It was autumn, and the leaves on the trees were beginning to turn their pleasantly predicted shades of red and brown. Matthew Hardacre, proprietor of the Hardacre and Mason Toys And Games Factory, whistled cheerfully as he left his house, in his usual high spirits. Hardacre was an eternal child; a man who had never ceased to love his work, and to delight in seeing each new toy as it came fresh from the production line, ready for the shops. His office at the factory was a shrine to clockwork toys from all eras, and brightly coloured mobiles hung from the ceiling. His wife had once likened it to a toddler's nursery, but for Hardacre it was a way of life. Toys were his life, and he lived to make them.

That one particular day, Hardacre was in a hurry. He had received a call late during the previous day's business hours, saying that a foreign businessman - a Mr George Emarst - was interested in doing business with the factory. Emarst owned a string of toy companies abroad, and had recently developed a new kind of toy - something revolutionary - and he wanted to use the Hardacre/Mason Factory to produce it. It was something completely new, he had promised Hardacre; the like of which had never been seen before. Hardacre was positively leaping with excitement as he hurried to work, desperate to get to his office to meet George Emarst, and to see this new toy for himself. It would be something fascinating, he promised himself. Something fun, but educational. Something that would enable children to develop new skills through play. With Christmas coming soon, they could not possibly work fast enough to get everything ready.

"Miss Sanders! Is he in yet?" Bouncing into the outer office, Hardacre barely paused to hang up his coat before hurrying to his office door. Miss Sanders, his secretary, did not look at him, but merely continued typing. She did not appear to have loaded any paper into her type writer, but Hardacre was too excited to notice. He repeated his question, and she pointed at his door, nodding slowly. He frowned, surprised by her apparent lack of enthusiasm, then dismissed the thought and entered his office.

"Good morning!" Rising smoothly to his feet, George Emarst smiled at his host, and shook hands firmly. "Good to finally meet you."

"Yes, yes of course." Hardacre was breathless with joy. "Please, sit down. Coffee?"

"No thankyou. I don't tend to touch the stuff." Emarst smiled winningly as he sat back down. "You are interested in my offer, I trust?"

"Interested? Yes, of course. I'm always interested in new lines." Hardacre relaxed back into his chair, smiling back at his guest. Emarst was a tall man, with an aristocratic appearance. His hair was largely grey, but streaked with black, and was combed neatly back, revealing an intelligent forehead. Dark eyes gleamed out at the world, filled with such lights as Hardacre had never seen before. There was something oddly disturbing about their glow, but he took that to be evidence of the man's obvious genius. His skin was olive in colour, with a touch of yellow that gave his appearance something saturnine and strange, but his smile was friendly and welcoming, and his eyes seemed to soften with his every word and gesture. Even his voice inspired trust and confidence. It was silky and correct, deep and soothing; musical almost. And yet at the same time it was compelling and assertive, and made Matthew want to sit up and take notice of every word; every syllable that this man had to say.

"Good. I'm glad that you're interested." Emarst leaned into the black leather of his chair. "My new product is quite scientific - I'd like to think that it's educational. Does that meet with your approval?"

"Yes, absolutely." Sitting erect, Hardacre tried to clench his hands to stop his excitement from becoming too apparent. He did not want to appear unprofessional.

"Good, I'm glad to hear you say that." Emarst reached into his briefcase, and produced a small, black box which he laid on the desk. "Let me demonstrate."

"It doesn't look like much." Feeling oddly disappointed, Hardacre stared at the box. Emarst smiled indulgently at him.

"Well you must understand that this is merely a prototype. You are the professional, Mr Hardacre, and whatever shapes or colours you want to produce these in, will be left entirely to your discretion." He steepled his fingers, frowning slightly. "Shall I demonstrate it?"

"Please." Hardacre nodded, and Emarst inclined his head slightly in agreement. He reached out, his long, nimble fingers taking hold of the box. There was the sound of a switch clicking, and at once a strange kind of music swelled from within the box. Sweet, pure notes rang out, seeming to be both cacophonous and soft at the same moment; echoing about the room and yet filling Hardacre with the greatest sense of peace that he had ever experienced. He smiled, feeling all sensation of his body drifting away, until he was just a mind. Almost immediately, from deep within the music, he heard a new sound; a sharp, high pitched beeping noise which cut into his head. He gasped, but the music, still filling his perception, kept him from crying out. The beeping became more intense, more persistent, and his mind opened up to it, accepting it within him. He heard a voice, firm and clear.

"I am the Voice."

"You are the Voice," Hardacre could not help agreeing.

"You will obey me."

"I will obey you." These words seemed to fill him with great joy, such as he had never known before. This Voice was all that he had ever longed to hear; and to agree to obey it seemed the most wonderful and important thing in the world.

"You are my servant. You will obey no others."

"I will obey no others."

"Listen for my Voice. It will come again, when it is time."

"I will listen." Gradually the music faded and the beeping fell silent. Hardacre opened his eyes, and watched in wonder as the world came back into focus. He saw Emarst looking at him, and his eyes filled with tears.

"That was wonderful," he said. "This box; the whole world should be able to share in it."

"I'm glad you agree." Emarst smiled at him. "You are interested then?"

"Yes!" Hardacre jumped to his feet. "More than interested. I'd like to turn over the entire factory; we'll put our other lines on hold."

"Very good." Emarst handed him the box. "Please except this one as a gift. I'll move in right away."

"And the design specifications?" Hardacre asked. Emarst smiled again.

"I shall handle that," he said. "My intention is to teach your staff how to make these boxes for themselves. I shall give them all boxes of their own, I think. As a sign of my gratitude for their help."

"That sounds most generous." Hardacre opened the door. "Would you like me to show you around now?"

"I shall find my own way thankyou." Emarst gestured back at the desk. "I'm sure that you have things to do. Arrangements to make."

"Yes, of course." Hardacre wandered back to his desk, watching as the door swung shut. He reached out for the box, running his hands over it. It was beautiful, and it was his. He smiled beatifically, and opened the box.


"Doctor!" Wandering along the TARDIS's interminable corridors, Adam Harper glanced into one of the rooms, and blinked at the dust covered bookcases he found there. There was no sign of the Doctor, so he closed the door and continued on down the corridor. "Doctor!"

"No need to shout, Adam." Appearing in a doorway, the Doctor leant against the doorframe, his hands in his pockets. "Was it anything important?"

"We've landed." Adam looked about. "I don't think I've been in this section before. How big is this place?"

"Oh, it's big." Smiling, the Doctor joined him on the return journey to the control room. "You know, I always meant to draw a map, but the problem is that the internal structure changes, especially as you get deeper in. I think the old girl gets tired of the rooms going in the same order all the time, so she switches them about." He shrugged. "At least, nothing ever seems to be where I left it."

"There could be a more simple explanation, Doctor." Adam grinned. He had not known the Time Lord very long, but it had been long enough for him to realise that, for all his intellect and abilities, the Doctor managed to take absentmindedness to a whole new extreme.

"Do you think so?" Already sounding as though his mind was off somewhere else, the Doctor wandered into the lead, delving deeper into his pockets. "I really can't... Hmm." He pulled one hand out, and gazed at some object in his palm. "I wonder where that came from?"

"What is it?"

"Hmm?" The Doctor frowned, shaking his head. "No, I don't think so."

"What?" Adam was confused, but the Doctor smiled at him.

"Pardon? This-" he held out the object - "is the circuit which controls the environmental override on a Tyrellian ore collecting ship." He frowned suddenly. "Did you want me for something?"

"We've landed, Doctor." They had reached the door to the console room, and Adam opened it, gesturing inside. "I don't think it's Canada."

"No, it certainly doesn't appear to be." Heading purposefully for the console, the Doctor glanced over the various readings. "Actually, it's London. The outskirts anyway. And the date is... 1998. October the 12th, to be precise. At..." He frowned at the computer. "Eleven minutes past two in the afternoon."

"There's no need to show off." Suzy McConnell smiled at him as she joined the pair at the console. A pretty young woman in her early twenties, she had joined the Time Lord just after his most recent regeneration. "Can we go outside?"

"Since it's only London, I don't see why not." The Doctor turned on the scanner screen, almost as an afterthought, to check that there was nobody around who might have witnessed their landing. "The air isn't very breathable, but that's nothing unusual."

"1998?" Adam, his eyebrows raised inquiringly, wandered over to the screen. "Whereabouts in the outskirts are we?"

"I can't really tell from here." The Doctor shrugged. "Somewhere with lots of office blocks. Come along, I fancy a stroll."

"Right behind you." Suzy reached for the door control, and the Time Lord walked briskly out of the TARDIS. "How's the weather?"

"Warm." He glared at them both. "Come along, or I'll leave you behind."

Suzy grinned. She hurried after him, glancing back at Adam. "Are you coming?"

"What? Oh, yes. Yes of course." He joined her, seeming preoccupied, and glanced about at the streets as the Doctor closed the doors. "It's been a while since I was in London."

"I've never been here." Suzy looked up at some of the office blocks. "How do those buildings stay up? Surely they would get blown over when there's a storm?"

"You'd think so, wouldn't you. Actually these ones aren't terribly high at all. I've seen much taller. In Japan they have buildings several hundred stories high." The Doctor frowned. "Or is that not until the coming century. I'm afraid I don't really recall. Still, pretty impressive, aren't they?"

"Yes." She gazed up at the first building that they came to. "Can we go into one?"

"Why not?" Filled with his usual confidence, the Doctor strode up to the nearest door and opened it. A uniformed guard stood in the entrance hall just beyond, and the Time Lord approached him assuredly.

"Good morning. Would this be the office of Mr Smith?"

"Yes." The guard frowned at him. "Are you his three o'clock appointment?"

"Certainly am." Grinning cheerfully, the Time Lord gestured to his friends. "Is it alright if we just go straight up?"

"I should think so." The guard nodded towards the lift. "Seventeenth floor, room 108."

"Thankyou so much." Still smiling, the Doctor led the way to the lift and hurried his friends inside. Adam pressed the button for floor seventeen.

"Who is Mr Smith?" he asked. The Doctor shrugged.

"I really have no idea, but the guard seemed quite well acquainted with him. I don't think we need to bother the poor chap though, do you?"

"Definitely not." Suzy stared around at the lift. "Seventeen floors doesn't sound terribly high up, Doctor. Can we go up to the top floor instead?"

"If you'd like." Pressing the highest button on the panel, the Doctor leant against the wall and pulled out his harmonica. Blues music began to flood out the tinny noise of the piped musak.

"I hope the guard hasn't told Mr Smith to expect us," Suzy commented, as the lift went higher. Adam smiled.

"Wasn't much of a guard. There can't be anything special going on in this place to have a bloke like him on the door. I've seen better security in schools."

"In my experience, my boy, the less apparent the security, the more important the building." As the lift came to a halt, the Doctor put away his harmonica and stepped towards the doors. "If the appearance is one of carelessness, the opposite is most often true." The door slid open, and the threesome found themselves staring at a row of rifles, all pointed unswervingly at them. Adam smiled sardonically.

"I see what you mean."


Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, formerly of UNIT, formerly maths master, and currently head of the United Nations newest special ops branch, leaned back in his chair and wished that he couldn't hear the music currently seeping through the door of the adjoining office. Mike Yates, since returning from wherever it was that he had spent the last two decades, seemed to be very much a changed man, and Lethbridge-Stewart was rather of the opinion that the old Yates had been a lot better; even if he had turned out to be a traitor who had nearly killed his superior officer. He stood up and rapped sharply on the door, opening it before being asked. In the room beyond, Jo Grant - Yates, he corrected himself automatically - and John Benton were seated at Yates' desk, going through the vast collection of files that they had been sent, both by the UN and by the British government. Yates himself was fiddling with the radio.

"I'm sure I should be able to pick up the police band," he muttered in frustration, twiddling the dials. Lethbridge-Stewart coughed, and his second-in-command glanced up sharply, dropping the radio. Instantly the sound of police radio transmissions burst over the airwaves.

"Am I disturbing you, Yates?" the Brigadier asked. Yates smiled rather awkwardly.

"Er, no sir. No, we er..."

"We were finishing with these files sir." Equally nervous, Benton had crashed to instant attention at the Brigadier's arrival. "Would you like a coffee sir?"

"No I would not like a coffee." Striding over to the radio, Lethbridge-Stewart picked it up and turned it off. "Yates, this is not a class for radio hams."

"No sir, of course not." He smiled again, his face still filled with that oddly innocent enthusiasm that he had always displayed in the past. "Sorry sir."

"Hmm." Never able to stay angry for long, especially with Yates and Benton, the Brigadier relented. "I'm sorry, I've just had the Secretary of State on the 'phone, and things are getting pretty hectic. We have to get everything up and running before the end of the month, or we're going to have an almighty backlog of work." The radio clipped to his belt beeped, and he snatched it up. "Yes?"

"Sir? We've just picked up three intruders." The tinny sounding voice of his head of security came over the small unit with its usual lack of clarity. For a multimillion pound organisation, thought Lethbridge-Stewart bitterly, this place was a shambles. "Should I bring them in to see you?"

"Yes, you'd better." The Brigadier sighed. Day three, and they had already had a breach of security. If his offices were not supposed to have been extremely secret, he would have had the whole area filled with uniformed men on patrol.

"Right ho sir." The radio went dead, and almost immediately there was a knock on the door. The Brigadier went back into his own office to answer it, Yates trailing after him. The head of security, surrounded by his little battalion of men, waited in the corridor with the three prisoners beside him. The Brigadier saw a young, pretty woman dressed in slightly dated clothes, and a young man wearing a tieless suit. The third intruder, a tall, athletically built man of middle age, was dressed in a bizarrely flamboyant waistcoat, and wore shiny black boots heavily decorated with silver patterns. He was grinning at the Brigadier, as if they had been old friends, parted for years.

"Oh no." Turning away, Lethbridge-Stewart shook his head. "No no no. Not again."

"You recognised me!" Sounding delighted, the Doctor bounded into the room, shaking his old friend's hand in evident delight. "My dear chap, you are getting observant in your old age. And Captain Yates!" Releasing the Brigadier's hand, the Doctor pounced on Mike's, pumping it up and down with relish. "My dear Captain, you are looking positively wonderful. And that's a new uniform, isn't it." He looked the captain up and down. "I approve. The old one was a little unimaginative."

"Doctor..." Waving away the security guards, the Brigadier closed the door and then sat down at his desk. "How? Of all the offices in all of London, how did you manage to find mine?"

"Sheer talent, Brigadier." Almost beside himself with joy, then Doctor finished with Mike's hand and turned back to the CO. "New offices. Very nice. You have a wonderful view of... well of a road. I thought you'd retired?"

"I rather wish that I had." Despite his usual moans, the Brigadier smiled up at his old friend. "Special assignment. I was hoping everything was going to go smoothly for a while, but you arriving rather puts a stop to that."

"Hmm. Age has not improved your sense of humour, has it." Sitting down on the Brigadier's desk, the Time Lord gestured at his companions. "You must meet my new friends, Brigadier."

"The new victims?" Rising to his feet, Lethbridge-Stewart shook the hands of both companions. "Good morning. I'm Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, UNIT X. I'm pleased to meet you both."

"Er... Brigadier?" Adam looked slightly taken aback by the military presence in the ordinary looking tower block. "Er, this is Suzy McConnell, and I'm Adam Harper."

"Pleased to meet you." Lethbridge-Stewart gestured at Mike, and at Benton and Jo who were now lurking in the door. "This is my second-in-command, Captain Yates, and--"

"Sergeant Benton, my old - and Jo!" Leaping to his feet once again, the Doctor almost ran towards the pair, shaking both their hands at once. "Sergeant - no, sorry, you were promoted weren't you?"

"Yes Doctor. But this is an informal organisation for the most part. No rank insignia." Benton tapped the sleeve of his shirt as an indication of this. He smiled, seeing the fond lights in the Doctor's eyes. The face may have changed, but many other things hadn't; he could tell that at a glance.

"It's good to see you again, Jo." Smiling gently, the Doctor took her hand. "How did you all find each other again? Or was that UNIT's work? Is Simon here?"

"Er... no. Simon and I went our separate ways." Jo flushed slightly, "We're still good friends." A teasing glimmer sparked in her eyes. "Actually, a year or two back, I ran into Mike at a UFO convention in Liverpool, and... one thing sort of led to another." She held out her hand for the Doctor to see the wedding band on her finger. "We were married last week. Benton was the best man, and the Brigadier gave me away. I wish you could have been there."

"So do I." He clapped Mike on the back. "Congratulations, old fellow. So." He sat back down on the desk, looking perfectly at home in the office already. "What are we working on?"

"Well not a lot, actually." The Brigadier looked resigned to this new interruption. "We've been in these offices for about three days, and the uniforms only arrived this morning." He fingered the black shirt with its silver logo embroidered on the breast, as though uncomfortable with it. It was considerably less formal than what the old boy was used to, the Doctor thought with an inward grin. "UNIT X is supposed to deal with the things that the usual team can't handle; no higher authorities to answer to, no red tape to hold us back; all that sort of thing. I'm afraid things have been rather quiet, though. It looks as if UNIT can handle it all on their own after all."

"Don't be so defeatist." The Doctor crossed his legs, looking relaxed. "You can kill time by telling me all about this UNIT X whatsit. Something will come up."

"Yes..." The Brigadier smiled. "With you around, Doctor, I don't doubt it."


Colonel Robertson, UNIT head of security, opened the brown paper package on his desk without enthusiasm. It was his forty-fifth birthday, and he did not believe that his mother-in-law was sending him anything different to the present she had sent him every year since his twenty-third. A blue jumper, neatly folded around two pairs of matching socks. Why it had to be Airforce blue, he had no idea. He had tried telling her that in the Army green was considered to be a far more fetching colour, but it was all to no avail. He tore off the sellotape, opening the envelope slowly. A small black box gazed up at him, featureless and plain. He frowned, and reached for the small silver catch at the front. The box opened, and he heard a beautiful, absorbing noise, which seemed to come from somewhere far inside the box. His eyes opened wide, and he relaxed back into his chair. He had to listen to the noise. He had no choice.


In his office, Brigadier Phillip Thomas, head of UNIT's department of international operations, gazed at the small black box on his desk. It had been delivered by motorcycle courier, apparently from the Home Office. Some new gubbins to do with communications and satellite operations. He reached for the silver catch, intrigued by the box's plain appearance, and simple design. There was no logo, no marking of any kind. The box opened, and he peered hopefully inside. It seemed to be empty, until he heard the music. His head spun, and he laughed aloud, suddenly and incomprehensibly happy. A broad, empty smile spread its way across his face, and he closed his eyes, listening to the sounds of his mind. Everything was good. Everything was quiet. Everything was just fine. Somewhere inside him he heard the Voice welcome him into the fold, and he bent himself to its will. He couldn't wait to do exactly as it asked.


"So you see, basically it was just a way to improve UNIT's efficiency." Mike Yates, the Doctor's tour guide for the offices of UNIT X, shrugged at this simplicity. "The Brig was called in to head the squad, because of all his experience. Officially of course we don't exist, so we don't have a name, or a badge or all the rest of it, but the Brigadier doesn't like to operate that way. So he had these uniforms made by the Home Office." He grinned. "He can't accept that we're not supposed to be answerable to the British government anymore."

"And so UNIT X was born." The Doctor looked closely at the symbol on the nameplate on Mike's desk. It was the standard UNIT logo, backed with a large, red cross. "Very impressive."

"We like to think so." Benton, standing beside the desk, shared a grin with Mike. "Actually the whole place is a shambles. There's just the four of us here, plus our scientific advisor who doesn't even have a lab yet, and our international liaison, who is still on holiday in Australia and doesn't even know where the office is. The radios don't work properly, we've been assigned about six guns for the whole department, and the Brig hasn't slept in a fortnight."

"Other than that, everything is fine." Jo carried a tray towards the group, loaded down with cups of coffee made by means of an interesting apparatus involving a Bunsen burner, which reminded the Doctor of some distant event in his long ago past. He couldn't quite remember what it was. The sound of a telephone ringing distracted them all momentarily, but the Brigadier answered it quickly, glaring them all into silence.

"Yes. Yes. I see." There was a long pause, during which the Brigadier's frown deepened noticeably. Finally he sighed and stood up, nodded at the receiver. "Yes, of course... Certainly... Well yes, naturally... I see... Right away, sir, yes. Okay." He hung up, and there was a long silence in answer to his troubled expression. Finally he glanced up, and the ghost of a smile crossed his face as he stared at the Doctor.

"Really, Doctor," he said, the irritation in his voice just a touch too contrived to be serious. "Why is it that whenever you arrive something catastrophic happens?"

"What's wrong?" Instantly alert, Mike stood up, transforming back into his role as a soldier with remarkable speed. The Brigadier frowned, tapping thoughtfully with his foot on the carpet, as though wondering how much he should say in front of the Doctor's two civilian - and possibly even alien - companions. Finally he shrugged slightly.

"UNIT," he said at last. "Two of their top operatives have just gone AWOL; and it rather looks as though one has taken some top secret documentation with him. There's a sentry dead, and another in hospital." He began to pace, eyeing the Doctor as though expecting an immediate theory. "Plus it seems that two government officials have also disappeared. Nobody terribly senior, but between them they've got access to some fairly sensitive information." He shook his head slightly. "Sleepers, possibly. Either way this could have the makings of a nasty incident. We're in business, gentlemen." He frowned as Jo pouted at him, and he nodded awkwardly. "Well, and ladies, naturally."

"Talk about throwing us in at the deep end." Benton sighed heavily, then straightened his shoulders. "Although I appreciate the challenge, naturally, sir."

"Good." The Brigadier smiled at him. "Then you can go through all the files, and find out everything you can about these people. I want to know who they are, and where they come from. If they're Sleepers, I want to know about it."

"Sleepers?" Suzy sounded excited. "You mean working for the Russians?"

"Hardly, Suzy." The Doctor shook his head. "The Russians haven't been the enemy since the eighties. I can't think of any country that would initiate a programme like this in Britain. Not in 1998. There'd be no reason for it."

"Do you have any other theories, Doctor?" the Brigadier asked. The Time Lord stood up, smiling in his familiarly superior fashion.

"My dear Brigadier. You know I always have another theory." He clapped his hands together. "I shall need a car."

"That shouldn't be too hard." Jo picked up a phone and dialled a number, then spoke briefly to somebody at the other end of the line. In no time she replaced the receiver and smiled at her old mentor. "There'll be a car for you in the garage. That's one floor below ground level."

"Thankyou, my dear." He turned to head for the door, but was brought up short by the Brigadier's stentorian shout.

"Do I not get any say in this little matter, Doctor?"

The Time Lord grinned at him, his bright eyes filled with teasing lights.

"Would you like to come along, old chap?"

"Yes." The Brigadier grabbed his cap and put it on, then nodded at Yates.

"Hold the fort, Yates."

"Yes sir." Smiling ruefully at Benton, Mike picked up an armful of the files which were still spread across his desk. "Are you sure you don't want any extra help?"

"No thankyou." The Brigadier smiled his broadest smile in several days. "The three of you can chatter together as much as you like while I'm gone; just remember to be in bed by midnight."


"What do you hope to find here, Doctor?" Suzy asked, looking around at the unassuming office. The Time Lord, engrossed in his examination of a paperweight, glanced momentarily up.

"Hmm? Oh, nothing really, Suzy. I just wanted to see the place." He put the paperweight down and pulled a small device from one of his cavernous pockets - which were, in Suzy's opinion, rather like miniature TARDISes, in their remarkable ability to contain much more than they should have been capable of holding - and waved it about the room.

"What's that, Doctor?" the Brigadier asked, beginning to feel the familiar sensation of being left behind already.

"It's a residual transmission detector." Engrossed in his study of the small device, the Doctor began walking in ever-decreasing circles. "Theoretically, a transmission never fades away completely, you know. If anything has been sent here; any telephone call, or radio message - possibly even a psychic transmission - the echoes of it should still be in this room."


"And there's nothing at all." The Time Lord frowned. "Except..."

"Except what?" Frustrated by his old friend's ability to frequently forget to update him, the Brigadier tried to take a look at the device himself, but could see nothing that made any sense. "Have you found something?"

"Yes, I think so." A few more circles of the room, and another maddeningly long silence later, the Time Lord nodded confidently. "It's really quite clear, on a second look. Wouldn't you say, Adam?"

"Mmm? Oh, yes Doctor. Definitely." Trying to sound suitably confident, the young human smiled back. "Very clear."

"Well it's not very clear to me." Trying to sound authoritative, although years of experience had already taught him that such displays had absolutely no effect on his infuriating friend, the Brigadier forced a smile. "Would you mind explaining, Doctor?"

"Certainly, Brigadier." Grinning charmingly at everybody, the Doctor held out his device, which still looked unintelligible to the UNIT X officer. "You see, the readings that I have here would seem to indicate that something - some kind of transmission device - was in use in this room at some time within the last eight hours or so. It's an interesting form of transmission, which is why I didn't pick it up on my first scan..."

"But?" prompted Suzy, beginning to fear that the Brigadier was on the verge of an explosion.

"But now that I have identified it, it seems a little odd." The Doctor frowned. "It's a very sophisticated form of transmission, used in the treatment of persistent offenders on a planet called Veridion... I think. Might be ColQuon. Or possibly..." He broke off, recognising the change in colour of the Brigadier's neck. "It opens the mind to suggestion, makes the subject very willing to obey the orders of the first voice that he hears. Fascinating technique, although quite unpleasant to any free thinking person. I've never liked the process myself. The victim more or less becomes a zombie, open to any orders from whichever voice he or she has been programmed to accept." He frowned. "Of course, I could be wrong."

"Could be, but aren't." The Brigadier sat down at the desk of the junior government official, trying to ignore the photographs of a young woman and a child. In his experience, people who had been hypnotised, or subjected to forms of mind control by others - especially alien others - did not tend to survive the experience. "When was the explanation ever something less than weird where you are involved, Doctor?" He sounded almost accusing, and the Time Lord smiled at him, evidently relishing the prospect of working with his old friend once again.

"I should like to run the same test in the offices of the other people involved."

"Of course." His tone suggesting that this was a mere formality, the UNIT officer picked up the telephone and began to dial. "In the meantime, I'll get it touch with our scientific advisor, and the pair of you can mutter somewhere together, make some plans. Is there anything you're going to need?"

"Not right now, Brigadier, no." The Doctor was frowning, gazing thoughtfully at his little device. "I would recommend that you try to find guards for all the most important Armed Forces personnel; and government officials too, just in case. I have a feeling that this isn't some isolated incident."

"Yes, of course." Lethbridge-Stewart heard his call connect through, and switched automatically to military mode. It had only been a few hours, but already the Doctor's strange attraction for trouble had managed to make his life difficult once again. It was good to have the Time Lord back.


"Reporting for duty, sir." Colonel Robertson, snapping neatly to attention, gazed unseeingly at the tall, dark man seated behind the desk. George Emarst smiled up at him, his eyes gleaming with ill-suppressed glee.

"Very good, colonel. Do you hear the Voice?"

"I hear the Voice." The UNIT officer's voice took on a reverent tone. "I hear it and I obey it."

"Wonderful." Standing up, Emarst smiled happily. "Follow me then, please."

"Of course." Inclining his head in a way that seemed almost like a bow, the colonel followed as the businessman led him through the corridors of the Hardacre/Mason toy factory. Zombie-like men and women wandered about in the corridors, their blissful expressions of obedience without variation. Finally they came to the main production room, where Matthew Hardacre, his neat suit still pristine, was stacking piles of small, black boxes at one end of the room. There were hundreds of them, and from the level of activity along the production line, it was clear that there would soon be thousands.

"The boxes..." Robertson ran his hand over the devices, desperate to hear the music once again, and to lose himself in the deeply relaxing tones of the Voice. He could still hear it, closer to him now, but it did not have the same intoxicating quality unless it came from within the box.

"That's right." Emarst smiled at him, his voice now taking on a patronising tone, as though he were a father speaking to a small child. "You have to take these boxes, colonel. You have to deliver them. You have to spread the Word of the Voice."

"I have to spread the Word of the Voice." Colonel Robertson nodded hard. "Yes, everybody must hear it. They have to. Everybody must hear it."

"Precisely." Emarst nodded, satisfied. "A lorry has been loaded up with the boxes, colonel. You must take them. Distribute them freely, as samples of our product. Hand them out at supermarkets, schools, offices. Understand?"

"Oh yes, sir." Excited at the prospect of doing this work, Robertson nodded even harder than before. "Thankyou sir. I'll get right on it."

"Yes, you do that." As the colonel scurried away, Emarst stared after him, an unpleasant smile beginning to grow on his face. The smile became a broad grin, and the grin a chuckle. Finally he turned to walk away, and his chuckle became a laugh of gentle menace.


"I'm afraid that I still don't understand." The Brigadier, standing at the door of the TARDIS, was watching the Doctor as he sat cross-legged on the floor, toying with some vast quantities of wiring and electric components. "Will this help to cure anybody who has been affected by the... the transmission thing?"

"I certainly hope so." The Doctor jumped to his feet and fiddled manically with the console for several moments. His shoulders slumped, and he returned to his pile of equipment. "I thought I was getting some help? Suzy and Adam mean well, but they can't help me with work like this." He frowned. "Actually I'm not sure about Adam. He seems to have some quite extensive scientific knowledge."

"I've been meaning to ask you about your latest companions. Suzy seems like an old fashioned sort."

"I picked her up in 1958. Not entirely her idea, I'm afraid." The Time Lord smiled as he bent over his equipment once again. "Adam I acquired in 2000, in some odd little town near the coast; but you mustn't know about that, old chap."

"No, of course not. Time and - and all that. So, er... You like him do you?"

"Adam? Yes, of course." The Doctor frowned. "Are you bored, Brigadier? I'm sure that we could find you something to do."

"No thankyou, Doctor." Lethbridge-Stewart was frowning, as though troubled by something. "It's just that I'm sure I've seen him somewhere. I'm positive that I know his face, but I can't seem to put my finger on it. The name doesn't mean anything though."

"He is your contemporary in Time, Brigadier. It's quite possible that you've run into him somewhere along the line." Jumping to his feet again, the Doctor began flicking switches on the console. Whatever was supposed to happen clearly didn't, and the Brigadier smiled slightly as the Time Lord sighed, and slammed his fist onto the console.


"Problems?" The voice came from the door, where a tall man, with white hair and a curiously young face was grinning at the Doctor. "They told me you hadn't changed, even if your face has."

"I do not have problems." Sounding haughty, the Doctor did not look up. "My equipment and I just haven't reached an understanding yet, that's all." He glanced up. "Who are you, may I ask? Brigadier, I can't have complete strangers wandering in and out of my TARDIS."

"I'm hardly a complete stranger, Doctor. Although with the changes you've made in here, I'm rather inclined to feel like one." The man wandered into the console room, gazing about. "I like it. Very modern. Rather miss the chair though, it lent character."

"It got in the way. I tend to be rather more active these days." Still frowning, the Doctor gazed at the man with a frown on his face. "I know you, don't I. Er... Yes. Don't tell me."

"To think I wanted to name my first born son after this man." The new arrival folded his arms and tapped with his foot on the floor. "Think sixties, Doctor. Schools, and junkyards. Are you any closer?"

"Why Chesterton!" The Doctor smiled in welcome. "Yes, well it's about time that you turned up. Although it might help a little more if you'd been trained in Gallifreyan technology."

"And hello to you too." Sighing, the ex-teacher exchanged a smile with the Brigadier. "When UNIT asked me if I wanted this job, they did think that I was qualified."

"Yes, I suppose they would have to have taken the best that was on offer." The Doctor smiled back at him, and shook his old friend's hand. "This is turning into quite a reunion."

"I wanted people with extraordinary experiences." The Brigadier shrugged, as if that explained everything. "It wasn't easy tracking Professor Chesterton down, mind."

"I tend to keep myself to myself." Ian smiled. "Few problems some years ago, means that the papers try and do a little digging every so often." His smile broadened. "Seems that the young girl and the old man who disappeared on the same night as me, were never found. They could never find any evidence, of course; but if it hadn't been for some young woman appearing out of the woodwork a few days after we got back, I think we'd still be in prison now." He chuckled softly. "That was one eventuality we didn't consider."

"No. Dreadfully sorry, old chap. Never crossed my mind, that--" The Time Lord frowned. "Young woman?"

"Ace Walker. Nice girl; we still meet up at Christmas. She's a grandmother these days, mind, but none of us are as young as we used to be." He smiled. "Or in some cases, as old as we used to be."

"Ace? A grandmother?" It seemed odd to think of the passage of Time as it had been for his young friend, since he had in effect only left her behind a few weeks previously. He wondered who Walker was, and how long they had been married. Part of him felt a burst of sadness for the long years that his young charge had lived without his guidance. "And what of Barbara? Where is she, hmm?"

"Staying with our daughter, Susan." Chesterton grinned at the Doctor's surprised face. "She's expecting her first child. Barbara is over the moon. So you're either going to stay until she comes back, or promise to visit us again soon."

"Yes, quite." Smiling to himself, the Doctor shook his head, as though momentarily lost in the past. "Well, this is getting us nowhere. Hand me that sonic balance adjuster, Ian, could you?"

"Certainly, Doctor." Handing over the piece of equipment, whilst hoping that he had chosen the right one, Ian settled himself into his work. He had no idea what he was doing, but considering that it was the Doctor he was working with, he did not hope too hard that he would soon be enlightened. Funny how easily one returned to the old ways. The Brigadier, smiling to himself, turned away and left them to work alone.


"What are you doing, Adam?" Wandering into one of the adjoining offices, where Adam and Benton were sitting at a desk together, Suzy hovered at the door looking bored. "The Doctor hasn't shown his face since we had the TARDIS moved to that empty office down the corridor. I feel useless."

"Me too." Adam held up a handful of files. "You could help us to research these people who have vanished."

"That won't do any good, and you know it. The Doctor says they're not Sleepers, so looking through those files is pointless." She sat down on the corner of the desk. "I want to do something useful."

"I know the feeling." Benton grinned. "Relax, seriously. There's nothing that you can do. Our job is to be here when he needs us. You'll get used to it." He frowned. "Well actually, no you won't, but that's hard luck. I seem to have spent half of my career hanging around waiting for the Brigadier and the Doctor to let me do something exciting. Mike will tell you the same."

"That doesn't help us now." Suzy sighed, and picked up a cup of stone cold coffee. "I suppose I could make us all a nice cup of tea..."

"Let Mike do that. He enjoys playing with that Bunsen burner." Benton threw a file onto the floor. "There has to be something we can do."

Suzy smiled, pleased by this reaction. She glanced across at Adam.

"We could go out somewhere; try to guess who the most likely victims are. Then we could be there when they get... get zapped, or whatever. Right?"

"I don't know." The telephone rang, and Benton picked it up on the third ring. "Yes? Uh huh... Okay, thanks Sergeant... Hold the fort down there, and don't trust anybody. Call me before you do anything." He hung up, and gazed thoughtfully at the 'phone. "That was Sergeant Paulson, an old friend of mine from UNIT. Another officer has just gone AWOL; and his whole family with him. They've just got a call from the Home Office saying that there have been reports of strange behaviour across the whole of North London. People have been walking out of work, kids walking out of school. All of them acting very strangely." He tapped with a pen on his desk. "Civilians as well as officials. This is worrying."

"So what do we do?" Adam asked. Benton frowned at him in concerned silence for a second, then stood up.

"I have to report this to the Brigadier," he said. "I'll be back in just a second."

"Now what?" Suzy asked, as the UNIT X officer disappeared through the door. Adam leaned back in his chair.

"We can't be of any use here, that much is obvious. What do you say that we go out for a little walk? Or a drive?"

"The car that Jo requisitioned for the Doctor is still parked in the street outside." Suzy smiled. "But where would we go?"

"How about the nearest school? We might be able to get a look at whatever is making people act all peculiar. It may still be going on. They might even be starting to act strangely at the offices around here." He stood up, already heading for the door. Suzy ran after him.

"Adam, wait! Shouldn't we tell somebody?"

"And have them tell us to sit here and wait around for them to think it through? The Doctor is too busy to be able to do his own legwork this time. We have to do it for him. It'll be okay."

"I suppose." She smiled. "Wouldn't it be great if we could find out what's going on. Solve this ourselves."

"Yeah." He led the way towards the lift, and the doors closed behind them. "Where do you suppose the Doctor left the car keys?"

"Are you kidding?" Suzy smiled at him. "This is the Doctor we're talking about here. He'll have left them in the ignition."

"Of course." They shared a smile, and the lift sunk closer to the ground. As they walked out into the reception room on the ground floor, they saw a man wearing black overalls approaching the desk clerk. He was carrying what looked like a small, black briefcase, and his face was a mask of contentment. Adam frowned at the man, thinking the sort of unkind thoughts about drug-highs that could only have come from a childhood in the eighties. He laid his briefcase on the desk, smiling all the time, and reached for the clasps to open it. The outer door swung shut, cutting the man off from Adam's view, and he thought no more about it.

"Do you think the other people in all these other offices ever wonder about what's going on on the top floor?" Gazing up at the office block they had just left, Suzy climbed into the passenger seat. Adam started the car up, glancing up at the building's great height before he moved the car out into the street.

"Shouldn't think so. They have their own jobs to worry about." He began to pick up speed, scanning the buildings they drove past, looking for any sign of odd behaviour. "Keep your eyes peeled, Suzy."

"Of course." She stared out of the window, looking at all the people outside, wondering if any of them were already suffering from the effects of some strange and alien form of mind control. How could she tell? - they all seemed lost in their own worlds, unheeding of the others they passed by. All of them seemed to have been hypnotised in some way. The nameless faces flew past, and she turned her mind to other things.


The telephone in the Brigadier's office rang unanswered. Far away down the corridor, the Doctor heard it as he sat on the floor of the TARDIS, re-routing a little of the Time ship's power through his newly constructed apparatus. He frowned, annoyed by the persistent noise, but shook his head at Ian's offer to answer it.

"No, just hold this for me, there's a good chap." He held up an armful of circuitry, closing his ears to the sound. Eventually it stopped on its own, the ringing ceasing abruptly.

"Hello?" Jo Yates, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and three or four over-sized files in the other, managed somehow to lift the receiver and answer the call. There was a brief silence at the other end. "Hello?"

"Hello." The voice sounded odd, as though its owner were high on something. There was a brief giggle. "This is from George Emarst. Welcome to the Voice." Immediately Jo heard sweet music coming to her over the phone line.

"Hello? Hello? Who is this?" The music was making her relax, sinking her deeply into peace and emptiness. She felt rather than saw Mike and Benton as they came into the room, but her facial muscles were too relaxed to be able to smile. She stared straight ahead, listening to the music with every piece of her, letting it fill her.

"Jo?" Mike's voice cut through her state of peace, and she wanted to frown at him in annoyance, but couldn't. "Jo?"

"Shut up, Mike." She thought that she was speaking to him, but her voice did not seem to be real.

"Jo?" She felt him tear the receiver away from her ear, sensed him listening to the music. Her consciousness crashed back, and in a sudden panic she tore the receiver away from him and slammed it back into the cradle.

"What the-?" Grabbing the receiver, Benton lifted it. "That call came from reception. What was it?"

"Some kind of... something." Mike shook his head to clear it, disturbed by the strange feeling which had gripped him. "There was music..."

"Beautiful music. I can't describe it." Jo frowned. "I can't remember it - not a note."

"But it came from reception." Mike shook his head, exasperated. "We have to tell the Brigadier."

"Tell the Brigadier what?" Coming into the room with his usual confident stride, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart looked about at the three of them. "What's going on?"

"We just got a phone call from reception. Something weird." Mike rubbed his forehead, trying to remember exactly what he had heard. "Music... I think it was an attempt to hypnotise us, just like these other people."

"Nobody knows about us. They won't attack UNIT X." The Brigadier walked to his desk and picked up the receiver. He seemed almost surprised that there was nobody at the other end.

"They don't care about UNIT X, sir. They've started to go for civilian targets all over North London. Office blocks, school, supermarkets. I've been looking for you since the last report came in." Benton gestured at the phone. "Somebody is trying to get the whole of this office block, and they wanted us as well."

"Rubbish." The Brigadier smiled at him. "I've just been down in reception myself. There's nothing there. Come down with me and see for yourselves." He stared at Mike, and at Jo. "Well? That's an order."

"Sir, I think we should check with the Doctor." Mike frowned, concerned by his CO's apparent lack of concern for Benton's report. "Don't you?"

"Doctor?" The Brigadier frowned. "Yes, of course. The Doctor. He'd understand."

"Understand what?" Striding into the room, an assortment of Gallifreyan equipment in his arms, the Doctor stared around at the little group. "What's been going on?"

"Nothing Doctor." The Brigadier gestured at his colleagues. "A little panic, that's all. Mike and the others seem to think that we're under attack."

"But we are under attack, Brigadier. The whole city is. Didn't Benton tell you about the newest victims? The civilians, the school children? Soon the whole of London might be in the control of whoever is behind all this."

"Don't be silly, Doctor. There's nothing to worry about." The Brigadier dialled a number on the telephone. "Listen to this. It'll explain everything." He held the phone out for the Time Lord to hear. "You see?"

"See what?" Taking the phone, the Doctor listened. He heard the music, and he heard the distant, strange beeping noises, which sank into his subconscious.

"Doctor!" Afraid, Jo ran towards him, but the Brigadier, with a mighty blow, sent her flying. Anger showed on Mike's face and he threw himself at his senior officer, grappling with him to keep the head of the department from reaching the gun that lay in waiting in the top drawer of the desk. As the Brigadier threw Mike off and opened the drawer, Benton pulled the phone away from the Doctor and ripped it from the wall.

"Thankyou, Benton." Sounding as though nothing had happened, the Time Lord frowned at his old friend, standing before him with a gun. Mike and Jo, looking ruffled although none the worse for wear, stood up. "Put the gun away old chap. There's really no point in firing it."

"Isn't there, Doctor? The Voice tells me to obey. I obey."

"Not this time you don't." Appearing in the doorway behind the Brigadier, Ian Chesterton hit him from behind with the Doctor's sonic balance adjuster. The UNIT officer collapsed into a heap on the floor, and after checking his pulse, the Time Lord breathed out a long sigh.

"Ah well, things are going more or less to plan, anyway."

"I beg your pardon?" Amazed, Jo stared at him, thinking about the ranks of hypnotised civilians, a CO bent on their destruction, and no apparent means to end it all. The Doctor grinned at her.

"Of course, Jo. Everything is going perfectly well."

"I agree." The voice came from the door, where the head of UNIT X security, gun in hand, stood before them. His men were with him, guns levelled at the Time Lord and his assortment of assistants. "Everything is going exactly as the Voice foretold. You are all under arrest. Obey me now, or you will die."


Adam Harper walked confidently past the guards standing in front of a particularly impressive tower block, and tipped his head back to look up at the top floor. He could see no sign of life inside the building; there was no movement in front of the windows and no noise coming through the wide glass doors. They stood open, and he could see through into the large, empty reception room.

"These buildings are incredible." Shaking her head in wonderment, Suzy joined her companion. "I have a lot to learn about Times beyond my own. The Doctor said that things had changed, but I never expected this."

"You'll get used to it." Adam, who had never marvelled at anything as mundane as a skyscraper, wondered how Suzy could live so comfortably in the TARDIS and yet get so excited about a building. He smiled at the thought. Her childlike enthusiasm was quite endearing.

"What are we doing here?" she asked, moving aside to allow a well-dressed young woman to walk past them. She had come from the interior of the building, suggesting that there were some people in there, at least.

"We're checking all the offices, the schools, the whatevers. This was your idea." Adam frowned at the young woman walking past them. She was staring straight ahead, fixated on some distant sight. "And I think we might have found what we were looking for."

"Her?" Suzy stared after the woman. "You think she's been brainwashed?"

"Brainwashed, hypnotised, I don't know. Something's not right about her anyway." He grinned. "Still, they say drug abuse in professionals is on the increase. Come on."

"We're following her?" Suzy hurried down the steps after her friend. "Don't you think that's a little reckless?"

"Do you have any better ideas?"

She grinned at him.

"No. I was rather hoping that I might, though."

"Then we follow her." He set off at an easy pace, wondering where they were headed. Much though he disliked the idea of walking straight into a hornets' nest, he almost hoped that this woman had been brainwashed. It would be more than a little embarrassing if he wound up following her to some secret rendezvous with her lover.


They walked for the best part of an hour, until finally it became clear where they were going. A large building, clearly emblazoned with bright signs, printed in primary colours, was easy to spot against the backdrop of grey factories and warehouses. The woman walked straight past the guards in the gatehouse, her eyes still fixed straight ahead. The guards seemed similarly unseeing, speaking only the briefest of words to her as she went by. Adam strained to hear the words, and caught something about 'obeying the Voice'. He shrugged and looked back at Suzy.

"How are you at acting?"

"You mean we're going in?" She shrugged. "I did some amateur theatre at school. Brainwashed Zombie was never in my portfolio, but I think I can manage."

"Good." He led the way forward, doing his best to look vacant. The guards at the gatehouse did not look at him, and he did not look at them as he stopped in front of them.

"Do you hear the Voice?" one of them asked him. He did not nod or smile as he answered.

"I hear the Voice."

"We obey the Voice," the two guards chanted in unison, and moved aside. The pair walked on by.

"This is a toy factory." As they moved out of the guards' hearing, Suzy glanced about at the signs. "Hardacre/Mason Toy Factory. What are we doing here?"

"I don't know." He shrugged. "But what better way to get people to trust you, and believe in you, than to disguise your work as toys? Everybody trusts toys."

"You mean so that they can get more people?" Suzy whistled. "I wish the Doctor was here."

"Me too." Despite the Gallifreyan's somewhat vague attitude to life, he inspired an odd confidence in his friends, and Adam was surprised to find that he had already come to rely on him. "Don't worry, we'll get back to him as soon as we can." He led her towards the large front doors of the factory. "In the meantime we'd better see what's going on here."

"I'm right behind you." They slipped into the building, following on behind the long line of vacant-looking people that they found inside. A gang of road workers, six or seven firemen and a couple of policemen were mingled in with a rash of grey-suited businessmen and women, and ten or twelve schoolchildren. All stared ahead.

"Greetings! Welcome to my humble world." Striding into the room came a tall, dark suited figure with a short black beard speckled with grey. Dark eyes alight with fierce intelligence burned around at them all, smiling brightly. "I am George Emarst."

"We hear the Voice," the crowd chanted faithfully, catching Adam and Suzy by surprise. They hoped that nobody had seen their failure to chant with the others.

"Good, good." Smiling even more, Emarst walked closer to the group. "Are you prepared to serve the Voice?"

"We serve the Voice."

"Jolly good. Then please, follow me." He turned, gesturing extravagantly down a long corridor. The band of mindless devotees followed on behind, lapsed once more into silence. The two with them did not dare to whisper to each other, for fear of being found out.

"Here we are!" Coming to an abrupt halt, Emarst gestured about at a large room, filled with small black boxes. "Here we have our equipment. It is your job to see that these are distributed amongst the people of this country. You must see that all people hear the Voice."

"All must hear the Voice," came the obedient cry.

"It is your duty; your sworn duty, to see that every man, woman and child in Great Britain joins us. We have to spread the Word of the Voice." Emarst picked up the nearest box. "Are you with me?"

"We follow the Voice, we obey the Voice, we hear the Voice." The crowd surged forward, taking the boxes. Carried along in the flow, Adam stared at the piles of black devices, with their bright, silver catches.

"Those boxes..." he said softly, so that only Suzy could hear him. "I've seen one of them before."

"When?" She frowned as one of the devices was thrust into her hands.

"I don't know." He took the box and turned it over in his hands. "Yes I do! There was a man in reception when we left the - the you-know-where. He had one of these in his hands. He was showing something inside it to the man behind the desk."

"But this is what they're using to control people!" Suzy's eyes widened. "We have to get back to warn the others."

"Oh I shouldn't bother." The voice was soft and oily, and it came from behind them. They turned, and found Emarst standing in the midst of the crowd, a small, shiny automatic pistol in his hand. "I'd much rather you stayed here and spoke to me."

"We obey the Voice," Suzy attempted, doing her best to look as though she had been brainwashed. Emarst laughed.

"Nice try, my dear, but I hardly think that Laurence Olivier need worry. Now step this way, please." He gestured with the gun to indicate which direction the pair should walk in, and they obeyed, unable to see any alternative. "May I ask what brought you here?"

"We followed somebody. We wanted to see what all the fuss was about." Adam looked around, interested by the fast moving conveyor system that was running on one side of the room. The factory was turning out hundreds of the little black boxes; very likely thousands.

"Dear dear. Well you know what curiosity did to the cat, don't you." All smiles, Emarst led them away from the crowd, to where a small door barred their way. He opened it with a black-gloved hand. "Inside."

"You're not going to get away with this." Overtaken by a sudden moment of determined defiance, Suzy glared at him. Emarst pushed her hard, sending her stumbling into the room behind the door. Adam stepped forward, but the gun in Emarst's hand made him less than enthusiastic about trying anything. He allowed himself to be pushed into the room, and did not turn to watch the door slam shut. He heard it lock.


"Now what?" Looking somewhere between angry and upset, Suzy folded her arms and turned her glare onto Adam. "Any more brilliant ideas?"

"Hey, this is hardly my fault." He shrugged. "At least he didn't brainwash us, right?"

"Right." She began to wander around the room, trying to find some hope in its bare and featureless walls, but there was nothing. Not even so much as a lost screw lay on the spotless floor, and there was no window in any of the walls. Even the door was bare and grey. She sighed.

"I hope the Doctor thinks of something soon."


"What do we do, Doctor?" Shifting position uncomfortably, Mike Yates tried to avoid being bounced painfully up and down as the van went over another bump. "Any ideas about how to get through to the Brigadier?"

"None at all." Grimacing as his head struck the side of the van with a painful jolt, the Doctor struggled to find some way to brace himself; not easy with his hands cuffed behind him. "My device was designed to counteract the effects of the process that he's been subjected to, but it isn't finished yet."

"Nor is it ever likely to be at this rate." Ian Chesterton managed to manoeuvre himself about into a more comfortable position. "You know, I'm really too old for this."

"I am a good dealer older than you are." The Doctor smiled at him. "Remember? And have I ever let you down?"

"I'd rather not think about that." Ian smiled back. "Don't worry, Doctor, I'm not about to give up hope. But this is jolly uncomfortable."

"Yes, it is rather." The Time Lord tried to see out of the window in the back door of the van, to where a similar vehicle containing Jo and Benton was following on. "I wonder what happened to Adam and Suzy?"

"Benton said that they went off somewhere in the car. Said something about looking for other victims." Mike shrugged. "They're probably fine."

"I hope so." Concerned, the Doctor failed to hear the change in the tone of the engine, and was flung forward as they came to a halt. Scowling he rolled over and made it to the doors as they swung open. He jumped to the ground without waiting to be asked, and looked around in interest.

"A toy factory?" Climbing out of the van, Ian stared up at the factory before them. "I was expecting something a little more sinister."

"Toys can be sinister too. Remember the Toymaker." The Doctor frowned. "No, that was after your time, wasn't it. Steven was with me then, I think. Either way, he--"

"Silence." One of the UNIT X security men pushed them forwards. Mike glared at him, angry at this display of mutinous intent. It was hardly the guard's fault of course, but it angered him all the same.

"Steven?" Ian inquired. "When was that?"

"Oh you remember Steven. Young chap, met him on, er, on... Mechanus was it? A planet full of overly dedicated machines, anyway. The Daleks arrived. We ran away."

"I thought he was dead?"

"Dead? Well he hasn't even been born yet, if you want to be really accurate. Of course you left, before we found out that he was alright. He had made his way to the TARDIS in the confusion. Quite a resilient fellow really."

"Silence!" His tone still empty of emotion, the guard pointed his gun at them. "You will walk."

"We certainly will, old chap. No need to get excited." Leading his little group onwards, the Doctor nodded a greeting at Jo and Benton as they climbed out of their own van. Together they were herded up the steps at the front of the factory, into the main reception. It was filled with mind-altered citizens, civilians and others, marching in neatly ordered lines and carrying boxes outside. The Doctor eyed the boxes with interest. Clearly these were the cause of the hypnosis, if it could be called that. He would have liked to have got a better look at one of the devices, but they were being led away too quickly.

"In here." One of the guards opened a door, clearly labelled with a plate reading Matthew Hardacre, Managing Director. An ordinary looking man sat at the desk inside the room, and he glanced up as the group entered. His eyes were empty, although he was smiling.

"Hello," he greeted them, his voice harmless and ordinary. "Do you wish to hear the Voice?"

"Not terribly." Mike Yates, evidently feeling in charge in the absence of a trustworthy Brigadier, stepped forward. The Doctor shot him a warning glance, stepping forward himself.

"We would be delighted to hear the Voice," he said cheerfully. "Nothing would give us greater pleasure. Just not immediately, if it's all the same with you. We'd like to look around first. This place looks very interesting."

"Do you think so?" The enthusiasm which showed in Hardacre's face told the Doctor that the hypnosis, no matter how effective, did not cover every base. There was something within this man, some love for his work, that showed even through the emotion-draining process that his mind had been through.

"Oh yes, I love toy factories. They're fascinating." Offering the man one of his most engaging grins, the Doctor stepped forwards. "Why don't you tell me about this place?"

"I think not." The voice was soft and smooth, and it came from the shadows at the far side of the room, where the drawn curtains allowed no light to fall. There was a smile in the voice, and the Doctor turned towards it, intrigued. This had to be the man behind this operation, and he was eager to be introduced.

"Hello." Nodding his usual polite greeting, the Time Lord smiled readily. "I'm the Doctor. And you are?"

"George Emarst." The dark suited figure stepped into the light, and his eyes glittered. "At least, that is the name that these pitiful humans know me by."

"George Emarst? I don't think I know the name." The Doctor frowned, concerned by the familiarity in the stranger's voice and manner. He stared at the small, grey streaked beard, and at the dark, lively eyes, and his expression changed.

"No. It couldn't be. You can't--"

"Can't I?" Emarst laughed. "Remember the Death Zone, Doctor? Our Time Lord masters awarded me with an entire new life-cycle in gratitude for my agreeing to help them. More regenerations. More life. Aren't you pleased for me?"

"Congratulations." Sighing, the Doctor allowed a small smile to show on his face. "Emarst? Couldn't you think of anything more original?"

"But it's an anagram! I love word games, Doctor you know that. It was my little joke." Emarst smiled around at the rest of his prisoners. "Miss Grant, of course. How nice to see you again. And Sergeant Benton! And my dear Captain Yates. A pleasure to meet you again. We had such fun together, didn't we. I don't think that I know this other man though, Doctor. Introduce me, do."

"Certainly." The Time Lord nodded at Ian. "This is Ian Chesterton, probably my oldest friend on Earth. And this-" he turned back to Emarst, his expression hardening - "is my oldest enemy anywhere. He calls himself the Master."

"Master of what?" Ian stepped forward, intrigued by the dark look in this new man's eyes. Emarst smiled at him.

"Master of all things, Ian. All things. And soon to be undisputed ruler of this planet."

"You don't change, do you." The Doctor shook his head, exasperated. "What is it this time, Master? What little scheme? Are you going to have a whole planetful of people following you around like faithful little lap dogs?"

"Perhaps." The Master clapped his hands, and a group of guards appeared. By their uniforms they were policemen, evidently brainwashed whilst on duty. Their eyes showed nothing but devotion to the mystical Voice.

"We're to be shown to the penthouse suite, no doubt?" the Doctor asked. The Master smiled at him.

"Of course, my dear Doctor. You're residence here is required until my work is done. After that you're free to go where you please. You won't be able to hurt me anymore. Oh." He smiled suddenly, in the act of waving his prisoners away. "Two people; natives I believe. They were hunting around here. Do I presume that they belong to you? Or should I just send them away to be processed?"

"Two people?" Resisting the pull of the guard trying to lead him from the room, the Doctor glanced back. "A girl, early twenties? And a man a little older?"

"I believe so. They all look the same to me." The Master shrugged. "I take it that you are concerned for their wellbeing?"

"I am rather. Are we to be taken to them?"

"If you wish." Gesturing magnanimously, the Master smiled at his old foe. "Your wish is my wish, after all. Have a nice stay."

"Thankyou." Offering his fellow Time Lord a short bow, the Doctor breezed out of the room, his companions at his heels. Ian glanced back.

"What an extraordinary fellow. I say Doctor, is he - you know - all there?"

"Very definitely." Slowing his pace, the Doctor shrugged rather vaguely. "His is probably the greatest intellect of any that I have ever encountered. His mind has no equal. Unfortunately he chooses to use it solely for evil purposes."

"He didn't seem that evil to me." The guards brought them to a halt at the door to Suzy and Adam's cell, just as Ian made this observation, and the Doctor waited until they were locked inside before answering.

"He is evil. Part of his character is to hide it, to appear kind and generous. He can manipulate the minds of others in a remarkable fashion. Never trust him, Ian, and never believe anything that he says."

"You mean Emarst?" Rising to his feet, and dispensing with a greeting, Adam stepped towards the new arrivals. "He made my skin crawl."

"Mmm." The Doctor smiled at this comment, then frowned. "Just what are you two doing here?"

"Waiting for you." Suzy also stood up. "What happened, Doctor?"

"I could ask you the same thing." Sounding haughty, the Time Lord drew himself up to his full height. "There is a time and a place for heroics, and this was definitely neither the time nor the place. Next time, kindly stay in the office."

"We thought that we were helping." Suzy sounded mutinous. "Oh, we wanted to warn you that one of Emarst's men was at the offices, trying to hypnotise everyone there." Her eyebrows raised in a comical question. "Are we too late?"

"Just a little." The Doctor sighed. "I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. I try to go somewhere quiet, somewhere uneventful, and I find this. It's all your fault, Mike."

"Naturally." Mike's smile showed that he did not take the Doctor's comment too seriously. "What's next Doctor?"

"The usual. Escape, master planning, heroic victory against the odds. Cup of tea if there's time." The Time Lord shrugged. "First step is to get rid of these handcuffs. The chain is a little short to get much done..."

"No problem." Adam dug around in his pockets and came up with a small pocket knife. He opened a tiny blade and set to work with it on the Doctor's cuffs. In the blink of an eye, they opened, and the Time Lord massaged his wrists gratefully.

"Thankyou Adam, you're a man with many talents. I knew there was a reason I keep you around."

"Yeah, so that you can find me Canada, 2000AD." Adam smiled back, and set to work extricating the others. In no time they were all free. The flicker of a frown showed on Mike's face at this feat of lock work, but he did not say anything about it. Instead he looked questioningly at the Doctor.

"What do you suppose the Master is up to?" he asked. The Time Lord shrugged.

"The usual; something unpleasant. Quite why he wants to rule the Earth, I don't know. Perhaps he wants to settle down. He was acting very reasonably, and that bothers me. Usual form is a barrage of insults and a death threat or two."

"Yes, he did seem a bit friendly." Benton leaned against the wall. "Do you suppose he needs your help with something?"

"Possibly. Even then he'd usually rather use threats to get what he wants. It must be the regeneration. It'll take some getting used to."

"Maybe he's just not as bad as you've always thought. I mean, beneath the genocidal mania and all that, he does have his good points. There were several times when he could have killed me, but he didn't." Mike shrugged at the Doctor's raised eyebrows. "Okay, so he once tried to blow up half of England with a chemical bomb, but he's obviously changed. Otherwise why would he be doing this now?"

"I shudder to think." The Doctor gestured towards the door. "To change the subject to more immediate matters; can you work a little of your magic on the door, Adam?"

"Yes, of course. But there's little point; there are three guards outside, and none of them shows any sign of moving."

"That's not a problem, right Benton?" Flexing his knuckles, Mike shot his old friend a smile. Benton grinned back, pleased at the idea of a little constructive violence.

"No problem," he agreed.

"Yes, well try and be easy on them. Remember it's not their fault." The Doctor watched as Adam picked the door lock. "We have to get back to UNIT X HQ, so that I can pick up my equipment. If we can finish it, we've got a chance to destroy whatever influence the Master has over all these people."

"Fine by me. I'd like to find the Brigadier, though. I don't like the idea of leaving him here with the Master running about." Opening the door stealthily, Mike peered around it. He gestured to Benton, and they both slipped out, dropping the three guards easily.

"Well done." Nodding in satisfaction, the Time Lord glanced about, clearly confused. "Which way now?"

"How about dealing with the Master?" Jo asked. The Doctor smiled at her.

"You don't change, do you?" he commented, sounded amused. "Think, Jo. We have no way of getting to him without going through goodness knows how many hundreds of brainwashed London citizens. It would be crazy to try anything. We have to override the effects of the mind control first, and then deal with our mutual friend later. He thinks that we're still safely locked up, so we do have an advantage or two."

"I don't know. It seemed a bit easy to me." Benton went forward a few paces, peering around a corner to look at the production line, still churning out the little black boxes and stacking them neatly. "Escapes are supposed to be hard, and we were hardly in that room five minutes..."

"Don't worry about it." The Doctor joined him, also peering around the corner. In the distance they could see the Brigadier, loaded up with an armful of the boxes. "I'm going to get one of those boxes, and we have to see about getting the Brigadier back. With his security clearance, I hate to think of him being on the wrong side." He vanished before anybody could question his plan, and Mike sighed.

"I do wish he wouldn't do that. Okay, er... stay here." He vanished, and it was Benton's turn to roll his eyes.

"Great." He glanced back at the others. "Um... You heard the man." Immediately he was gone. Ian grinned back at the others.

"Do I detect a pattern in all this?"

"Five regenerations since I last met him, and he still hasn't changed." Jo sighed. "We'd better wait."

"Fine by me. I always used to do the rough stuff; it's high time he took over." Settling himself down on an empty crate, Ian smiled and closed his eyes. "Did anybody think to bring a good book?"


"Doctor!" Hissing the word softly, Mike Yates caught up with the Time Lord, who frowned at him disapprovingly.

"You were supposed to look after the others."

"Sorry." The one time Captain glanced back at Benton and sighed. "You were supposed to look after the others."

"I know." They grinned at each other, then looked back to the Doctor. "So what's the plan?"

"We grab him and run." Straightening up, the Doctor stepped from out of his cover before either human could respond, and they glanced at each other in surprise.

"It's the regeneration," Mike observed. Benton nodded.

"We'd better stay with him." They hurried to join their companion, who was making his way through the throngs of brainwashed humans with complete confidence. He nodded and smiled at those he walked past, none of which were taking any notice of him, and eventually stopped in front of the Brigadier.

"Lethbridge-Stewart old chap. Hello." The Brigadier stared at him, unseeing and unhearing.

"Brigadier, this is really no time to sulk. Come along." He reached out, taking his old friend by the hand. "You want to obey the Voice, don't you?"

"The Voice speaks. We obey." The room reverberated with the united chant of the devoted, and the Doctor jumped, startled by the noise.

"Brigadier, please come with us. The Voice commands it."

"We obey the Voice." The roomful of brainwashed British citizens stepped forward as one, and Mike's eyebrows shot up to his hairline.

"We can't take them all with us, Doctor!"

"Not really no." Addressing the room as a whole, the Doctor put on his best prophet's voice. "You are commanded to remain here. The Voice demands it."

"The Voice speaks. We obey."

"Yes, yes, quite. Please obey quietly. Brigadier, the Voice wishes for you to come with me. Do you understand?"

"The Voice speaks. I obey." Staring at the Doctor with no sign of comprehension in his eyes, the UNIT X commander stepped forward. "I must hear the command of the Voice."

"We must hear the command of the Voice." The rest of the room echoed his request, and the Doctor flinched at the noise. If the Master didn't know about their escape yet, he soon would.

"We must hear the Voice." The Brigadier put down his armful of boxes and reached for one of them, his hands caressing the fastening. "The Voice commands us."

"No!" Making a wild grab for the box, the Doctor was brought up short by a swathe of devotees, who moved between him and the Brigadier, hampering his movement and pushing him back across the room. Almost immediately he heard the sounds of muted music, as the box opened. "Blast!"

"That music." Beginning to sway noticeably, Benton stared at the throng of people, now still and silent. "I - I can't--"

"Fight it." His voice sounding strained, Mike frowned. "Don't listen to it."

"Make a break for the door." The Doctor glanced about, worried, but the exits all seemed blocked by brainwashed humans, all eager to get as close to the source of the Voice as they could. Within the music came the sound of rhythmical beeping, monotonous and absorbing. Even the Doctor's strong will began to bend, and in desperation he covered his ears with his hands. He could still hear the beeping, could still feel the music, as though it were inside his head, coming from deep within his consciousness.

"I am the Voice. All will obey me." The sound seemed to echo all around, although the Doctor knew that this was just his own confused mind playing tricks. "All will bow down before me. I am the Voice."

"The Voice." Benton's voice no longer sounded like his own, and the Doctor saw him sink to his knees, in tandem with the others in the room. Mike wavered, fighting what he knew to be a form of mind-control, but the expression faded from his face and he too went down. His vision blurring, the Doctor tried to concentrate on other things. A thousand memories, quotes and song lyrics flashed through his mind.

"I am the Voice. All belongs to me. All will obey me. All will follow me. I am the Voice."

"You are the Voice." The room reverberated with loyal echoes.

"You will obey me."

"We will obey you." The Voice was that of the Master, which hardly surprised the Doctor. He began to struggle back through the crowd towards the Brigadier, determined to shut the box whilst he was still in possession of his own mind.

"You must spread the Word of the Voice."

"We must spread the Word of the Voice."

"All must hear the Voice."

"All must hear the Voice."

"Brigadier! I know you've always thought that I'm a touch on the odd side, but this is one occasion when I would be most grateful if you'd believe me." Finally fighting his way through the crowds, the Doctor stared deeply into the eyes of his old friend. "Concentrate, Brigadier!"

"You will obey the Voice," came the monotonous chant.

"We will obey the Voice." There was no sign of hesitation in the Brigadier's face as he chanted with the others. The Doctor sighed, and made a sudden grab for the box. It tumbled from the UNIT officer's grip and bounced across the floor, splitting on impact. The mystical Voice ceased its chants mid-sentence, and the Time Lord breathed a sigh of relief.

"He is an enemy of the Voice." One of the crowd pointed to the Doctor. "He must be destroyed. All enemies of the Voice must be destroyed!"

"He must be destroyed." The Brigadier echoed the chant, at the same time reaching for the gun in his belt, which he seemed to have only just remembered. "All enemies of the Voice must be destroyed." He levelled the gun at his old friend, his face devoid of emotion or care. "You must die, non-believer."


"Halt!" Stepping into the room with his usual flare for the dramatic, the Master swept the crowd with a dazzling stare. All eyes turned to look at him, and he saw with some amusement that the Doctor's little group of friends seemed to have been enrolled into his army. "You must not kill him."

"He is an enemy of the Voice." The Brigadier sounded flat. "He must be destroyed."

"Not yet. We have more important things to do first." Picking up several shards of the broken box, the Master glanced over at the Doctor, now held firmly in the grip of two devotees. "You should be more careful, Doctor. These people are most determined. They have ears only for the Voice, and if you get in the way of that..." He smiled. "I suppose I should have known better than to consider you a deleted threat."

"What happens now?" the Doctor asked, his expression struggling to maintain its indifference.

"Now? Phase three. I'm rather proud of this bit." Still smiling, the Master turned back to the room. "Listen to me, followers. Phase two has been completed. Most of London now hears the Voice. I will now travel to the nearby radio station, and broadcast our Word to the rest of the country." He spared the Doctor a sidelong grin. "Not so easy to defeat, hey Doctor. Or do you think you can take on the whole country?"

"If I have to." The Doctor struggled, but could not break free from the grip of his captors. The Master smiled.

"Hear me, followers. We must have the country behind us. In the meantime, you are to continue your work. Continue to make the boxes and prepare them for transport. We shall take them with us to conquer new countries. Britain shall be my army, and together we shall take the Voice to every person on Earth. Are you with me?"

"We obey the Voice." There was no enthusiasm in the echo, but the obvious devotion was enough. The Doctor renewed his struggling, but could not break out of the grip of his guards. The Master gestured to them impatiently.

"Take him to my office and secure him there. I'll deal with him later." His eyebrows raised in a look that was almost comical. "I have things to be getting on with, Doctor. Sorry to brainwash and run, as it were, but I'm sure you understand. Your friends, by the way, will be safe as long as you give me no reason to make them otherwise. Agreed?"

"Agreed." Unable to resist, the Doctor was dragged away. His last clear sight of the room was of Suzy, Adam and the others moving mindlessly to join the crowds of labouring followers. They were gone, and he knew it.

"Where are we going?" he asked his guards, as much for conversation as anything. He did not expect any answer, and did not receive one. Instead he was merely propelled into a room and pushed into a chair. He glared at his captors, but they were not interested in his anger, and stood shoulder to shoulder facing him. He made a move to stand up, but one of the pair pushed him back down.

"You will remain here," he said. The Time Lord sighed.

"Do you know, I think you're right." He leaned back, folding his arms, and gazed about at the room. It was simple enough; a desk, several chairs, a filing cabinet or two, and a large, ceiling high sculpture of a rather stylised human figure. A frown crinkled the Doctor's brow, and he slowly stood up. "Mind if I walk about a bit?" There was no answer from the guards, and he made a move towards the sculpture, intrigued by it. Quite apart from the fact that he could see no way that it could have been put into the room, he was sure that he could detect the faint hum of power.

"You will remain here." One of his guards reached out, grabbing him by the arm. The Doctor spun, flipping his attacker neatly over his shoulder, and spinning about to face the second man. Almost immediately he felt his arms grabbed from behind as the first man jumped back to his feet, pain no problem to his controlled mind. The Time Lord smiled awkwardly as he stared into the lifeless eyes of the other guard, suddenly unable to move. The man raised his fist to strike at the prisoner.

"No fair. He can't fight back." The voice came from behind the guard, and the zombie-like man crumpled and fell. Mike Yates, his thin face alight with a smile, nodded at the Doctor and grabbed the other guard by the arm. The civilian turned towards him, and the Doctor hit him from behind.

"Nice shot." Mike relieved the man of his weapon and then smiled. "Well that's two down. Several million to go."

"Isn't optimism a wonderful thing." The Doctor ignored the fallen guards and hurried to the sculpture. Mike joined him.

"The Master's TARDIS?" he asked. The Time Lord nodded, succeeding in opening the door. They entered, looking about in surprise. The console had been completely dismantled, and roundels from the walls were spread about the floor. Exposed circuitry dangled out everywhere.

"What a mess." Mike wandered over to the console. "His whole Space/Time capability is gone. The dematerialisation circuit is in pieces. He's not going to get off the ground in a hurry."

"So this is why he wants the Earth." The Doctor whistled. "Something major must have gone wrong, and he tried to fix it. Something tells me that he wasn't very successful."

"And he can't even use your TARDIS for spare parts, because most of the components are incompatible." Mike grinned. "It's almost funny."

"Not quite. The universe may be rid of him, but Earth very obviously isn't. It's no wonder that his work has been so limited. I wondered why he didn't just broadcast his message on a world frequency as soon as he arrived, but so little of his equipment is in working order that he's more or less restricted to using Earth technology." The Doctor leant against what was left of the console. "The good news is that I can use these spare parts to make another reverse-processing device - like the one back at the office. I'll have to start from scratch again of course."

"But you know what you're doing now." Mike hunted through the nearest leaning tower of circuitry and components. "Would you like me to go after the Master while you build your device?"

"The Master is my problem, Mike. He always has been and he always will be." Rummaging through the dangling remains of the console, the Doctor began to extract pieces of wiring that could be useful to him. "You leave me to deal with him. I'd appreciate it if you'd run and get me one of those boxes, though. If I can wire that into my device, it'll save hours of work."

"Right ho." Heading for the door, Mike glanced back as the Doctor looked up.


"Yes?" He hesitated, his hand on the door handle, looking back at the Time Lord.

"How did you manage to avoid being brainwashed? I thought that you were gone with the others."

"It wasn't easy." Mike grinned. "I used a little trick that K'anpo taught me; focus on a song, and try not to think about anything other than the lyrics. Problem was, the only song I could think of was that damned Venusian lullaby."

"Close your eyes my darling, well three of them at least. The night falls swift upon you, and you must have your sleep." The Doctor grinned back at him. "It's saved my life more than once."

"Yes, well their songs might be useful, but I'd rather not have to meet a Venusian. They don't exactly sound like beauty queens." Mike smiled and hurried out of the door, leaving the Doctor to his urgent work. The Time Lord glanced at the clock on the Master's desk and frowned. Soon his old enemy would be broadcasting his message to the whole of the country. It was very likely that not everybody would hear it of course, but plenty of people would, if he used enough frequencies, for a long enough period. With millions behind him, he would be next to unstoppable, and the thought was frightening.


On the streets of London, a state of national emergency had been declared. The Master drove through the confusion in a supply truck, his saturnine features composed into the very image of urgent importance. His story of desperately needed medical supplies in the centre of the capital got him through three barriers of heavily armed soldiers, and he even earned a salute from one eager young officer. He reached for the box lying on the seat beside him, and opened it wide, listening in amusement as his message was broadcast to the citizens in the street. Most of them were already on his side, and they snapped to attention as he drove past, shouting their devotion to all who would listen. The soldiers who did not hear the message quickly enough went down beneath a crowd of the Master's supporters, and the Time Lord smiled thinly to himself. That would teach them to try and guard against his supremacy. He drew the van to a halt and climbed out, distributing his boxes to the first people that he met; there were crowds of them wandering inanely in the roads, waiting for his guidance. They hurried off to do his bidding, eager to reach the radio and television stations that he knew were close by. They would be in the hands of the government troops by now of course, and the only programmes on air were likely to be news ones; but that was no obstacle to him. If his disciples were killed in the attempt, there were several million others that were most willing to replace them. All over Great Britain - quite possibly all over the world - there would be millions of people watching the news, eager to hear what was happening in London. The Master was planning to tell them, in graphic detail.

"You can run, but you can't hide," he said softly, as he watched a young UNIT soldier being chased down a side street by a gang of devotees of the Voice. Moments later the gang emerged, carrying the soldier's weapons. All over the city his people were arming themselves in just that fashion, and the thought satisfied the Master immensely. He could no longer make eternity his home, but he would have a planet where he would be kept in the greatest of comfort instead; a whole world where he was worshipped as a god, with his every wish fulfilled by eager followers. He would have the Doctor as his slave. His lips curled in a mocking smile as he thought about finally bringing his cursed fellow renegade to heel. Then he could take the Doctor's TARDIS, and have transport. Unreliable transport perhaps, but at least a way to get some variety back into his life. And he would still have his planet to come back to, and his international band of loyal followers.

"Earth will be mine." He laughed softly as he saw a group of his people rush at the security barriers outside the headquarters of London Radio. Several of them fell under a barrage of bullets, but many more got through. The guards went down beneath the mob of incensed citizens, and the Master, straightening his suit, went to join his people. They bowed low before him, and he nodded and smiled regally at them as he passed by. A chuckle escaped his throat. Life couldn't get much better than this.


"Finished." The Doctor stood up, gazing proudly at the small device before him. It looked as ramshackle as it was; many components had never been designed to work in conjunction with one another, and the alien electrical engineering within the Master's box of tricks needed careful handling to prevent it from rebelling against the Gallifreyan technology it was being shanghaied by. All the same, it was a chance, and he was eager to put it to the test.

"I should get back to my TARDIS. If I can rig this little chap into the communications whatnots, I think I can broadcast our message to quite a wide area. I could probably tap into the local radio network, the way that the Master is planning to." He frowned. "Problem is, that all the people he's already brainwashed are rather unlikely to be sitting listening to the radio."

"We can try it on the people here first." Mike opened the door. The Master's followers were still marching up and down the corridors, carrying piles of newly made boxes from the factory floor to the front of the building. Their expressions were filled with relaxed contentment, and he smiled at them. There had been a time when he had known that sort of mindless happiness, when he had been brainwashed. That had been years ago, when he was still a member of the regular branch of UNIT, and he had no wish to repeat the experience. It was less than enjoyable, no matter how perfect and ideal it could sometimes appear to be.

"You are the enemy of the Voice." Stepping towards them from out of the line of workers, two firemen in full protective clothing folded their arms. "You do not hear the Voice."

"Nonsense, old chap. Why the Voice and I go back years. Actually we were at school together." Taking a deep breath, the Doctor opened the box.

Nothing happened. There was no sound, and no reaction from the crowd in the corridor. Some of them had ceased their toil in order to look towards the altercation nearby. The Time Lord grinned cheerfully around at them all.

"Give it a moment," he said, with more confidence than he felt. "It needs to warm up."

"You are an enemy of the voice." A trio of policemen threw aside their cargo of boxes, stepping forwards with a line of uniformed soldiers and a bus conductor. There was a row of school children with them, their innocent young faces filled with venom at the supposed threat to their beloved leader.

"I am not an enemy of anyone!" Backing away, the Doctor glanced across at Mike, who was holding the gun he had taken from the Doctor's guard earlier. The Time Lord shook his head, anxious that nobody should get hurt. In a moment of panic, he closed his fist, and brought it down sharply on the lid of the box. Immediately a sharp, ear-piercing sound burst forth from within the device. The Doctor winced, wishing that his genius had extended to remembering the need for earplugs, and he tried to cover at least one ear with his free hand. Mike dropped his gun, falling back against the wall.

"Doctor!" he shouted, sounding desperate. "What's going on?"

"Therapy, my dear Yates. Come on." The Doctor seized his companion by the hand, and dragged him down the corridor.

"You are an enemy of the Voice." The bus conductor, left behind, took a valiant step after them, his legs quavering as much as his voice. His shoulders shook, and he collapsed onto the floor.

"The noise--" Covering his ears with his hands, Mike closed his eyes, leaning against the wall. "Doctor, I--"

"Take it easy, Mike." Able to withstand rather more than the human, the Doctor found the high pitched sound no more than an unpleasant inconvenience. He pressed on, encouraged by the effect that his device seemed to be having on those that they passed. "This noise is painful, but that's the point. It can cut through the barriers that the Master's device has constructed around these peoples' minds." His voice faltered as the noise grew in volume, wavering slightly. He shook it, desperate to keep it going for as long as possible. Beads of sweat were breaking out on Mike's face as he struggled to put up with the sound. Up ahead he saw Jo and Benton, their hands clamped over their ears. They seemed to be crying out to him to help them, their faces showing their pain. He tried to move towards them, but felt the Doctor's hand on his arm.

"Leave them Mike," he shouted above the noise. "This is the only way to help them. We have to break the Master's hold over their minds."

"But Doctor--"

"No buts Mike. This is for their own good." The pain on the faces of his friends hurt the Doctor, but he steeled his mind against it. It was hurting them more than it was hurting Mike, he knew. The processing that their minds had undergone no doubt carried failsafes, to guard against deprocessing. Their minds were being torn between servitude and release, and he had no way to ease the distress of their conflict.

"You are an enemy of the Voice." The chant, now familiar, echoed along the corridor behind them. The pair turned, to see two men striding along the corridor towards them. One was Colonel Robertson, head of UNIT security, and the other was Matthew Hardacre. Somehow they seemed to be resisting the Doctor's device, and his eyes widened in concern as they ran towards him. Mike stepped forward in a futile attempt to protect the Time Lord - and more importantly his device - but was thrown aside by one blow from the colonel. He crashed backwards into the wall, and slumped to the ground.

"We have our orders. You are to be eliminated." His eyes burning with the cold light of fanaticism, Hardacre stepped towards the Doctor, hands outstretched. "The Voice must be protected. The Word must be heard by all."

"The Word is wrong." His voice cold, the Doctor stared into the wide eyes of the managing director. "The Voice is evil."

"Unbeliever!" Clearly shocked by the Doctor's words, Robertson seized the device, pulling hard to drag it from the Doctor's grip. He hung grimly on, looking for anything in his opponent's eyes that would suggest he was succumbing to the deprocessing procedure. There was nothing. With a bellow of rage, the UNIT officer tore the device away from the Time Lord, and hurled it across the room. The noise ceased.

"And now you will die." Robertson's hands caught the Doctor around the throat, beginning to tighten their grip. The Time Lord struggled, fighting to break the enraged man's hold.

"You don't know what you're doing!" he gasped frantically, but the pressure merely tightened. The Doctor felt his head begin to swim.

"The Voice must be heard." Chanting the mantra over and over, Robertson tightened his grip. "Enemies of the Word must be destroyed. The Word must be spread."

"It won't work." His voice little more than a hoarse whisper, the Doctor struggled to focus his eyes. He could feel his anger growing, and he embraced it. It was all that was keeping him from passing out. "They'll come here. They'll kill you all. Bomb the factory. Then where will your precious Voice be?"

"You will die." Robertson's grip did not falter, but Hardacre, watching the proceedings with little care, started visibly.

"Bomb the factory?" he asked, his voice showing signs of confusion. "Destroy it?"

"Yes!" Catching on to this one, perilously thin lifeline, the Doctor struggled to stay conscious. His legs were giving way, and he knew that he did not have long before the ever-tightening hands around his neck crushed his throat completely. "They'll bomb the place. Destroy it all."

"No. No I can't let that happen." Hardacre began to shake his head, his whole body starting to shake along with it. He stepped forward, hesitated, started forward again and then stopped. "The Voice. The Voice wouldn't let the factory be destroyed."

"The Voice has gone. Can you hear it anymore. Can you?" The grip at his neck slackened slightly, and the Doctor started at the colonel, then at Hardacre. "Can either of you hear the voice? It's abandoned you."

"No." Robertson stared into his eyes, his grip still tight around the Time Lord's neck. "No."

"Yes." Hardacre stepped forward again, his voice quivering. "The Voice has gone." He grabbed Robertson, pulling him away. "We have to save the factory." The Doctor collapsed onto the floor, gasping for breath and staring up at the pair as they confronted each other.

"The Voice commands us." Robertson sounded angry. "You must not listen to the unbeliever. He lies."

"No. I have not heard the Voice speak for several hours. He speaks the truth." Hardacre's voice sounded almost human again, urgency clearly recognisable through the uncertainty. The Doctor closed his eyes, too weak to interfere, and able only to hope that this new argument would win out.

"I must destroy the unbeliever." Robertson started back towards the Doctor, but Hardacre grabbed him.


"Get out of my way, traitor." Robertson drew his gun, and the Doctor tried to get to his feet, too weak to struggle to Hardacre's assistance. The pair grappled together for control of the gun, and the Time Lord watched with widening eyes. There was the sound of a gunshot.

"Hardacre!" Taking an uncertain step forward, the Doctor caught his saviour by the arm. Hardacre stumbled back. His eyes showed great confusion. Slowly Colonel Robertson tumbled to the floor, quite dead.

"What happened?" Hardacre asked. A frown broke out on his forehead. "Who are you?"

"I'm the Doctor." The Time Lord breathed a sigh of relief and helped Hardacre to a nearby crate to sit down. "I think you'd better have a little rest."


"I feel dreadful." Closing her eyes, Jo Yates moaned softly. "Like I had an incredible night last night and lived to regret it."

"You haven't got a hangover." Smiling at her with a cheerful lack of sympathy, the Doctor toyed with his device. It had been broken in his struggle with Robertson, but he was fairly sure that he could fix it. "Just don't turn on the radio or the television, or you'll be feeling a lot worse."

"Meaning that although we've got this lot seeing sense, as soon as they leave the factory the Master is likely to get them under his spell again." Mike picked up one of the half finished boxes. "I wonder if they've shipped any of these abroad."

"Let's try not to worry about that one yet." Adam sat down beside the Time Lord. "We have to stop this guy first, right?"

"Right." The Doctor tapped idly on his equipment. "It's not going to be easy. I have to make a decision."

"Such as?" Embarrassed by his loss of control thanks to the Master, the Brigadier was acting more bluff than usual, and this amused the Doctor. He smiled up at his old friend, a trace of sadness in his eyes.

"Something has happened to the Master's TARDIS; it's been destroyed. He's not going to give up easily knowing that he's to be stuck here forever. He wants Earth in his control."

"Then we shall have to end it, once and for all." The Brigadier saw the look in the Doctor's eyes, and sighed. "I know that you dislike this sort of thing, Doctor, but what other choice is there? He's determined to have the planet, and there is no way to get rid of him. Ergo, we have to eliminate the problem."

"That's just the way that he would see it." The Doctor shot the Brigadier an accusing look. "There is an alternative, but it sentences the rest of the universe to his renewed tyranny."

"You mean give him your TARDIS?" Adam shook his head. "You can't do that, Doc. Where would you go? Think of a universe with him allowed to do what he likes, and you unable to stop him. The man is clearly insane."

"No, not insane, Adam. That's the tragedy of it." Shaking his head, the Time Lord gazed into the middle distance. "Either way, we're stuck with a mute point. We can't leave here, because the streets are filled with the Master's disciples, most of which have probably got these boxes with them. Now I know that I can fight the mind control, and Mike can too, but if we step outside this place, the chances are that the rest of you will join the enemy again. The only thing to be thankful for is that the Master can't take my TARDIS without me being there." He toyed with the key on its chain around his neck. "Since I adjusted the programming, only one of the designated keys can open it."

"Then he can't escape." The Brigadier nodded. "Is there any way that we can fix his TARDIS? Fly that to wherever he is?"

"If he couldn't fix it I doubt that I can. Even with Mike's knowledge of Gallifreyan technology to help out, I'm no match for the Master's engineering abilities." The Doctor shook his head. "This is like a game we used to play at the Academy. We had to imagine that we were stuck on a particular planet, in a particular Time, and we had to find the solution to a problem by using only local technologies to help us." He smiled ruefully. "I never was any good at it."

"Sounds like the problems we had to solve in basic training." Adam stood up, beginning to pace. "Think, Doctor. We're in a factory. That means machinery and computers, right? I'm no engineer, but I know my way around the computers of this era; it's my own time give or take a year. We can come up with something, I'm sure of it."

"Of course!" Leaping to his feet in a fit of childish enthusiasm, the Doctor grabbed at Adam's hand, shaking it hard. "Chesterton, old fellow, I want you to go through the stores. There are sure to be chemicals, or chemical products around here somewhere. There have to be. Collect up what you can and bring it back here. You can help him, Brigadier. Benton, Mike, I want electrical components, wiring, circuitry; the works. Take them out of the toys they used to make here, out of the lights, everywhere. Just not out of the computer system. Adam, Jo, you take the computers. You'll have to use the portables - the laptops as you call them. We'll convert their network. Free as much memory as you can, and find some cables so that we can connect them up to the main computer aboard the Master's TARDIS." He hesitated, looking at Suzy. She had no knowledge of computers, or of any kind of science that would be useful to them now, in 1998. "Er..."

"I could make some tea?" she offered helpfully. Jo spluttered to herself, and the Doctor grinned, imagining the talk that the pair of them were going to have once this was all over.

"Yes, okay. Thankyou Suzy." He tried to ignore the glare he received from Jo, and instead collected up his broken deprocessing device and scurried towards the door. "I shall be in the TARDIS. Speak to no one, and don't leave the main building unless you have to." He frowned. "What did we do with the others?"

"I had Benton lock everybody we could find into one of the loading areas. Huge place, like a warehouse." The Brigadier shrugged. "Some of them were a little upset, but I'll get the UN to give them an apology later. Not my problem."

"Quite." The Doctor smiled. "Well, to work everybody. I'll see you in a little while." He vanished.

"I suppose we'd better get busy." Heading towards the nearest door, the Brigadier glanced back. "Are you coming, Chesterton?"

"Yes." Ian hurried after him, thinking that this old lifestyle took some getting used to again. It had been thirty-three years since he had last had the fate of a planet resting on his shoulders. He found to his surprise that he was almost enjoying himself. Something told him that UNIT X might have been a blessing in disguise; just so long as every Monday morning wasn't like this one.


"What are you doing, Doctor?" The question was becoming so familiar, although each time it was asked by a different voice, that the Time Lord almost growled. He had rapidly come to the conclusion that patience was not high on his list of priorities in this current regeneration.

"I'm trying to work," he muttered irritably. Jo, the most recent asker of the question, grinned.

"Am I disturbing you?" she asked innocently. He glared up at her.

"Hold this." He handed her a jumbled muddle of wires and a handful of tools, none of which she could identify.


"I've finished rigging the computers up to the TARDIS one." Standing up, Adam peered at the screen of the TARDIS computer. "We have a problem though. The Earth computers don't speak the same language as this one."

"No problem. Gallifreyan programming is very similar. You just need to translate the Gallifreyan commands into English. Mike will do that for you. The two of you work together." There was a burst of sparks from the collection of equipment in the Doctor's hands, and he yelped. "Ow!"

"Are you alright?" Suzy sounded worried, and he smiled at her.

"Just about, Suzy. That was a most unpleasant electrical shock." He grinned broadly. "Perfect!" His enthusiasm for such a painful incident confused her, but she assumed that the presence of electricity was cause for celebration, and smiled back.

"So what happens now?" she asked. He frowned, the different wording of the question making it no less aggravating.

"Now Chesterton gets to do his bit. Chesterton?"

"Yes, Doctor." Emerging from another part of the debris strewn console room, Ian held up a flask of chemicals. "I mixed it all up like you said, Doctor, but we just don't have the right chemicals here. As I recall, the fluid links--"

"Never mind about that. We have to make do with what we have." Wiping the sweat from his forehead with a grimy hand, the Time Lord took the flask of pale blue liquid and held it up to the light. "This should fool the TARDIS circuitry for long enough." He decanted the liquid into a small glass tube, and began laboriously connecting it to the jumble of electronics in his hands. "Sergeant Benton?"

"Here Doctor." As weighed down by confusions of wires as was Jo, Benton came nearer, so that the Time Lord could rummage about for the next piece of his jigsaw puzzle. "What are you doing, Doctor?"

"If anybody else asks me that question, I shall wire him into this lot." Fiddling about with some very fragile looking pieces of circuitry with what looked, to Benton, like a huge monkey wrench, the Doctor smiled and nodded to himself. "We have to get this done before the Master comes back. He's sure to, once he's finished up with whatever he's doing."

"Just so long as it works." Beginning to tire of uselessly watching the proceedings, the Brigadier began to search through some of the wall panels. "It all looks a trifle dodgy to me."

"Brigadier, I am surrounded with the planet Earth's most qualified alien experts. Chesterton here has been with me on more adventures than any other person I know. You, Mike, Benton, Jo - you have the greatest experience of repelling alien invasions than any other beings on the planet. I refuse to accept that we can be beaten in this. You've assembled yourself a fine team for UNIT X. Don't lose faith in it before it completes its first assignment." He promptly vanished up to his shoulders in a collection of machinery cannibalised from various parts of the factory. "You know, I think I can fix this air conditioning unit up to the main TARDIS drive system, and power things up that way. If I use the generator from the whatsit, and run it through the power drive from the... the... thingy..."

"I am filled with confidence." The Brigadier sighed. "Do you actually know what you're talking about, Doctor?"

"Well I never really understood the internal structure of a TARDIS, no." The Time Lord grinned. "Relax, Brigadier, do. Make a cup of tea. Learn a new language. Take up knitting." He vanished again. "Sonic screwdriver somebody."

"Here, Doctor." Finding some device in the Master's tool box which resembled the instrument she had seen the Doctor use so often in the old days, Jo handed it across. He fiddled with it with enthusiasm, and vanished again.

"Ah ha!"

"Success?" the Brigadier asked him. He reappeared for a moment, looked flushed and pleased.

"Success, my dear Lethbridge-Stewart, success! Now we have one or two minor things to deal with... I have to re-calibrate that computer modem to work through the TARDIS communications system... And then..." He nodded. "Then all we need to worry about is whether or not I can fly her."

"Oh good." Thinking back to his past, Ian smiled rather thinly. " Why do I have sneaking suspicion that you're finally going to succeed in getting me to London, 1963?"

The Doctor smiled up at him. "Oh ye of little faith." He stood up, brushing himself down, and slipped the Master's sonic screwdriver into his pocket. It felt comfortable there, and he decided not to argue with fate. "Just keep your fingers crossed, there's a good chap."


The Master crossed the street, heading into the latest in the long line of hijacked radio stations. A dead guard lay slumped in the doorway, shot by some enthusiastic supporter of the Voice, and a band of similar supporters were already preparing for the latest broadcast. A radio in the corner of the room, tuned to some other station, was broadcasting non-stop messages from the Voice. The Time Lord grinned at it. It sounded good, to hear his own voice in that manner, knowing that it was the key to his future supremacy on this uninspiring rock in space. It might even be worth all the trouble, once it was over.

A burst of static interrupted his line of thought, and he glanced across at the radio in irritation, wondering what was wrong with it. Almost immediately there was a second burst of static, followed by a sudden, high-pitched screech. The noise hurt, and he saw his followers grab at their ears, shouting in pain.

"Doctor." The Master's voice was like ice, and his lively dark eyes blazed with sudden, unchecked venom. Almost immediately the anger was gone, and a dangerous smile replaced it. He laughed shortly. "Ah well, it will only make my victory all the more enjoyable when it comes. Enjoy yourself while you can, Doctor." He turned on his heel and marched out, instinct taking him to the office block where he already knew that the Doctor and his friends had been apprehended before. He would win yet. All through the streets, the radios that he had ordered be set up to broadcast his Word further were now broadcasting the high-pitched shrieks of the deprocessing device, and the former loyal followers of the Voice were thrashing about on the ground in evident agony. The Master ignored them all, marching on through the carnage, past the dead bodies of the soldiers sent to patrol the streets; past the gun-toting devotees now wandering in vague circles. It meant nothing to him. He would turn it all back his way soon enough.


"He's entering the building now." Standing by the security monitors, Suzy glanced back at the others. The Brigadier nodded sharply, and drew his gun.

"Very well. I'll handle this. You'd better stay out of the way, Doctor."

"No." The Doctor forcibly pushed the his friend's gun hand down, so that the weapon pointed at the floor. "The Master is my problem, Brigadier. Not yours."

"Excuse me, but it happens to be my planet that he is attempting to enslave." The Brigadier glared. "Now would you please--"

"No Brigadier. I won't let you shoot a man in cold blood, no matter who he is." Staring at the security screens, the Doctor watched the Master's progress. "He's come here to see me, so that is who he is going to see. The rest of you go into the TARDIS. Mine, not his."

"But--" Adam began. The Doctor glared at him, and he stepped back. "We're on our way."

"I don't like this," the Brigadier began, but the Doctor smiled at him.

"You let me worry about this, old friend." He glanced back at the screens again. "He's just a renegade Time Lord, Brigadier."

"So are you, Doctor." Lethbridge-Stewart smiled at him. "You know where we are if you need our help."

"As always, Brigadier, as always." He ushered them all into his TARDIS, and was closing the door as the Master burst into the room, his tissue compression eliminator pointed at his fellow Time Lord.

"Hello." Striding towards him, the Doctor paused a few feet away. "Can I do something for you?"

"You can always die. It would be most appreciated." The Master's eyes fell on his own TARDIS, standing next to the Doctor's. "Ingenious, Doctor. Most ingenious."

"It's a little rough and ready, but it got us here." The Doctor smiled. "You shouldn't have given up on it so soon."

"I never shared your interest in Earth technology, Doctor. I had no idea how to use the equipment I had all around me." The evil Time Lord shrugged. "Now I have my ship back, and a planet as well. Things are looking up."

"Your TARDIS needs to see a qualified Gallifreyan engineer very soon, or it won't be going anywhere." The Doctor took another step forward. "After that you won't need the Earth anymore. Why not just forget about it and leave?"

"Because, Doctor, this is your planet. The one that you have chosen to protect above all others. I want it." The Master smiled. "It angers you to see me do this, and therefore this is precisely what I must do."

"I see." Thinking about the trigger-happy Brigadier in the TARDIS, and wondering why exactly he was so determined to save the Master's life, the Doctor offered his fellow Time Lord a smile. "So a surrender is out of the question?"

"You never cease to fool around, do you." There was a trace of disgust in the Master's tone. "Always playing the clown, hey Doctor. Well this is where I start to laugh."

"I don't think so." With a sudden movement that startled even himself, the Doctor threw himself forward, crashing into the Master. The pair grappled together, crashing to the floor and rolling around on the newly laid carpet. It was still full of warehouse dust, and clouds rose up into the air as they struggled together. The Doctor seized his enemy's wrist, fighting for control of the TCE, desperate to prevent the Master from firing it.

"You shall not win, Doctor!" Lashing out with a heavy blow, the Master came close to throwing the Doctor off, and the TCE, its slim, smooth form providing little on which to get a grip, flew in a graceful arc across the room.

"Give up, Master!" His voice rising to a shout, the Doctor managed to get to his feet again, struggling with his old enemy to prevent him from racing to retrieve his weapon. Both men were not far into newly energetic incarnations, and both found themselves instinctively taking to the physical approach. They wrestled furiously, seven pair of eyes watching anxiously on the scanner screen in the TARDIS.

"You will not win this, Doctor!" Finally succeeding in throwing his opponent off, the Master ran towards his TARDIS. He hurried inside, the door closing after him. There was the sound of crashing inside as he struggled with the odd collections of cannibalised equipment, and then the machine was gone.

"What happened?" Bursting out of the TARDIS, the Brigadier stared at the space where the other ship had been. The Doctor smiled at him.

"Slight accident with my repairs, I'm afraid. I rather think that I may have connected up some of the circuitry wrong. When the Master tried to stop my little broadcast, he initiated a flight sequence instead. Very likely irreversible random co-ordinates. I don't for the life of me know how that could have happened." He shrugged. "Still, he won't get very far. His TARDIS isn't up to it. For all I care he can float helplessly in the Matrix for the next millennium."

"Nice work, Doctor." The Brigadier clapped him on the shoulder, but the Doctor merely smiled at him, feeling very tired. He was almost certain that he was going to have a very black eye soon, and his reserves of energy were already working on overdrive. There was still a lot to do.

"Thankyou, Brigadier." He headed towards his TARDIS, thinking of the long task ahead, of ensuring that the Voice was gone forever. At least, he thought with some satisfaction, he could leave the legwork to UNIT. He bent down, picking the Master's TCE up off the floor, and with the smallest of smiles he snapped it in half. There was a brief eruption of sparks, and then the little unit burst into flames. He threw the two halves into the nearest wastepaper basket, and then went into his TARDIS. Right now, his first priority was a cup of tea.


Sitting down at his desk with a long drawn out sigh, the Brigadier smiled gratefully at Suzy as she handed him a cup of coffee. "Well that's that. As far as we can tell, all the people that the Master brainwashed are back to normal. Probably." He smiled. "And I have personally seen to it that every one of those little boxes that he made have been destroyed. All the ones that we could find, anyway."

"You've done the best you can, Brigadier. Let destiny take its course now." The Doctor smiled about at the room. "You know, I've had a lot of fun here. It's been wonderful seeing you all again. I just wish that I could have seen Barbara."

"Next time, Doctor." Ian smiled fondly at him. "There will be a next time?"

"There's always a next time, Chesterton. Always." He smiled back, then glanced towards Adam and Suzy. "In the meantime, I'm supposed to be looking for Canada, 2000AD."

"But fortunately I'm not in any real hurry." Adam exchanged a quick grin with Suzy. The Brigadier stood up.

"Well if you must be off, Doctor." He looked oddly downcast. "Can't you stay for a little longer? There's one more member of my team that I'd like you to meet. Our international liaison."

"Oh?" The Doctor frowned. "Why would I like to meet him?"

"Her, actually. And she's an old friend of yours." The Brigadier smiled secretively, and the Doctor shrugged.

"I have many old friends, Brigadier. Especially in this era. Do I not get a clue?"

"Look at the security screen." Mike was standing beside the bank of monitors, where the figure of a woman was visible, walking along the alleyway behind the office block. It was the secret entrance to UNIT X's headquarters, a back way in that amused the Doctor with its schoolboy secrecy. He frowned at the screen, looking at the woman. She was dressed in a fashionable business suit, which hardly seemed to fit UNIT regulations. Its deep purple colour struck some distant chord in the depths of the Doctor's memory. His eyes travelled up to the short, auburn hair, and the bright intelligent eyes which were revealed as she turned to smile at the camera. He saw amusement on the pretty, all-too-familiar face, and he gasped.

"Tegan." He stepped back from the window, unsure quite what his next move was to be. Suddenly he looked up, glancing over towards the others.

"Don't follow me," he snapped, and headed towards his TARDIS.

"You're not going, Doctor?" Suzy asked. He shook his head.

"I have to send someone a message. I don't want you involved. There might be... repercussions." He vanished inside the ship without another word.

"But Doctor--" Suzy sighed. It was impossible to try to talk to him when he was in such a determined mood. She wondered what it was that he had to do; and who exactly Tegan was. She glanced towards the security screens, intrigued, and saw the woman jump at a sudden noise that was not audible on the monitors. A blue police box appeared in the street beside her, and Suzy swung back to face the room. The Doctor's TARDIS was still there, so how could it also be in the street outside?

"Brigadier?" Mike gestured at the screens. "Another TARDIS?"

"Impossible. There are no two TARDISes like that one." The Brigadier looked back towards the ship still in the room, then wandered closer to the screens. "But maybe..." He frowned, then pointed as the door of the second TARDIS began to open. "Look!"

"Who is that?" Suzy stared in wonder as a tall young man dressed in rather old fashioned cricketting clothes emerged from within the ship. The Brigadier smiled down at her.

"That, my dear, is the Doctor. Or one of him at least."

"An earlier regeneration?" Benton gave a low whistle. "The Time Lords won't be happy."

"Definitely not." The Brigadier smiled grimly. "No wonder he didn't want us to know what he was doing. If they found out..."

"I don't quite understand." Adam, standing beside Suzy, shook his head. "If he's a past version of the Doctor, how can he be here now? Surely he longer exists in that form?"

"You'd think so, wouldn't you?" Mike shrugged. "It's all to do with Time, and the Time Lords. When they regenerate, their previous selves continue to exist, in a sort of parallel reality. Crossing over is possible, but strictly forbidden."

"I've seen it happen twice before." The Brigadier peered closely at the screen. "I wonder what they're saying?"

"Doctor?" Tegan took a step forward. "What are you-? I mean - why are you here? The Brig said you'd regenerated since I last met you..."

"I did regenerate. But I haven't yet." He grinned. "You should know by now that a regeneration is hardly the end. My present self told me that you were here. I've been trying to find you..."

"I wanted to see you again too. To apologise for the way that I left."

"Well it was rather sudden. But you needn't apologise, Tegan; I understood." He broke off, looking confused. "It's just that it's been rather lonely. Peri went off with my replacement, naturally. And Turlough went home..."

"I see." She smiled, suddenly filled with a curious desire to see inside the TARDIS once again. "Does that mean that you're asking what I think you're asking?"

"I rather think it does, yes." He looked rather sheepish. " We could visit Nyssa, and Turlough. He could show us his planet. He's quite important there. And I'd love to introduce you to K-9."

"But if the Time Lords found out--"

"They won't. And if they do, they'll never catch us. I had the recall circuit removed after that little incident with Omega."

"Yes, I remember." She moved past him, unable to take her eyes off the curious blue box. So many memories flooded back to her. 1981... Aunt Vanessa... Adric. She felt a longing that she hadn't felt in years. "I'd be leaving my own reality. My own Time... whatever you call it. Wouldn't I?"

"Yes, you would. And I couldn't promise to be able to bring you back." He frowned. "But I would do my utmost to ensure that it was always fun."

"With no Daleks?" She smiled, although he couldn't see her face. "You know, this is kind of out of the blue to say the least... and the Brig offered me a good job."

"So I was told. He's collected together a remarkable team. Quite unique. I probably shouldn't be trying to take you away."

"Probably not." She turned back to face him, and they shared a smile. The Doctor glanced towards the sky.

"Er, Tegan... I can't stay long. I have to get back to my own Timestream."

"Of course." She smirked and stepped towards the TARDIS, wondering just what it was that made some people so prepared to wander into the unknown. "So long as we make it quite clear that I get to argue as much as I like."

"I was rather hoping that you'd mellowed with old age."

"Hope on." She vanished inside the ship, and the Doctor remained in the street for a second, staring after her. He had acted, once again, through sheer instinct, and really hadn't stopped to think this through at all. Was it possible that he was making a mistake? He grinned. It would be fun finding out, at least; and fun was really all that he cared about. He followed his old companion into the TARDIS, and the doors closed. The ship vanished.

"Good grief." The Brigadier turned away from the screens, glancing back as the Doctor emerged from within his TARDIS. "You never cease to amaze me, Doctor."

"Thankyou Brigadier. I had to - to right an old wrong." He smiled briefly, then beckoned to his companions. "Come along, you two. Just in case the Time Lords should object to what I just did."

"But what did you just do?" Suzy asked. The Doctor flashed her a grin.

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all." He pushed her inside the ship, and glanced back at the Brigadier. "Sorry to dash off like this, old chap, but--"

"I understand perfectly." The Brigadier smiled fondly. "I'll see you soon, Doctor."

"Yes, soon. I don't know when." He grinned around at them all. "I'm afraid I can never be quite sure of anything. Goodbye."

"Goodbye." The Brigadier watched as the TARDIS dematerialised, then he smiled around at his team. "Well that's that. Mike, get onto UNIT HQ, would you? We'll be needing a new international liaison."

"Yes, of course." He headed towards the phone. "What should I tell them about the situation here sir?"

"What? Oh, tell them it's dealt with." The Brigadier smiled to himself, staring at the empty space left by the TARDIS. "We had a little help, and now everything is back to normal."

"And if they ask who it was that helped us?"

The Brigadier smiled at him. "Who?" he echoed happily. "Precisely."