All around was dark, and everything was engulfed in blackness. The universe was dying and its skies were no longer lit by brilliant white stars. And yet, all was not quite dead, for at the centre of the universe a patch of black light showed two figures, humanoid in appearance, small and insignificant in the vastness; although the fact that they were there at all suggested that they were persons of great consequence.

"So Enigma. It has ended at last." The first figure, a tall man shrouded in black, spoke with a vengeful sneer. "Now will come my revenge. It is a time long awaited."

The second figure, smaller and just beginning to show the signs of age, smiled sadly. "Indeed it is over. Very well, Evil One, I accept my fate; but know this; I regret nothing."

"Then you are a fool." The tall man drew himself up to his full height, and red sparks seemed to light up his eyes. "The powers with which you are endowed could have been a great force for evil, Enigma, and yet you chose to use them to enrich life, not take it away. Together we could have controlled existence; now instead I must punish you - as all who choose to follow my brother will ultimately be punished."

"No, Evil One." The second man, Enigma, spoke as calmly as always. "You are wrong. It is you and your followers who will find torment. That is how it always has been, and how it always shall be. Evil cannot win."

The tall man laughed, a terrifying laugh filled with cold evil. "Perhaps you are right, Enigma. I know that evil cannot defeat good. But I know also that good cannot defeat evil. Without each other they would cease to exist. That only means that I cannot destroy my brother. It does not mean that I cannot destroy his followers, or see that they are made to suffer."

Enigma nodded sadly, acknowledging the truth in this. "Then may I ask what my fate is to be?"

The evil eyes turned to stare into his.

"Certainly. Millions of light years from here, a universe is developing. As yet it is in its infancy, but it will grow. There is a place there for you, Enigma. A prison in the heart of a labyrinth, from which there shall be no escape. You will remain there, imprisoned forever."

"A developing universe." Enigma smiled. "I am not immortal, Evil One. Before this universe even begins to spawn life, I shall be long dead. My imprisonment can only be as long as my life. Death shall free me from you."

"That is so, Enigma. But death for you will not come quickly. I shall see to that." He raised his hand and a staff appeared in it, black and misshapen with a raven's head at its tip. "Billions of years will be as mere decades to you." The raven's eyes began to glow. Almost at once, Enigma's body began to lose substance. A sneer crossed the taller man's face.

"Why do you not struggle, Enigma?" he snarled. "Why do you not beg forgiveness?"

"To say I am not afraid would be to lie, Evil One." Barely more than a translucent shape, Enigma struggled to speak. "But I have faith in my deliverance. You forget that my powers include the ability to see into the future. In this new universe you speak of, a planet is growing. At present it is little more than a speck of gas, but in time it will be so much more. I cannot see what this place holds in store for me, but I shall tell you this. Fear the Gallifreyans, Evil One." He faded completely away, but his voice still echoed around the empty universe. "Fear the Time Lords."

And then his voice faded, and his tormentor vanished, and the universe died. But far, far away, another was just beginning.


"Doctor!" Tegan Jovanka, one of the two present companions of the roving renegade Time Lord, wandered down one of the interminable corridors aboard the TARDIS, wondering where he had got to this time. She had searched his laboratory, the Cloister Room, and even that strange little room which smelt of newly mown grass, in which he had found his cricketting costume. He did not appear to be anywhere.

"Doctor!" Pushing open a door, she found that it led to a library, vast and dusty and crammed with books. In the middle of the room sat the Doctor, lost in a book. Tegan hurried over to him. "Doctor, didn't you hear me call? Nyssa said you'd better come to the console room. She seemed to think that there was something wrong."

The Doctor glanced up at her, a trace of irritation in his eyes.


"I said you'd better come to the console room. Nyssa says that there's something wrong." Tegan made a face. It was sometimes hard to remember that the Doctor possessed such a large intellect. He really could be very vague.

"Oh, alright." He stood up, closing the book, and Tegan read the title; Dimensular Mechanics, by Omega. The name sent a chill down her spine.

"Omega!" she gasped. The Doctor glanced down at the book.

"Yes," he said, rather sadly. "Such a brilliant scientist. Don't judge him too harshly, Tegan - he had been driven mad by so long in isolation. Once he was a very great man, second only to Rassilon." He smiled at her. "Now, what's this about the Console room?"

Tegan shrugged, feeling for the zillionth time that her technical knowledge was rather inadequate. "Search me, Doc. There are lots of little lights flashing on the console - red and blue ones mostly, and the data bank wouldn't tell us anything. We couldn't get the screen display to change."

"Screen display?"

"The one that shows us where we're going."

"You mean our pre-programmed flight course?" The Doctor sounded incredulous. "I didn't set one. We should be in free-flight." He broke into a run, and Tegan hurried to keep up. She had no intention of being lost in the TARDIS corridors, and she wasn't sure that she could find her way back without the Doctor. "Can you remember what the screen said?"

"It looked like Haikon." Tegan tried to remember what else the screen had said, but it had mostly been in machine code. She found the TARDIS computers unfathomable. Having left Earth in 1981, she had never encountered anything more complex than a ZX81; and there was really no comparison between the two.

"Haikon!" The Doctor's voice was filled with concern. "We certainly don't want to go there. Hurry along Tegan." He sprinted ahead. Wondering what peril was awaiting her this time, Tegan followed. It was at time like these that she thought about the London to Brisbane air crossing, which she had been supposed to work on. I bet that the pilot on that flight doesn't suddenly make detours to 1666, or announce that he's landed you on the wrong side of the universe, she thought ruefully; and then made a mental note to ensure that she never found herself on the London to Brisbane air crossing. It was just as well that she had been sacked.

In the console room, Nyssa was clearly agitated. She glanced up from the databank screen as the Doctor entered, her eyes showing that, despite her staggering qualifications and impressive IQ, she was out of her depth. She stepped back from the console and stood with Tegan as the Doctor took in the situation with a single glance at the screen. He flipped a series of switches which were obviously supposed to activate something, and then frowned when nothing happened.

"That's odd..." He pressed a complicated sequence of buttons and was again rewarded with a complete lack of response from his instruments. "We're on an irreversible flight course. It's impossible! Unless..." He communicated with his computer for a few moments, before looking at his companions with an expression of surprise and worry on his face. "Great Gallifrey - we're being piloted by remote control!" Having been present before when the TARDIS was diverted by an outside influence, Nyssa too looked concerned.

"The High Council?" she asked, remembering with trepidation how the Doctor had almost been executed when the Time Lords had taken the TARDIS to Gallifrey once before.

"It's possible," the Doctor admitted, "but I don't think so. We're on a course for the planet Haikon, and as far as I can make out, it's something on the planet itself that's taking us there."

"Can't you do anything, Doctor?" Tegan asked. The Doctor shook his head.

"I don't think so. Whoever is controlling the TARDIS has an immense power source at their disposal. They've taken over everything - even the oxygen recirculator. Whoever it is we're up against, they certainly want to see us pretty badly." He scowled, slamming his fist against the console in petty rage. "But I don't think I want to see them!"

"Why not, Doctor. What is this Haikon? I've never heard of it." Nyssa was puzzled. There weren't that many planets that she had no knowledge of.

"Haikon is a very small planet, rather underdeveloped technologically speaking." The Doctor had the appearance of someone trying to remember details from a long ago geography lesson. "Most of the population are teachers - philosophers and the like. It's one of the oldest planets in the universe, but it still holds out against all but the most basic forms of technology. For many races it's a place of pilgrimage."

"I don't understand, Doctor. If other people want to go there, why don't we?" Nyssa watched as the Time Lords continued to try and break through the hold on the TARDIS.

"Other people are other people," the Doctor told her, putting a hold on his work to explain. "It's said that if you can survive a challenge, your problems will be solved. Very few survive this challenge, and those that do can't talk about it - even in hypnosis." He paused to flick some more switches, and grimaced in annoyance when they had no effect. "We don't want to go there because the planet has a very unusual atmosphere which has a nasty effect on both the Matrix and the internal circuitry of TARDISes. It disrupts them, causes their signals to be confused, disturbs the continuum; that sort of thing." He shook his head as a look at the data bank screen revealed no encouraging signs. "But whether we like it or not, it's exactly where we're going."


Kirri Stahk pressed the final series of buttons which completed the landing sequence of her ancient cargo vessel. The sound of the rockets firing at her port bow was accompanied by the familiar shudder of the ship's hull, before the starboard rockets also kicked into life. She leaned back, wondering what to do with the three hours that it would take for the ship to land.

A month ago, if anybody had told Kirri that she would be speeding through the galaxy in an ancient cargo vessel which had never before gone more than one hundred light years into space, she would have laughed. If they had told her what her destination was to be, she would have laughed even louder. Not that she laughed very often these days. It had been four years since was had laid waste to her planet. Four years of famine and hardship. She had heard the myths about Haikon before, but it had taken the knowledge that her planet's food supply was dangerously low before she had decided to take the risk and fly off in search of the legend.

The door to the drive room slid open, with a jerking motion that had always annoyed Kirri. Once all of the doors on the ship had opened smoothly, but it was fifty years since anything had operated as the manufacturer's had intended. This time the door stuck when it was still half closed, and was thrown open the rest of the way with an irritated shove. Tahl Vero, Kirri's fiancé, entered the bridge with a scowl that suggested his problems with the door were not rare.

"I don't know why I let you talk me into doing this," he muttered as he sat in the co pilot's seat. "This ship belongs in a museum."

"You don't know why-- Tahl, it was your idea!" Exasperation tinged Kirri's words. "I don't know why I let you talk me into it."

Tahl grinned. "It's because you're such a hero. Besides, secretly you've always believed in fairy tales."

"Fairy tales? This is no fairy tale; it's a nightmare. If the stories turn out to be true, we may not survive to help our planet. And if they're not true, Dimor is still doomed." Her fiancé gave her a sober nod.

"True. But at least this way there's a chance, even if it is only a small one." He glanced at a readout. "How long until we land?"

"About three hours."

"Good." He stood up. "That'll give me time to check up on the planetary history. I want to see if I can find out anything new on the legend." He eyed the door sourly when he saw that it had closed again. "That's if the dratted door will let me out." He left, leaping through the doorway before it tried to close on him, and vanished into the living quarters. Kirri watched him go, then settled down to watch the ship's entry into the atmosphere of Haikon.


The central console was starting to flash with increasing irregularity as lights all over it turned themselves on and off. The scanner was on, and Haikon loomed on the screen, its threatening atmosphere glowing faintly orange as they drew closer.

"Doctor - are you saying that the atmosphere could destroy the TARDIS?" Nyssa asked, beginning to look frantic despite her usual calm exterior.

"Well... no, I shouldn't think so." The Doctor stared helplessly at the console. "But it could do some very nasty things to our circuitry. If it causes an artron flux we really will be in trouble." He dug his hands into his pockets. "The last TARDIS that tried to enter the Haikon atmosphere met itself coming out. If that happens to us, it won't worry me, but you two - the Blinovitch Limitation Effect..." He left the words trailing and turned to the console, fiddling with the time dilation controls as though to prepare for something.

"The Blinovitch Limitation Effect?" Tegan, as usual, felt lost. "What's that? Doctor?" Nyssa stopped her from pestering the Time Lord further by gently taking her arm and leading her back from the console. She seemed about to speak, but was cut off by a violent shudder that ran through the frame of the TARDIS. The ship began to buck and leap wildly, throwing the occupants about the room.

"Hold on!" the Doctor shouted, somewhat redundantly. Sparks flew form the console, showering the three with bits of molten plastic and shards of metal. Tegan saw a bright, harsh light erupt from within the planet on the scanner screen, and then everything went dark. Only the console remained lit, flashing and pulsing to itself in the midst of the confusion. There was silence.

The TARDIS juddered to a final, bone-shaking halt. Breathing out a sigh of relief, the Doctor picked himself up off the floor and hurried over to Nyssa and Tegan. Both seemed alright, and from the way that Tegan was glaring at him, he could be sure that everything was fine with her at least.

"What on Earth was that?" the Australian asked. The Doctor studied his instruments.

"I don't know." He frowned, and then pointed something out to Nyssa. "What would you say, Nyssa? Some kind of localised disturbance?"

"It must have been." She frowned at the various readouts on the console. "I'm no expert in the Laws of Physics as applied to the Matrix, but I'm sure that shouldn't have happened."

"Too right it shouldn't." The Doctor sounded vaguely indignant. He had an almost paternal instinct at times where the TARDIS was concerned, and he obviously did not appreciate the possibility of her being damaged. "It was as if some kind of energy field disrupted everything for a moment. The TARDIS can't pinpoint anything."

"You said this planet wasn't good for TARDISes." Tegan shrugged, feeling a familiar sense of uselessness as the conversation headed towards hard science. "Maybe somebody wanted to keep the Time Lords away." The Doctor stared at her for a few moments, and she blushed uncharacteristically. "What? Well it was only a suggestion..."

"Tegan, you're a genius!" For a moment she thought he was going to throw his arms around her, but he contented himself with just clapping her on the shoulders in delight. "Somebody around here must be up to something, and whatever it is, they don't want us to know about it." He grinned, the prospect of a new challenge filling him with a jubilant energy. "So, what are we going to do?"

"Leave?" Nyssa asked, her expression suggesting that she was only half teasing. He frowned at her, and she smiled.

"We're going to explore." Whistling softly, the Doctor checked the scanners. "Breathable atmosphere, friendly gravity level, nobody around that I can see. Excellent!" He pulled his hat from his pocket, unrolled it with a flick, and set it on his head at a jaunty angle. "Come along!"

Outside the ship, the day was bright and sunny. Tegan looked about, feeling extremely suspicious. To have encountered such disturbance, and then suddenly find everything extremely quiet, was rather off-putting to say the least. She could see nobody, and hear nothing; but the haphazard angle at which the TARDIS had landed was a clear reminder that something was wrong, somewhere.

"Where are we headed, Doctor?" Nyssa asked. He glanced down at her, as if he did not know the answer to that question, then shrugged.

"It doesn't matter. We're sure to run into somebody eventually, wouldn't you say?"

"Well, yes..." She glanced back at Tegan, who shrugged. When the Doctor had set his mind on something, there was no way to argue with him.

"Good." He strolled onwards, leaving them behind, and they hurried to catch up. The ground was rocky, and the earth was dry, and they could see no sign of civilisation. Over the crest of a hill they were rewarded with a view down into a large, empty valley. A few trees and a large lake lay beneath them, but there was no sign that anybody lived there. Nyssa frowned.

"Doctor, do you think this is wise? There might not be anyone for miles around, and it's very hot."

"Is it?" He frowned, looking up at the sky, and seemed to notice the heat for the first time. "I suppose it's a little warmer than what you were used to on Traken, but--"

"It's a little warmer than the Gobi Desert," Tegan cut in. "Why don't we just go back to the TARDIS? Can't you run a scan or something? Then at least we'd know which direction to head in." He glared at her, as if annoyed that she should be spoiling his fun.

"Alright." Grudgingly he turned away from the edge of the valley, and began to walk with them back towards the TARDIS. Abruptly he stopped.

"Do you hear something?" he asked.

"No," Tegan answered immediately, determined that he should not allow himself to be distracted.

"Yes," Nyssa said almost immediately after. "I think so. A sort of... rushing sound. Like a space ship landing." They looked up. Far above them, the faint, square shape of a space craft was visible, descending with a speed that was almost negligible.

The Doctor grinned triumphantly. "There you are, you see. I told you somebody would be along in a minute." He led them aside to make room for the ship to land, leaving Tegan wondering if she should take the time to point out that he had said no such thing. As they waited, the ship lowered down until it was almost on the ground; then it gave a loud shudder, and jolted heavily down the rest of the way. There was a second's inactivity before the door began to slide open. It stuck halfway, and an irritable figure struggled through the gap, muttering something in an annoyed tone. He looked as if he had put up with about as much as he could take.

"Who are you? Some kind of welcoming committee?" He stared at the threesome, looking them up and down. "You don't look like priests."

"We're not priests." Deciding that she liked the man, despite his evident irritability, Tegan extended a hand. "Tegan Jovanka." The man shook her hand automatically, and then glanced over at the other two.

"Nyssa of Traken," Tegan introduced cheerily. "And this is the Doctor."

"Doctor?" The man raised his eyebrows. "Our landing wasn't that bad." He smiled. "My name is Tahl Vero. I'm pleased to meet you all. I think." He looked back to the ship as another figure emerged from within it. "That's Kirri Stahk, my fiancée. We're here to try the labyrinth."

"Labyrinth?" Despite his immediate curiosity, the Doctor took the time to smile politely at Kirri, and offer his hand. She smiled back automatically, taken, as were most people, by the strangely dressed young man and his faultless manners.

"Yes. The Maze." She raised her eyebrows. "Don't tell me you haven't heard of it."

"You can't be locals." Tahl laughed. "I was going to ask you for directions." He waved his arms descriptively. "The Maze is said to answer all of your questions; if you can survive it. We were hoping that we could find the answers to our problems in there."

"They must be big problems if you're willing to risk your life for them," Tegan observed. Kirri nodded.

"In about another month our planet will have run out of food. We have no money for trade, and none of the other planets we've been in contact with will help." She shrugged. "The Maze is our only hope, and not wanting to seem rude... but we want to get started as soon as possible."

"Of course." The Doctor stepped aside, his eyes beginning to glow with curiosity. "Perhaps you would consent to a little company on the road?"

"If you really want to come." Kirri frowned at him. "It's no easy trip, you know. If you've only just heard of the Maze, you ought to think about it first."

"Yes, we should, shouldn't we." Tegan caught hold of the Doctor's arm, and pulled him away. "Are you sure about this, Doc?"

"Perfectly." He smiled patiently. "We wanted to find out the secret of Haikon, right? Well where better to hide a secret than in a labyrinth? Anyway," he cast a moody glance back towards his ship, "the TARDIS isn't going anywhere for a while. We might as well try to find out what's going on. It's the only way we'll get off this planet." He flashed Nyssa an engaging smile. "Right, Nyssa?"

"Er, yes." She shrugged at Tegan, feeling torn between the two sides. Privately she was uneasy about the prospect of going into a maze; especially given the Doctor's notorious sense of direction. He was right about the TARDIS however.

"Good, then we're settled." Looking much like a small child about to embark on a wonderful adventure, the Doctor turned back to Kirri and Tahl. "Shall we be off?"

"Certainly." Kirri consulted a small, hand-held data pad. "According to what little information we have, it's this way." She began to walk towards the valley, with the Doctor at her side. Odd figure though he was, she found it strangely reassuring to have him there. Behind them Tegan and Nyssa exchanged a look of resignation, before following on. Tahl brought up the rear, his eyes scanning the horizons. The silence was unnerving. It suggested that there was something sinister about this place. If the inhabitants wanted no part of the Maze, he wasn't altogether sure that he did either; but his planet depended on him, and that worried him even further. It wasn't just his life, and the life of his fiancée, resting on this mission.


They walked for several hours, first sliding down the rocky slope of the valley, and then heading across the heat dried floor. Even the Doctor was beginning to show signs of fatigue when finally they reached a large cave, sunk into a huge wall of rock. Kirri paused at the entrance, looking up at the design carved in the stone above the cave.

"This is it," she announced, putting her data pad away. "The Maze. Last chance to turn back."

"Is it really as dangerous as you said?" Tegan asked. Kirri shrugged.

"Must be. Only one in a hundred people who come here make it back." She glanced over at the Doctor. "Are you sure about this? Your friends here--"

"--Are quite up to the challenge, thankyou." Striding into the cave, Tegan looked about. "There's a tunnel here. Just one, but it looks as though it branches off pretty soon."

"Really?" His interest already aroused, the Doctor followed her in, wandering towards the point where the tunnel broke up. Five separate passages led into the darkness and he walked down one of them, vanishing from sight. "Interesting. The walls look man-made."

"Doctor!" Worried at his sudden disappearance, Tegan called to him, glancing back as the others came to join her. The Time Lord reappeared almost immediately, brushing cobwebs from his coat.

"What?" he asked, unaffected by her concern. He grinned at the others. "Pick a tunnel," he told them, turning to gesture somewhat grandly at the five branches.

"Any suggestions?" Kirri asked Tahl. Her fiancée shrugged, looking at a distinct loss.

"The middle one?" he offered. Nyssa shook her head.

"We should head downwards," she told them, walking towards a passage which had a clear slope. "If this maze is as old as the rock formations suggest, the ground is sure to have risen around it over the years. I would imagine that the centre of the labyrinth would be some way underground."

"Nyssa, you're a genius!" His enthusiasm refuelled, the Doctor stalked into the indicated passage and looked around. Gallifreyan night vision tended to be considerably better than that of most humanoids, but even so he found himself squinting into the darkness. "Did anybody think to bring a torch?"

"I have one somewhere." Kirri followed him, digging into the utility pouch on her belt. At the same time, the Doctor dived into one of his cavernous pockets, eventually coming up with a small pocket torch. He vaguely remembered acquiring it on Earth, some time in the seventies. Ever since he had replaced both the bulb and the power supply with those of Gallifreyan design, it had become quite efficient.

"This should do the trick." He clicked it on, shining the light onto Kirri, and illuminating her utility pouch. The light allowed her to find her own torch, and she dug it out.

"Here. Shall we be off?"

"Why not." Glancing about, Tahl took her hand. "Would you like me to lead the way?"

"No need." Already striding ahead, the Doctor began to leave them behind. "Keep up!" He vanished around a bend, and Tegan and Nyssa hurried after him, determined not to let him out of their sight. There was no telling where he would wander off to. Kirri and Tahl exchanged a look of amusement, the first moments of renewed spirit that they had enjoyed since leaving their homeworld. All the same, it was with a feeling of encroaching dread that they left the surface behind them.


Times passed with little indication of its presence. Tegan's watch, which she still wore on her arm, was hidden by the darkness, and no longer kept good time anyway. It had been several years since she had last paid it any serious attention. Ignoring all but the bright light ahead, which showed her where the Doctor was, she concentrated on walking. Strange shadows danced in the corners of her eyes, and a non-existent wind seemed to be whispering in her ears. She thought she heard a voice calling her name, but shut it out. There could be nothing out there that knew who she was.

Beside Tegan, Nyssa closed her eyes, stumbling on the rocky ground. Her head hurt, and she too could hear voices; persistent, angry voices, which clamoured inside her skull. Her fingers scraped the wall of the tunnel as she walked along, trying to anchor herself to reality; but when she opened her eyes, all that she could see was Traken, and the faces of all of the people who had died there. Thousands of them stretched out before her, their faces merging into one; that of her father. She stumbled again, and this time was unable to keep her balance.

"Doctor!" Tegan's voice cut through the Time Lord's concentration, and he turned around, seeing his human companion crouched over the fallen figure of Nyssa. He ran back, dropping to his knees beside the small figure, and helping her to sit up.

"I'm okay." Looking faintly embarrassed, she tried to stand, but he held her down. "Really Doctor. I'm fine."

"No you're not." He glanced up at Kirri and Tahl as they appeared, and flashed his torch up at them. "How are you two? Tegan?"

"I'm fine." The Australian glanced about suddenly, as though she had heard something. Kirri and Tahl shrugged.

"We're fine," Tahl said, speaking for them both. "What's wrong with Nyssa? We heard Tegan call."

"Some kind of psychic assault." The Time Lord stood up, leaning against the wall and folding his arms. "I've been hearing strange things; seeing things too. Maybe you're not as receptive as we are." He looked at Tegan. "What about you?"

"I heard something." She shrugged. "I thought it was just the wind. There was something whispering, telling me that I should go back. Then it sounded angry."

"That's it." Nyssa shuddered. "Then I saw Traken, and everybody... They were all coming towards me."

"It's alright, Nyssa." The Doctor smiled down at her briefly. "I had a similar experience. It was some kind of hallucination."

"Caused by the same power that disrupted the TARDIS?" Tegan asked. The Doctor shrugged.

"Possibly. It's more likely that it's something to do with the Maze itself though; a part of the challenge, that makes this place so dangerous." He straightened up, and helped Nyssa to her feet. "You two had better get back to the TARDIS, and wait for me there."

"No fear, Doc." There was rebellion in Tegan's eyes. "I'm staying with you. If you can ignore hallucinations, so can we. Right Nyssa?"

"Right." The younger girl still looked shaken, but the defiance was clear in her face. She began to walk down the passage with Tegan. The Doctor sighed. Even though stubbornness was one of his strongest character traits, it still frustrated him when he faced it in others. He hurried after them, ignoring Kirri and Tahl. The couple looked at each other, each recognising the worry on the other's face. They had expected the danger to be from little other than the twisting passages of the Maze itself. Attacks were something completely different.

"Come on." Determined not to allow the strange young man and his two even younger associates to leave her behind, Kirri went after them. Left alone in sudden darkness, Tahl took a deep breath and followed her. Behind him, in the darkness, a pair of red eyes glowed.


They walked on in silence, keeping close together now that they had begun to see what they were facing. The strange whisperings and images did not return, which made Nyssa feel a little better; but for Tahl and Kirri, who had not experienced anything anyway, there was little reason to celebrate. They still felt uneasy, and jumped at every sound.

Back in the lead, the Doctor flashed his torch about, sometimes seeming to spend more time gazing at the roof of the tunnel and at the walls, than he did looking at the way ahead. Tegan, who could see nothing at all that was of interest in the rocks which surrounded them, frowned at him, intrigued as ever by the strange things that seemed to hold his attention.

"Doc..." she said finally, bemused by his antics. "It's just rock."

"Nothing is ever just anything, Tegan," he admonished patiently. She rolled her eyes, having heard those words often during her relationship with the infuriating Time Lord.

"Yeah, I know." She sighed. "So what's special about these rocks? Not rocky enough?"

He raised his eyebrows. "Actually, I was intrigued by the lack of fossilised lifeforms. Judging by the formations, these rocks have been here for millions of years; possibly billions. They're older than anything we saw on the way down the hill earlier."

"So?" Tegan asked, feeling lost. Nyssa came forward, peering at the rocks with the same look of interest as the Doctor.

"So if the rocks are that old, they should have some evidence of fossils inside them." The girl frowned. "Remember those fossils we saw in the caves on Earth recently; when we met the Cybermen."

"Dinosaurs." Tegan shrugged. "Maybe they didn't have any here."

"All life begins somewhere." The Doctor shone the torch about, illuminating rocks, and revealing seemingly endless stretches of uniform grey stone. "It's as if this rock all came into being at the same time, with no period of development."

"As if the Maze has been here as long as the planet." Kirri had appeared beside them, and shone her own torch about, the beam crossing with the Doctor's and joining it in an odd dance. "That's what the stories say. Legend has it that the planet grew around the Maze."

"Interesting." Running his hand along the wall, the Doctor wandered ahead again, his sudden departure stealing much of the light from the group left behind. They stood together, clustered around Kirri's torch beam, gazing after the tall figure. Tegan's eyes strayed back, to the passage they had come from, and she caught a glimpse of some odd shadow, moving behind them. She frowned.

"What is it Tegan?" askd Tahl, seeing the look on her face. She stared up at him for a moment, and then shrugged.

"Probably nothing. You know what it's like in the dark."

"Yeah." He smiled, and they began to move on again, but in the gloom behind them the shadows moved again, and a huge worm-like creature slid out of the darkness. It reared up, stretching its body to reach the roof, and opened a huge, spherical mouth lined with teeth. As the group vanished into the distance it began to follow them, its massive body moving soundlessly, and the light from its glowing eyes illuminating its pale, grey skin. Its mouth stretched wider, revealing row after row of sharp, triangular teeth.


The group halted at a crossroads, where the passage split off into ten different ways. Five of them led downwards, the other five either remaining level, or tapering upwards. The Doctor wandered a short way down each one, his torch light vanishing into obscurity on each occasion, and making Tegan worry for his safety. Ever since seeing the shadows move, she had been unable to shake the feeling that they were being watched; or maybe even followed. She glanced about, looking for the unseen observer, and wishing that the Doctor would stop disappearing. He materialised in the mouth of a tunnel behind her, causing her to jump violently, and she glared at him.

"Sorry." There was not so much as a note of contrition in his eyes, and she scowled, wishing that she could make him jump like that. She folded her arms defiantly.

"So which way do we go?" she asked. Tahl smiled without humour.

"Back the way we came," he suggested. Kirri smiled back at him.

"No deal, hero. Anyway, somehow I don't think that's part of the deal."

"Definitely not." The Doctor looked past them all, back into the gloom which marked their passing. "I'm afraid we wouldn't get very far if we tried going that way."

"Then we are being followed!" Tegan spun around, gazing back into the darkness, but could see nothing. "I was kind of hoping I was imagining it."

"Well you're not." He smiled, one of his gentle smiles which suggested that he had the situation perfectly under control; although usually the reverse was true. "Its been keeping its distance. I don't think it likes the light. As long as we keep the torches going, we should be fine."

"Oh great." Kirri pulled a gun from her belt and waved it around. "If you see anything, Doctor; shout."

"Certainly not!" He looked horrified by her suggestion. "We're intruders here. Whatever is back there probably has more right to be here than we do." He eyed her weapon sourly. "And that certainly won't be necessary."

"I wish I shared your confidence." She holstered the gun nonetheless. "So which direction do we take? Or is this where we part company?"

"We could split up," Nyssa suggested. "We could make up two teams, and each go a short way down a tunnel, just to see what the way ahead is like. We could stay within shouting distance."

"No. We stick together." The Doctor sounded adamant, but Kirri, who had been beginning to feel surplus to requirement, stepped forward. She had lost her authority somewhere along the line, and it annoyed her that this weird man, in his weird clothes, should have taken the lead in the expedition after appearing from nowhere. She had a sudden suspicion, made stronger by his insistence that she put away her gun, that the dangers of the Maze began before entry. Maybe there were other threats, which followed you in, and tried to lead astray.

"No." She squared her shoulders. "We split up. One of us will wait here, at the crossroads, and the other four will split up and check out the tunnels one by one. If the person staying here keeps one of the torches, that should keep our shadow at bay, and stop it from preventing us coming back here."

"Alright." Accepting that it seemed an effective plan, the Doctor nodded slowly. "I'll stay here." He looked back up the passage, towards the strange shape which was following them. It was out of sight, as always, but he knew that it was there.

"No deal. You and me will take one passage, Tahl and one of your friends can take the other." Kirri stepped forward, the look on her face one of determination. Now that she had recovered the hand of authority, she was determined not to give it up again. She was also determined not to let the Doctor out of her sight. She did not understand the strange feelings of paranoia which were creeping up inside her, but fear was something that she understood. She knew how to deal with it, and deal with it she would.

"I'm not leaving one of them behind here." Angry, the Doctor also stepped forward, but Nyssa interceded, seeing something in his expression which she was determined not to allow to grow. She held his arm, trying to inject a little sense back into the situation. There was something in Kirri's eyes that she had not seen before, and she was sure that it had something to do with the Maze. It was playing its tricks on them again.

"I'll stay here, Doctor," she told him. "It'll be okay."

"No, you should go." It was Tegan's turn to make a suggestion. "You can see things that even the Doctor can't. You should be the one to go down the tunnel. I'll stay here and keep watch."

"Fine." Kirri handed over her torch, and headed towards the nearest tunnel entrance. "Come along, Doctor."

The Time Lord hesitated. He hated to leave Tegan here, and he was equally unhappy about allowing Nyssa to go off into one of the tunnels with only a stranger to protect her. He had liked Tahl and Kirri at first glance; but now he was seeing things in their eyes that he no longer liked the look of.

"It'll be alright, Doc," Tegan urged. She was not sure what had caused the sudden animosity that was now so prevalent, but she had no wish for it to get any worse. He nodded slowly, and turned away to follow Kirri. Tahl produced his own torch, and plunged into the nearest tunnel, Nyssa close behind. Soon there was nothing at the fork but silence, and Tegan lowered herself down to sit on the rocky floor of the tunnel. Her torch seemed very pale, without the light of the Doctor's torch to bolster it. She shivered, and tried not to hear the faint scratching sounds that she could suddenly no longer ignore.


Nyssa and Tahl walked on together, neither feeling much like speech. The events back at the crossroads seemed to have built a barrier between them, and put them on opposing sides. Tahl shivered, despite the heat which warmed this section of the tunnel. He felt more afraid than he had done in years, and he could not shake the feeling that something was very wrong. Distrust burned in his mind, telling him that nothing was as it should be, and he saw menace in every twist and turn of the passageway. Nyssa had come with him to kill him, he was sure of it now. He could see it in her eyes when she looked at him; could see that she was in league with the Maze. He wiped his brow, trying to understand his sudden feelings of abject fear. He hadn't been this scared since the early days of the war on his home planet. He had thought that he had seen too much there ever to be afraid again. Terror traced its cold path up his spine, and he stopped, turning back to Nyssa. She looked up at his white face, and took a step back.

"Why are you following me?" he asked her, his voice shaking. "Why don't you just go away?"

"We're supposed to stick together." She took a step forward, but he drew his gun and pointed it at her, anger mingling with the paranoia in his eyes.

"Keep back. I'll shoot you, I swear it." He wiped at his face again with a shaky hand. "You and the Doctor, and that other girl. You think you're so clever, don't you? You think you can lead us down to the centre of the planet, so that we can never get out again. Well we're on to you. We know what you are. We know you're not real."

"Tahl..." Keeping her voice calm, she took another step forward, but fear came from his mouth in one loud, indistinct cry. He stumbled backwards, firing at her with a jerking, unsteady hand. The shot went wild and he turned around, running down the tunnel away from her.

"Tahl!" Afraid for him, and for herself now that the light was gone, Nyssa ran after him. She could see nothing. Almost immediately the tunnel split off into two ways. She turned around to go back, and saw red eyes gleaming in the darkness behind her. She gasped. The eyes began to move closer, and in sudden fear she chose one of the tunnels and began to run again. She heard slithering noises following her down the passage, and she began to run faster. She no longer cared where she ended up. She just had to get away from those burning red eyes.

With a suddenness that made her jerk to a halt Nyssa rounded a corner, finding herself in a large cavern. Flaming torches burned in brackets on the walls, lighting the whole room. She wandered further in, seeing carvings on the cavern wall, and what looked like paintings on the roof. The floor was smooth and even, and there was an atmosphere of homeliness and warmth. She walked to the far end of the cavern, and saw that the tunnel carried on again out of the other end. Lights burned from somewhere inside the walls. She smiled. The passage seemed almost pretty, with the lights guiding the way, and casting complicated shadows amongst the rocks. She glanced back. No longer could she see the eyes, and no longer could she hear the slithering sounds of pursuit. She breathed a sigh of relief, and began to walk on down the tunnel, trying to ignore the faint suspicion that told her she was going just where something wanted her to go.


Kirri followed the Doctor down the tunnel, trying to understand how she could suddenly have come to dislike him so much. She had been pleased to see him at first; happy to see that there was somebody on this feared planet who could give her a friendly welcome. His smile had been charming, his manners delightful, and his face trustworthy and instantly likeable. So why did she now feel as though he were her worst nightmare? She stared at his back, wondering if it had been such a good idea to come here alone with him. He might take this to be the perfect opportunity to finish her off, and make sure that she never made it to the centre of the Maze. She cursed herself for ever having trusted him, and fingered the gun at her belt. At least she had something to use against him; although she couldn't help thinking that if he was some creation of the Maze, he would not be affected by any weapon of hers.

"Do you hear that?" Slowing to a halt, the Doctor gazed around.

"Hear what?" she asked him, suspicion showing in her voice. He frowned at her, confused and concerned by the sudden change he had seen in her.

"I thought I heard a shout. It sounded like Tahl."

"Nice try, Doctor." Angry now, she drew her gun. "Let's just keep on walking, shall we?"

"Are you mad?" He stared at the gun, and then back at her. "I'm your friend. I want to make it to the centre as much as you do. It's likely to be the only way I can ever make it off this planet."

"I was a fool to have believed you in the first place. I'm not going to believe you now." She waved the gun slightly. "Now let's get going."

"Kirri listen to me." He stepped towards her, keeping his voice calm and gentle. "It's the Maze talking. It's inside you, making you think this way. Like the voices that we heard earlier on, like the thing we heard following us. It's all a part of the trick to make you fail in your quest. Think!"

"Shut up, Doctor." She stepped towards him, until the gun was no more than an inch from his chest. "Turn around and start walking. We're going to see where this tunnel leads, and then we're going back to report to the others."

"If they're still there." He put out a hand towards her but she moved back, eyes wide and angry.

"Kirri, please." She fired the gun at his feet, and he jumped.

"Enough, Doctor. Move." Suddenly she turned her head, staring past him, further down the tunnel. "What was that?"

"What was what?" He glanced back, but could hear nothing.

"A voice. I heard a voice. Tahl's voice." She glared at him. "He's down here, isn't he? Your friend led him down here and left him, like you were planning to leave me."

"Don't be a fool, Kirri." His voice was strained with fatigue. "Why would I want to--"

"Save it." She pushed past him, and before he could stop her, she began to run down the tunnel. Worried, he gave chase.

"Kirri!" He called, but already she had vanished. He stopped at a sudden forking of the passage and sighed, wondering whether he should make his way back through the tunnel to Tegan, and then try to find Nyssa and Tahl. If the young man had been affected as strongly as his fiancée, Nyssa could be in great danger.

"Doctor!" The voice came from one of the tunnels in the fork, and he walked a little way down it, trying to hear better.

"Nyssa?" Worried by the fear in the voice, he quickened his step. "Nyssa is that you?"

"Help me Doctor." There was real panic in the voice of his young companion, and he thought he heard gunshots from somewhere nearby. He broke into a run, heading towards the voice, and not noticing that it was getting further and further away with every step that he took.


Alone in the dark, Tegan painted pictures on the walls with her torch beam, and tried to sing songs to herself to keep from hearing whatever was waiting in the tunnel behind her. She tried to recall the songs that had been in the charts when she had left Earth, but all that she could remember were a few disjointed bars. The words would not come. She closed her eyes, trying to concentrate, but suddenly found that she could not even remember what year it had been when she had left. She thought it was 1978, but then a voice in her head told her that it had been 1984. Images of George Orwell confused her, and she shook her head. Why was it all so mixed up?

"Pull yourself together, Jovanka," she mumbled, startled by the sudden sound of her own voice. She stood up and began to pace, trying to control herself. The others would be back soon, she told herself, trying to believe it. She couldn't seem to shake the feeling that they wouldn't be back; that they were never coming back; but when she tried to convince herself otherwise, she suddenly found that she could no longer see their faces in her mind. Nyssa had become Aunt Vanessa, and memories of the Doctor mingled in her mind with thoughts of the Master. She shivered, acutely aware of the cold wind that was blowing through the tunnel. That was ridiculous, she told herself. There could be no cold wind where there was no wind at all. As if in answer, the torch in her hand flickered and went out.

Plunged into darkness, Tegan stood very still, listening to the scratching sounds that she had been trying to shut out for so long. She stared back up the tunnel, and saw a pair of gleaming red eyes staring back at her. She stumbled and nearly fell, and the eyes came closer. Filled with a sudden panic, she ran for her life.


The Doctor wandered onwards down the tunnel, no longer listening for Nyssa's voice. The sounds had ceased, and he walked on in silence, staring about at the walls. Suddenly they had become smooth and curved, and there were lights at regular intervals along the way. He put his torch away and ran his hand along the wall. It felt almost like glass, it was so smooth. It was dry and warm, and not at all tunnel-like. Tunnels were dark, damp, and usually very cold. This one was almost homely. He rounded a corner, arriving in a large chamber decorated by many years' growth of stalactites and stalagmites. The effect was stunning. He wandered over to them, running his hands over their long, thin shapes. They felt cold to the touch, and touching them made him feel cold too. He suppressed a shiver, and glanced about at the cavern. All at once it seemed darker, and he could feel an unpleasant wind about his shoulders. Shapes were moving in the shadows, and his eyes lingered on them, trying to make sense out of them. They danced about, trying and failing to form recognisable figures. He stepped forward; and all at once the shadows were gone, and the walls were gone, and he was standing on a mountainside in the open air, with a cold wind making his coat billow and dance. He blinked, staring up at the crimson sky, and down at the view which stretched out below him. He could see lights and buildings and spires, and high walls which encircled a city. His city. He stared down at it, recognising every curve of the buildings, every inch of the wall, knowing every light and seeing the faces of every Gallifreyan who lived in every house.

"Gallifrey..." he breathed softly, unable to tear his eyes away from the sights. Fear ran through him in strange circles, confusing his mind. He couldn't be here. This couldn't be Gallifrey; and yet with every second that he stared down at the city, he believed it more and more. He turned and began to walk away from the city, trying to concentrate on the tunnels that he knew had to be there. He could no longer see them in his mind, and could no longer picture the stalactites and the stalagmites; or even remember what Tegan and Nyssa looked like. With every step that he tried to take back to reality, his goal slipped further and further from his thoughts. He was on Gallifrey, and he believed it as much as if it were real.


Nyssa rounded a corner, and came face to face with Tegan, who was coming the other way. They froze, staring at each other with large, frightened eyes; then suddenly hugged each other, relief taking over from their fear. Tegan managed to laugh, hoping that she had not looked as afraid as Nyssa had done when they had collided.

"Are you alright?" she asked. Nyssa nodded.

"There was something following me, but when I reached the light it stopped." She looked deep into Tegan's eyes. "Are you alright?"

The Australian shuddered. "I am now." She sat down on an outcrop of rock, and let out a long, shaky breath. "It was pretty weird. My torch went out, and all of a sudden there was this thing looking at me."

"With red eyes. There was one following me too." Nyssa smiled faintly. "I could hear this slithering noise, like a snake."

"Me too." Tegan glanced back the way that her friend had come. "I guess that rules out going back that way; and we can't go back from where I've come, because there's something there too."

"Which leaves only one way." They both looked at the tunnel which led off into the distance from the point where they had met. Decided, they began to make their way down it, heartened by the lights which burned there, but uneasy about the silence and the sensation of solitude. Even together they felt alone.

"I wonder where the others are?" Nyssa asked.

"Others?" Tegan frowned, unable to recall just who the others were.

"Yes." Nyssa frowned too. "Kirri, wasn't it? And - and--"

"Somebody else." Tegan took a deep breath. "There was a man, and a woman, and--" She shook her head. "I'm sure there's somebody else."

"But who?" Nyssa stared ahead, watching pictures fly unbidden before her eyes. "Adric?"

"No, not Adric. Adric is..." Tegan was sure that she should remember what had happened to Adric, but she wasn't even completely sure that she remembered who he was. An image of a gold star came into her mind, but that was all that she could be sure of. "Could it be Aunt Vanessa?"

"No." Nyssa did recall an Aunt Vanessa, and knew that she was important somehow. She had something to do with entropy, and the man who was like the Doctor, but wasn't. That struck a chord. "The Doctor?" she asked, her voice confused. "Are we looking for the Doctor?"

"Doctor?" Tegan began to giggle. "What would a doctor be doing down here?"

Nyssa began to laugh as well. The idea did seem absurd. She could see a blue box in her mind, which brought strange thoughts to her of home. That was silly too. How could a blue box be home? Home was Traken. She rubbed her eyes and glanced back at Tegan, hoping that the close proximity of her friend would give her strength. The confusion did not dissipate; instead it grew stronger still. She hunched her shoulders, wishing that she had worn warmer clothes, and tried to concentrate on the way ahead. There was somebody else, she was sure of it. Somebody else that she was supposed to be trying to find. Somebody special, who meant a lot to her.


Tahl wandered on down long, endless corridors, trying to remember how he had come to be separated from Nyssa. He clearly remembered going off with her down one of the tunnels, whilst Kirri and the Doctor had gone down another tunnel together. He remembered being suddenly afraid, but he couldn't remember why. All that he was sure of was that he was alone now, and very, very lost.

"Which way...?" Standing at a crossroads, Tahl turned in a circle, staring at each of the passages in turn, trying to decide. It was quite possible that any one of the routes he chose would be dead ends; and they had already decided that it was not possible to retrace your steps in this place. He wondered what exactly it had been that was following them, and wondered if there were any others like it. He didn't doubt that for a moment. He was not alone in this tunnel now. He could hear something breathing; could feel the close presence of something.

"Downwards." He remembered Nyssa saying something about always heading down, and he chose his pathway immediately, running on down a long, sloping tunnel. It grew lighter as he went further down, which confused him. Soon he was in a large cavern, with torches on the walls. He wandered further in, staring about in wonder at the carvings on the walls, and the rough paintings on the ceilings. It felt like some primitive art gallery had been constructed here, where few eyes would ever get to look upon it.

"Tahl!" Spinning on his heel, he saw Kirri running towards him, her gun in her hand and her clothing torn. She collapsed into his arms, gasping for breath, and then pulled away, straightening up as though denying that the momentary display of weakness had ever occurred.

"What happened to you?" He glanced her over, seeing the look of panic that still lingered in her eyes. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I think so." She shivered. "I feel as if I've been running all night."

"You could well have been. It's almost as if Time moves differently in here." He guided her over to a rocky outcrop so that she could sit down, but she refused, beginning instead to pace restlessly.

"I remember us splitting up," she said finally, her voice filled with frustration. "At least, I think I do. It's all a little vague. I remember going off down one of the tunnels with the Doctor, and then all of a sudden I was on my own, and I had no idea where I was." She held up her gun. "There are several charges missing. I think I shot the Doctor."

"Shot him?" Tahl stared at her, horror-stricken. The weird young man had been the only one of them to remain reasonably on top of the situation in the Maze, and he hated to think that they might be without him permanently now. "You can't blame yourself. It's the Maze. It's doing things to our minds."

"I know." She nodded. "I heard you, but I think it was just an hallucination. I think that might have been why I ran off, but I can't remember. I guess that's a trick of the Maze too."

"Sure to be." He took her hand and led her over to the far side of the cavern. "Come on I think we've waited here long enough, don't you?"

"Yes." She nodded. "We'd better be going on again. The others might still be down here."

"If they're still alive." Tahl was beginning to see why so few people made it out of the Maze alive. If the hallucinations didn't send them crazy, there were the strange creatures that lurked in the tunnels. He wasn't sure that he could take it himself for much longer. Hand in hand he and Kirri went down the tunnel, all too aware that the slithering noise behind them was getting louder. Whatever was coming no longer seemed to be afraid of the light.


Tegan and Nyssa wandered on together, unsure of the time, and unaware in which direction they were travelling. The wall torches lit their way, and they followed the lights rather than planning their path as they had done before. Their memories were beginning to clear, but the confusion still clung to them, and so did the fear.

Tegan, her sixth sense beginning to warn her of danger, looked back over her shoulder, and saw a pair of red eyes glowing in the passage behind her. She could just make out a large, snake-like shape behind the eyes, and thought that she caught a glimpse of a wide, gaping mouth. She gasped, and her hand gripped Nyssa's arm. The younger girl glanced back.

"It's there again," she said, her voice characteristically calm. "It's been following us for ages."

"You've seen it before?" Tegan quickened her pace, not wanting to allow the creature a chance to catch them up. "What is it?"

"I've no idea." Nyssa also hurried along. "I presume it's some sort of carnivorous animal, which feeds on the people who panic when they come in here. They try to get back to the surface, and run into that."

"There must be more than one." Tegan sighed, and clenched her fists. "I hope the Doc's okay."

"Yes." Nyssa smiled. "He's probably waiting at the centre of the labyrinth by now, pacing up and down and wondering why we're taking so long."

"Probably." They hurried on, more anxious than ever to reach their goal, and did not notice at first that the tunnel was widening out into a cavern. It was large, and although it had no paintings or carvings to decorate it, the rock itself seemed to have formed in natural decorations, swirling about in patterns of different colours. At the far end of the tunnel, paused in indecision about which way to take next, were two figures.

"Kirri! Tahl!" Delighted to see them, despite the manner in which she and Vero had parted company, Nyssa ran forwards. The pair turned, relief showing on both their faces.

"Nyssa!" Tahl hugged her briefly, pleased to see that she was alright. "I was worried about you. And I think I owe you an apology."

"Don't be silly." She smiled. "It wasn't your fault." She turned to Kirri. "Is the Doctor with you?"

"No." She lowered her eyes. "From what Tahl has told me, I had an experience similar to his. I ran off, and I'm afraid I left the Doctor behind. I haven't seen him since." She saw the worry on their faces. "I'm sorry, really. I have no idea what happened to him."

"He'll be okay." Assured of the Time Lord's invincibility, despite his remarkable talent for falling into potentially lethal situations, Tegan smiled at them both. "He's sure to be. We have to keep moving though. There's something coming after us."

"You too?" Tahl looked concerned. "There's one after us as well. Possibly more. A big snake thing, with red eyes and loads of teeth."

"That's the one." They all looked back in the directions from which they had come, and heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps. Kirri drew her gun.

"Snakes don't have feet," Nyssa pointed out, but was sure that she did not want to see whatever was coming, whether it was a giant snake or not. As one they stepped forward, Tahl also drawing his gun, standing shoulder to shoulder to face the coming noise. It came to them from a small tunnel, half hidden by an outcrop of rock; soft footfalls scraping gently on the rocky floor of the passage.

"Doctor!" Tegan's cry made them all jump, and the tall, blond man who emerged from the tunnel stared at the Australian girl with wide eyes. He took a step back, a frown etched across his forehead.

"Who are you?" he asked, suspicion in his voice. Tegan stepped towards him, failing to notice his curious manner of greeting.

"Doc! Am I glad to see you. We've been so worried." She stopped short as he backed away, his eyes burning into hers.

"Who are you?" he repeated, this time with a trace of irritation in his tone. "Do I know all you young people?" His eyes narrowed suddenly as his eyes snapped back to Tegan. "And don't call me Doc!"

"I beg your pardon?" She stared at him, unable to think of more to say. Nyssa came to stand beside her.

"He's obviously been hit by some kind of hallucinatory assault. Probably much stronger than before." She moved closer to the Time Lord. "Do you know who you are?"

"My dear girl, don't be absurd." He hooked his thumbs into his lapels, frowning at her. "I am the Doctor." His frown lessened slightly. "You haven't by any chance seen Susan anywhere, have you? Small girl, dark hair. I'm a bit worried about her."

"Susan?" Nyssa glanced back at Tegan, who shrugged. The name meant nothing to her. "Doctor?" she tried again. "I'm Nyssa. Nyssa of Traken, remember? We met there, before your last regeneration, when the Master tried--"

"The Master?" The Doctor stared at her, clarity showing in his eyes for the first time. "What do you know about that good-for-nothing..." His voice trailed off. "Traken, you say? Always meant to go there. There was somebody I wanted to meet, I fancy. Must get around to it someday."

"Oh Doctor." Frustrated, Nyssa turned away, her eyes returning to the passages at the other end of the cavern. From out of two separate tunnels came two large creatures, their snake-like bodies huge and fat, and their wide, spherical mouths ringed with vicious looking teeth. She gave a little squeal, stepping back in fright. Kirri and Tahl turned as one, their weapons drawn again, firing in quick succession. Neither creature flinched.

"Quick! Into the tunnel!" Tahl turned to leave, but stopped when he saw that the Doctor had not moved. "Come on!".

"Why? I rather like it here. It's cool, and there's a nice view." The Doctor looked around, as though searching for a place to sit. His movements had become slow, Tegan noticed, almost as if he had become an old man in all but looks. His face was still young, his frame still that of a sportsman, and yet he seemed to think that he was old and frail.

"Doctor!" She called, a little desperately. He glared at her. "The snakes!"

"I like snakes." He frowned, and looked back at her. "What snakes?"

"Those ones!" Aware that he was seeing something other than the sights that she could see, she grabbed his arm and pulled. He resisted, but not nearly enough. It was almost as though he no longer thought that he was strong enough to stand up to her. In his usual frame of mind he was much stronger than she was.

The Doctor, standing on the hills above the Gallifreyan city where he had grown up, could hear something in the back of his mind calling for his attention. He frowned, trying to decide if he really did know these four people, or if they were lying to him. He was sure that there should not be any Australians on Gallifrey, but sometimes regeneration did strange things to Time Lords. He had once met one that spoke exactly like an Irishman. The deep trauma of regeneration could bring long-buried memories to the forefront of the brain, and build a whole new personality around them. All the same, he was sure that he did not want to go with these people now. They were calling to him, and dragging him to the edge of the cliff which looked down onto the city. He wanted to go in the other direction, and yet these people were telling him that there were snakes there. He looked, but could see nothing except grass and flowers, and the odd rock. Even if there were snakes there he didn't mind. He liked snakes. They were powerful, beautiful creatures, who spoke with soft voices.

"Come on Doctor!" The Australian sounded deeply anxious, but he closed his mind to her pleading. What did he care for her fears? She was a stranger. He was sure that he could hear Susan calling him, but these people were trying to stop him from going to her. He struggled, pulling free and digging his hands into his pockets in rebellion. He would not be pushed around by these young whippersnappers. As bad as Chesterton, always trying to tell him what to do, believing that they knew best because they were young and strong.

"Doctor please!" Tegan tried to tug on his arm, but could not make him move. Stubbornness had suddenly increased his strength. The snakes were now no more than a few feet away, and Kirri and Tahl were pulling at her, trying to make her come with them, and leave the Doctor behind. She resisted, but knew that she could not keep it up for long. Beside her Nyssa was shouting too, trying to get through to the Time Lord, trying to convince him of the imminent danger that he could not see.

Still on the hillside, the Doctor dug his hands deeper into his pockets, trying to shut out the yells of the two young women, and of the two others who were trying to tell them to leave him. Something in his pocket pressed into his hand, hurting him. It was jagged and sharp, and made of something hard and metallic. He frowned, trying to feel its shape with his fingers, and tell what it was. It dug into his hand again, hurting him more, and he pulled his hand free, dragging the object with it. He stared at it in his palm, seeing a small, broken object with a gold edge, and several points that might once have formed the basic shape of a star...

"Adric." The word came to him very clearly, as he stood on the hillside. The object was a badge, and it belonged to Adric. He had won it for mathematical excellence. He held the object out to the two girls, and smiled at them. "Adric," he said again, and then it all came crashing back. The hillside was gone, the years of memories came flooding back in their place. He could see rocks instead of flowers, and tunnels instead of the city; and behind him, no more than three feet away, he could see two huge snakes, their heads towering above him as they prepared to strike.

"Run!" Throwing himself forward, he pushed Tegan and Nyssa ahead of him, down the nearest tunnel. Kirri and Tahl already stood there, their eyes widened in disbelief at the narrow escape of their confederates. The five of them ran together down the tunnel, tripping on the rough ground and bumping into each other in the sudden darkness. Behind them they heard the breathing of the snakes getting closer and closer; and then suddenly they had rounded a corner, and the world was lit up again, and they were in another cavern. It was larger than the last the ceiling far above their heads. The walls were decorated with patterns and paintings, and at its centre was a large, wooden chair. An old man sat there, staring at them through bright, beady eyes. He smiled.

"Quickly!" Kirri ran towards him, staring back at the tunnel. "The snakes--"

"They won't touch you here." The man stood up, his face split into a smile. He had a powerful build despite his years, and wore a long robe adorned with stars and crescent moons. "This is my place. I am Enigma."

"This is the centre." The Doctor looked about, smiling at the old man as though they were old friends. "You're the one that answers the questions."

"Yes, Doctor." The old man stepped forward, taking the Doctor's hands and shaking them. "And you are the Time Lord. I have waited for you for a long, long time."

"You brought the TARDIS here." Tegan walked over, staring at the old man. He had clear, blue eyes, filled with knowledge and intelligence, and a smile that seemed to contain a little of every laugh in the universe. "Who are you?"

"I am Enigma." He smiled again. "And you are Tegan. You did well to get this far; all of you did. The Maze plays many tricks, and few make it here. I'm glad you're all alright."

"How did you know-?" Tegan shook her head, seeing a grin on the Doctor's face that mirrored Enigma's own. She hated moments like this, when everybody else's brain seemed to be operating at a higher speed than her own. It was most off-putting.

"I will release your TARDIS," Enigma said, wandering back to his chair and sitting down again. "I only wanted to talk to you. I've waited a long time for one of you to come within range."

"One of us?" The Doctor frowned. "You mean a Time Lord?"

"I do. A powerful race, guardians of Time, protectors of the Doctrine of Enlightenment." Enigma smiled, as though the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders. "And those who know." He nodded slowly. "I saw your coming many, many millennia ago. I've waited a long time." He sighed happily. "But where are my manners? You two, Stahk and Vero. Your ship now contains enough food concentrate to keep your planet safe for a lunar period, and your computer carries the co-ordinates of an uninhabited planet rich in plant life. Just remember that this is the short term answer to your problem. The long term answer is to make sure that another war doesn't happen. I won't help you if it does."

"How did you know about that?" Kirri's eyes narrowed. "Who are you, and what is this place?"

"This place is my Maze." Enigma leaned back in his chair, closing his eyes briefly. "I have my powers, and I use them when I can."

"You read minds," the Doctor observed. Enigma nodded, smiling at him like a proud father.

"I do. Within limits. It amuses my jailer to keep me where I can be reached by a precious few. It amuses him to allow me to help only a tiny fraction of those I desire to help. I can only read minds when I can see the person involved. It amuses him to restrict me so." He sighed, and his breath shook slightly. "I'm old. That amuses him too."

"Your jailer?" Nyssa wandered closer, staring up into the eyes of the old man. She could see things there which triggered something inside her. She had never truly understood the things that her mind sometimes allowed her to see, but this time she saw it clearly. "You've been here a long time. A very long time."

"Yes." He sighed and nodded. "A very long time. The worlds go by out side, but I don't get to see it. Worlds die, and I stay here."

"Then the Maze really was here before the planet." Nyssa stared up at him, amazed by this man's presence. "But that would make you..."

"Very, very old." Enigma laughed. "Old enough." He turned back to the Doctor. "But the Time Lord is here now. I have waited for you for a long, long time."

"So you said." Feeling oddly suspicious, despite his instinctive liking of this old man, the Doctor climbed the steps to the large wooden chair, and stood beside Enigma. "What do I have to do with this?"

"I don't know." Enigma smiled weakly. "I only know what I saw, in the last moments of my freedom. I saw the Time Lords, and I saw their position of power. I saw the threat that it posed to my jailer, and the powers they had, that came so close to threatening his own. I saw that they would mean something. He made this place inaccessible to them, but I managed to override that. It's taken time, to build up the power that I needed. I stole it from the star that fuels this planet. And then when your TARDIS came into range, I brought it here. You had to be here. It's important. My freedom draws near."

"I'd like to know how." It was an unpleasant feeling to have been led somewhere, and given no choice in the matter. The Doctor stared down at Enigma, trying to understand the old man. His powers were undeniable, he had to have been speaking the truth about being a mind reader; but why would anyone incarcerate him in a labyrinth, leaving him locked in a secret world where a select few were allowed to come to have their questions answered? Why allow him almost limitless life, and then leave him here, in this rocky prison? Enigma smiled up at him, obviously hearing the thoughts.

"Revenge," he said sadly. "I foiled his plans once too often. Stopped him, helped others against him. It amuses him to have people struggle to come here, and to have so many die in the attempt. It amuses him to see the pain it causes me, to see so many of them wandering lost in these tunnels." He shook his head. "Do you know the secret of my Maze, Doctor? The secret is, that there is no secret. All of the passages lead here eventually. Whichever way you start out in, you'll end up here; but only if you make it past the obstacles. The labyrinth isn't in the tunnels; it's in your mind." He sighed again. "And now I'm old, and tired, but I can't die because it amuses him to watch me here. Getting older, getting slower, century by century, millennia by millennia. Waiting here since this universe was just a spark of the last dying breath of my own."

"But who is he?" Tegan asked. Enigma stared down at her.

"He is the shadows you saw on the walls as you walked here," he said slowly. "He is the darkness that hid around every corner, and the sickness you felt in your minds. He is one who lives for darkness and madness and hatred and sorrow."

"Charming guy." Tegan flashed him a grin, and Enigma smiled back, apparently delighted by her comment.

"And he's here somewhere?" Kirri glanced around, as if expecting an apparition to emerge from the walls at any moment. Enigma nodded.

"He is undoubtedly here somewhere, in spirit if not in mind. I fear he will make himself known to us soon."

"Then we'd better leave." Tegan glanced about. "Which is the way out of here?"

"The way out is the way in, but all paths you have already taken will be blocked by the tunnel worms. I will transport you out, when we have had a chance to talk." The old man stood up, leaning on the Doctor slightly for support. "I have to--" He broke off, staring past the group to the tunnels which led into the cavern. The Doctor followed his gaze, and saw one of the giant snakes in the mouth of each tunnel, crawling closer and closer.

"What are you doing here?" Trying to hurry down the steps, Enigma pulled away from the Time Lord's supportive arm. "You are not allowed here." The snakes drew closer still, emerging into the cavern, encircling the group. "You have no right to be here."

The lead snake rose up, lowering its head down so that its body towered above the old man, but its mouth hovered mere inches above his head. Its teeth flashed in the light.

"Get away from him!" Anger showing in his voice, the Doctor ran down the steps, confronting the snake with an expression somewhere between rage and indignation. "You heard what he said."

"Do you really think they understand, Doc?" Somehow finding herself in her usual place at the Time Lord's side, Tegan stared up at the tunnel worm, and wondered why she hadn't stayed back with the others.

"They understand." Glaring at the creature, the Doctor took Enigma's arm and pulled him back. The snake turned its head, staring down at the Time Lord with what looked like a predatory smile. Slowly the other snakes began to move closer, joining the first in a circle around the threesome. Kirri and Tahl raised their guns, the latter holding Nyssa back as she attempted to run to her friends.

"Don't shoot!" Seeing the two with their readied guns, the Doctor raised his voice. He gazed up at the circle of snakes, watching them come closer. They gathered speed as they drew nearer, and above the sound of their relentless slithering, he heard the blast of a gun. The charge passed straight through the lead snake, striking the ground close to Tegan's feet and making her fall backwards.

"I said don't shoot!" Angry, the Doctor dragged Tegan to her feet, and looked up into the eyes of the closest snake. Its eyes were burning with red light, and it still seemed to be smiling. It seemed to grow as the other snakes drew closer and closer, getting faster and faster until it seemed that the three people caught in the middle must certainly be crushed.

With a burst of strength, the Doctor pushed Tegan and Enigma aside, watching as they stumbled away across the floor, out of the circle of snakes and back towards the relative safety of the other three. Tegan stared back, seeing the circle of tunnel worms close completely around the Time Lord; saw his last escape route cut off. She thought that she heard herself call his name; but then the serpents crashed together, and the world was obliterated in a flash of hot, white light.

"Doctor!" Running forwards despite the obvious danger, Tegan caught the Time Lord as he stumbled backwards away from the light, rubbing his eyes in confusion. He looked shocked and confused. The flash had dimmed, and for those who had been some yards away from it, it had not seemed too bright. She wondered how the Doctor had fared at its epicentre, and tried not think about eye damage, permanent or otherwise.

"What-?" Shaking his head to clear it, the Doctor stared about, resisting Tegan's pull on his arm. "That light." He blinked repeatedly, staring blankly towards the one remaining snake; a giant, towering creature that was the fusion of all of them. Tegan realised that he couldn't see the creature.

"Come on, Doc." Staring up at it, she saw evil in its eyes; the sort of evil that was never truly present in the eyes of any animal. She knew that the snake was intelligent; that it had to be more than just a flesh-eating serpent. She remembered Enigma's description of his jailer, and suddenly realised what she was looking at.

"The snakes." The Doctor pulled free from her grip, and took a few, shaky steps towards the one huge snake that remained. "Where are they?"

"Gone, Doctor. They all became one."

"Interesting." Apparently unconcerned by his temporary blindness, the Doctor walked forwards, until he stood at the snake's side. It gazed down at him, its mouth open wide, closing and opening again in an eerie, rhythmical motion. "It's you isn't it? Well isn't it? Who else could have set this up; and who else could have wanted to? Show yourself."

The snake began to sway from side to side, its eyes never leaving the Doctor's comparatively tiny frame. Its swaying body rose up and up, far into the air, until it brushed the roof of the cavern. The Doctor saw nothing, standing still before the creature. Abruptly the snake froze. It stared down at the Time Lord, and its eyes flashed with fire; then it struck, its head moving downwards towards the Doctor, its mouth opening wider and wider, its prey unheeding of the danger.

"Doctor!" Terrified, Tegan wanted to move to his aid, but found that she could not move. "Doctor, look out!"


There was a flash of light, a burst of flame, and the Doctor's body flew through the air, crashing into the rocks beside his friends. The flame cleared, and the snake was gone. In its place was a man, dressed entirely in black, with a long black staff and eyes that were filled with sneering contempt. He walked forwards, staring at Tegan and Nyssa, who crouched beside the fallen Time Lord.

"Stand up, Doctor," he said, his voice loud and rough. The Doctor's eyes flickered open, and he looked up into the face of the man. Tegan saw anger, hatred and no small amount of fear flicker through the Time Lord's eyes, before finally he smiled and stood up.

"Lovely to see you again," he said brightly, as though he has suddenly been re-introduced to an old friend. "How have you been?"

"Silence, Time Lord." The Black Guardian laughed shortly. "You are still a fool, Doctor. You regenerate, you change, but your stupidity stays the same. You should never have left your TARDIS."

"And remained stuck on Haikon for the rest of Time? I think not." The Doctor glared back at the other man. "It was clever, I must admit, keeping the Time Lords away from this place for so long. You must have realised we would have found a way to stop you eventually. Enigma would be most welcome on Gallifrey."

"I don't doubt it." The Black Guardian laughed again, a short, contemptuous laugh that chilled Tegan's blood. "Take him, Doctor. Let Enigma go to Gallifrey. Perhaps it is time to let him rest."

"What do you want?" Folding his arms, the Time Lord stared at his enemy, trying to see something in those cold dark eyes apart from their usual contempt. The Black Guardian laughed.

"I want you, Doctor. I want the chance to make you suffer, as all who stand against me must suffer. Enigma chose to serve my brother, and so did you. The next move in our game is up to you, Doctor. To free Enigma, you must choose to stay here in his place."

"No..." Nyssa caught the Doctor's arm, but he pushed her gently aside, a thoughtful frown on his face. He glanced at Enigma, who stood with head bowed, and then looked back to the Black Guardian.

"You can't be serious." Tahl stepped forward, failing to look suitably subdued in the presence of the Doctor's nemesis. "Doctor, this man is a nut. Let's just get out of here." He glanced towards Enigma. "You said you would transport us out of here."

"He cannot use his powers in my presence." The Black Guardian moved towards Tahl, angered by his interruption. His black gloved hand shot out, catching the man by the throat. Almost immediately Tahl's legs began to buckle. With a cry of rage, Kirri ran forward, only to be thrown back by a mere look.

"Leave him alone." The Doctor ran forward, finding his legs freeze into uselessness as soon as he approached his old enemy. "It's me you want."

"Then you agree?" Turning around, the evil man released Tahl, sending him flying across the cavern to land in a heap beside his fiancée. "You will take Enigma's place?"

The Doctor hesitated. He glanced back at Tegan and Nyssa who stood together beside Enigma, their distress clear on their faces. He saw Enigma himself, his shoulders bowed in defeat, and he saw Tahl and Kirri, struggling to help each other to their feet. He had no idea what destiny Enigma had pre-seen when he had brought the TARDIS to this planet, but he knew that he could not turn his back on it now. Somehow Enigma had seen this day even before he had been imprisoned here.

"I'll stay." The words hurt his throat. He hated to have to agree to something that was against all that he had sought his entire life. Imprisonment in some cave under the ground was worse than death; but he could see in the Black Guardian's eyes that there would be death for everybody here if he did not agree. Strangely he felt no anger towards Enigma for having brought him here. He had merely wanted his own sentence to come to an end.

"Doctor no!" Nyssa's voice was tearful, but the Doctor pushed her gently aside, his eyes warning her to stay quiet. It hurt to have to leave her like this, but it was better than to allow her and Tegan to stay.

"It's okay," he told her, with little in the way of conviction. She tried to cling to him, but he pulled free, the expression on his face warning her to stay back. He smiled at Tegan, and she smiled back, trying to hide her own fear from him.

"Brave heart, Tegan," he said softly, so that nobody else could hear. She nodded dumbly, understanding more than she wanted to as he turned to walk away. The Black Guardian was smiling.

"A wise choice, Doctor." He raised his staff, and a blue fire appeared at the top of the dais, next to Enigma's chair. The Doctor began to walk towards it, his step slow and reluctant. He took each step hesitantly, his eyes never leaving the fire at the top of the stairs.

"Doctor..." Tegan whispered his name, barely able to hear it herself; but he heard, and paused for a fraction of a second. He stopped himself from looking back with a tremendous burst of will power, and concentrated hard on the flames. He had no idea what would happen to him when he reached them, and he did not want to know. Somehow he felt sure that there could be no going back, once he was within them.

At the top of the steps, the Doctor did look back. He stared out across the little group, seeing them gathered together, with Enigma in their centre. He wished he could have had some time alone to talk with the old man, to prepare himself for this. To try to understand what he was heading for. The old man did not meet his eyes, but merely looked instead at the Black Guardian. Smiling sadly at the five, the Doctor turned around again, and stepped forward to meet the flames.

There was a flash, and a violent explosion of orange fire. Sudden heat flared up, making the Doctor stagger back. As one, Kirri and Tahl fired their guns, and their joint beams struck the blue fire again and again. The Black Guardian screamed in rage, turning to face the pair, and the Doctor felt a sudden, clear burst of hope. He ran down the uppermost steps, moving faster than he felt that he had ever moved in his life, then flung himself forward. He crashed into the Guardian, and they rolled together across the rocky floor. The misshapen black staff rolled away, and Enigma, moving with a surprising speed and agility, ran forward and grabbed it, holding it up in the air.

"Fools!" Throwing the Doctor aside, the Black Guardian climbed to his feet, staring at Enigma in rage. "My power does not come from the staff, my power comes from all things!" He raised his hands into the air, and blue lightning crackled across his fingertips. The floor began to move.

"He'll tear the planet apart!" Afraid, Nyssa backed away, then caught a glimpse of the fire at the top of the stairs. It still burned blue, despite the real flames of red and orange that now burned around it. She ran forwards, and grabbed the staff from Enigma's hand.

"No Nyssa!" The Doctor tried to intercept her, but could not move quickly enough. She bolted up the stairs, and with all the strength she could find in her arms, she hurled the staff into the flames. The Black Guardian screamed, clenching his fists, and chunks of rock began to fall out of the roof and the walls.

"Back into the tunnels!" Kirri called in panic.

"No! We'd be trapped." The Doctor, momentarily at a loss, looked to Enigma. "What do we do?"

"He will destroy the planet." Enigma closed his eyes. "I am sorry, Doctor. I--"

"Save the apologies, old chap." The Time Lord rubbed his head. "We have to close him off. We have to stop him from being able to draw on the sources of his power. We have to close him off from the universe."

"I can do that." Enigma smiled suddenly, and stepped forward, heading towards his jailer. "For the first time, his mind is turned away from me. I can use his own rage against him, and send you back to the surface."

"But what about you?" Tegan asked. Enigma smiled at her, his face seeming gentle and calm despite the collapsing walls. He looked, she thought with some fondness, rather like a kind old grandfather in some idyllic fairytale.

"It is set in motion," was all that he said, and then he turned away.

"But--" Tegan stepped forwards, but the Doctor held her arm, shaking his head. She frowned, staring from him back to the old man, who was now standing before the Black Guardian, his old frame seeming to grow with new strength and power. She was still watching him as the world began to dim before her eyes.


They were standing on the mountainside at the edge of the valley. The ground had ceased to shake, and there was no sign anywhere of the uncontained madness they had left beneath the ground. Nyssa and Tegan turned to the Doctor, gazing at him questioningly.

"Enigma?" Tegan asked. He smiled sadly at her.


"You mean he's dead?"

"Almost certainly." He sighed, turning away from the view down into the valley. "Like he said, it had all been set in motion."

"What do you mean, Doctor?" Nyssa asked. He was silent for a second.

"He saw that the arrival of a Time Lord would be the cause of his rescue. My arrival did exactly that. By being there, we allowed him to stand up to the Black Guardian in a way that he had never got the chance to do before."

"Then his freedom was death?" Tegan did not sound convinced of the fairness in this. The Time Lord nodded slowly.

"He was from another universe, Tegan. He should have died many, many aeons ago. Death was the only release that he wanted. I have to confess that I would have liked the chance to have taken him away from here. To have spoken to him properly; but that sort of thing just isn't allowed. There are some rules that even Time Lords can't break." He turned to Kirri and Tahl, a smile on his face.

"And now it seems that it's time to say goodbye. You have to return to your planet. I... I must thankyou. You saved my life."

"We didn't do much." Kirri smiled. "Consider it my apology for almost shooting you before."

He grinned. "Maybe I will." Seriousness showed on his face. "Watch out for the Black Guardian. He will be back. He can never be destroyed. Next time he may come after you too."

"But he's more likely to come after you." Tahl stepped forwards, shaking the Doctor's hand. "Be careful."

"I will." The light in the Doctor's eyes suggested that careful was the one thing that he could never be. "Good luck, with your planet; and good luck together. You deserve it."

"Thankyou." Kirri smiled at Tegan and Nyssa, then turned away towards her ship. The pair scrambled through the door, only just making it before it slammed shut behind them. Left alone, the three time travellers turned to smile at each other.

"Will the Black Guardian really be back?" Nyssa asked. The Time Lord nodded, managing to look remarkably cheerful about it.

"Oh yes, I should count on it." He smiled. "Come on. Let's see if we can make it out of the atmosphere."

"You could sound a little more confident!" Horrified, Tegan turned to the Doctor and saw a teasing glimmer in his eyes. She scowled.

"Where shall we go next?" Feeling oddly cheerful, despite both his recent close encounter and Enigma's sacrifice, the Doctor opened the TARDIS doors and gestured for the girls to precede him in.

"Somewhere less weird than this place." There was considerable feeling behind Tegan's words. The Doctor laughed, shrugging vaguely.

"Random co-ordinates or somewhere pre-planned?" he asked Nyssa, who shrugged, not wanting to say that their destination would undoubtedly be random whether the Doctor set some co-ordinates or not.

"Random," she said finally. He nodded in satisfaction.

"Good choice." In moments the central column began to rise and fall, and they were in flight. Tegan breathed out a long sigh. She did not want to think about the close call that they had just had, and about the unimaginable years that Enigma had waited for them to come here for just that very reason. The universe, she decided, was a weird place, and not least for the Doctor's presence in it.

"I wonder where we'll end up next," she commented idly. The Doctor grinned again, and she found herself smiling back at him. In all honesty it didn't really matter where they went. When you lived in the TARDIS, everywhere was home.