The village of West Harlington was quiet and sheltered, cut off from the rest of the world both by its geographical position and by the old fashioned attitudes of its inhabitants. They had lived for years in virtual solitude, free from visitors and tourists, and holding out against progress. It was a slow place, where no children played, and no cars disturbed the peace.

At the centre of West Harlington stood the Queen's Arms, a pub named for Elizabeth II on her coronation day, and unchanged in any way since then. The same pictures hung in the same places, the same equipment pumped the draft beer through the taps. Even the barman had always been there, oddly unchanged by the passage of Time.

"This is crazy." Leaning back in his chair some distance from the bar, a young man toyed idly with his glass. "It's the year 2000; the start of the next millennium. It's time this place woke up."

A gasp of shocked disapproval from a nearby table brought a smile to the young man's face, and he raised his glass to the old woman who was scowling at him.

"Cheers." She turned away, obviously deciding to ignore him completely.

"You think I'm right, don't you Paul?" His shoulders slumping from sheer boredom, the young man glanced up at his drinking companion, a man of roughly his own age, dressed in conventional West Harlington style. "The whole place is crazy."

"I know." Paul shrugged. "You can't talk to them, though. I tried when we first got here, but nobody will even speak to me. I've only seen a handful of people; like it's some kind of ghost town."

"I know. I'd noticed." Adam drained the last of his orange juice. "I'm not sure how much of this place I can take. I need to get out before I start turning into a native." He tugged at his grey suit, made in a suspiciously old fashioned style. "Having to wear this is the last straw. Do we really need to wear these?"

"We could hardly have stayed in what we were wearing, and these were all I could get. You should have seen the clothes store; the cobwebs. Besides, you can't leave, Adam." Paul stood up, taking his friend's empty glass and depositing it on the bar before they headed towards the door. "Remember? You go back into the real world, and the police will be on top of you before you know where you are."

"I'll think of something." They strolled into the lobby, their pace slow, trying to ignore the suspicious eyes of the other patrons. The street beyond the closed door sounded more noisy than was usual, with shouts breaking the customary silence. The two young men exchanged a glance, intrigued. They had heard nothing but silence since arriving in the village.

Paul opened the door, immediately increasing the volume of the noise in the streets. They walked out, seeing three men running towards them, their faces filled with fear.

"What is going on?" Paul stepped towards them, but none of the men spoke, their eyes filled with fear as they went on past. Paul and Adam frowned at each other. They could hear screams and shouts from further down the street, and as they stood frozen in indecision, a loud noise made them both jump.

"Run! For goodness sakes, run!" A man, appearing from around a corner, ran towards them. His voice was filled with urgency. "Hurry. You have to tell somebody, I--" There was a sudden blast of heat and a sound like high-pitched gunfire, and the man crashed to the ground, his body twisted.

"Hello?" Paul crouched beside the man, and glanced up at Adam. "He's dead!"

"But--" Adam wandered out into the middle of the street, looking up and down the road. He heard a loud scream, and saw a woman run from a house. Moments later the front of the building collapsed, a flash of fire fountaining forth from the broken window frames. The woman ran a few more paces, then a blast of red light erupted out of her ruined house, catching her in the back. She pitched forwards onto the ground, a trail of smoke coming from her lifeless body.

"We've got to get out of here." Filled with a sudden sense of urgency, Paul straightened up, finally tearing his eyes from the dead body of the man on the ground. The screams were growing closer, almost as if a group of terrified people were being herded towards them. The barman appeared at the door, glancing around.

"What's going on?" he asked, apparently more concerned about the noise than about the collapsed building and the two dead bodies. His eyes travelled up and down the street, then he vanished back inside the Queen's Arms.

"Leave them." Paul grabbed Adam's arm. "If there's something coming, they won't believe it anyway. We've got to get out of here."

"We have to sound an alarm." Adam pulled free, making a dash for the small Church nearby. "I'll ring the bells, Paul. You try to get to the police station!"

"Right." Paul turned around, heading back down the street towards the crossroads which would lead him to the tiny station. As he rounded the corner, he came upon a group of people, their hands held above their heads. Some were crying, all looked shocked and dishevelled. He took a step away, backing around the corner. His eyes met with Adam's, who was half the street away, staring back in the direction of the approaching noise.

"You will surrender." As the group of men and women rounded the corner, Paul got his first glimpse of their attacker. It seemed to be a machine, domed in shape, and coloured silver. A pair of stick like arms pointed out of the front of its metal shell, and what appeared to be an eye stared unblinkingly at him, from the end of a similar projection. It swivelled its head about, scanning the street, then turned its eye-stick back to face Paul. "You will surrender," it repeated, its voice harsh and mechanical.

"I certainly will not." Stepping back, Paul glanced about, wondering where he should run to. He saw Adam, obviously puzzled, heading towards them; and as the domed creature stared on, Paul spun on his heel, racing towards his friend.

"Run!" he shouted, trusting in the creature's sluggish appearance to give him enough time to get away. "It's--" A loud noise cut him off in mid-sentence and the strange creature moved forward with surprising speed, one of its stick-like arms unleashing a sudden blast of hot, red light. The blast caught Paul in the back, and his whole body flashed. He sunk to the ground, his face a mask of pain.

"Paul!" Adam ran forward, dropping to his knees beside the young man. Paul blinked up at him, gasping indecipherable sounds. Slowly his eyes rolled back into his head, and his body went limp. Adam stared down at him for several moments, his eyes wide with fear and confusion. He almost failed to notice the sounds which were coming closer from behind him. He glanced up. Seven of the strange, domed creatures, their gun-sticks pointed straight at him, had appeared from one of the nearby buildings. They stared down at him, dispassionate and strange.

"We are the Daleks," one of them told him. "You will surrender." Adam stared from Paul's dead body to the creatures, then he slowly stood up, raising his hands above his head.


"We've landed, Doctor." Gazing at the column on the central console, Suzy turned to the tall man behind her. He was lying flat on his back on the floor, fiddling about inside a roundel. "Doctor?"

"Mmm." His tone of voice suggested that he had heard her, but that he had other things on his mind. He frowned at the jumble of circuitry set into the wall, and shook his head. "You know, I'm sure that this piece shouldn't be connected to this piece."

"What piece?" Suzy tried to get a closer look, but all that she could see was a pile of coloured spaghetti, winding around itself and humming gently.

"This piece." He pointed with his screwdriver. "Technically speaking, if this bit here is connected to this bit here - which it very definitely is - the TARDIS should cease to exist." He frowned, evidently quite taken with the idea. "Now that means that either something else is connected up wrongly, or we've inadvertently discovered an entirely new law of dimensular mechanics." He smiled up at her. "I'm inclined to think the former."

"Me too." Not entirely sure what dimensular mechanics were anyway, Suzy pointed back at the console. "We've landed."

"Have we?" He sat up, jumping suddenly to his feet. "So we have! Why didn't you tell me." Eagerly he pressed a few buttons, turning to look at the scanner screen. "Earth."

"Really?" Suzy gazed at the screen, seeing a quiet village street, with shop fronts and buildings very similar to those that she was familiar with. "Is this my time?"

"No. We're in..." Consulting a reading, the Doctor swung around, staring at the screen with a puzzled frown. "The year 2000. We're in Britain as far as I can tell. Judging by the environmental readings, we're somewhere on the coast."

"Wonderful! I haven't seen the sea in years." Suzy hurried to the door. "Can we go out, Doctor?"

"Yes, yes of course we can." Still frowning slightly, the Doctor opened the doors and strolled outside, enjoying the sudden sensation of sunlight on his skin. He glanced about, admiring the tall white statue which reached up into the air near where he was standing. It appeared to be of a soldier, wearing a greatcoat and a peaked cap.

"Things haven't changed much since my time, have they?" Suzy stared through the window of a clothes store, deciding that the dress displayed there was a little too old-fashioned for her tastes. It reminded her of the things she had worn as a child, back in the early fifties, before the new era of rock 'n' roll had chased a few shadows away.

"On the contrary." Frowning at the dress in the window, the Doctor shook his head. "I wouldn't have thought that there are many people in the year 2000 who would be happy to wear that." He shrugged. "Perhaps this is a model village, set up to amuse the tourists." He wandered off, heading down a street, and Suzy hurried to catch up with him. It took some time to get used to the Doctor's inability to stand still. Around the next corner they reached a main street, with more shops and what looked like a Church tower in the distance. The whole street was deserted.

"I wonder where all the people are." Suzy walked along the road a short way, and pointed through a window. "Look - all of the windows in the bakery are empty. There's nothing on display."

"So I see." The Doctor had noticed something else as well; further down the street, one of the buildings appeared to have partially collapsed, and it stood open, rather like a doll's house with the front removed. "Perhaps nobody lives here."

"What's that, Doctor?" Pointing at something which lay on the ground in front of the building, Suzy started forward. Now that he was closer to the collapsed building, the Doctor could see what the shape was, and he hurried forward, trying to intercept his young companion.

"Er, Suzy I--" His warnings came to late, and the girl reached the object, staring down at it in detached interest.

"Doctor..." Her voice sounded clear and steady. "It's a body."

"So it is." Joining her, the Doctor knelt beside the bones, still partially wrapped in skin. "A woman, I'd say. Middle aged."

"But how--"

"I don't know." He stood up again, taking her firmly by the shoulders. "Judging by the degree of damage to the spinal column and the rib cage, I'd say that she was hit by a high energy beam, rather like a laser weapon."

"Then this isn't a model village." She shuddered. "Doctor, can we leave now?"

"Yes, if you'd like." He seemed distracted, and she could see that he did not want to go, at least until he had found out what had happened to the people. "Come on Suzy." He flashed her a brief smile and began to lead her towards the TARDIS. They had gone no more than a few feet before a door opened in one of the nearby buildings, and three men walked out. They had a haughty air about them, and Suzy felt their eyes burning into her. It was as if they considered themselves to be vastly superior to her, and did not care if it showed.

"Doctor..." she began. He hushed her gently, stepping forward to greet the three, hand outstretched.

"Good morning! How are you? I was wondering--"

"Silence." The first of the men raised a hand, pointing at the Doctor. "Speaking in the streets is not considered to be good manners. We like our peace and quiet here."

"Well yes, quite. Actually that's what I wanted to ask you about, you see--"

"Silence." A second man stepped forward. "You will come with us."

"Will we?" Feeling a familiar sensation of unease, the Doctor smiled warily. "Why?"

"Because you must." The man reached inside his jacket - which was, thought the Doctor, of a very old-fashioned style - and withdrew a laser pistol. "It is required."

"Is it indeed." The Doctor sighed and glanced across at Suzy. "Lead on then."

"This way." The third man pointed, and the pair followed him through the door from which they had emerged. Inside the building they found themselves in what seemed to be a sweet shop, with thick cobwebs dangling from the shelves on the walls. They were ushered into a back room, where a single, domed silver shape stood in the centre of the floor, its eye-stick watching the toil of four or five men who stood at computer workstations dotted about the room. The Doctor froze, staring at the domed creature, his eyes wide with disbelief. It did not seem to have noticed the new arrivals yet, and he guessed that it was busy communicating with some of its kind.

"Suzy," he hissed, startling her with the desperation in his voice. "Listen to me. Under no circumstances must you use my name here."

"But--" she began. He silenced her with a frown.

"Suzy, listen to me! It's important. Call me anything, but don't call me by my name!"

"Silence!" One of the men behind them pushed them onwards, standing to smart attention in front of the domed creature. Suzy stared at it in wonderment. Whatever it was, it seemed to have struck real fear into the Doctor. She had believed him to be all but fearless.

"Sir!" The man nodded at his charges. "We found these two out in the street."

"New humans." The Dalek swivelled its eye-stick about to stare at the pair, looking them up and down. "Why are you here?"

"We were passing, and we thought we'd drop by for a chat." The Doctor smiled. "I'm terribly sorry; were we trespassing?"

"You are most welcome." The Dalek waved its sucker arm at one of the human guards. "Take them to the others."

"Yes sir." Saluting, the man turned smartly on his heel, and gestured that the two should follow him once again. They did so, feeling extremely ill at ease. Suzy glanced back at the domed metal creature, wondering what was so special about it that it should have produced such a reaction from the Doctor.

They walked for some time, through other buildings and across streets, until they reached a large structure that seemed to be out of keeping with the rest of the village. It was more modern, made out of plastic and a selection of alloys. The Doctor led the way inside, determined to be as reasonable as possible for the time being. He made no objection as they were herded to a large door, and watched as it slid up on their approach.

"Inside," one of the men ordered. The Doctor stood aside to allow Suzy to go through the door, then followed her, unsurprised to hear the door slide down again immediately. He looked about, and saw at once that there was no way to open the door from this side. How typical; he was locked in again.

"Look..." Suzy stepped into the room, looking about. There were three other people there, all looking up at them in dazed confusion. Their clothes were dusty and battered, but despite the evident longevity of their imprisonment, their hair was short and relatively tidy, and the men - of which there were two - were clean shaven. She moved closer to the group, but they shied away, covering their faces with their hands.

"They think you're going to take them away for processing." The voice came from behind the new arrivals, and they turned as one. A man, young and strong looking, was standing by the door. He took a step forward, looking them up and down, and grinned, apparently amused by the Doctor's clothing. "You're not locals."

"No." The Doctor stepped forward, holding out his hand. "I'm, er, John Smith, and this is my young associate, Suzy McConnell."

"Adam Harper." He shook the Doctor's hand, then shrugged. "I'd welcome you, but..." He grinned. "This place isn't exactly welcoming."

"So I see." Becoming more businesslike, the Doctor frowned. "What are the Daleks doing here?"

"The Daleks? You know about them?"

"I've heard of them, yes." The Doctor smiled. "In my experience they're rarely up to any good. There's something they want, right?"

"Yes." Adam sat down on the floor, gesturing that they should do likewise. "They've got us extracting something from the seawater; some kind of a chemical compound. They're processing it; turning it into something else, I think. I don't know what. I'm afraid they keep it all pretty much under wraps." He frowned slightly. "How have you heard of them?"

"I'm very well read." The Doctor grinned. "Now tell me about this place. How did you come to be here?"

"In West Harlington?" Adam shook his head. "Chance. I was travelling with a friend of mine, Paul, and we came upon this place. We wanted somewhere quiet and peaceful, so we thought we'd stay here. It turned out that the whole place is crazy. Everybody acting as though they were stuck in the fifties, nobody speaking to us, except to tell us to be quiet. We were about ready to leave, and then everything went crazy. One day we heard lots of screaming in the streets, and the Daleks came out of nowhere, shooting everybody. They shot Paul." He shrugged. "Later I found out that a group of slaves had tried to escape."

"And the people who seem to be allowed to walk around free?" The Doctor had his own suspicions about those people, but he wanted to hear it from another. Adam shrugged again.

"When people are too tired to work anymore, the Daleks take them away. When they come back they're different; like robots. They walk about the streets all day like zombies, acting as if everything is normal here, more or less. They act as guards, and also as spies for the Daleks. Mostly they patrol the perimeter to make sure that nobody can get in, but if they think that the workforce is getting a little thin, they allow a few people in, as replacements." He smiled grimly. "Like us, I suppose."

"Precisely." The Doctor put an arm around Suzy, who seemed to be growing restless. "Tell me; how long have you been here?"

"Me?" Adam frowned. "That's the strangest thing. I don't seem to remember. I know that it was June 12th when I was captured by the Dalek patrol, but although it feels as if I've been here a long time, I haven't had anything to eat, and I haven't slept much. Not that I remember, anyway."

"Interesting." The Doctor seemed to be developing a theory, and Suzy recognised the look in his eyes.

"Doctor Smith..." she began. She respected his scientific curiosity, but she wished that he would turn his formidable intelligence towards thinking of an escape plan. He smiled at her, nodding absently.

"You think I'm crazy." Adam leaned against the wall, looking frustrated. "I know that's what I think. How can I have been here so long and yet not have eaten anything?" He rubbed at his jaw. "I certainly haven't shaved. It's just that I feel as if I'm working out there for hours, and my clothes are all torn, and yet--"

"When we arrived here there was a skeleton out in the street. A middle aged woman, lying in front of a collapsed building. Was she there when you were last out there?" The Doctor's words cut Adam off mid sentence, and he shook his head.

"No, that's impossible. There was no skeleton there. Just a body. I saw her die." He stared back at the Doctor. "But a skeleton?"

"According to my instruments, the date when we arrived here was November 12th." The Time Lord met Adam's stare. "Could you have been here for five months?"

"Are you kidding? Without food or water?" Adam shook his head. "That would be crazy."

"True; but not entirely past the capabilities of the Daleks." The Doctor was warming to his theme. "They want something from the sea here, but for some reason they don't want to reveal their hand yet. That means that their supply of labour is hardly limitless." He nodded, agreeing with himself. "It also means that they can't have just any Tom, Dick or Harry--" he nodded at Suzy-- "or Harriet, sorry, coming here." He ignored Suzy's puzzled expression, a reminder to him that she was somewhat less liberated than his previous female companions, and therefore probably did not understand that last comment. He grinned, triumphant at his own success at coming up with a viable theory. "I'd say that this place is out of Time. They must have come here some time in the 1950's, and as far as the villagers are concerned, that's still when it is. You haven't needed to drink anything, because your body still thinks it's the same time is was when you were captured."

"That's impossible. You can't isolate a place in Time." Adam shook his head. "It can't be done."

"You believe in the Daleks, don't you? You've seen what they can do, and how it's far beyond anything that your own people are capable of, right? Well this is no different." The Doctor grinned at him. "I could show you things that would stop you from ever disbelieving anything ever again. Trust me, Adam."

"I--" Adam rubbed his head. "You really think that the Daleks have found a way to isolate us from the rest of the universe? That they're keeping us here to collect this chemical compound? But how? Why?"

"The why rests with what this chemical is, and what exactly they want it for." The Doctor frowned. "Some weapon, no doubt. Very unimaginative, Daleks. Everything is either war or conquest." He shook his head. "Terribly sad, really."

"I'm glad that you think so." Adam seemed amused by the Doctor, and the Doctor, quite evidently, was just as intrigued by the young man. He obviously had a scientific background, even if that was restricted by human scientific limits. "You think that the street exists in real Time, but that this section, where we are now, doesn't?"

"It's doubtful that the rest of the place is in real Time. Whatever force they're using to keep Time out, probably isn't as strong in the rest of the village, and that's why that poor woman is looking the way that she is. Presumably the same force prevents other people from coming here on a regular basis, and prevents the village from being seen except when they need replacements." He frowned, another thought coming to him. "I wonder what the official records say about this place? Somebody must have wondered where the village disappeared to, all those years ago."

"Landslide? It's by the sea." Bored by the scientific talk, Suzy was getting extremely restless. "I don't like it here. Can't we find some way to leave?"

"Leave? There's no way to leave." One of the other prisoners, at last taking some interest in proceedings, wandered over. He was eyeing them with evident hostility. "We have to stay here, like they want us to."

"You can stay here if you want to, Casey." Adam sounded as though he had had this argument with his fellow slaves before. "Some of us plan to get out of here."

"We all planned that. Do you think it hasn't been tried? A few seconds ago..." The man frowned, dismissing his estimate of the time as an impossibility, despite what his senses were trying to make him believe. "They'll either kill you, or they'll wipe your mind." He turned away, beginning to pace. "They wiped my wife's mind. The last time I saw her, she was wandering down the main street, like she thought it was a normal day in the village. She didn't even recognise me. You'll be next." He sounded cheerfully certain of this, and Suzy could not prevent a shudder from gripping her shoulders. Adam reached out, touching her arm.

"It's okay. He's half-crazy, that's all. They all are."

"Call me crazy if you like. I'm not the one who'll be dead to the world in a couple of days." The man turned away in disgust and slumped against the wall on the far side of the cell. Almost immediately the door slid open, and three of the human guards appeared, guns in hand.

"Come." The leader of the three gestured to the prisoners that they should leave the cell, and they all stood. One by one they filed out into the corridor, beginning to walk along it. Many other prisoners were doing likewise, all heading in the same direction, and all seeming listless and slow. The Doctor could hardly blame them for their lack of enthusiasm if they really had been doing this almost non-stop for some fifty years. Whatever the Daleks were planning, it was very evidently something large scale.

"Where are we going?" Suzy asked Adam. He glanced down at her.

"Our cell works on the main plant. We keep the equipment going, so that the chemical is continually extracted from the sea water." He saw the look on her face, and smiled. "There are perks, believe me. That side of the operation is almost entirely run by us, with the brain-washed guards. I've hardly seen any Daleks since I was first brought here."

"That's something." The presence of his old enemies was extremely unnerving to the Doctor, who knew full well what their reaction would be if they discovered his identity. He planned to avoid extermination for as long as possible, especially since the people of West Harlington were clearly reliant on his ability to free them all. He had to find out what the Daleks were up to, and try to stop them. Foiling the plans of the Daleks had become one of his main missions in life. It was one of the things that had made him the man he was; and which had made him the men that he had once been. He sidled close to Suzy.

"Can you hear me?" His words were whispered, but she managed to catch them nonetheless, even amidst so many people.

"Yes," she told him. She could hear the smile in his words and he leaned close to be sure of getting his message across.

"When I say run, I want you to do exactly that. Head for the edge of town, away from the ship, understand?"

"Yes." She frowned. "But I--" He had already gone, and she saw him edging closer to Adam, so that he could repeat his message.

"Move quickly." A guard, his tone utterly devoid of impatience, was waving his gun about nearby, and the Doctor smiled politely at him.

"Sorry old chap, didn't mean to slow the flow." He frowned, seeing the emptiness in the man's eyes. In the past he had encountered robotised human slaves of the Daleks, but this seemed different. It was as if the man had been hypnotised in some way, so that he truly believed he was serving some good purpose by his actions. The Time Lord wondered at this. Although it was a welcome change, he suspected that there was some reason behind this apparent change in Dalek policy. He couldn't believe that they had decided to abandon robotisation for reasons of cruelty, or even added efficiency. There had to be some reason why they needed human minds left more or less intact. He pushed the thought to the back of his mind, in order to concentrate on more immediate matters. He had to escape.

It was a relief to be back in the sunlight, even though it was as a prisoner. In the middle of the crowd of others, the Doctor led his small group at a fast pace, overtaking the slower inmates. Hard work appeared to take its toll, even though they had been protected from the ravages of Time, and he felt a burst of sympathy for these people. It looked as if they had been working for the Daleks for some fifty years now, probably with no breaks other than those required by the Daleks themselves, so that they could process the chemicals that their slaves were collecting for them.

"Get ready," he hissed to Suzy, seeing an opening out of the ground up ahead. "Remember; when I say run."

"Okay." She tried to keep the shiver from her voice. "Ready when you are."

"Good." He grinned at her, nodding politely at a nearby guard. "Run!"

With a sudden push, he knocked the guard flying, spinning immediately on his heel. He was aware of both Suzy and Adam breaking free from the group, and he took off after them, dodging one gun blast only to run almost headlong into another. He threw himself aside at the last moment, and ran on, hearing sounds of clear pursuit. He did not look back; there seemed to be little point. If they were gaining on him then he would soon know about it.

"Keep running!" Breathless, he found himself drawing ahead of Suzy, and he caught her by the arm, pulling her along. She stumbled, and he kept her on her feet. Another laser blast sounded from behind them, and a fountain of earth erupted just ahead of them.

"I can't run any faster," Suzy almost choked as she gasped the words out, her strength failing her. The Doctor grinned.

"Of course you can." He increased his speed, almost dragging her along after him, until finally they were in the trees. Immediately the going became harder, and they were forced to slow down; but at least, thought the Doctor with some satisfaction, their pursuers could no longer see them. He hurried his companions along through the undergrowth, until the sounds of the chase faded.

"We've lost them!" Adam leant against a tree, grinning. "Now all we have to is find a way out of here. We have to call the army, or the police or something."

"Normally I would agree with you." The Doctor, who as usual seemed to be suffering no ill effects after the prolonged sprint, began to pace. "But I'm afraid we're not going to find it easy to leave this place. There must be some kind of a force field surrounding us, or there would be no way to keep us isolated in Time."

"Then what do we do?" Suzy asked, hoping that she didn't already know the answer. The Time Lord smiled at her.

"We wait," he told her. "Wait and watch. We have to find out what the Daleks are up to, and find a way to stop them. Adam - " he clapped his new friend on the shoulder - "Where do they take the chemicals that you've been extracting from the water?"

"To the Church in town, as far as I can tell." The young man frowned deeply. "If you look at it, it seems a lot newer than the other buildings; it isn't at all run down, or old-fashioned in the way that they are. I got close to it once, and it's not made out of brick, either. It's made to look as if it is..."

"But why pretend about something like that?" The Doctor began to pace again. "Unless they wanted their brainwashed assistants to think that it really was a Church." He shook his head. "That just isn't the Daleks' style at all."

"I spoke to the others in my cell. They told me that there isn't a Church in West Harlington; that there never was." Adam shrugged. "The Daleks must have built it."

"Then that, my boy, is where we have to go." The Doctor sat down on the ground, chin on his hand. "I must warn you though - both of you - that the Daleks are a very serious enemy. They are quite possibly the most evil creatures in the universe. Killing millions is nothing at all to them, and they would kill us without even thinking about it; especially if they find out who I am."

"Who are you?" Adam stared down at him, an open challenge on his face. "There must be some reason why you know so much about them."

"There is. We've met once or twice." The Doctor smiled rather sheepishly. "I've foiled their plans more times than I care to remember, and I'm rather afraid that I'm Public Enemy Number One as far as they're concerned. That puts you two in danger too, if they know that we're together."

"I'm not letting you do this alone," Suzy told him stubbornly. He smiled at her.

"Thankyou." He shrugged. "They'll find out who I am soon enough anyway, once they find the TARDIS. It won't take them long to figure out what two and two equal."

"Who are you?" Adam asked again, beginning to feel left behind. The Doctor grinned, standing up to introduce himself more correctly.

"That, my boy, is the million dollar question, as my old friend Socrates was given to saying." He gave a little bow. "I am the Doctor."

"Doctor who? Smith isn't your real name, that's for sure."

The Doctor smiled secretively to himself. "Doctor Smith, Doctor Jones - Doctor Foreman if you prefer. It makes no difference really. What's in a name?" He gave a small chuckle. "For instance, how long have you been called Harper?"

A brief frown flickered its way across Adam's face, then was replaced by a smile. "Touché, Doctor. Okay, I'll admit that I'm no Harper; but that's all that I'm admitting." He settled himself down on the ground near Suzy and stretched. "You know, I'm actually quite tired."

"We're probably outside the sheltered area here. Time is likely to move at more or less a normal rate. Hence the skeleton in the street." The Doctor looked at his watch and frowned. "Well you'll be glad to know that it's just past lunchtime on Ceti VI. Beyond that..."

"It's dark, that's all I need to know." Adam stifled a yawn. "Who's taking first watch? Miss McConnell?"

"Me? You're joking." Suzy looked put out. "Isn't that your job?"

"Huh?" Adam frowned, glancing up at the Doctor. "Is she for real?"

"Er... yes." The Time Lord flashed them both an awkward smile. "Look, I, er... Don't worry. I'm working on it." He smiled politely at Suzy, finding himself wishing that she could have been another feminist. Distant echoes of Sarah Jane and Tegan floated to him from some dark recess of the past. "Times change Suzy. You're going to have to realise that. In the meantime, I'll take first watch." He settled himself against a tree trunk. "In the morning we'll see about this Church."

As the threesome relaxed in growing dark, a small shadow flitted by them, heading for the deeper undergrowth nearby. A quick appearance by the moon illuminated the shadow's face for a fleeting second, showing that it was Casey, Adam's one-time cell mate. The shadowy figure disappeared into the darkness, hesitating for just a second to look back at the place where the threesome rested; then all was quiet and still once again.


"Doctor wake up. It's nearly light." Shaking the Time Lord gently by the arm, Adam glanced over at Suzy, who was still fast asleep. "Should I wake Sleeping Beauty, or would she not appreciate that?"

"Don't be unkind. You'll get used to her." The Doctor stood up, rubbing his eyes. "Or maybe it's her that needs to get used to us. She comes from a different age, Adam."

"You're pretty fond of this whole Time thing, aren't you?" The young human smiled. "Throws all those science papers out of the window, doesn't it. I've been teaching Einstein's Theory of Relativity for years; are you going to tell me it's all wrong?"

"Not entirely." The Doctor bent to help Suzy to her feet. "Old Albert had more or less the right idea, but he got his theories a little muddled, that's all. Understandable given how backward you humans are about these things. Come along now." He began to move off through the trees, taking the lead with a confidence which hid the fact that he had no idea in which direction the Church lay. Adam glanced over at Suzy.

"Is he always like this?"

"This is one of his more subdued days." She smiled at him. "So you're a science teacher?"

"I was, yes." He gestured that she should follow on behind the Doctor, whilst he brought up the rear, and she complied with a nod of gratitude that carried more than a note of understanding within it. One thing that she had learned from the Doctor was not to ask too many questions. Adam Harper - or whatever his name might really be - did not want to talk about his past. She was willing to accept that, for the time being at least. All the same, it was odd. She would have estimated his age to be about twenty-five - twenty-eight at the most - and yet he had already finished with one career. It seemed strange to have taken a new direction so early in life.

"How far is this Church?" Finally slowing enough to enable the others to catch up with him, the Doctor peered through a thick row of bushes at a gathering of Daleks nearby. It worried him that they had not bothered to chase after their escapees the previous day, although he imagined it was because there was no way for them to leave the village. Adam appeared at his elbow.

"It's this way," he said, taking a new direction which left the Daleks far behind. In no time they were within sight of the main street, where the skeleton of the woman still lay, waiting for an overdue burial. The Church tower rose into the air above them, looking for all the world like every other Church, in every other small British town. The Doctor pulled some small device from his pocket, and waved it about in the air.


"Have you found something, Doctor?" Suzy tried to take a look at the device, but found the reading unintelligible. He nodded absently, without removing his eyes from the gadget.

"Trace elements of a compound called Triomethium. I had thought that it was only found on Gallifrey, and a few of its close neighbours." He frowned. "Unless they've found some way to synthesise it." He frowned once again at the device in his hands, making minor adjustments. "It could be that it's Triomethium that they're making here. I wonder how..."

"Perhaps we could ask them?" Suzy smiled at his enthusiasm for this new puzzle. "What exactly is so special about this Trio... Trio...?"

"Triomethium? It's a chemical used in large amounts on Gallifrey. Used in machinery; computers and the like; it mimics animal cell growth. Back home they've even used it in the past to allow computers to regenerate, in the same way that Time Lords do." He shrugged. "I'm not sure about all the details... I do seem to remember a professor at the Academy running a series of lectures on how it worked, but I don't recall attending."

"Self-healing machinery?" Adam whistled softly. "The possibilities would be endless. Nothing would ever run down, computers could update themselves. It would save a fortune in buying new hardware." He grinned. "But I doubt that the Daleks are here to put Microsoft out of business."

"I should imagine not." The Doctor smiled too. "I shudder to think what they are planning though. Think of it... machines that could grow, like living creatures; millions of them across the face of the planet, and all answerable to the Daleks. Mankind wouldn't have a chance. Today the Earth, tomorrow the universe." He shook his head sadly. "The Time Lords always believed that their own ways were secret, and that there would never be any danger of some other race using them as well. I suppose no secret is ever truly safe."

"Not in this world," Adam replied, a touch of the philosophical in his tone.

"You mean this universe." Suzy pushed forward slightly, gazing at the Church. "So now that we know what they're planning, what do we do about it?"

"I don't know. Short of destroying the stock pile, I don't see what we can do." The Doctor was silent for several seconds. "We would have to destroy the Church, and there's no telling how many people we would kill in the process."

"Casualties of war, Doctor." The voice came from behind them, and they turned as one, seeing Casey standing between two bushes. He looked bedraggled and scratched, and his hair was matted from a rough night in the undergrowth. There was a manic look in his eyes. "Don't you believe that a few deaths are justifiable, when you consider what's at stake?"

"Maybe..." His tone wary, the Doctor tried to hide a concerned frown. He wondered just how much this man had heard. "But if I'm going to kill innocent civilians, I'd like to be sure that my plans are successful. I have to know if blowing up the Church will stop this."

"Innocent civilians?" Casey shook his head hard, his eyes wide and bright. "They're not innocent. They work for the Daleks. When they came here, they chose the oldest and the weakest, and they took them away, and when they brought them back they weren't innocent. They were like robots. Mindless, obedient... They shot my brother for not working hard enough. They shot him with those laser pistols of theirs, and they didn't even blink."

"You can't blame that on them." The Doctor took a step forward. "Now for goodness sakes, man, keep your voice down. Do you want the Daleks to hear you?"

"What's it matter?" Casey shrugged wildly, throwing his arms about in an expansive gesture. "I've been wandering around all night, and I can't find a way out of this place. I was born here. I grew up here, and I can't even find my way to the edge of the village." He giggled suddenly. "But then, I don't remember ever seeing that Church before, so maybe this isn't even the right place. Maybe we're not in West Harlington anymore."

"We're here alright." The Doctor looked about nervously, expecting his old enemies to trundle out of the woods at any moment. "Look Mr Casey, you have to be quiet."

"Why?" Casey shouted the word. "What does it matter? There's no way out. We can't blow the Church up. You can't blow up a Church." He giggled. "Even one that doesn't exist." Suddenly he froze. "Can you hear something?"

"Over there." Adam pointed, and the Doctor glanced towards the sudden sound. He could make out footsteps, and the sound of rustling undergrowth.

"Quickly!" With sudden speed he began to usher his companions away, only to hear a laser pistol firing close by. He halted abruptly.

"Don't move!" They could not see the source of the voice, but it sounded near. The threesome exchanged a worried look.

"Keep quiet. They're probably only bluffing." The Doctor pushed his friends into the shadows. "They can't have seen us yet."

"We're over here!" Casey's voice, filled with terror, echoed around them. "We're surrendering!"

"You fool!" The Doctor stepped forward, grabbing the human by the arm. "You don't know what you're doing!"

"I'm saving my life!" Casey pulled free, raising his voice again. "This way!"

"Idiot!" Stepping back, the Doctor let fly with a right cross that surprised him as much as it surprised Casey. Silenced, the man wobbled, then fell to the ground. He blinked up at the Time Lord, rubbing at his jaw.

"Nobody move!" This time the voice was almost on top of them. They froze. A small group of human guards, accompanied by a pair of Daleks, moved towards them from out of the trees. They prodded Adam and Suzy towards their fellow escapees, whilst the Doctor gave Casey a hand climbing to his feet.

"You are all to be exterminated," one of the Daleks told them, its gun-stick taking them all in with its wide aim. "Escaping is not permitted."

"No, wait!" Casey ran forward, grabbing the creature by its sucker arm. "I can tell you things. I heard them talking!"

"Casey, leave it. They'll kill you anyway." The Doctor stepped forward, but found the second Dalek suddenly blocking his way.

"I heard things." Babbling almost incoherently, Casey stared into the Dalek's eye-stick. "They spoke about something called a TARDIS--"

"No!" The Doctor stepped forward again, trying to push past the Dalek, but found his arms grabbed by two of the human guards. "Casey, they'll kill you anyway! You can't make a deal with a Dalek."

"Silence!" The Dalek closest to him jabbed at him with its gun-stick. "Speak, human."

"Him!" Casey pointed at the Doctor. "He said he knew you; that he'd stopped you before. The others call him the Doctor, and--"

"Enough." The Dalek standing beside him pushed the terrified man away. Its eye-stick swivelled to point at a human guard. "Exterminate him."

"No!" Casey grabbed hold of the Dalek again. "No! I helped you!" He took a step away, but the human guards were too quick for him. They fired simultaneously, and his lifeless body slumped to the ground. The Daleks, no longer interested in him, turned simultaneously to face the Doctor.

"So, Doctor," one of them said, gliding threateningly near to its hated enemy. "We meet again."


The Dalek control room was largely silver in colour; domed and designed for ultimate efficiency. Control panels buzzed and hummed quietly, and twelve Daleks glided about. They still looked clumsy, the Time Lord thought to himself, remembering the first time that he had ever laid eyes on them. He had thought that they were incapable of doing much harm to anyone. Even now, as he watched them operate their machines using only their simple sucker arms, they seemed somehow ridiculous. All the same, the air of menace with which they turned their heads to stare at him was unmistakable.

"Doctor." A Black Dalek, the lights on top of its head flashing in tandem with each syllable of its harsh speech, moved forward, stopping bare inches from the Time Lord. "Welcome."

"Hello." Flashing the creature an amiable grin, the Doctor glanced about. "Nice place you've got here. Very stylish."

"You are curious." The Dalek scanned him with its eye-stalk, then looked over at the nearest bank of controls. "You want to know what we are planning."

"Yes." He shrugged. "But you don't have to tell me if you don't want to. I'll live."

"You will not live. You will be exterminated." The Dalek turned away. "As soon as we have no further use for you, you will die."

"Very thoughtful." Following the creature, the Doctor raised his voice, allowing some of his anger to show. "Where are my friends?"

"Friends?" The Black Dalek glanced back at him. "They are safe. If you do not co-operate with the Daleks, they will be exterminated."

"Well it's nice to know you people are consistent." The Time Lord sighed. "Alright, I'm listening. What's the plan?" The creature was silent for several seconds, looking him up and down before continuing.

"You will see." It moved to a panel, pressing a switch. Immediately a section of the wall slid up, revealing a recess beyond. Banks of computers lined the sides of the space, all connected up to vats of Triomethium. In the centre of it all, wired to both the vats and the computers, were four humans. The Doctor moved towards them. Aware that they were probably long past the possibility of saving, he concentrated instead on inspecting the connections. The Triomethium travelled through long glass tubes, passing through the human subjects before being pumped into the computers. He reached out, experimentally placing his hand on the nearest subject's wrist. He was not surprised to find that there was no pulse. Triomethium was deadly to organic life.

"Ingenious," he said, keeping his voice steady and even. "I presume that this is why you allow the humans to live after they are no more use to you as slaves?"

"Yes." The Black Dalek joined him in the recess. "Robotisation would be more efficient, but we need their unchanged bodies for the process."

"Why? What's all this for?" The Time Lord felt firm hand on his arms, and did not resist as he was led from the recess by two human guards. He glanced back at them. "Look at this. This is what you're heading for. Whatever control they have over you, you have to fight it."

"Forget it, Doctor." The voice was almost human, coloured by a hint of the Daleks' mechanical speech. "They are beyond your help." The Time Lord turned, and found himself staring up at a giant manifestation which had come from an adjoining room. It looked like a Dalek, but instead of the usual arms it had four tentacles, made from metal. It stood some eight feet in height, its casing transparent, so that he could see the small green creature at its heart. A pair of eye-stalks moved independently of each other at the top of its body.

"I don't believe that we've had the pleasure." He stepped forward, staring up at the creature with as much bravado as he could summon. It stared back, unmoving.

"I am the Emperor Dalek." One of its tentacles moved, snakelike, towards him, and he forced himself to remain still as it touched his arm. A tingling sensation ran across his skin, as though the creature were filled with electrical energy. "You will do as I say."

"If you like." He grinned up at it. "Would you mind explaining everything a little more fully, though? I'm really not altogether sure that I understand it all."

"What is to explain?" The waving tentacle curled about his elbow, pulling him closer to the unusually large Dalek. "You will help us, or you will die. Your friends will die. All will die."

"Yes, that bit I understood. What I don't follow is all of this." He gestured at the recess. "Triomethium doesn't require minds. You just pump it into your machines, and hey presto, Bob's your uncle." He grinned. "Do Daleks have uncles?"

"Your mind is ill-disciplined, Doctor. Control it." The Dalek pushed him away. "Our process is simple enough to understand." It moved forward, gliding more slowly than the normal Daleks did. It was almost as though it were trying to appear regal, which amused the Time Lord. "We are experimenting. We study the minds of the humans, we analyse them. We feed them to the machines. The humans become the machines. The machines have their knowledge, their experiences, but not their emotions or their fears. The machines will do as we tell them."

"You're turning people into machines?" The Doctor turned to stare back at the recess. He could see the computers beginning to buzz with a new energy that had nothing to do with software or added memory.

"Why not? The mind is the ultimate computer." The Emperor moved forward again, letting its tentacle rest on the Time Lord's shoulder, as if warning him of its alert presence. "We will take the minds of all humans, and feed them to their own machines. The Triomethium gives the machines unlimited life. If we possess it in unlimited supplies, our machines will be invincible. We will have an unending supply of indestructible, thinking machines at our disposal. A frontline to take the place of our Dalek hordes in battle. They will obey the Daleks. All shall obey the Daleks." A second tentacle caught the Doctor around the throat, pulling him back against the hard, transparent casing. "You will obey the Daleks."

"If you say so." He tried to pull free, but the metal grip of the emperor was too powerful. The two eye-sticks stared impassively into his face. "What do you want me to do?"

"You will assist us." There was a silence. "We did not wish to be disturbed in our work, and so we isolated this place in space. We isolated the humans in Time."

"And now you're stuck." The Doctor could not prevent himself from smiling. "You can't get out. You fixed it so that nobody could leave, and now you find that you can't leave yourselves." He laughed. "You creatures never change." The grip around his neck began to tighten, and he gasped in sudden breathlessness. Above him, the eye-stalks rotated furiously.

"You will obey, Doctor. You will help us to find a way out of here. We will unleash our machines upon this world. We will unleash them on many worlds. We will conquer, we will destroy. We will exterminate." Around the room, the other Daleks took up the cry, and the Doctor heard them, their voices swirling into one to his confused senses. The room was beginning to spin as the grip on his neck tightened.

"Obey! Conquer! Destroy! Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate!"

"Now, Doctor." The emperor Dalek was almost lifting him off his feet, gazing down at him with a characteristic lack of emotion. "Now is our Time. Now is the Time of the Daleks."


"Where do you suppose the Doctor is?" Sitting on the floor of their cell, Suzy gazed up at Adam, who stood by the door. There was a small window set into it, intended so that the guards could keep an eye on them, but he had found that he could see out of it if he stood in the right place. The view was limited, but it was better than staring at the walls of the cell.

"I don't know. With the Daleks somewhere, I think." He glanced back at her, surprised by how well she was holding up. Her comment the previous night, about expecting men to do the hard work for her, had led him to suspect that she was useless; but she was proving him wrong. Old fashioned though she might be, she certainly was far from helpless.

"Then you think he's still alive?" She was asking for hope, and he nodded.

"Of course. They would have killed us along with Casey if they were going to kill us at all. They must have something in mind." He turned away from his small window. "Don't get your hopes up too high though. We might wish that we were dead before this is over."

"I know." She shuddered. "Where do you suppose those things come from? They're so...horrible."

"I'll go along with that. Something must have happened to them, to make them the way they are. I don't think they're robots." He sat down beside her. "The Doctor will be okay. He seems pretty resourceful."

"He is." She smiled. "He's also infuriating, absent-minded and incorrigible. I can't decide if he's extremely clever or just very lucky."

"Both." Adam leaned back against the wall. "So who is he? Where does he come from?"

Suzy shook her head. "I'm not sure. He told me some things when I first met him, and he swore me to secrecy, but I'm not sure that I followed it all. All that I know for sure is that he's not from Earth."

"Then he's probably the only person who can help us. I shouldn't think that there are many others around here who know anything about the Daleks." His eyes strayed back to the door, and the tiny window set into it. "We'd better hope that he's alright." The tactlessness of his words struck him suddenly, and he mentally kicked himself. "Sorry. I meant--"

"It's okay." She smiled again. "He can look after himself. He'll be fine. I'm just scared, that's all."

"Everybody is scared. I've been afraid since the day those things killed Paul." He smiled. "We'd been through so much together... Then one gun blast and he was gone. We were going to go to Canada."

"Canada? My brother emigrated there. It's a long way away." She smiled. "Listen to me. I just got back from another planet, and I'm worried about how far away Canada is."

"It is a long way away. That's just the point." He stood up. "We wanted a new start somewhere far away. It doesn't matter anymore."

"We'll find a way out." Suddenly determined, she stood up and took his place at the window. "The Doctor will think of something. In the mean time... Do you know anything about electronics?"

"Are you kidding? I was a science teacher." He frowned. "Why?"

"This door is electrically powered. I was wondering if you could think of something suitably ingenious." She gestured at the seemingly immovable grey sheet of metal. "There's got to be something, hasn't there?"

"There might be." He joined her, running his hands over the door. "I might be able to do something if I had the right equipment."

"Will this do?" She fished about in her pockets and withdrew a long, cylindrical object. "It's the Doctor's. He asked me to look after it. I'm afraid that I'm not sure what it does exactly, but--"

"I think..." He turned it around in his hands, soon finding a hidden switch. Immediately the device buzzed into life. "It's electrically powered alright." He shrugged, pointing the device at the door. "But how is this supposed to help us? I can't just point it at the door and press the button, look." He pressed the button, and the door slid open. He blinked. Suzy giggled.

"You were saying? Come on." She started to leave, but he grabbed her arm, pulling her back.

"Careful. This whole place is crawling with Daleks. Wait here." He edged from the room, and she saw him creep down the corridor. She held her breath, at the same time chiding herself for being so jumpy, and was glad when he came back, gesturing for her to follow him. They ran down the corridor, keeping close to the wall and watching for signs of pursuit. Suzy was beginning to think that they were the only living beings left in the complex when Adam suddenly froze, pressing himself against the wall.

"Dalek!" he hissed, keeping his voice low. Suzy glanced about. The corridor was featureless and bare, with nothing to hide in and nowhere to run.

"What do we do?"

He shrugged, then pushed her back a short way.

"Get down," he told her, and she obediently crouched on the floor. He stood beside her, counting softly under his breath, listening as the Dalek grew closer. It rounded the corner an instant later, gliding past them without seeming to be aware of their presence. Suzy let out an involuntary gasp and it swung around to face them, its eye-stalk and its gun-stick moving in tandem, pointing at them.

"Remain still," it ordered, its voice loud. Adam raised his hands into the air.

"We're surrendering," he told it, and stepped forward. It turned to watch him, and in the same instant, he jabbed at it with the long device still in his hand. There was a brilliant flash and the top of the Dalek's casing burst open. It screamed in rage, and its voice faded into oblivion.

"Under attack! Self-destructing! Self-destructing! Help!" Its gun fired as it died, and the blast ricocheted off the wall, sending Adam diving for cover. Suzy rose to her feet.

"Brilliant!" She hugged him in delight, then began to head along the corridor. "Now we have to find the Doctor."

"Wouldn't you rather--" he began, but she cut him off.

"I would rather find the Doctor. I can't feel safe until I've found him. Come on." She hurried away. He smiled at her back, then shrugged and ran after her. He was rather getting to like this girl, even if he she was a little weird.


The Doctor stood alone at the edge of the control room, his neck burning where the emperor had come close to strangling him. He watched a second group of humans march into the room, standing by obediently whilst more of their kind disconnected the dead bodies from the Triomethium containers. The replacements offered no resistance as they were connected up instead, even going as far as to offer assistance where it was required. The Time Lord watched the procedure with an unpleasant sensation of helplessness. There really was nothing that he could do for these people. Whatever the Daleks had done to them had left them perfectly willing and open to suggestion; but they would listen only to the Daleks. He wandered casually to the nearest door, keeping a sharp eye open for marauding Daleks. He had no desire to be exterminated, or incapacitated by a stun blast. A basic assault Dalek had more than one weapon at its disposal, and he had seen all of them in use at one time or another. There was no telling what extra little surprises might be waiting for him courtesy of the emperor. Its gun-stick was a slightly different shape, which carried unpleasant hints of possible optional extras.

"Halt!" A Dalek spun towards him and he froze, looking as innocent as he possibly could.


"You will remain here." It stopped directly in front of him, its eye-stalk uncomfortably close to his face. "You will obey."

"Well naturally old chap, naturally. I was just... going to do a little sight-seeing, that's all." He grinned. "Care to show me around?"

"You would do well to remember your position, Doctor." The emperor turned one of its eye-stalks to look at him. "You must obey."

"When did I ever do anything else?" He sighed. "Alright, I'll stay here. But you have to understand that I can't do a lot if I'm not allowed to leave this room. If I'm to help you, I have to have a little stroll around the perimeter, see how the land lies. You know?"

"I understand." The emperor waved a tentacle. "Escort the Doctor to the force field perimeters. See that his questions are answered."

"Thankyou." The Doctor gave a slight bow, turning towards the door.

"If he continues to show disrespect, he is to be exterminated." The emperor turned its back on the Time Lord, who flashed it a moody scowl before leaving the room. He walked along at a leisurely pace, flanked by a pair of Dalek guards. Their conversation was predictably limited, but he persevered nonetheless, keeping up a steady stream of amiable chatter as they went.

"I must say, you have quite an operation going on here. Remarkable work. It borders on genius. You fellows have come a long way since I first met you. Skaro. Remember? No, you couldn't, could you. I don't think there were many of you left alive that time. Nothing personal you understand." There was no response. "Anyway, I was a different man altogether in those days, so you can't really hold it against me." He glanced from one to the other of them. "Talkative pair, aren't you. Tell me; do you hear anything from Davros these days? I only ask because he hasn't been looking at all well the last few times that I've run into him. Still, he's the persistent kind, isn't he. Won't stay down." There was still no response and he shrugged. "Did they forget to fit you two with a voice chip?"

"Daleks do not require voice chips." The Dalek on his left sounded almost insulted. "Daleks are not robots."

"No, quite." The Doctor flashed it a merry grin. "All the same, though, you do have a fairly high level of circuitry inside, don't you? Why not use the Triomethium on yourselves, instead of going to all this trouble with--"

"Silence!" The second Dalek spoke loudly, its voice echoing harshly in the long, empty corridor. "Triomethium destroys Dalek organic compounds. You know this. You should be exterminated."

"You chaps are touchy." He sighed. "Alright, alright. You can't blame me for trying." He tried to increase his speed in order to leave the pair behind, but they matched his step precisely. A gun-stick jammed into his back, and he winced. Even for Daleks, these two seemed a little trigger-happy. He walked on, doing his best to ignore his twin shadows, concentrating instead on his more pressing concerns. He still wanted to destroy the Church, and hopefully therefore the stockpile of Triomethium. Then there were the slaves to release, and the treated machinery to dispose of. Those humans who had been altered by the Daleks were probably past saving. Enough of their minds had been left to allow the Triomethium bonding process to work, but whatever had been done to them was almost certainly irreversible. Dalek procedures of that kind usually were. He took his harmonica from his pocket, toying with it idly. A tune would be most welcome, but he suspected that his guards were the critical kind. They were more likely to exterminate him than applaud. He contented himself with polishing the instrument on his shirt instead, and in the process he glanced up, no longer staring at the featureless grey floor. A movement caught the corner of his eye; a flash of yellow which looked like a dress, or a skirt. A second shape flitted into his line of vision, and he saw a young man dressed in what had once been a grey suit.

"I say, Daleks." Turning to his guards, the Doctor stopped in the middle of the corridor, blocking the way. "I was thinking."

"Move, Doctor." The first Dalek glided forward. "You must continue to walk."

"Now!" Adam, leaping forward with arms outstretched, flung himself at the nearest Dalek before the Time Lord could fully react to his presence. He stepped back, uncertain of the plan, and saw the young human push the Dalek hard. It skidded across the smooth floor, shouting for assistance, and Suzy jumped around the corner, jabbing at it with something held tightly in her hand. There was a brilliant flash, and something within the Dalek exploded. Its confederate went into a spin, its eye-stalk wobbling up and down.

"Blinded!" it shouted. "Blinded!"

"Look out!" The Doctor saw its gun-stick moving into position, and he hurled himself at the creature, grappling with it. The gun-stick struggled to pull free from his grip, then snapped suddenly, shearing cleanly away from the casing. Suzy ran forward, striking out with her device. The Dalek wailed uselessly, and a shower of sparks marked its demise. Breathless the Doctor stepped back, looking down at the broken gun-stick in his hand.

"Thankyou," he said to his two assistants. "Your timing is commendable."

"No problem." Adam made an attempt to tidy himself up. "What is that thing? It makes pretty short work of the Daleks."

"This?" The Time Lord took the device. "It's a power recorder - a lab tool. Used for regulating the power flow in inducer coils during experiments. Must have a lose connection."

"Just as well." Suzy smiled, glad to be back with the Doctor, even if they were still in the midst of the enemy. "What do we do now, Doctor?"

"We go to the Church." He toyed with the cylindrical device, then slipped it into his pocket. "I've discovered what the Daleks are up to, and we have to stop them, but there may not be much time. These two will soon be missed."

"I'm game for anything." Adam glanced up and down the corridor. "Everything looks clear."

"Which doesn't mean a thing." The Time Lord gave them both a sudden, broad grin, feeling inexplicably cheerful. There was still a lot about this most recent incarnation that he had yet to get used to. "Come along. No time to waste."

"We're right with you." Suzy kept close to him, scanning the corridors with watchful eyes whilst Adam brought up the rear. It felt good to be back together again, but there was little else to be thankful for. There was still much to do.


The Church was small, and more or less in keeping with the rest of the village, but as they approached it they saw parts of the architecture which did not fit in with the general design. Large aerials and a giant metal chimney were less than discretely hidden around the back, and a lone Dalek patrolled the outside of the building.

"Why a Church?" Suzy asked. The Doctor shrugged.

"To make sure outsiders weren't tipped off about something being wrong? They are allowed in every so often. Or maybe it's to keep the brainwashed humans happy; all part of whatever illusions it is that they've been programmed with. Ordinarily the Daleks would destroy their minds altogether, but this time they can't; so they have to think of another way to keep them in line."

"They must think we're the enemy." Adam leaned closer, for a better look at some of the Dalek equipment. "Can we set it on overload?"

"Maybe, from the inside. I might be able to set up a massive feedback signal which would destroy everything, but that's a little more final than I would like." He pulled the power recorder from his pocket. "This little chap isn't terribly useful at a distance. We'll have to find some other way to get past Friend Dalek over there."

"A distraction?" Suzy looked thoughtful. "I could faint."

"Or flirt with it?" Adam tried not to laugh too loudly. "Forget it. Something tells me that it wouldn't be moved." She scowled at him, and the Doctor smiled.

"He's right, Suzy. You'd be shot on sight." He shrugged. "Still, we won't get very far sitting here, will we. Wait here." He started to move forward.

"Doctor!" Suzy started after him, but Adam held her back. "He'll be shot!" she protested, but he shook his head.

"I don't think so. They seem to have something special in mind for him." They crouched together, watching the Time Lord as he edged slowly and quietly out of the undergrowth, straightened his clothing, and walked confidently over to the guard Dalek.

"Halt!" it shouted. He did so, raising his hands into the air.


"You are the Doctor." It moved towards him, gun-stick levelled. "You are to help us."

"Rightho." He glanced around. "I was told that I could have a look in here."

"Follow me." It turned, and he strolled along next to it, his hand sliding around behind the creature. As they reached the shadows thrown by the Church, he pressed the button on the power recorder, and there was a flash of light. The Dalek spun around.

"Malfunction!" it shouted, beginning to spin in an erratic circle. "Need assistance. Malfunction!" A ray of light flashed from its gun-stick as it began to spin in ever faster and tighter circles. "Malfunction! Malfunction! Mal--" A brilliant flash erupted from within it, and the top of its casing blew open. The Doctor peered at the wreck, taking care not to touch the molten metal on top. Suzy and Adam joined him.

"You know, I rather think this little fellow is running out of power." He frowned at the power recorder. "Still, never mind. We have alternative means now. You're the smallest, Suzy."

"What did you have in mind?" She sounded wary. The Doctor grinned at her, bending into the top of the Dalek casing.

"Gone," he said. "Must have been obliterated by the blast."

"What?" She gulped. "You mean the - the - whatever is in these things?"

"Precisely." He pointed at the casing. "Come on. This one is in a much better condition than the last two. Hop in."

She stared at him for a moment, then sighed and began to try climbing inside. She was beginning to think that if she was to stay with the Doctor, she was going to have to start looking for a change of clothes. Her waitresses' uniform was impractical to say the least. She settled herself into the space inside the Dalek, and stared around. The controls looked complicated, as though some of them were operated by more than just arms.

"Don't worry about how to operate it all. Daleks use mind control for a lot of their more complicated functions. Just try to get the hang of the voice, and make the arms move convincingly." The Doctor closed the top of the casing. "Can you see?"

"Just about." She tried to get comfortable, and toyed with one of the more obvious controls. The eye-stick moved about outside, and she tried to turn the head piece. It stuck.

"I can't move much," she told them, her voice sounding echoing and metallic coming from inside the casing.

"Don't worry, we'll help you along." He gave her a shove to get her started, and they walked briskly towards the entrance to the Church. There were no guards, but inside the building a row of Daleks turned to face them.

"Why have you brought them here?" Gliding towards Suzy with a practised ease that made her quite jealous, a Dalek looked up and down at the little group. It received no immediate answer, save for an odd little noise which sounded as though its confederate were attempting to clear its throat. The Doctor tried not to wince.

"We were sent here." He stepped forward. "I'm supposed to be helping you. Have you been informed?"

"You are the Doctor." It gazed steadily at him for a moment or two, then moved aside. "You may proceed."

"Thankyou." He nodded politely and walked on, trying to ignore the awkwardness with which his 'guard' was following. There was a large scorch mark on one side of the casing, and Adam was standing unnaturally close in an attempt to hide the tell-tale trait. Fortunately the line of Daleks seemed to have other concerns. The threesome hurried onwards, anxious to get out of sight as soon as was possible.

The 'Church' proved to be more or less empty, with a few large banks of controls and little else. A lift led downwards, presumably into the Triomethium stores, and the Doctor opened the door, glad to find that the lift was empty.

"Right." He was silent for several seconds. "Adam, I want you to take this-" he handed over the power recorder "-and see what you can do about these controls." An expansive gesture took in the banks of instrumentation. "Keep out of sight, and destroy as much as you can. Suzy and I will handle the Triomethium."

"How?" Suzy's voice still sounded peculiar, coming from inside the Dalek.

"It's highly flammable. Explosive in a confined space. All that we need is a spark or two and hey presto!" He frowned. "Of course, we'll have to get out fairly sharpish."

"And then what? The Daleks will come after us. They're sure to have the TARDIS under guard." Suzy did not sound too convinced. "I thought you said that it was impossible to leave this village, because of the shielding?"

"We'll take care of that too." He frowned. "Come along now, we must be quick." He guided her into the lift and waved a goodbye to Adam as the doors closed. Left alone, Adam sighed and ducked behind the nearest bank of instruments. He could not see any sign of the Daleks, but from time to time he heard their voices. He pointed the power recorder at the nearest set of controls and pressed the button. There was a mild fizz from inside the panel, but nothing especially encouraging. He groaned, and shook the small device before trying again. Again there was a small fizzing sound, and he scowled. It looked as though he was going to have to start doing this the long way. He scrambled underneath the control panel, and began to reconnect the criss-crossing wires which twisted about above his head.


The Doctor and Suzy made good time along the corridor which awaited them outside the lift. They saw no one, and hurried along, the Doctor able to push Suzy at a respectable speed with no one to see them. Eventually they reached a large cavern, filled with vats of the easily recognisable liquid. A flash of rage ran through the Time Lord as he looked upon it all. Triomethium had been the pride of the Gallifreyan Scientific Revolution, countless millennia ago. It had been used to create hospital equipment which could adapt to the individual needs of each patient; ships which could change their shape to prevent crashes from being fatal; computers which could share their knowledge with each other, and learn from each other without the assistance of their Gallifreyan designers. Here all that the chemical meant was a means to destroy; to take consciousness from human subjects and implant it into machinery, creating indestructible and semi-intelligent warriors who would conquer new worlds for the Daleks. It hurt his Time Lord pride to think of it.

"This way." He led his companion down a thin corridor between two rows of the vats. The noise of bubbling liquid echoed around them.

"What do we do?" she asked him. He smiled grimly, pulling a box of matches from his pocket.

"We try a little remodelling." He looked about. "Keep an eye open would you?" She turned away to keep watch, and he busied himself amongst the vats, crouching down on the ground. A few items from his pockets formed a hasty pile on the floor; a handkerchief, a notebook which appeared to be empty, a few twigs which he seemed to recall picking up on a planet some time before, meaning to try growing them on board the TARDIS. He had forgotten all about them, and they were dry and dead now. Finally he lit a match, sticking one end of it firmly into the box. He watched as it burned brightly, waiting to see as it ignited the box, and the other matches caught fire in a brilliant flash of light.

"Quickly!" Pushing Suzy hard, he sent her gliding away down the rows of Triomethium, heading back the way they had come. A lone Dalek came into view ahead of them calling out for them to stop. Suzy, unable to find any way to slow her forward momentum, crashed into it, sending it spinning off down another row of vats. There was a loud crash and a sudden explosion. The Doctor skidded to a halt.

"Jolly good shot!" he shouted happily, and tugged open her casing. "Come on, you'd better get out of there. We don't have the time for deceptions anymore." He helped her out, and they began to run together back down the corridor. A violent explosion echoed behind them.

"That's the first vat!" The Doctor was filled with a childlike delight at his sabotage work, and he hurried Suzy along faster. "Come on! In a few more minutes the whole lot will go up." They reached the lift and he pushed her in, slamming the door closed. Almost immediately his manner changed, and he became a lift attendant, bowing politely to his companion.

"Which floor, madam?"

"Up, Doctor!" Suzy hit a switch, and the lift began to rise. Beneath them they heard a dull explosion, and the lift rocked dangerously. Seconds later another explosion came, and again the lift bucked about, threatening to tear free from its cable at any moment. At almost the same moment, they jerked to a halt, and the doors began to open, sticking halfway. The Doctor pushed Suzy through the gap, scrambling after her, and broke into a run, dragging her along with him. A pair of Daleks came out of nowhere behind them, and he heard their predictable shout.

"Halt! Halt or you will be exterminated!" He ignored them, putting on an extra burst of speed, then sent Suzy flying behind a nearby bank of controls. The Daleks fired, and in the same instant, hundreds of feet below them, the Triomethium vats exploded. The noise was deafening, and a blast of fire erupted out of the lift shaft, destroying both Daleks in an instant. The Church rocked and a huge chunk of masonry fell from the ceiling.

"Oops. Time to leave." Grabbing Suzy by the hand, the Doctor ran with her to the door. A line of Daleks turned to look towards them as they approached, their gun-sticks raising.

"Halt!" one shouted, only to be instantly killed by a section of ceiling which collapsed on top of it. The other Daleks scattered, screaming for assistance, and the Doctor and his companion froze, loath to run, and risk extermination.

"Under attack!" one shouted, its voice high pitched. The Church began to shake again, and one of the Daleks moved quickly to a control panel. It flicked a switch and there was a flash of light from within the panel. A bolt of electricity charged from within it and latched onto the Dalek, causing it to dance as it tried to move away. The electricity surrounded it, crackling along its stick-like arms. Finally it exploded, its flaming casing sent flying across the room. It collided with a colleague, and the pair crashed into a second control panel, incinerated in the resulting explosion which ignited a wall of flame. Another Dalek, moving dutifully towards yet another panel, vanished instantly in the flash fire which erupted from the switch that it pressed. The Doctor grinned.

"Nice work, Adam." He pushed Suzy forward, ignoring the confused Daleks who now seemed more concerned with the sabotage than with him. The pair raced towards the door and stumbled out into the daylight beyond. Adam waved to them from the trees, and they joined him.

"I take it you were successful?" He led them away from the Church, heading back towards the thick undergrowth where they had hidden together the previous night.

"Very." The Doctor seemed alive with glee. "We still have rather a lot of Daleks to contend with though."

"I've got an idea." Suzy sounded proud. "Follow me." She began to lead them back towards the main complex, and the Doctor followed on, intrigued. Behind them Adam followed as well, constantly on the alert for signs of pursuit. Somebody somewhere must have guessed who was responsible for what had just happened, and he was certain that the alarm had been raised. The Daleks would be after them by now.


They moved slowly, gaining access to the main complex past a brigade of confused human guards. Their initiative gone, they were incapable of dealing with the new situation without guidance, and merely stared at the flaming ruins of the Church. They did not seem to notice the three figures which crept past them and slipped into the building, hurrying together through the corridors until they came to the wreckage of the two Daleks, still standing together in silent companionship.

"Here." Still sounding delighted with her idea, Suzy took the power recorder from Adam. "I know that these things aren't real robots, but they've got a lot of that sort of thing in them, right? So can't we use pieces from one, and this thing here, and... I don't know. Make our own Dalek?"

"Make our own?" The Doctor was silent for several moments. He glanced at the two burnt out shells, then took the power recorder. "A Trojan Dalek! A bomb! Suzy, you're a genius." He hugged her for a brief second, then tugged off the lid of the Dalek he had attacked earlier; the one with the broken gun-stick. "We shall have to hurry, in case somebody comes by."

"When do we ever not hurry." Adam opened the other Dalek. "Yuck. There's something in this one."

"That is the Dalek itself." The Doctor walked over, bending down into the casing to remove the small, green body. "They once looked much as we do, until a nuclear war caused a massive mutation. A lot of the details are rather sketchy, but gradually they adapted more and more to life in these cases." He carried the body over to the edge of the corridor and laid it on the floor, covering it with the head section of the other Dalek. "I've often wondered what sort of a race the Kaleds were, all those years ago. Before something made them go to war with the Thals." As he talked he was beginning to work on the pair of Daleks. "One of those odd little mysteries of the world. Perhaps what might have happened on your own world, if the Western and Eastern blocs had been a little more determined to destroy each other."

"If you say so." Adam began to assist the Doctor, pulling a section of wiring from out of the Dalek base. "I have no intention of evolving into a little green blob."

"Oh there are worse evolutionary paths to go down." The Doctor was silent for a few moments as he worked. "There is a race on Erus XIV, for example, who are rather like earthworms to look at. Somewhat bigger, naturally, and less likely to be eaten by sparrows, but earthworms nonetheless. They communicate through a complex language based on wriggling. It's a very difficult language for outsiders to master." He frowned, his entire top half disappearing inside the Dalek, so that his voice sounded disjointed and strange as he continued talking to them. "Then there are the Orlans of Morrox VI. They--" He broke off. "Ah ha. That should do it."

"What?" Anxious to understand how her plan was being put into action, Suzy peered into the Dalek. "What are you doing?"

"This." He pulled out a handful of wires, roped together into a multicoloured jumble. "If I wire this into the power recorder, and then into the other Dalek, we should have our own. I think I'll call him Johnny." He glanced up and down the corridor, suddenly feeling very exposed. "You two keep your eyes peeled. Somebody could come along here at any moment."

"I hope they've got their hands full somewhere else." Suzy hurried a short way down the corridor nonetheless, whilst Adam took the opposite end. There was no sign of anybody or anything coming their way, which did not seem to be terribly comforting. It was worse not knowing where the Daleks were.

"Bingo!" Completing his work at last, the Doctor began to push it down the corridor. "Come along you two." They helped him to guide his creation towards the main control room, stopping only as they came within sight of the final corner.

"It's all yours, Johnny." The Doctor bent into the casing and pressed the switch on his power recorder, then closed the Dalek and nodded in satisfaction. "I shall feel quite guilty about this, but I supposed it can't be helped." He stepped back. "Off you go, Johnny." The eye-stick wobbled up and down, and the Dalek's head began to spin in a drunken circle. "Maybe they'll think it's battle damage."

"He'll be alright, so long as they don't try to speak to him." Adam backed away. "How long have we got?" The Doctor hesitated, aware that his companions were slowly retreating, but strangely reluctant to leave himself.

"Not long," he answered, sounding distracted. "The power recorder was more or less exhausted, and there was only a small amount of residue power left in the Daleks themselves. There's less than five minutes before he explodes." He backed away, allowing Adam and Suzy to lead him away from the control room, but still found himself wanting to stay. He hated the idea of resorting to this kind of terrorist action, leaving even creatures such as the Daleks to die without knowing what had happened. It seemed almost cowardly.

"Doctor." The voice came from behind him, and he turned. In the middle of the corridor, flanked by four Daleks, stood the emperor, its tentacles moving slowly. "You have betrayed us."

"Betrayed you?" Stepping forward in an attempt to put himself between the Daleks and his friends, the Doctor shook his head. "How can enemies betray each other? We never had any kind of an agreement."

"You must be exterminated." The emperor moved forward. "All enemies of the Daleks must be exterminated."

"Exterminate. Exterminate." Moving forward with remarkable speed, the four attendant Daleks made as if to move past the Time Lord, in order to get to his friends. He pushed them to the side of the corridor, determined to remain between them and the four domed aliens heading their way. A large tentacle snaked towards him, grabbing him by the arm and dragging him out of the way, and he realised with a burst of fear that the emperor had no desire to kill him. He was still needed. The Daleks planned only to kill Suzy and Adam.

"No!" Struggling hard, he tried to break the metal grip, only to feel it growing tighter and tighter. A second tentacle caught his other arm, and he saw a gun-stick swinging around to take aim at Suzy, as he was dragged out of the way.

"Run!" Shouting loudly, he changed his tactics, and pulled as hard as he could. The emperor Dalek was dragged forward by the sudden force, swinging into place between Suzy and the Daleks. She hesitated for the briefest of seconds, than ran, dodging past the emperor and dashing out of the way. Adam, reacting more out of instinct than sense, ran after her, leaping out of the way only just in time as the nearest Dalek took a shot at him. The blast ricocheted off the wall, hitting another of the Daleks; and in the same moment, there was an almighty explosion from the control room nearby. The blast raced down the corridor, incinerating one Dalek and sending the other two, and the dead fourth, hurtling helplessly away. Suzy and Adam were thrown to the floor, gripping each other tightly in an attempt to save themselves. The Doctor was shielded in part by the emperor Dalek, which began to rotate, its tentacles lashing the air.

"Under attack!" it screamed, the rage clear in its voice. "Under attack! Under attack! All Daleks to be mobilised immediately. Destroy all humans. Destroy all humans! Destroy..." Its voice faded away, and the tentacles went slack. The Doctor tugged himself free, giving the emperor an experimental kick. There was no response.

"Is it dead?" Suzy asked. He nodded breathlessly.

"Five minutes, hey Doctor? It felt more like two to me." Adam grinned, dusting himself off. "Are you sure that watch of yours is right?"

"Nobody's perfect." The Doctor smiled. "Not even a Time Lord. Come on, there isn't much time."

Suzy rolled her eyes. "What now?" she asked, but the Doctor was already racing away down the corridor. They chased after him, anxious to see what it was that he was planning next. The long grey corridors seemed identical to the two humans, but the Time Lord seemed to know which way to run, coming eventually to the prison section. The doors to the cells were open, and the corridor was filled with slaves, battling their brainwashed human guards and the wave of Daleks which had come to complete their emperor's last order.

"What's going on?" Suzy asked. The Doctor hesitated, looking at the melee, and wondering what to do next.

"The explosion destroyed the control room," he told her, sounding more breathless than ever. "Dalek engineering is very centralised--" he pulled them out of the way as a stray bolt from a Dalek gun flashed past them. "Destroy the HQ and you can destroy just about everything. The cells will have all opened automatically. There's sure to be a self-destruct somewhere. I only hope that our meddling hasn't set that off." As if in answer there was a loud chiming sound, which echoed about them.

"Self-destruct?" Adam asked, not really wanting to know the answer. The Time Lord nodded. Without waiting to speak further, he rushed into the prison corridor, where the last few Daleks were being overwhelmed through sheer force of numbers. Hands grabbed him from behind.

"No, wait! He was in my cell." A woman ran forward, looking up at the Doctor through wearied eyes. "He's not one of them."

"We don't know that," a harsh voice said in his ear. He pulled free.

"It's true. You have to listen to me. The self-destruct has been set off. This whole place is going to explode. You have to get out of here."

"Lead on." The menace had gone from the man's voice. "Come on!" He gestured at his comrades, some of whom were still battling with half-hearted brainwashed ex-friends. "We have to leave."

As one, the group surged forward, following the Doctor and his companions as they ran, past groups of brainwashed humans, on out into the sunlight. The streets of West Harlington seemed oddly quiet and normal in contrast to the Dalek stronghold inside.

"Home." The woman who had spoken up for the Doctor gazed about at the streets. "I haven't walked down the main street in..." She frowned. "It feels like fifty years, but I remember yesterday--"

"Listen to me, we don't have much time." The Doctor gazed out at the sea of faces. "You've all been kept in a sort of suspended animation for years. I know it sounds mad, but--"

"Not so mad." One of the men stepped forward. "There's a lot here that doesn't add up."

"Well when that self-destruct goes off, it will take the Daleks' shielding with it. You'll all be exposed to Time again, and there's no telling what sort of a cumulative effect it could have. You have to come with me, into my TARDIS, so that you'll have some protection during the explosion."

"And what about the Daleks? There must be some still alive. If we leave now they could go somewhere else. They could destroy half the country." A tall man who was wearing the tattered remains of a blue serge uniform shook his head. "I won't walk out on my country."

"Hear hear." A woman stepped forward. "Somebody has to be here when that place blows up, so that we can make sure that all of the Daleks are dead. Then there's their equipment by the sea. We have to destroy that."

"I'll do it. Please; you must go to my TARDIS." The Doctor raised his voice, determined to make them listen, but met with refusal.

"One man can't kill all the Daleks. It'll take all of us." The policeman gathered his people around him. "Thankyou for what you've done. You'd better leave."

"Not yet." The Doctor turned to Adam and Suzy. "Suzy, you know the way to the TARDIS. Adam, please make sure that she gets there. The in-rush of Time could effect both of you. It wont hurt me."

"Right." Adam caught Suzy by the arm, not understanding fully, but impressed by the sudden seriousness of the Doctor's tone. The pair ran off. They had been gone no more than a few minutes, when the complex exploded.


The Doctor stood by, waiting in the shadows as the people of West Harlington sent the last of the Daleks to their doom. There were only a handful left, but still they put up an impressive show of resistance, taking several of the villagers with them. The Time Lord watched as the humans grew slower, and he saw their hair begin to change colour. For a second he was rushed back, through Time and space, to the lonely planet where Sara Kingdom had met her death. He shuddered.

"That's the last of them." Sounding satisfied now that the task was complete, the policeman spotted the Doctor and walked towards him. He was growing older with each step, and his face was now heavily lined. Several of his fellow residents were already dying, their age too great. "You were right. I feel different."

"You look different too." The Doctor caught him as he stumbled. "Fifty years different."

"So I'm eighty-three." The policeman smiled. "What year is it, in the rest of the country?"

"2000." The Doctor helped the policeman to sit down. "Relax. Eighty isn't so old. You just need to take it easy."

The policeman began to laugh.

"Take it easy? So far today I've - I've helped stop an alien invasion and I've aged forty-seven years; and you want me to take it easy? I've still got to destroy the equipment by the sea."

"I'll handle that." The Doctor looked around at the inhabitants of West Harlington. Most of them were already dead. He felt angry with himself, for not trying harder to make them go to the TARDIS. He had known what would happen to them; they hadn't. The policeman nodded.

"Blow it up," he said, his voice failing. "Blow the whole village up. Don't leave anything for anybody to find."

"I'm sorry." The Time Lord helped the now ancient man to lie down. It was clear that he had aged much more than just forty-seven years. The effects of the in-rush of Time had been greater than he had imagined they would be. "I should have made you leave."

"Wouldn't have done any good. Had to stop them. You couldn't have done it on your own." The old man took a deep breath. "Anyway, this is our village. Our responsibility."

"The Dalek's responsibility." The Doctor's expression hardened as he thought about this latest crime to add to his enemies' list. One day he would make them pay for all that they had done, throughout their history. One day the universe would be free of their tyranny. He felt the old man go limp in his arms, and laid him gently down; then stood up and headed towards the beach. It would be easy to carry out the policeman's last wish; and send the whole of West Harlington into the non-existence from which it had only just returned.


"Are you alright, Doctor?" Suzy hugged him as he entered the TARDIS, and he smiled at her, glad that she had not been able to see all that he had just been witness to.

"I'm fine." He nodded at Adam. "Mr Harper. Is there somewhere you'd like me to drop you off?"

"I don't know. Canada maybe?" Adam glanced around at the control room. "Maybe on the way you can explain how this place comes to be so big?"

"I could try." The Time Lord smiled. "In the meantime, Suzy, why don't you show him to a room?" He gestured at the inner door. "I'll lay the course in."

"Okay." She led Adam from the control room, leaving the Doctor to his instruments. He smiled as he began to press the switches and flick the levers which would allow him to get underway. He would, of course, try to get Adam to Canada, 2000AD Western Era. But he couldn't really be blamed if the old girl decided that there was somewhere else she would rather go first. His smile became a grin.

"Make yourself comfortable, Mr Harper," he said in a low voice. "I'm inclined to think that this could take some time." It was rather nice to have a full crew again. He flicked his last switch, and the rotor began to move up and down once again. The ship dematerialised in its usual cranking, clanking way, leaving West Harlington to its final, fiery end. The Doctor turned on the scanner screen, to make sure that he had got everything right. He saw the explosion on the coast, saw the fountains of seawater, and watched as the buildings burst into flame, one by one, until nothing was left; then he nodded in satisfaction. Some tasks were harder than others, but it helped when he knew that he was doing the right thing. He smiled to himself, wondering how the government would explain that one away. How the scientists would explain the sudden appearance of a new piece of coastline, which had not been seen since 1953. There were days when he would have liked to have been a fly on a ministry wall. He chuckled and turned back to the console, giving it a gentle pat. Time to forget about West Harlington. Now all that he needed to think about was where he would end up next. That, as always, was the greatest adventure.