of an organic material, and it resembled a large hexagonal mushroom. Fleshy nodules sprouted from each of its facets. They took the place of switches, and clear membranes replaced conventional screens. Electronic components seemed to have been grafted into the flesh all over it. The strangest thing of all was where, on a normal console the central column would have been, there was what resembled a large glass heart. Strange fluids pumped around it through glass valves.

Kalex suddenly felt a bit weak and leaned against the organic wall. Suddenly a fleshy chair shaped nodule appeared for her to rest on. She sat down with a squelch. Tarn steadied her, and as he did so, a sibilant voice filled the room. "Where would you like to go?" Kalex and Tarn were taken aback. They had never heard of a TARDIS that talked before.....

The sound of a heavy revolver being cocked echoed through the bingo hall's main auditorium. The Apparition slowly raised its decaying head and hissed at The Doctor's party, "Come in my friends." Its lipless mouth formed into a smile; "I didn't realise that I had ordered a take away!" A rasping laugh spread once more across the auditorium. The Doctor looked closely at the monstrous figure on its makeshift throne, and a glimpse of recognition crossed his brain. Mitchell stepped towards the creature and exclaimed, "If anyone is going to be taken away chummy, I'm afraid it's going to be you!" The sound of two more weapons being cocked quickly joined the first one. Howell and Carter slowly took direct aim at the Apparition's death mask of a head..... The Doctor raised his hand to delay their actions. "I think I can handle Mr. Greel from here." He told Carter, Mitchell and Howell. They then lowered their weapons in agreement. The Doctor addressed the Apparition, "I can't say it's a pleasure to get reacquainted Greel." The Apparition looked at The Doctor with a blank and puzzled look on what was left of its face and replied, "Greel? Greel? What are you babbling on about Doctor? Don't you recognise me? Don't you realise who has your life in his hands!" The Doctor looked even more intently at The Apparition's face. Its mouth cracked into yet another smile; "Do you realise who I am yet? Are you really that cretinous?" The Doctor moved as close to the misshapen creature that sat before him..... His companions went to follow, but found themselves rooted to the spot. He peered even more intently at The Apparition and said, "You do seem to have me at a disadvantage. I am really sure that I would remember a gentleman of your good looks." There was a movement from the deeper shadows at the corner of the auditorium..... The Doctor turned slowly to see The Master in his borrowed body, who calmly addressed The Doctor; "You were always rather slow on the uptake, so I'll tell you shall I?" The Doctor answered, "Oh, be my guest..... You always did love the sound of your own voice." The Master bowed at the Doctor in a mock fashion, and replied, "You're looking at me, Doctor..... As I was after the assassination of the Lord President on Gallifrey, and before my re-birth on Traken." Pieces of the eternal jigsaw that was The Doctor's mind finally clicked into place and the penny finally dropped. He looked at The Master with a cold stare and said, "So that's why you waylaid the TARDIS and brought it here." He paused and then continued, "I can't possible allow you to recombine with your previous self, which is I guess why you came here..... That would be against the laws of time, and besides it would throw the Timelines into utter chaos!" The Master considered the Doctor's view, "My dear Doctor, you are, as usual, in no position to prevent anything. I have the upper hand here....." From it's position of seemingly inactivity, The Apparition suddenly produced a hypodermic syringe and savagely injected the Doctor. The effects were almost instantaneous. The Doctor sank to the blood stained carpeted floor and the last thing he saw were two incarnations of the Master gloating at him.....

End Of Episode One...