"Mmm." Nyssa gazed out at the view depicted on the scanner screen, almost able to smell the flowers just by looking at them. "It's beautiful."

"Yes, it is, isn't it." The adventuring Time Lord, now into his fifth incarnation, stood beside her, enjoying the view. "Quite unspoilt. There are no predatory animals here at all; no life forms of any kind larger than the insects. Except the birds." He smiled, clearly touched. "Incredible birds; of all colours and sizes."

"Then you've been here before?" Nyssa's enthusiasm was clear. "Does that mean that we can go out? It must be safe."

"I'm not so sure." He glanced back at the readings on the control console, as though there was something he was debating about whether or not to tell her. "Actually, we should really be leaving as soon as possible."

"Leaving? But it's so beautiful here!" She turned back to gaze once more at the screen. "Can't we just stay for a little while, Doctor?"

"Nyssa..." He sighed, turning away from his instruments. "This is Pelakronis IV. The Forbidden Planet. We shouldn't even have landed here, let alone think about staying... Although I must admit that I've always wanted to take a proper look around." There was a mischievous look in his eyes, which should have warned the girl that there was danger in the air. Instead she merely frowned, unable to understand why such a beautiful place should be in any way forbidden.

"Forbidden?!" Tegan, her voice like ice, had entered the control room at this most recent comment of the Doctor's, and she stood at the door glaring at him. "You've landed us on a forbidden planet?"

Wincing at the sound of her voice, the Doctor paused before answering, then turned to offer her a pleasant smile. His current incarnation was useful for such platitudes, being possessed of a charmingly innocent expression that belied the chaos he so often inspired. "Yes... It is rather an attractive place, though, wouldn't you say? Trees, flowers, lakes..."

"Then why is it forbidden?" She joined her companions at the scanner screen, clearly impressed by the scenery; so much so in fact that her scowl began to drift away. A huge bird bedecked with glorious plumage flew close by, violet eyes opened wide, and Nyssa let out a small cry of delight.

"Sectional geography." Pronouncing it with an air of finality, as though all should be made clear from just those two words, the Doctor gestured at the screen before them. "Rassilon found this place aeons ago, and was quite taken by it. You see, it has four continents. One has all the mountains and valleys, one all the meadows and lakes, one is a desert, and one is covered with almost impenetrable forests and jungles. Fascinating. He decreed that it should remain unspoilt and untouched by civilisation, so he filled it with his favourite animals from all over the universe and slapped a no-go order on it. Even the Time Lords never come here."

"But that's so sad." Nyssa watched a flock of flamingos fly past, stunned by their sheer pinkness. "How can they be so narrow-minded?"

"Who can tell, Nyssa, who can tell." He pulled his hat out from his pocket and unrolled it, a certain energy filling his movements. "Come along!"

"Where are we going?" Tegan asked. He grinned at her.

"To explore of course. Where else?"

"But I thought--"

"The purpose of the Private sign, my dear Tegan, is to encourage as many people to enter as possible." He shrugged. "At least it is in my opinion. Hurry along, don't dawdle." He opened the doors, striding outside and dropping his hat onto his head. "The weather is perfect!"

"Do you think it's safe?" Tegan whispered to Nyssa. Her younger companion shrugged.

"I'm sure the Time Lords can't know already that we're here. We should be alright for a little while." She smiled. "And you do want to look around, don't you?"

"Of course I do!" The Australian led the way outside, pointing up as a flock of some strange kind of bird flew past. She had no idea what they were, by they took her breath away. "We can be out of here in just a few hours, I'm sure of it. Nobody need ever know."


"Has he landed?" Lord President Borusa stared at the scanner screen, looking for any sign of the familiar blue box. He saw only trees and flowers.

"He is here, my lord." Councillor Taridian turned a few dials with an expert hand, eventually bringing the screen into focus on the unmistakable shape of the Doctor's TARDIS. "There." They watched together as the threesome left to go for their walk, and frowned. "Of course it would be easier if he had stayed in it."

"With the Doctor, nothing is ever easy." Borusa nodded thoughtfully at the screen. "Does he suspect anything, do you think?"

"Impossible." Chancellor Morus, one of Borusa's leading advisors, shook his head emphatically. "A TARDIS that old is very easy to redirect. He could have no way of knowing that we brought him here. He no doubt believes it was another of his unexpected flight errors."

"You should not speak of the Doctor with such contempt, Morus." There was an air of reproach in the Lord President's voice, which suggested something of the age old fondness he felt for his former pupil. "He has been the saving of us all, more than once."

"I know that, sir. But I cannot approve of the man's methods. He is dangerous and ill-disciplined." Morus straightened his back. "Should I go to apprehend him, sir?"

"Yes." Borusa nodded slowly. "Bring him here. But he is not to be harmed, and neither are his two companions. They are none of them any use to us damaged."

"Understood sir." Morus saluted and left, the TARDIS doors closing automatically behind him. Borusa turned to look back at the scanner screen, a half smile on his face. He only hoped that the Doctor would forgive him for this rather unusual form of contact. Right now, he could not risk alienating the man; he had to have his assistance. Many millions of lives lay in the balance.


The late afternoon sun was warm and absorbing, and the light breeze so soft that it barely ruffled even the Doctor's fine hair. The threesome wandered along together by the banks of a river, watching the insects buzz across its surface. Everywhere was quiet and peaceful, filled with the sensation of deep rest.

"I could stay here forever," Nyssa said happily. The Doctor smiled.

"Sorry, Nyssa, that's not an option. I imagine that the Time Lords will have detected our presence before much longer."

"Then we ought to be heading back to the TARDIS." Despite her words Tegan showed no sign of moving, and nor did her two friends. Only after several more minutes drinking in the silence and the view did Nyssa glance up, distracted by some sound nearby. She frowned.

"Doctor, who's that?"

"Who?" He turned, seeing Chancellor Morus and three guards coming towards them. "Uh oh."

"That doesn't sound good." Tegan watched as the Time Lord stepped forward, voice and face filled with good cheer.

"Hello! Chancellor Morus, good to see you again."

"Come with us, Doctor." There was no welcome in the other Time Lord's voice, and the Doctor frowned.

"Now listen here, Morus old chap, if you have an argument with me, that's fine, but--"

"My orders are to take all of you for an audience with the Lord President. You are not under arrest yet Doctor, but don't tempt me." Morus smiled. "We are armed."

"So you are." His eyes narrow, the Doctor glanced back at Nyssa and Tegan, his expression telling them to behave for now. "Are we to return to Gallifrey?"

"That will not be necessary. Lord Borusa is close by. He wishes to speak with you immediately." The Chancellor looked unpleasant. "Not that I would have wanted to speak to you at all..."

"Nor I you, old chap." Striding forward purposefully, the Doctor looked about for anything that might appear to be a disguised TARDIS. "So where is old Borusa then?"

"You would be wise to show some respect." Morus sounded dangerous, his voice filled with warning. "Keep your hands where I can see them, and make no sudden moves."

"Now listen here." Turning sharply around, the Doctor saw three rifles raise to point at him, and he froze. "This is all a little unnecessary, Morus."

"Perhaps, Doctor. I shall be the judge of that." Drawing his own weapon, a small, unobtrusive handgun, Morus gestured back into the trees. "You may now proceed."

"Thankyou." Raising his hat slightly in acknowledgement, the youthful Time Lord strolled on ahead, setting a fast pace that his fellow Gallifreyan seemed to have trouble keeping up with. It was a somewhat irritable group that eventually reached Borusa's TARDIS, and a clearly testy Doctor who led the way in, caring nothing for protocol.

"Borusa." His voice carried undertones of respect, but they were buried behind clear signs of distaste. "I would have come to speak with you. You didn't need to push."

"Your attitude is not acceptable, Doctor." Morus stepped forward, his gun in his hand, clearly longing to fire. Borusa glared at him, his eyes spitting sparks.

"Neither is yours, Chancellor." His voice was even and calm, hiding the anger that only his Gallifreyan colleagues recognised. Morus backed down, head bowed. Ignoring him the Lord President turned to the Doctor, smiling a gentle greeting to the three Time travellers which was in stark contrast to the reception they had received from the Chancellor.

"Time is of the essence, as always." He smiled. "You have my apologies." His eyes glittered teasingly, as his gaze swept the little group. "Really, though Doctor; the Forbidden Planet. This is quite a talent. Annoying the High Council has become something of a hobby for you, hasn't it."

"It wasn't exactly my idea." The Doctor scowled at the President and leant against the walls, arms folded mutinously. "I was just going for a little jaunt."

"A little jaunt?" Borusa laughed lightly. "My dear Doctor, your 'little jaunts' are cause for concern in themselves. You know that I can't approve of the way that you insist on interfering, with such determined abandon."

"I interfere for the good of those involved, and you know it." Standing up straight, the Doctor clenched his fists momentarily, before putting them deep into his pockets. "Now that isn't what this is about, Borusa. That's clear to both of us. Why did you want to see me?"

"Always looking for the truth, hey Doctor." Borusa turned away momentarily, his eyes lingering on Nyssa on Tegan. "Perhaps we should talk about this alone."

"I have no reason to exclude my friends from anything." The Doctor glanced over at his two companions. "Unless they'd like to leave."

"No, Doctor." Nyssa moved towards him. "We can't leave you."

"Thankyou." He acknowledged her with a nod, before his eyes wandered back to Borusa. "So what is it, exactly?"

"Show some respect to the Lord President," Morus hissed balefully, his glare enough to ignite a thousand candles. The Doctor's eyes flickered over to him momentarily, and Borusa held up a hand, anxious to forestall any further antagonism.

"Enough, Morus. I can look after myself."

"As you wish, Lord President." The Time Lord turned to leave. "Just so long as my objection is noted."

"It is." Borusa waited until he had gone, then turned back to his old pupil. "I'm sorry, Doctor. My plan to involve you in this has not pleased my Council. They are... split on this issue, which is why I elected to meet you here rather than on Gallifrey."

"You mean you brought--" He sighed. "Then perhaps you'd better tell me what's going on."

"Yes." The President was silent for a moment. "A rift has opened, Doctor. A hole in Time which threatens the universe. We have it under control temporarily, but for how long that can last, I don't know."

"A Timehole?" The Doctor whistled softly. "But how?"

"Some inexperienced fool playing with things that he cannot understand; how else? The problem, Doctor, is that the hole must be closed, and closed quickly. Every moment of its existence threatens the stability of the universe. That is why I had you brought straight here, instead of trying to ask you to meet me. I had to be sure that you would arrive in the right place."

"Of course." Ignoring this implied insult to his navigational abilities, the Doctor sounded grave. "Where is the hole centred?"

"On a planet, Doctor. That is our dilemma. The only way to be sure of saving the universe would be to destroy that planet. It would consign many millions of innocent people to certain death. I do not wish to do that unless I have no choice."

"But the High Council doesn't agree with you?" The Doctor smiled sardonically. "I can imagine."

"Not all of them are against me, Doctor. Chancellor Flavia, Chancellor Thorian... the Castellan - there are several who agreed that we had to try another option first."

"You want me to go to this planet, and try to find the rift. To close it by less destructive means." The Doctor was thoughtful. "Under the circumstances, I can't very well turn you down, can I. Millions of lives, hanging in the balance; waiting for Chancellor Morus to push the button."

"Precisely. But there is another reason why I called for you, Doctor. Others could have been sent, but I felt that this task was best suited to you. The planet..." He paused, his eyes flickering momentarily toward Tegan. "The planet in question is Earth."

"Earth?!" Tegan took a step forward. "But that's crazy. Nobody on Earth is capable of Time travel."

"You're forgetting, Tegan, that your planet has a long history that you know nothing about." The Doctor spoke quietly. "I would imagine that one scientist, working without any great knowledge of the consequences of his actions, has managed to create a very unstable doorway into the past. If he had managed to tap into the future, his equipment would have to be more precise, and a problem like this one would be less likely to arise."

"True." Borusa toyed with the controls lying around him. "The Timehole originates in the later part of the 20th century, Western Earth Time. The scale you are most familiar with, I believe Doctor?" The other Time Lord nodded. "It travels back to a point roughly in the middle of the same century. A time of war."

"The Second World War." Tegan whistled. "But think of the damage they could do..."

"Exactly. More to the point is the damage that they have already done. History has been changed, Doctor. The fabric of the Timehole has become unstable as a result, and that instability threatens all of us. It must be stopped. As far as we can tell, without directly interfering, weapons from the later period have been taken into the past, and have changed the course of the war being fought there. A new future has sprung up, based on this different outcome, and Earth's true future has been erased." He glanced towards Tegan. "Your Timeline has been preserved, my dear, and yours Nyssa of Traken, with luck they will remain so until the Doctor's work is finished."

"Doctor? Is this true?" Tegan wandered towards the Time Lord, her eyes wide. "The Nazis might have won the war? We have to stop them."

"Yes, we must." He frowned. "But I can't ask you to come with me..."

"You try and stop me." Flame ignited in her eyes. "That's my planet, Doc. My people."

"And I'm not staying either." Nyssa ran forward. "They wouldn't really destroy it; would they?"

"Yes." Borusa sounded pained. "You must understand what is at stake. If you fail, the Timehole will soon collapse, and the universe will be hurled into chaos and devastation. Time itself will be destroyed. We can give you five days Doctor, maybe six, and then you will be contacted to allow you and your friends time to leave before the Earth is destroyed. Any longer than that and we may pass the point of no return."

"Thankyou, but if my planet is to be destroyed, I don't think that I want to be rescued first." Tegan closed her eyes, trying to stop the tears from overflowing. "I think I would rather stay there with my people."

"I'm rather inclined to agree with you, Tegan." The Doctor put a hand on her shoulder. "But it's not going to come to that. We shall leave immediately."

"The co-ordinates have been programmed into your TARDIS. You will arrive as close to the source of the hole as the ship is able to take you. The disturbance is likely to throw you some way off the spatial co-ordinates, but not, we hope, off your course in Time. Good luck, Doctor."

"Thankyou Borusa." The Doctor shook his hand briefly, and smiled. "Lord President."

"Good luck." The President pulled the lever to open the doors, remaining behind as the little group trooped out into the daylight. He raised his hand in an unseen farewell, and whispered a last, parting word in Gallifreyan. The Doctor alone heard it; but he did not look back.


"Earth, 1972." The Doctor leaned on the console for several moments, as though unwilling to turn on the scanner screen. "We're in Britain, an area round about the Cotswolds. Preliminary scans indicate no major settlements in the area. "I can't even locate Gloucester or Worcester. Those are big cities."

"Were big cities, in the other 1972." Tegan's voice sounded bleak. "Modern weapons, Doc. You know what that means; nuclear bombs. Maybe even worse."

"There's no major level of radiation in the air. Nothing out of the ordinary for the late twentieth century anyway." He sighed. "We're going to have to go out and take a look sometime."

"Might there be soldiers about?" Nyssa asked. "From what you told me about these Nazis, I don't think I want to run into one."

"You certainly don't." Tegan sounded heartfelt. "But as usual we don't have so much as a peashooter between us."

"Weapons wouldn't do us any good. If they think we're a threat we'll be shot on sight." The Doctor was beginning to wish that he had tried harder to make them both stay with Borusa. "Come on." He opened the door and stepped outside, trying to look as jaunty as ever but not quite succeeding. Nyssa and Tegan followed him out, and they glanced about at the scenery which lay before them. A bleak landscape of mud and grass, devoid of any buildings, lay in every direction, with no sign of any roads even in the distance. There was no buzz of distant traffic, and no obvious signs of agricultural development. All was quiet.

"Dead." Tegan whispered the word softly, as though unwilling to disturb the quiet. "What's happened to it all, Doctor?"

"Nothing. It was never anything else." He wandered forward, hands in his pockets. He was not wearing his hat, Nyssa noticed, as if it were somehow too cheerful a gesture for the here and now. It was not often that he set off on a new adventure without it set at a bright angle on his head. "All of the development that you know; the population increases, the building, the traffic; they all belong to the other future. Here it never happened."

"Oh." The short syllable was all that she could manage as she walked forward to join him. "How many people do you suppose there are?"

"I have no idea." He sighed. "We have to get moving. According to the co-ordinates that we were aiming for, the Timehole originates in Europe. Germany, I think. Possibly Austria."

"Just so long as we're not too precise." Tegan shook her head. "Europe is a big continent, Doc..."

"I am aware of that, Tegan." He smiled at her, trying to look reassuring. "Relax. It'll be alright. We'll do this, and we'll put Earth back on track."

"Sure we will." She managed a smile in return, trying not to think about what Australia looked like, if this was Britain. Nyssa stared around. She had made visits to this country, but never as far as she knew to this part of it, and to her nothing seemed unduly wrong. She could see no sign of continuing hostilities.

"Where is this Europe?" she asked. The Doctor turned in a full circle, staring at all the horizons, before pointing at one.

"That way, I think. We'll need to find a boat of course, or an aeroplane or something. It's across the sea."

"We'll probably end up in America," muttered Tegan to herself. "Shouldn't we just take the TARDIS?"

"I doubt it'll work this close to the disturbance." The Doctor started off before she could argue further. "Come along. We have a long walk ahead of us."

"How far?" Nyssa asked, having to walk fast to catch him up. He didn't answer, and she looked to Tegan instead. The Australian shrugged.

"Several hundred miles, I should think." She sighed. "And I'm not even wearing walking shoes."

"Keep up," the Doctor called back. "We'll soon be there." He sounded characteristically confident; as though the desolation were spurring him on. Such was his speed and apparent single-mindedness that he did not appear to notice the faint noises which came from beneath them. Nyssa heard them first, slowing to a halt to listen more intently.

"What's up?" Tegan asked her. Nyssa raised her hand to signal silence, and they listened together. Clear scratching sounds were coming from beneath the grass. Sensing that they were no longer with him, the Doctor looked back.

"Come along, you two."

"Ssh. Listen, Doctor." Nyssa crouched down, cocking her head on one side, and the Doctor hurried back to join them. He frowned.

"People. Tunnelling I should think."

"People? Down there?" Tegan whistled. "You mean like the resistance did during the war? I heard about tunnels that were built in case of invasion, but I never thought--"

"In this reality, they'd have been put into action." The Doctor straightened up. "Well I think it's fair to say that somebody now knows we're here. I only hope they're friendly."

"Freeze!" The voice came from behind him, and he turned around to see a line of soldiers emerging, fully-armed, from within the Earth. They aimed their guns at the trio, a row of blackened faces glaring fiercely in a dare for them to make a hostile move.

"On the other hand..." Nyssa said, glancing up at the Doctor. He shrugged, flashing her an apologetic smile, and stepped forward.

"Good morning! I'm the Doctor."

"Silence." One of the men moved towards him. "What is your access code? Which unit do you belong to?"

"Er... Yes, well - none as it happens. We're just passing through." He smiled at them all. "Nice day for a stroll, don't you think?"

"Put your hands in the air." The man moved towards him, jamming his rifle into the Doctor's ribs. "You will accompany us for interrogation."

"Well that's really very kind of you, but--" The gun was jabbed at him again, hurting him this time, and he tried not to wince too noticeably. "Alright, alright. No need to lose your temper." He raised his hands slowly, meeting the soldier's gaze with the usual cool indifference he preferred in such situations. "I don't suppose it would change anything if I told you I mean you no harm?" The gun barrel pushed him towards the series of hidden holes from which the men had emerged, and the Time Lord glanced back at his friends to check that they were alright. None of them resisted as they were coerced into the tunnel entrances, but the Doctor sighed inwardly. There was something about this current incarnation which seemed to attract passages and caves, and he was not altogether sure that he liked the trend. He shrugged off his doubts and stepped forward, letting his eyes adjust to the new darkness which awaited him.


"Sir? The patrol just reported in. They apprehended three strangers above ground." The young captain saluted his commanding officer, and sat down in a nearby chair. Military discipline was strict in the rebel army, but it had escaped the stiff correctness of conventional armies. "All young, all unarmed. They claimed to have been out for a stroll."

"A stroll?" The commanding officer grunted. "A likely story. Where are they now?"

"On their way in here, sir. I thought you'd like to speak to them." The captain shrugged. "They don't look like much, to be honest with you, but looks can be deceiving I suppose."

"Precisely. Alright, I'll see them." The CO glared at him. "But I want them kept under close guard. The last man we brought down here turned out to be a suicide bomber. If you see anything that looks hostile, take them out. Understood?"

"Understood, sir." The captain jumped to his feet, going to the door and leaning out into the passageway beyond. "Sergeant? Bring them in."

"Aye sir." The large, barrel-chested man outside the door stepped into the room, the three strangers behind him. A pair of guards followed, guns raised in silent warning.

"What have we here?" The CO stood up, scanning the trio with a discerning eye. Their youth was cause for suspicion if nothing else. People of that age did not tend to hold civilian positions.

"Brigadier..." The Doctor's voice was barely more than a whisper, and although Tegan and Nyssa heard it, they did not at first think that anybody else had. The CO glanced up, frowning at the tall, blond young man.

"What of it?" he snapped. "We observe proper military rank, even down here."

"I - I don't doubt it." The Doctor stared at him, unable to tear his eyes away. The uniform was different, the hair a little longer and less scrupulously kept, but the moustache was the same, and so, without a doubt, was the face. "You're Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart." His eyes flickered towards the young captain at the side of the room. "And Mike Yates. I--"

"How do you know our names?" Lethbridge Stewart drew his revolver with admirable speed, pressing it against the Doctor's chin. "Who are you?"

"I'm the Doctor." There was a trace of pain in the Time Lord's voice at his friend's inability to recognise him. "I - I made it a point to know you. All of you. I can assure you that we're on the same side."

"Really." The Brigadier did not look convinced. "Well I'm sorry, Doctor, but around here you're just another mouth to feed. We can't trust anybody, and we don't aim to try. If you can convince us to keep you around before the morning, fine. If not you'll be shot."

"Shot? You've got to be joking!" Tegan stepped forward before the Doctor could stop her. "We only just got here! Now listen--"

"You're Australian." Mike Yates, his gun still holstered, came closer. "How on Earth did an Australian get over here?"

"With me. Look this is really quite easy to explain... Well, nearly." The Doctor pushed the Brigadier's gun away and smiled patiently. "Look, we, er--"

"My name is Nyssa, of Traken." Stepping forward, her voice as calm and pleasant as ever, Nyssa smiled at them all. "The Doctor is quite right. We are on the same side, and it is quite easy to explain. We come from another reality; a reality where your side won the last war. That was your intended destiny; but somebody interfered and everything got confused. We're here to try to put everything back on track." She smiled up at the Brigadier, unaware of the expression on the Doctor's face. He whispered something to himself, and put a hand on Nyssa's shoulder.

"Enough honesty, Nyssa, if you wouldn't mind? Look, Brigadier. We really--"

"Silence." The soldier shook his head. "I've heard enough. You're insulting my intelligence. Yates?"


"Take them to the holding area. We'll deal with them first thing in the morning."

"Yes sir." Yates gestured towards the door, and the guards began to lead their prisoners out by the same route they had entered by. "This way."

"But we're telling the truth!" Tegan's resistance was making the guards jumpy, and the Doctor noticed before she did. He moved into their line of fire, hands held up in a gesture of compliance.

"We'll talk later, Brigadier," he called back. The CO stared after him.

"Not in this life, Doctor." There was a trace of regret in his voice which did little to spur the Time Lord's failing sense of hope. He allowed the guards to lead him away, pausing only when they reached a rough wooden door which led to the holding area.

"Mike?" he asked, keeping his voice low. Yates gave a start, disturbed by a stranger's use of his first name. He still had not drawn his gun, however, which the Doctor could only take to be a good omen.

"What?" he asked, his tone edging toward belligerence.

"Nyssa was telling the truth, you know." He frowned, staring into the clear, bright eyes of his old acquaintance. "Tell me, do you know Jo Grant? And John Benton?"

"Jo Grant is our science officer. She's in charge of food production. Benton is my assistant." Mike's eyes narrowed, and his hand hovered near his gun. "Who are you?"

"That badge on your shirt. What does it mean?"

"This?" Mike's eyes lingered on his badge. "It can't hurt to tell you that. It's our insignia. UNIT stands for UNderground Intelligence Taskforce. Why?"

"Because where I come from, in your other future, it stands for United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, and it was set up to protect the planet from those who mean it harm." The Doctor stared deeply into the eyes of the young soldier. "I was your scientific advisor. It's better to save the world than just to defend your country. Isn't it?"

"Maybe." Mike shook his head. "You're a good liar, Doctor, but you're not going to convince me that you come from a different future. Time travel isn't possible. It can't be."

"Somebody somewhere in this world could prove you wrong, Mike. Listen to me."

"No." Mike nodded to one of the guards, who unlocked the wooden door and pushed Nyssa into the cell beyond. She stumbled and nearly fell, and the Doctor, anger flaring on his face, lowered his voice to a forceful whisper.

"I am telling the truth, Mike. You and your whole planet will know the consequences soon enough, if I'm not allowed out of here. The whole planet will be destroyed."

"Inside." The sergeant of the guard pressed his gun into the small of the Doctor's back. "Move."

"My dear chap, there is really no need to get nasty." There was an unpleasant edge to the Time Lord's voice, and his eyes glittered as he turned towards the door. He felt Mike's eyes on his back as he entered the cell, and hoped above hope that something had sunk in. All that he wanted was a chance to speak in earnest to the one man here he might be able to convince.

"Wait." Mike reached out, grabbing the door edge before it could close. "I want to talk to the prisoners."

"The Brigadier said--"

"I heard what the Brigadier said." Yates pulled the door back open. "Wait down the corridor. I'll call you when I want to come out." He drew his gun, handing it to the sergeant. "Here, you'd better take this."

"Sir." The guard nodded sharply, took the weapon, and then locked his superior officer into the cell. The Doctor turned around at the sound of the key turning, and smiled cheerfully at his old friend.

"Mike, my dear chap. Good of you to listen."

"I'm not staying here for long, Doctor. You'd better be able to talk fast."

"I can talk as fast as you'd like, old chap." The Time Lord gestured to the roughly hewn wooden bench running along one wall. "Sit down."

"Stop wasting time, Doctor." Mike seated himself, staring back up at the strange young man in the weird clothes, who seemed so astoundingly sure of himself. "What is it that you wanted to talk about?"

"Time, Mike. Time and relativity." He smiled, and stared deeply into the bright eyes raised to his. There was so much of the old Mike in them; the occasional excitability, the willingness to learn, the eagerness to do what was right; but there was also so much there that was alien. The Time Lord did not like to think what Yates had seen in his relatively short lifetime, that could have changed him into a man willing to execute three strangers for no real reason.

"I'm no scientist," Mike told him, but the Doctor laughed lightly.

"Don't worry about that, old chap. I just want to take you on a short journey." He took the TARDIS key from around his neck. "Look at this. Doesn't it mean anything to you?"

"Nothing." Mike shifted restlessly. "Listen, Doct--"

"Ssh. Just look at it. Look closely. Are you sure it doesn't make you think of something? Anything? Think of open green fields, and the broad blue sea. Think of an empty sky, and a dark night filled with stars. Think of the emptiness of space."

"I--" Yates frowned slightly, and his eyelids flickered. "I can see..."

"See what?" The TARDIS key was gone, and the Doctor was sitting beside his old friend in the blink of an eye. "What can you see, Mike?"

"It's bigger on the inside." Yates frowned. "How can it be bigger on the inside than the outside? The Brigadier doesn't know..." He shook his head. "But the Doctor says that the plastic is alive; all of it. The daffodils want to kill us."

"He's gone mad." Tegan stared at the Doctor. "I thought you were hypnotising him? If you ask me, he's blown a fuse."

"Far from it." The Doctor laid a gentle hand on Mike's shoulder. "He lived through this time, before somebody sent the Earth flying into an alternative present. There has to be something of the real now in his mind, somewhere. Even if it's just the slightest grain of truth, in his subconscious." He lowered his voice to a relaxing tone. "Now Mike, I want you to think. I want you to remember."

"It doesn't make any sense. There's no such thing as magic. I'm sure there's a rational explanation, Doctor." Mike frowned deeply. "She says that she's a witch, but she rides a bicycle. Witches don't ride bicycles. At least I don't think they do." His eyes flared suddenly, and he made as if to stand up. The Doctor guided him back into his seat.

"It's the Master, Doctor! He's here! He made the thing come. Big, and - he was going to sacrifice Jo." He relaxed suddenly. "My head hurts."

"I'm sure it probably does." The Time Lord grinned triumphantly. "Alright, Mike, that's enough. Now when I click my fingers, you'll wake up. You'll remember everything, and you'll be convinced of my honesty. I think that will do us for now. This isn't real, Mike; any of it. This isn't how it should be."

"Somebody changed history." Mike nodded. "The Doctor knows what he's talking about."

"Exactly!" There was a look of childish delight on the Time Lord's face. "Alright Mike. Wake up." He clicked his fingers.

"I beg your pardon?" Mike stood up very suddenly, then rubbed his head. "Er... As I was saying, Doctor..."

"You were saying that we have to get to Germany, as quickly as possible." Smiling innocuously, the Time Lord went to the door. "Excuse me? Guard?"

"Yes, yes of course. Germany." Yates nodded. "Yes, yes, of... course." He frowned at Nyssa and Tegan. "Doctor, are you sure about this?"

"Positive. Listen to me, Mike. This has caused a rift in Time. People are dealing with things that they know nothing about, and the consequences of that are deadly. In order to protect the universe, my people have no choice but to destroy this planet, if they think that I've failed. Can you understand that?"

"Stay here, Doctor." There was clarity in Mike's voice again, and he went to the door, waiting impatiently for the guard to let him out. "I'll go and speak to the Brigadier."

"Thankyou, Mike." The three prisoners watched as the young captain headed off down the corridor. Nyssa looked up at the Doctor, the worry clear on her face.

"Do you think the Brigadier will listen?" she asked. He shrugged.

"If he doesn't, Mike will come back here and let us out. He has to. He was always very open to hypnotism was Mike. It was a problem once or twice, but I'm rather glad of it now..." He looked towards Tegan. "It'll be alright, you know. We will save Earth."

"Thankyou." She managed a smile. "I think it was just sinking in, about what we have to do. The three of us, up against the whole of the Third Reich, with only a few days to put things right." Her eyes were wide. "I've never had to fight my own kind before. We've always been up against aliens, or--" She broke off, not altogether sure how to categorise George Cranleigh. "It just feels different this time, that's all."

"I know." He smiled encouragingly at her. "Don't worry, Tegan. If we play our cards right, it won't be just the three of us. We could have a few more people on our side."


"You're mad, Mike." Jo Grant, adjusting the collars of her white coat, sat down on the lab bench opposite her old friend. Her laboratory, a large, underground cave reached by the tunnels in which UNIT dwelt, was old fashioned in design, and filled with equipment stolen from the enemy. Much of it was out dated and well past its best, but she did what she could with it. "A different history? What makes you think this man is telling the truth?"

"I just know that he is." Mike shrugged rather lamely. "Think about it, Jo. What if he is right? What if the Nazis did lose the war originally? You know your history as well as I do. The Allies were winning. The Americans entered the war, everything was going our way, and then suddenly there was a major improvement in Nazi weaponry. Over night they had the technology they needed to beat us. Don't you think that's just a little suspicious?"

"It can hardly mean that somebody went back in time and gave them that technology." Sergeant Benton, Mike's assistant and closest friend, brought over three cups of nettle tea and handed the pair one each. "You really are into all of this, aren't you."

"Well why not?" Mike shook his head, gazing into the mug. "All I'm saying is that it can't hurt to find out. We're not essential to the movement, are we? If we go to Germany, and it turns out to be a trap, the resistance movement is hardly going to collapse; and we don't know enough for interrogation to reveal anything major. Anyway, they don't care about Britain anymore. It's been nearly a year since they last bothered coming here. Why can't we just go there and see for ourselves?" He leaned forward, suddenly strangely animated. "Think about it. There could be a whole other now waiting for us. Somewhere where we didn't grow up in the middle of constant bombardments, learning to use rifles before we learnt how to read. That - that seems wrong now. As though there should have been something else."

"I've never questioned it before." Benton sat down, drinking his tea in silence for several seconds. Finally he looked up. "It does seem... unfortunate, shall we say, that there couldn't have been something else. Some other way."

"Well now we've got a chance to find out if there was something else. If there's some way that we can fix this."

"How do we know that the other present - if there is one - is the right one?" Jo set her mug aside, staring at the pair with her large, bright eyes. "How do we know that it would be better the other way around? How do we know which way is right for the world?"

"How can this way be right? All of the executions, the destruction - half the planet laid to waste by their bombs. How can any of that be right?" Mike shook his head. "Maybe it would be different. Maybe some things wouldn't be better. But surely there has to be something preferable to living in holes, fighting an enemy that has murdered half the population of the world. This can't be right."

"I know." She leaned back in her chair, gazing at the floor. "But how are you going to convince the Brigadier of that? He means well, but you know how dedicated he is. He doesn't exactly welcome new ideas, especially if it's anything to do with science."

"I wasn't planning to tell him." Mike's eyes lowered. "The fewer the better, I thought. Maybe if we go, the three of us, plus the Doctor and his two friends of course... then nobody else need get involved."

"Go without telling the Brigadier? He'd have us shot!" Benton was only half joking. "Mike, I don't know about this..."

"I do." Mike stood up, feeling hot and resolute. "I'm going, if I can. To Germany."

"Straight into the nest. You don't believe in doing things by halves do you." Jo frowned, scuffing her shoes on the rough stone floor of her laboratory. "Alright, I'm with you. There have to be some rebels out there that can help us. Maybe we can get into Germany without getting ourselves shot."

"We can, with the Doctor's help. I'm sure of it." Mike looked over at Benton. "Are you with us?"

"Of course." He sounded almost insulted. "If you two are sure about this, then I'm with you. For better or for worse." He smiled. "It would be rather nice to think there might be something else for us, somewhere. That perhaps I might not have to watch my parents being shot by an invasion force next time around."

Mike reached out, putting a hand on his old friend's shoulder. "If we do this; if it's all true; we'll be different people, leading different lives."

"We'll still be together." Benton stood, taking Jo's hand in one of his own, and gripping Mike's hand with the other. "Right?"

"Right." Jo smiled. "I feel... strange."

"So do I." Mike led the way towards the door, his shoulders straightening into a line of firm resolution as he did so. "Do you think we're crazy, to believe all this?"

"Undoubtedly." She smiled. "But it'll be worth it, if it turns out to be true. And if it doesn't, we'll be dead."

"Either way, it's got to be better than this." Benton ducked his head to avoid banging it on the roof of the low tunnel. The walls were wet and clammy, and the recent rainfall had left pools of water on the floor, muddy and cold. It ran through the holes in his boots; acquired years ago from an enemy soldier he had killed above ground, back in the days when the Nazis still bothered to fight them. He was cold and he was tired, and he was suddenly, inexplicably anxious to find something different. This Doctor, he thought to himself, with more than a trace of confusion, must be a very extraordinary man. He only hoped that he was able to live up to expectations.


"Doctor?" Keeping his voice low, Mike hissed through the barred window of the holding area and unlocked the door as quietly as he could. "Are you there?"

"Where else would I be?" Slipping out into the darkened corridor, the Doctor gestured for his companions to follow suit. His eyes scanned the dark shapes standing behind the young captain, and a warm smile decorated his face. "Jo, Benton. It's wonderful to see you both looking so well."

"You know us?" Jo asked. He smiled at her.

"Didn't Mike explain?"

"Sort of. I just - can't quite decide how much I believe."

"Believe what you want, Jo." He struggled to pull the fond smile from his face, trying to focus his brain beyond his concerns for his old friends. "Come on. We must get out of here before anybody notices that we're gone."

"Right behind you, Doc." Tegan peered ahead. "Which way?"

"Follow me." Taking a tunnel that the trio of Time travellers had not so far been down, Benton led the way. The tunnel twisted sharply, sloping upwards and downwards at intervals. None of the group dared speak as they made their way along, unsure how much noise would be carried back to the rebel stronghold behind them. It was with relief that they finally reached the end of the tunnel, and the cool air of night greeted them. They climbed out of the thick bushes camouflaging the exit, and looked around.

"We have to make for the coast," the Doctor announced, taking charge with his usual careless confidence. "This way."

"Er, this way actually Doctor." Benton smiled at him. "I have friends in the south who'll help us get a boat. There aren't many of course. They were all impounded. The Axis couldn't impound the trees as well though."

"The Axis? You mean the powers allied to the Nazis?" Tegan fell into step beside Benton as they began to walk forwards through the night. "It seems weird, to think that they've been running the world since the war ended."

"Not so weird, really. Not to us." Jo shrugged. "It was all over very quickly for the Allies, and the Axis has been in control ever since."

"But not of Britain?" The Doctor, striding along in the lead, glanced back at the others. "They left you alone?"

"Not exactly." Mike shrugged. "When they made their weapons breakthrough; when you say somebody took them weapons from now back to then, they were able to demand the surrender of the Allied Forces. They detonated nuclear bombs in several countries, and threatened to use them in other places too. They couldn't use that threat here, because if they had used a nuclear bomb on us, they would have felt the effects too much in Europe. They tried to bomb us into submission using conventional weaponry, and they sent several invasion forces over, but none of it succeeded. This country is just too easy to defend."

"And not large or rich enough for the Axis to worry about." The Doctor nodded. "Makes sense."

"All the same, it was rough for years." Mike shrugged. "Still, I think we had it easier than the rest of the world."

"What about Australia?" It was a question which had been pressing on Tegan's mind, although she hadn't wanted to ask it. She glanced up at Benton, walking beside her. "What happened there?"

"Hard to say." He looked hedgy, as though avoiding the subject. "We managed to keep in touch with some places through radio, but Australia is half the world away, and our communications equipment isn't brilliant. As far as we can tell, with all of the cities so close to the coasts, it fell pretty quickly. They were so isolated, with the East already taken by the Japanese, and only New Zealand to help out. There are isolated pockets of resistance still; there's all that vast land in the middle; but for the most part they surrendered, rather than face the nuclear threat. I can't say that I blame them. It's the same story all over the world. In the mountains and the forests in America and Canada; in Alaska, Siberia; all those places, people still hold out. We get in touch when we can, when something happens. Sometimes a representative makes it overseas for a proper talk. We could never get a world wide organisation underway though. That's why we're still under the thumb of the Axis. The last people to try anything were the Russians, and the Axis used their nuclear weapons against them."

"I went to Russia once," the Doctor muttered, largely to himself. The thought of some of the most beautiful buildings that he had ever laid eyes on being smashed into dust by an atom bomb was enough to cause fires to light within him. He did not want to think about the people at all.

"Maybe we'll all go there someday." Jo caught up with him. "Make for that little building in the distance. There are some cars there, put into storage in case of emergencies. There should be enough fuel to get us to the coast."

"Jolly good." He smiled down at her, enjoying the reunion even though she had no idea of the times they had shared. "So long as they still work."

"Ah well. That's a different question."

"It is indeed." They shared a smile. Behind them Nyssa scanned the horizons as they walked onward, gazing about with eyes that were bright with concern. She felt uneasy, and it was a feeling that would not go away. Somebody was watching them, and the sensation was making her cold.

"Alright Nyssa?" Mike asked, catching her up. She smiled up at him.

"I suppose so."

"You think we're being followed." He glanced about. "I think so too, but I didn't want to say anything."

"The Brigadier?" she asked. He nodded.

"Probably. He's one of the good guys, but if he thinks his people could be put at risk, he'll kill us without thinking about it. You have to be ruthless in this game."

"It's not a game." She shivered, feeling strange feelings and experiencing strange thoughts which could only have come from the land around her. She could only imagine that it was her psychic ability, picking up on whatever this world had been through in the last thirty years. Mike noticed her shivering and offered her his jacket, but she declined. Warm clothing was not going to make the chill go away; not for her. The only thing that could do that was a change of scenery, and an escape from all this cursed desolation. It felt as though the very ground beneath her feet were crying in wretched misery.


"Here we are." Pulling the dust sheets from a selection of lumpy shapes, Mike Yates gestured at the line of cars now revealed. "They get a maintenance check every year or so, so they should work okay."

"We hope." Drawn without quite knowing why towards an old yellow car, Benton raised the flaps covering the engine and peered hopefully inside. "They say that before the war, people used to drive all over the place in these things."

"They did." The Doctor ran a fond hand over the little yellow car, knowing every inch of her bodywork before he even looked at it. "One of the things that the intended future didn't get too right. Cars everywhere, roads all over the place. Didn't do a lot for the world."

"They must have needed a lot of maintenance." Jo looked over the machine critically with unconvinced eyes. "Do you think we'll all fit in one?"

"We will if we take one of the bigger ones." Tegan made a move towards one of the larger, stronger looking cars, but was surprised to find that nobody followed her. "What's up?"

"This car feels right for us, somehow." Mike frowned at the little yellow car. "I almost feel as though it should have a name."

"She does have a name. She's called Bessie." The Doctor climbed behind the wheel, starting the vehicle up with the key he still kept in his pocket. It was an alternative reality key, naturally, but it was still a perfect fit for his beloved old car. "Tegan, take one of the other cars and fill it with spare petrol cans. You others follow on, and Jo and I will take Bessie." His face was lit with childish lights, and Tegan rolled her eyes. Just when she had thought that they were making progress, the Doctor was getting sentimental about a car that looked older than all their combined ages.

"Why? Are you going somewhere?" The voice was familiar to all of them, and they turned as one towards the source. The Brigadier strolled out from behind a large petrol tank, a rifle in his hands. "If any of you makes a move, I'll shoot him." His eyes narrowed. "And I don't care if he's a complete stranger or my second-in-command."

"Brigadier--" Mike took a step forward, but the gun in his CO's hands leapt to point at him, and he froze. The Doctor killed Bessie's engine and climbed out of the car.

"Brigadier listen. You're not going to be killing anybody. There's no point. You know we're right."

"Do I indeed, Doctor." The dark eyes that he knew so well turned towards him. "It's nearly dawn. I was going to have you executed then anyway."

"Fine, shoot me Brigadier. See if I care." Throwing his hands up in the air in a gesture of exasperation, the Doctor shook his head. "You know, you really are the most stupid, stubborn, aggravating man that I have ever laid eyes on. I'm giving you the chance to save your whole world from the greatest evil it's ever known in this reality, and all that you can do is execute me. Well fine. It's your planet, Lethbridge Stewart."

"I beg your pardon?" Sounding insulted, the Brigadier moved towards the insolent young man, his eyes bulging with indignation. "You're not helping your case by talking like that."

"Oh? I thought that you were going to kill me anyway?" The Doctor stared at him, seeing the anger and the heat in his old friend's face. "Well you're going to have to, because we're going."

"To Germany." The Brigadier lowered his rifle slightly, staring around at the little group. "Do you have any idea what you're getting yourselves into? If you walk in there, they'll shoot you before you get past the first checkpoint. The Axis hates Britain, and you lot aren't going to pass for anything else."

"We know the risks, Brigadier." Jo climbed into what there was of Bessie's back seat, and smiled up at her commanding officer. "Come with us, sir. See what we're going to do. It's better than staying here in a hole in the ground, fighting a war that even the enemy has forgotten."

"To find another world, where none of this ever happened?" The Brigadier shook his head. "You're all insane."

"Get in the car, Lethbridge Stewart. Stop acting like a desk man." The Doctor started up the engine again, listening to the steady hum of the car he had always loved. Odd how she was still here for him, even in this godforsaken world. "Bring your gun, stick to me like glue. Kill me later if it'll make you feel any better."

The Brigadier stepped towards him, looking thunderous. "Now see here, young--"

"But." The Doctor held up a hand, interrupting him mid-sentence. "Keep your eyes open, Brigadier. Listen and look around you. Tell me if you think the world is better this way." He stared at the familiar face, with its unfamiliar expression. "Tell me if you really think it's not worth looking, and seeing if there can't be something else."

"See if some madman in Germany really does have a doorway to the nineteen forties, you mean?" The Brigadier laughed. "There's something about you, Doctor. I'll swear that you're insane, but..."

"But you find my charm irresistible nonetheless." The Time Lord grinned at him. "Many feel the same way, old chap, I can assure you." He gestured to the seat beside him. "Climb in."

"Alright." Lethbridge Stewart climbed into the car, keeping his gun firmly trained on the man he still considered to be his prisoner. "I'll play your game, Doctor. For now. But as soon as anything happens to prove me right and you wrong... you're a dead man."

"And when I'm proved right?" the Doctor asked cheerfully, edging the little roadster out of the shed. The Brigadier laughed.

"Then I'll lead the way into Germany, and clear you a path right to Hitler's front door."

"Thankyou, Brigadier." The Doctor grinned merrily, and increased their speed a little more, beginning to bounce the car over the rough ground leading towards the coast. "That would do me just fine."


The crossing to France was slow and uneventful. Benton's coastal contacts gave the four UNIT members civilian clothes to replace their uniforms as well as a small boat in which to make their trip, and were happy to take charge of the cars. Although the English Channel was heavily mined, the seven adventurers in their small vessel passed by unscathed, their wooden hull unaffected by the magnetic bombs. Once in France, led by Benton's surprisingly fluent French and Jo's somewhat halting Spanish, they passed through a series of checkpoints manned by bored guards, and reached Germany in a matter of days. They were tired from long days of walking, and somewhat bedraggled from nights spent sleeping under hedges, hiding from the curfew soldiers, but the Doctor was in high spirits as he led them to the first hotel they came to. He booked them some rooms in loud, staccato German, and positively bounced up the stairs, unmoved by the extraordinary looks he received from the hotel staff. If his outlandish style of dress was not enough to capture their attention, his schoolboy enthusiasm certainly was. The Brigadier followed him into their room, glaring at his companion.

"Are you determined to get us noticed?" he asked, laying aside his rifle which he had wrapped up in his coat. "Honestly, Doctor, I swear that you are going to make me go prematurely grey."

"If we're noticeable, we're far less likely to get noticed." The Doctor strolled to the window, looking out onto the German streets. "If we sneak about whispering to each other we'll be in custody before you can say Lord Rassilon."

"Lord Who?" Sighing, Lethbridge Stewart lay down on his bed and closed his eyes. "And why didn't you say you could speak German? It would have made life easier in France than having to struggle by on Benton's efforts."

"I thought he did very well." The Doctor grinned. "And anyway, I only know a few words of German. I can order a room, buy some jelly babies and ask for directions to the local cinema." He frowned. "In this reality, jelly babies may well not exist, which makes 33.3% of my phraseology useless. Still, never mind." His frown became deeper. "No jelly babies, Brigadier. It is imperative that we put this planet back on its natural course as soon as is humanly possible."

"I shan't ask." The sleepy voice of the army officer suggested that conversation was off for the moment, so the Doctor sat down on a nearby chair. He had plans to make, and plenty of thinking to do. Thinking, and especially planning, had never exactly been strong points of his, but there were times when one had to bow to convention. This time it was hardly a game, no matter how much his love of adventure was trying to convince him that that was exactly what it was. This time, the whole universe could be relying on him. He sighed, gazing into the middle distance, wondering how long he had left. It had taken nearly four days to reach Germany, and he had had less than a week to begin with. Borusa's deadline had not allowed for the difficulties of travel in this alternative 1972.

"Penny for them, Doc?" Startled, the Doctor glanced up, seeing Tegan and Nyssa standing beside him. He smiled sleepily, realising that he must have dozed off, and rose to his feet.

"Nyssa, Tegan. Good of you to come. We, er, we need to talk."

"About this Timehole." Nyssa sat down on the edge of the empty bed. "The others are just coming."

"Yes, fine, of course they are." He smiled distractedly. "As I see it, our Time engineers are going to be somewhat awkward to get at. That's what I wanted to talk to you about."

"Do you know where they are?" Standing at the door, Mike Yates looked in upon the little gathering as though unwilling to disturb it. The Doctor glanced at him, nodding with complete confidence.

"Oh yes. Remember that they have to have a link back to 1942 - a 1942 that they haven't yet altered - so that end of the hole would have to be somewhere well guarded, with plenty of troops to protect it from Allied attack. Given the type of technology being used, this end of the hole is sure to be in the same point in space as that end. For it to be otherwise would require far greater expertise than I've seen evidence of. I would imagine that the military headquarters have remained the same?"

"Oh yes, at least as far as we know." Benton shrugged. "Of course our intelligence isn't what we'd like it to be, but there's no reason to change. Nobody is in any sort of position to cause trouble."

"Good, good." The Doctor nodded. "They'll have to be isolated; some sort of a force field cutting them off from the rest of the universe, or otherwise they would be caught in a temporal paradox, and that wouldn't do them any good."

"You mean they'd have altered Time, so therefore there would be no reason for them to have set up the project in the first place, so Time wouldn't have been altered, so..." Nyssa frowned. "Gosh, it makes your head hurt to think about it."

"Hmm. Precisely." He beamed at her, with the fond look of a teacher proud of his pupil's achievements. "Very good, though Nyssa. Now the force field wouldn't be difficult to construct, necessarily, but it would have to be very powerful. I can detect that soon enough, and we can be there in no time. Once we're in, you people must handle the equipment which is creating the Timehole. I'll travel through it to deal with whatever is keeping it in existence at that end. It should be simple enough."

"Once we've got through the guards." Tegan frowned. "Doctor - if you go through the hole, and then we destroy the equipment maintaining it... how are you going to get back?"

"I'll get back through before the hole is closed, don't worry." He smiled. "Somebody has to do it, Tegan, and I am the one with the most experience in Time and the relevant equipment."

"But the TARDIS is in 1972." Nyssa's voice showed her concern. "We won't be able to fly it back to rescue you, and there's no reason to assume that the Time Lords would come and find you. You know what they're like." Realising that she was casting aspersions on the Doctor's own race, she frowned. "I mean--"

"I know what you mean, and I agree wholeheartedly. My people would shed no tears if they thought that I was lost somewhere without the means to find myself again. Many of them still believe that I should be under arrest, or at the very least still in exile." He smiled ruefully at this thought. "But it's not going to be an issue, Nyssa. I shall make it back alright." He grinned. "I always do."

"Yes, you do." She smiled back. "Then I suppose we should be off."

"My thoughts exactly." Jo nudged the Brigadier, still asleep on the bed. "Wake up, sir."

"I am awake." He glared up at her. "I would remind you all that I am still the senior officer on this little excursion."

"Nobody is denying your authority, Lethbridge Stewart." The Doctor picked up the rifle, throwing it at his old friend. "Come along, if you're coming."

"I'm coming." He glowered, his dark eyes glimmering with the half-light which suggested that he was enjoying their half-hearted conflict. "Do we walk in through the main door and hope that they're friendly, or do we sneak in a back way?"

"That's your department Brigadier. I didn't bring you along for the pleasant conversation." The Doctor smiled at him. "Come on everybody, let's move along. Are we all looking pleasant enough now to avoid arrest?"

"I look pleasant, but I don't feel it." Benton tried to massage his shoulders. "When we've finished here I'm going to sleep for a week."

"You won't need to. When we finish here, we'll be in a whole different now. This will never have happened." Mike was frowning even as he spoke, then he grinned. "I never really thought about it that way before."

"Well don't think about it too much, just in case it doesn't work out." The Brigadier checked the load in his rifle, then glanced around at the others. "How is our arsenal, by the way?"

"I have a handgun, so does Benton." Mike drew his gun as proof. "Jo?"

"I don't carry weapons unless I have to Mike." She shrugged. "Sorry. Nyssa? Tegan?"

"I think I have a biro somewhere." Tegan also shrugged, repeating Jo's apology. "Sorry. Weapons aren't big in the TARDIS."

"Great. Trust my luck to get stuck with a group of freedom fighters who don't believe in violence." Lethbridge Stewart shook his head, exasperated. "Move out everybody, please. Before I have time to reconsider this."

"Certainly." Taking the lead with his usual forthrightness, the Doctor stuck his hands into his pockets and sauntered out of the room. He looked as though he were going for an afternoon stroll, and as he reached the street he pulled the hat from his pocket and put it onto his head. It stayed at a jaunty angle, the red ribbon around it catching the light of the afternoon sun. All that was missing was a carefree whistle, thought Tegan, and he was an ordinary young man out for a brisk walk before tea. He looked as though he should have a small dog on a lead, or a newspaper tucked under his arm.

"This way, everybody." Apparently unconcerned by the fact that he was speaking English, the Doctor nodded down a side street. "Short cut."

"Are you sure?" Even though this was technically their first adventure together, the Brigadier still seemed to have a healthy distrust of the Time Lord's sense of direction. The Doctor glared at him.

"My instrumentation never lies, Brigadier." He pulled something from his pocket, which looked, to Nyssa and Tegan, suspiciously like the TARDIS dematerialisation circuit. "Come on, come on, keep up." His two companions exchanged a look clearly lacking in confidence, and smiled at each other in knowing acceptance of their probable fate. In the Doctor's company it was hard to be too despondent.


Corporal Richard Holmes shouldered his rifle and stared glumly out of his sentry box, wondering what had led him to be there in the first place. He had wanted to go to Germany to learn something about the country which ran the world, and to convince himself that he didn't hate it as much as he thought he did. Instead he found himself standing in a wooden box at the side of the road, stopping everybody who walked by, and delivering on-the-spot fines to anybody speaking his own native language. It was depressing work, and dangerous too. Just last week the man in the box next to him had been killed by sniper fire. Holmes had himself been a part of the squad sent out to round up civilians to be shot as part of the reprisals. There was a sorry irony in it somewhere; all over the world, people thought that the Germans had it easy; that they were the rulers of the world. The truth was that they were prisoners just like everybody else. If they put a foot wrong, they were executed in their droves, just like the Russians and the Americans and the Africans and the Australians, and everybody else. Except the British. The rumour was that Hitler had ordered every map to have Britain removed from it, so that he did not have to look upon it. He had ordered the language banned, not caring that it was the mother tongue of a quarter of the world, and the only language that most of his aides could use to successfully communicate with each other. Anybody caught speaking English received a fine, then a prison sentence, and on their third offence, an automatic death sentence, without a trial or an appeal. They had no defence. Holmes himself had sent people to the firing squad for such crimes as exclaiming in English after dropping something in the street. He still wasn't sure why. He just knew that it was something he had to do to avoid being sent to keep the peace in one of the outlying areas. Russia perhaps, or Africa, where radiation levels were still dangerously high following the last round of nuclear strikes.

"Good morning!" The young man walking past Holmes was so cheerful, so bright and breezy, that Holmes did not react to him at all at first. It was only as the young man took several steps away from the sentry box that the soldier inside it thought to move at all. He jumped out, rifle levelled at the young man's back.

"Halt!" he shouted. The young man stopped, turning back to face him.

"Is there something wrong?" he asked, sounding genuinely concerned. "I'm sorry."

"You're speaking in a forbidden language sir. I must ask you to prove your nationality."

"My nationality?" The young man, who was, thought Holmes, dressed in an extremely peculiar fashion, frowned in confusion. "Why should I want to prove my nationality?"

"Because you are speaking in English sir. You must be able to prove that you are from one of the English speaking nations."

"And if I'm not?"

"Then you're actions are treasonable, sir."

"And if I'm from England?"

"If you are British sir, I shall have to place you under arrest." Holmes clicked off the safety. "Now sir, your identification please."

"I don't have any." The Doctor walked back towards him. "My friends have it."

"Friends?" Holmes felt a rifle pressing against his left ear and groaned inwardly. "I must warn you that we are under surveillance here at all times."

"Liar." The Brigadier glanced about. "All the same though Doctor, the soldier from the other sentry box has been gone nearly five minutes. He should be back at any moment."

"Not a problem, Brigadier, not a problem." The Doctor frowned at Holmes. "Now then old chap; what's all this about arresting me for speaking English?"

"It's illegal sir." Holmes felt the cold metal of the gun against his head, and convinced himself that he was about to die.

"But you're speaking it. Best put yourself under arrest, hmm?" Smiling pleasantly, the Doctor took his arm, leading him back to the sentry box. "Stay here, be a good fellow." He pulled a few wires from the radio unit in the box and moved aside to allow Benton to unload the soldier's rifle. "Have a think."

"About what, sir?" Still sure that he was about to die, Holmes tried hard not to breathe. He was certain that the slightest movement on his part would encourage the gun-toting Brigadier to kill him.

"About changing your career." The Doctor patted him on the shoulder and turned away. "Come along everybody, please. We don't have unlimited time..."

"We're coming." Sounding irritable, Tegan glared at Holmes and hurried after the Time Lord. The Brigadier was the last to follow on, clearly weighing up the pros and cons of shooting the guard on the spot.

"What are you doing here?" Holmes asked him, courage beginning to seep back into his body. Lethbridge Stewart stared back at him, eyes bright.

"What do you think?" He gestured at his clothes. "Do these look like local fashions?"

"Rebels... Somebody somewhere will have realised. It'll have been reported." Holmes felt a strange sadness at this realisation. "You'd be better to just surrender. That way they'll just kill you, and they won't execute civilians as well."

"Killed many civilians have you?" The Brigadier turned away. "I would kill you, if my friend hadn't asked me not to. I still might. So you just stay in this box, and you keep very still, and you don't tell anybody anything at all. Understand?"

"Yes sir." Holmes stared after him, watching as he slipped away, and then glanced at the loud hailer hanging on the back of his desk. He should use it really, and warn the other guards that there were rebels on the base. He should do something.

"Hey Richard." The voice of his patrol partner, Hans Friedrich, startled him, and he glanced towards the other guard, switching his mind back to its German setting. "Something up?"

"No." Holmes smiled vaguely, tearing his eyes away from the place where he had last seen the Brigadier. He had vanished now.

"Anything happen while I was away?" Friedrich asked. Holmes smiled.

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

"Jolly good." His friend headed towards his own sentry box, glancing back at his friend as he went. "Cheer up Richard. For the empire, yes?"

"For the empire." Holmes smiled back at him, and fingered the empty rifle at his side. Suddenly his head was hurting.


"Ssh..." Slipping as quietly as he could toward the large open window of the stone building they had been aiming for, the Brigadier took the lead, gesturing for Mike and Benton to spread out and check for other guards. It had not been hard to reach the building, since most of the guards were either asleep or too bored to care; and now they rested in Never Never Land. The Brigadier would rather have killed them, but the Doctor had been adamant that they kill only when necessary; and his mood was improving so much that the Brigadier felt inclined to go along with him. For the first time since his arrival in the country he was beginning to feel like a rebel with some chance of success, rather than just a misguided fool on a suicide mission. Part of his mind was even coming to believe more and more in their crusade. He was actually starting to accept that they might have a chance of turning back the clocks.

"This way." Jumping to his feet with a frightening disregard for the dangers, the Doctor climbed through the window and leapt lightly into the room beyond. It was empty, the carpeted floor allowing him to move silently in his soft shoes. Tegan and Nyssa clambered in after him, with the Brigadier bringing up the rear in evident disapproval. He checked the door, found it unlocked and unguarded, and then glared at the Doctor.

"There are ways to do things, Doctor," he warned. The Time Lord nodded.

"Quite." He offered a hand to Jo to help her climb in, then gestured to Mike and Benton that they also join the party. The pair were soon with them.

"No guards in sight on my side," Benton reported. "Security around here is almost non-existent."

"There's no reason for it to be anything else. They don't believe anybody would dare come here." The Brigadier smiled. "Or that anybody would be mad enough to try. Come on." He eased open the door, keeping his voice to a hoarse whisper. "Which way now, Doctor?"

"The armoury if possible. I'd like to get hold of something explosive." The Doctor looked both ways, then chose left. "Come along."

"Hadn't we better split up?" Mike asked, looking in the opposite direction with concern. "This is a big place. The armoury could be anywhere."

"Not really. As we came in, I saw the petrol store at that end. Only a fool keeps his weapons and his fuel at the same end of the building." The Doctor increased his speed, still managing to look more as though he were on a guided tour than as if he were planning to make a military strike. "My actions may look haphazard, Captain Yates. That doesn't mean that they are."

"Yes it does," Tegan whispered, only loud enough for Nyssa to hear. Her friend giggled softly, and then struggled to regain her composure. It felt strange to be able to laugh and joke in their current situation, where they might be discovered and killed at any moment, and yet she could not be entirely serious. She watched as the Brigadier directed Yates, Benton and Jo to cover them as they began to progress down the corridor, and found herself moving closer to Lethbridge Stewart for support. His presence was reassuring, with his no-nonsense approach and his swift actions. Only one guard seemed to stand between them and the next crossroads, and Benton dropped him with a swift karate chop to the back of the neck. He fell soundlessly, arms outstretched. Nyssa picked up his gun, ignoring the Doctor's expression, and stood back to allow Mike to drag the slumped form into a convenient store cupboard.

"I hear voices." Tegan frowned, creeping a little way down the corridor. She peered around the edge, returning to the little group with even more stealth than she had used before. "Trouble."

"More guards?" Going to check up on the source of the voices for himself, the Doctor smiled reassuringly. "I rather think we've found our objective."

"There are six guards on the door." Tegan tried to keep her voice low. "How are we supposed to get past them?"

"Easily." He flashed her a winning smile. "You know Tegan, when you smile like that you look most fetching."

"I'm not smiling." She frowned in puzzlement, then realised what he was suggesting. "Now wait a minute..."

"We don't have a minute." He took her hand. "Please, Tegan? Look, we don't have very much time left. A day, maybe two. If we encounter trouble now, the chances are we'll be finished. Please..."

"Alright." Glaring at him to be sure that he knew how she felt, she ran a hand through her hair, glad of the hour's respite in the hotel, and sighed. "Wish me luck."

"Luck as always, Tegan." He gave her hand a quick squeeze and ushered her away.

"Are you sure this is a good idea, Doctor?" The Brigadier frowned after the small figure. "She's not trained, and if one of them suspects something..."

"Do you think I haven't considered that?" There was a flash of fire in the Time Lord's eyes as he glared at his old friend. "Needs must, remember. We have to destroy the Timehole before my people decide that the risk is no longer worth taking. The Lord President is fighting a continuing battle against people who think that this planet should just be destroyed, regardless of this effort to save it. They could win. There are times when the President can be overruled."

"Alright, take it easy." They moved together to the edge of the corridor, where they would be able to hear Tegan's voice, and listened intently. Her shoes clicked sharply along the floor, and the Doctor found that he was holding his breath.

"Just a little further, Tegan," he whispered, barely audibly. "Just stay calm..."

Tegan reached the line of guards without incident, and smiled at the one who seemed to have the most stripes on his shirt. He smiled back, obviously expecting her to identify herself, and she batted her eyelashes at him.

"Hi. Name's Tegan. I'm from the Australian Office."

"Jasson, Berlin Department." A strange expression passed over the young man's face, and he shook his head. "We must speak German."

"Sorry, I don't." She moved closer to him. "But I won't tell anybody if you don't." Another of the guards giggled, and she smiled at him. He smiled back. Jasson shook his head.

"Perhaps you don't understand the rules, ma'am."

"Oh, I think I do." She took his hand, stroking it delicately with her fingertips. "This is the armoury, isn't it."

"Yes." He frowned, glancing at his comrades as though asking them what he should do. They all grinned back at him, clearly enjoying the spectacle. "Were you wanting something?"

"Oh, just one of two trivialities. A few guns, some explosives." She smirked up at him. "We're going to blow up the Time machine."

"Time machine?" He frowned. "Er, are you feeling alright, ma'am?" He turned towards her, glad of a medical excuse, no matter how flimsy, to get close to this strange woman. "Perhaps you'd like to sit down?"

"Yeah." Recognising this chance, Tegan nodded. "I do feel a little faint. Perhaps you could all help me for just a moment? I feel a bit strange..."

"Sit here." Another of the guards dragged up what looked like a cool chest for food or drink, and gestured to it. She sat, smiling up at him.

"Thanks. Er... Would you do something else for me too?"

"Sure." One of the guards moved as close to her as he realistically could do without actually touching her, his eyelashes batting at her as though trying to fan her face with their breeze. "What?"

"Just the usual." She smiled at him, matching his flirtations with some of her own. "Put your hands in the air, drop your weapons, be very quiet."

"Huh?" The guards glanced up, seeing the Brigadier, Mike and Benton behind them. One by one they raised their hands, their rifles clattering on the hard floor as they fell.

"Thankyou." Standing up, glad to drop the façade, Tegan glared at the Doctor. "You took your time, didn't you?"

"We had to be sure that you had them under your spell, Tegan." He grinned at her, before turning his attention to the armoury door. "Key please, somebody."

"Here." Benton took it from its place on the lead guard's belt, and the Time Lord made short work of the lock, wandering through the door. He watched with little interest as the UNIT members took some guns and ammunition, instead making for a row of grenades placed along one wall. He ran his eyes over them, cursing them for their unfamiliarity. He had no real idea how powerful they were, or what sort of fuse they had; there was no telling how such things might have come to differ in an alternative future. Finally he picked up a large leather bag hanging nearby, and began filling it with the small bombs. Meanwhile Nyssa and Tegan herded the six guards into the room, setting about tying them up with rope lying coiled up on the floor.

"Come on, Doctor. Somebody could come by here at any moment." His voice beginning to sound strained, the Brigadier stood at the door, gazing out into the corridor. The Time Lord joined him, taking a last look back to check that the guards were well secured, and firmly gagged. Angry, rolling eyes met his, and he smiled back at the six.

"Terribly sorry."

"Come on, Doctor." Ushering him out of the armoury, the Brigadier shut and locked the door. "Which way now?"

"Pass." The Doctor glanced at his cannibalised dematerialisation circuit, frowning all the while. "Judging by the energy residue, I'd say this way." He pointed. "I wouldn't like to stake my life on it though."

"I thought we were staking the whole universe on it?" Tegan asked.

"At the very least, this planet," Nyssa added. The Time Lord smiled at them both.

"Very true. Come along then." He started off down the corridor. "We must be getting close. Quiet now."

"And careful." The Brigadier firmly pushed the Doctor back, in order that he himself should take the lead. "Those of us who are actually prepared for an attack will go first, if you don't mind."

"As you wish, Brigadier." Eyeing the drawn weapons with clear distaste, the Doctor fell back. "Just try not to open fire unless you really have to."

"Five rounds rapid, Doctor. It discourages intervention." The Brigadier's eyes were hard, showing something of the harsh training he had received in the field. "This isn't a game."

"I know." The Time Lord's voice sounded hushed. He trailed along behind them as they rounded the last few corners and walked the last few lengths of corridor. They were all tense.

"Benton, Yates, prepare to fire." The Brigadier edged into position at the mouth of the last corridor, peering carefully around the edge of the wall. He could see ten guards, spread out in a determined line, suggesting that they had been assigned to protect the most important asset belonging to the Axis. Given that the head officers and legislators of the regime were reputed to live in underground bunkers, that could only mean one thing.

"Steady on, Brigadier." Moving forward, the Doctor caught hold of the raised gun, pulling it down. "There's no reason to go in there firing."

"Yes there is, Doctor. They'll kill us given half a chance. Most of this base is deserted, which means that they've diverted all of their resources to watching this room, and that means trouble. I'm not going to risk my men."

"You don't have to. Let me talk to them. While I'm distracting them--"

"If you take one step around that corner, they'll shoot you. You're not in uniform, and you don't even begin to look like a Nazi official. Blond hair isn't going to fool anyone." The Brigadier pushed him aside, using rather more force than his other self would have done, in its other reality. "Doctor, always supposing that I haven't risked everything for some madman's hallucinatory ramblings, you're our last chance to save this planet. I won't let you walk out there and get your head blown off when you're likely to be the only man who can save my world. You stay here." The last three words were spoken with real force, punctuated by a stiff finger jabbed into the Time Lord's chest. For a moment the Doctor's eyes flared with anger and indignation, then he backed down.

"As you wish Brigadier."

"Thankyou Doctor." He raised his rifle again, nodding at Yates and Benton. "Three, two, one - Go!"

The threesome moved around the corner as one, their guns rattling with a loud and arrogant rattle. There was the sound of an isolated yell, followed immediately by the persistent whoop, whoop of an alarm. The noise startled the Doctor, who glanced up at the speaker above his head and groaned.


"What do we do, Doctor?" Nyssa raised the gun she had taken, wondering if she was capable of actually using it. The Time Lord pushed it back down.

"We make our move. Come on." He ran around the corner, dashing forward after the Brigadier. The ten guards were all dead, and the sounds of gunfire were becoming muted as the UNIT officers ran on past the doors. The Doctor stumbled over the dead bodies, trying not to look too closely at the faces, following on in the wake of his old associates.

"This way, Doctor!" He looked up, seeing Jo beckoning him on, and ran forward, ducking as a volley of gunfire struck the wall above his head. Behind him he heard a squeal as Nyssa and Tegan also ducked.

"Keep down!" he shouted to them, trying to keep low behind banks of unfamiliar looking electrical equipment. They flattened themselves against a wall, trapped by the crossfire, as the Brigadier edged silently towards their attackers.

"This place will be full of soldiers any second!" Appearing from somewhere out of the maze of control banks, Mike Yates skidded to a halt beside the Doctor. "Whatever it is you came here to do, you'd better do it quickly!"

"Right." Pulling grenades out of his bag, the Doctor half ran, half crawled across the room, aware that Nyssa and Tegan were following him. A volley of gunfire rang out barely an inch above his head, and he felt the breeze, doubling his speed and feeling glad that he was no longer wearing his hat. It would have been reduced to tattered threads had it still been on his head just at that moment.

"Doctor!" He heard Nyssa shout out behind him and he spun, seeing a German officer spring out of nowhere, gun levelled straight at him. He froze. From somewhere above the echoing clatter of automatic gunfire, he heard the loud click of the officer's revolver as the hammer went back. He stared straight into the other man's eyes, and saw the hard light of death looking back at him. There was the sound of a gunshot and he jumped, startled by the suddenness of the shot. Before him the German officer fell, the hard light going out in his eyes as suddenly as it had appeared. Stricken, Nyssa stared down at his body, the gun in her hand smoking gently.

"Nyssa." He ran towards her, pushing the gun down and encircling her in her arms. "Are you alright?"

"Fine." She pushed him away. "I'll be fine, really. Come on, before this place is full of guards."

"Of course." He took the gun from her unprotesting hand, and ushered Tegan forward. "I'm going to need some help. Take some grenades, but don't dislodge the pins."

"I wasn't planning to." Tegan took four of the small bombs, staring down at them. They did not look like much. "Where are we heading for?"

"Over here. Centre of the room." He led the way, keeping them together in a tight unit until they came to what appeared to be a huge, glass wall. Yellow light glowed within it, and Tegan whistled.

"Timehole Central," she said softly. The Doctor nodded.

"Precisely. Come on, while the guards are still occupied with our friends."

"This is the force field?" Nyssa reached tentatively out, touching the glass. "Its feels peculiar."

"It would do. It's a peculiar concept; a way of isolating Time from a section of the universe." He laid a line of grenades along the base of the wall. "When this goes up, it will take the Timehole with it."

"But surely that will just cause greater disruption; the Time paradoxes..." Nyssa touched the glass again, fascinated by the strangeness of its existence.

"Yes, which is precisely why the equipment must go before this does. He dragged a tangled mass of string from a pocket, and began to tie it through the pins of the grenades. "I want you to go a safe distance from here, and in precisely fifteen minutes, pull this string. That will set off the grenades and blow this end of the Timehole apart. By then I should have destroyed the equipment at the other end of the hole. We need both ends, or the Time destruction will continue." He frowned. "Theoretically if I don't make it back through it shouldn't matter, because theoretically I won't ever have gone through... so once Time returns to normal we'll just be back on board the TARDIS as though nothing had ever happened..." He smiled at their expressions. "Yes, well I'm not too sure about that bit either, but we'll have to see, won't we."

"Good luck Doctor." Tegan smiled at him, feeling an odd wrenching sensation at his imminent departure. He smiled back.

"Brave heart, Tegan. I'll be back soon." Another volley of gunfire erupted nearby, and they all jumped. "You two must be careful; very careful. If something goes wrong, we'll be stuck with this reality, and I should hate it to go wrong for either of you."

"We'll be dead," Tegan reminded him. "The Time Lords will have--"

"Yes, well we'll worry about that when it happens." He gave each of their hands a quick squeeze, then headed for the most promisingly door-like section of the glass wall. It slid open at his touch, revealing an air lock within.

"Good luck," he told them both. Nyssa smiled, glancing up suddenly at the sound of footsteps. She saw a Nazi officer coming towards them, gun raised. A hard smile broke out on his face as he slowed to a halt.

"Nyssa, move!" Tegan, reacting with a speed she had not known that she possessed, hurled herself forward, knocking Nyssa aside. The younger girl fell, sped on by Tegan's momentum, and crashed into a row of instrumentation banks, her arms flailing. At the same instant the Doctor raised his own gun, finding his line of fire blocked by Tegan, whose actions had now taken her directly in front of the Nazi's own raised weapon.

"Get back!" Seizing his companion by the arm, the Doctor tugged her off balance, firing at the same moment. He heard two gun shots, so close that they could almost have been one, and saw the Nazi fall. In the same second Tegan crashed into him, propelled by his sudden pull on her arm. They fell back together, the inner door of the airlock colliding with the Doctor's back with hard, unyielding pressure. As if in response, the outer door slid shut.

"Blast." Struggling back to his feet the Doctor struggled with the door, but found it impossible to open. "Some kind of pressure lock..." He turned, opening the inner door instead, and led the way out into the isolated area beyond. Two men were already there, dressed as scientists, clearly surprised.

"Doctor..." Tegan staggered, affected by the sudden isolation from the rest of the universe. She stared at the two men, confused. "Doctor they--"

"Who are you?" The first of the men came towards them, expression showing clear anger. "Who gave you permission to come in here?"

"UNIT." The Doctor kept his voice cold, scanning the equipment before him with a practised eye. He recognised nothing. "My name is the Doctor. I represent the Time Lords of Gallifrey, and you are making a big mistake."

"It's you who is making the mistake." The second man reached for a gun lying on his desk, but the Doctor raised his own weapon in response, pointing it at both men with a look that suggested he was more than prepared to fire.

"Sit down, both of you," he ordered sharply. The pair exchanged a look and sat down. "Thankyou. Now if you would be so kind as to not move, I think we shall get along just fine." He favoured them with one of his most charmingly boyish grins, then turned towards the framework of magnetic rods in the centre of the room. The primitive nature of the Time gate amused him, and he laughed softly.

"I haven't seen anything like this since a visit I paid to the Time travel museum on Colossus IV a couple of hundred years ago... Magnetic rods, a Time void; there's even a distortion around it." He held out his hand, watching as the forces from within the void sucked at it, making his fingers appear elongated. "Come along, Tegan."

"Where to?" She frowned suddenly. "In there? Are you kidding?"

"No. Look, we can't send them out there; they have to remain isolated from Time to protect us all from the paradoxes that Nyssa mentioned earlier; and I won't leave you alone in here with them, when I'm back in 1942."

"Can't I just go back out there?" She peered out through the yellow tinged glass, wondering where Nyssa was. There had been no sign of her since the Nazi officer's attempted attack.

"It's not safe. I'm not sending you back out there without an escort. Now come on; just think of it as another trip in the TARDIS."

"Except that this trip is going to take us right into the heart of Nazi Germany." She smiled without humour. "Yeah, I know. Brave heart."

"Precisely." He put an arm around her shoulders, guiding her forward. "Relax."

"You'll be dead before you get sixty feet." One of the men rose back up from his chair, staring towards them with clear contempt. "You haven't got a chance."

"We have every chance." His eyes bright with sudden rage, the Doctor began to swing around to confront the two, but felt Tegan's hand on his arm.

"Doctor, this isn't the time."

"No." He brought himself back under control with admirable speed, and nodded briskly. "We have other concerns. Ready?"

"No." She smiled to herself. "Come on, Doc. Before the Time Lords decide to blow us all to pieces anyway." She stepped forward. Led by her hand on his arm, he followed her, anxious not to let her get too far ahead of him; anxious about what was to come; anxious about what might be waiting for them. The void closed around them, and the brightness of all the stars consumed them at once.


"Ow." Tegan rubbed her head, trying not to look about the place that she now found herself in, just in case she discovered a row of gun-toting Nazis standing behind her. The Doctor also stood up, looking about with evident enthusiasm.


"Is there anything around here that you don't find deeply exciting?" She scowled about at the space that they had found themselves in. It seemed no bigger than a broom cupboard, and was crammed with equipment of all kinds. "Hurry up and plant your bombs, Doc."

"Certainly." He began to lay them about the floor, moving with no particular speed. "There's no isolation chamber at this end. Not needed I suppose."

"Doc..." She was glancing towards the door at frequent intervals, certain that at any moment the place would be full of guards. "Just hurry up, okay?"

"Certainly." He smiled in her general direction, showing no sign of complying with her request. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." She scowled at the door. "I'm not scared of the Nazis, or Hitler, or any of the rest of it. But I am scared of getting stuck here, when Nyssa blows her end of the hole."

"You should be." He paused to examine something, sending her into further raptures of frustration.

"Should be what? Scared of getting stuck here? Thanks, that's very reassuring."

"No, scared of the Nazis. They are evil in its purest form; masquerading as acceptable in order to infiltrate the minds of others." He paused. "Of course, when we put the Earth back on its true path, it will encounter other evils." He frowned, evidently staring into the parallel present. "Mike Yates will be thrown out of UNIT, my own history with follow its original path... In this actuality, Adric may never have left his own universe. He might still be alive."

"So might my Aunt Vanessa." Tegan smiled sadly at the memories of her beloved relative. "It's not for us to decide what's right though. Is it Doctor?"

"No, of course it isn't." He smiled at her, positioning the last of the grenades in a manner which pleased him, then tying some more string around the pins. "There. One tug and the whole lot goes up."

"We can do that from inside the tunnel, right?" Tegan toyed with the string, and the Doctor shrugged with a typical lack of certainty.

"Undoubtedly. Are you ready?"

"Always." She glanced towards the door. "Er... did you hear something, Doc?"

"I'm afraid that I did, yes." He hesitated. "Jump. Get into the tunnel."

"But what about you?"

"Never mind me, Tegan. They can still stop us. If they follow us into the void, they might succeed in preventing our sabotage at that end. They might even disconnect the string here. Go!"

"But--" She glanced towards the door. It was already opening. The Time Lord planted a hand firmly on her back and pushed her, hard. She fell. "Doctor!"

"Good luck, Tegan." She got a last glimpse of him as she fell into the void - saw him running towards the door and throwing himself through it, into the waiting arms of the Nazi soldiers beyond - then the void was one with her, and she was back in 1972. She did not hear the explosion that must have come, for by the time that it echoed about the little room, it had already occurred thirty years previously.


The two Nazi scientists did not react as their enemy hurtled back into the room with them, but they did react to the klaxon alarms echoing from one of their consoles. Tegan could only assume that this was some warning of the destruction of the other end of their void, and she used their distraction to cover her escape. Outside the force field, gunshots still echoed about. She kept low, crawling about the floor until she found Nyssa. The girl was crouching behind a bank of controls, a gun in one hand and the string in the other.

"Tegan! She sounded relieved. "Where's the Doctor?"

"Still in 1942. He made me go back without him. That end of the hole should be gone by now, so you might as well blow this end."

"But the Doctor!" She glanced back towards the force field, wondering also about the men she had seen moving about within it. "I suppose, if we put Time back on track... he'll never have gone back there, so he won't be stuck there any more."

"I think that's the plan." Tegan shrugged. "Least, I hope so. It's all double Dutch to me."

"Dutch must be a very confusing language." Nyssa toyed with the string, clearly still uncertain about whether or not to pull it. They heard footsteps, and saw Benton and Jo scrambling towards them.

"The Brig says what's the hold up. He's not sure we can hold them off much longer." A Nazi appeared briefly close by, and Benton shot him down before continuing. "Where's the Doc?"

"In 1942." Tegan shook her head slightly. "There's no way for him to get back here."

"1942?" Benton whistled. "I've heard of arriving a few minutes late, but thirty years too early is just ridiculous." He smiled at the two travellers. "Come on, we have to make a move. The Nazis have got Mike pinned down on one side of the room, and we have to get to him before they do some serious damage. Just in case we all wind up getting stuck in this reality, the Brig's not taking any chances." He straightened up. "What still needs to be done?"

"Just the equipment at this end of the tunnel." Nyssa glanced fearfully towards the force field. If she blew it up now, she would be killing the two men inside; and isolated from Time as they were, she would probably be killing them for good; in the proper reality as well as the false one they were now in. It was against her beliefs to make such a choice.

"Do you want me to do it?" Guessing her thoughts, Tegan looked at the string, wondering if she was capable of pulling it. Benton smiled at them both, clearly amused by the sentimentality they were demonstrating. It was an alien concept to him, the way that he had been brought up. He pushed them both aside.

"Get under cover."

"But--" Nyssa began. He gave her a gentle push.

"Go on."

"Come on, Nyssa." Taking her hand, Jo led her away. Behind them Benton glanced back at the force field, glanced down at the string in his hand, and stood up for better leverage, gripping the string in a fist that was suddenly cold. Part of him, he realised, still did not believe in any of this; but he wanted it to be true with a passion that was unnerving. He was aware that he was presenting the Nazis with a clear target now, but it was still several seconds before he could force his oddly shaking hand to take a better grip on the string. He took a deep breath. A gunshot sounded from close by, and he felt a peculiar burning sensation in his side. The warm wetness of blood ran against his skin, and his legs wobbled uncertainly. He smiled, his eyes seeing everything with a far greater clarity than he had eve known before; and he was sure that he could see a tall, white-haired man in a velvet smoking jacket beckoning to him from nearby. The man was a stranger, and yet Benton was sure that he knew him. He choked.

"This had better work," he whispered to himself, realising now what was coming. A half smile played about on his lips. It would be damned unfair if it all turned out to be a wild goose chase now. With a numb hand that felt hardly like his at all, he pulled the string. The last thing that he was sure of was the sound of his world exploding.


Stunned from the explosion, the Doctor climbed to his feet, aware of the collection of weaponry pointed in his direction. He smiled nervously.

"Hello. I'm the Doctor."

"You are under arrest." One of the guards, evidently one with some authority, looked towards the smoking remains of the room containing the Time travel equipment. "The charge is sabotage. You have been found guilty."

"And the sentence is death, no doubt." The Doctor smiled at them all, his eyes bright. His plan was coming to an end, and this was the last piece of it; the piece that he had not felt able to tell the others about. Here was where he saw to it that the Timeline was safe; and that the weapons of the future were never used by the Axis powers. Here it was 1942, and what was to happen had not yet happened. All that he had to do was ensure that it never did. Anything which had already been brought through the tunnel had to be destroyed, along with all evidence of it. He could only hope that he still had enough time left, before the Timehole and its resulting present were destroyed forever. Otherwise he would not be alive to live with the consequences. "Might I make a small suggestion?"

"What?" The guards were already preparing to shoot him, and he merely smiled at them all, knowing that his fate was settled one way or the other.

"Duck?" He grinned, and tossed the bag of grenades towards them. There was no point in his running. He already knew that he did not have the time to get away. Sadness flashed in his eyes as he saw the panic on the faces of the men before him. "I'm sorry." His words were drowned by an explosion that obliterated all.


The TARDIS spluttered, making a few disjointed sounds that suggested deep confusion in its circuits. The Time rotor in the centre of the console jerked to a halt. Tegan stared at it, relieved at its essential familiarity, and yet disturbed by its strangeness. It shouldn't be here; should it?

"Doctor?" Nyssa's voice sounded faint and confused, and Tegan looked towards her. She too was frowning, bothered by the sense of displacement. "What just happened?"

"Nothing." He grinned at her, glancing down at his clothing. Not a scratch to suggest that he had just died in an almighty explosion; which was more than a minor relief. He had been acting on a hunch; a mere theory. It was not until this moment that he had been sure of the outcome. "I would say that Time is back on track. None of that ever happened, and so... we never did it." He tried not to look too relieved. "Everybody alright?"

"Everybody's fine." Nyssa frowned. "Doctor... Benton, Mike and the others?"

"They'll be fine. I already know what their future is to be, and it's just fine." He smiled. "I'd suggest a visit, but they won't know who we are. They won't remember any of it, because it never happened. Sad, really, but probably for the best."

"But we remember." Tegan frowned at him. "How come we remember it, if they don't?"

He stared at her for a few seconds, a sad smile on his face. "Do you Tegan?" he asked softly. "Really?"

"Do I what?"


"Remember what?" She was frowning again, more deeply this time. "Where are we?"

"Nowhere much." He smiled at Nyssa. "How about you, Nyssa?"

"What?" Her perplexity was as true as Tegan's. "Doctor, what's going on? I thought we were going to the Sun Festival on Garrus XII?"

"We were." He smiled his small smile, and turned back to the console. Soon the TARDIS would be in flight and the universe would go by without disruption, unconcerned by what had never happened, and what had never been. Only the Time Lords would remember; and they never spoke of such things. He flicked a few switches and the central column began to rise and fall once again. It was time to move on.


Richard Holmes stared up at the sign above the cinema door, frowning slightly at the huge, red words. For one, brief moment he had thought that they said something else; something about... but he couldn't remember.

"Are you alright, Richard?" He glanced at his fiancée standing beside him and smiled.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I just... went kind of weird for a moment there."

"But you're alright now?" There was real concern in her voice, and his smile became a grin as he took her hand.

"Yeah, it was only for a second. I--" He squeezed her hand gently, as the queue moved forwards and they headed together into the cinema. "Everything's okay now."