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- LORD TIME Divided into thirteen chapters, each with it's own link. CHAPTER BY CHAPTER - LT1 LT2  LT3 LT4 LT5    LT6   LT7  LT8    LT9      LT10    LT11   LT12 LT12b LT13

                                       LORD TIME CHAPTER 12b

Ace looked at the amber. It was thick, viscous, oily and slippery. The surface of the slick had a skin like texture. She realised that she had only sunk in once she had broken through that surface crust. She remembered falling through some canal ice in much the same way as a child, and being fortunately close enough to the canal-bank to be able to scramble Free. She glanced up at Ichabod and realised one possible reason why she might be

thinking of that incident right now. She smiled, took a deep breath and leapt forward. But instead of aiming to jump clear of the amber, she landed on it at a skater' angle, and skimmed across its surface as she had attempted to skim herself along on that patch of canal Ice.

The Doctor had a difficult view now, because of where he lay trapped in the amber. He asked Maxil what was happening as he heard Aceís battle yell of ĎWICKED!í Maxil simply told him that he was better off not knowing just at the moment.

The distance was about thirty feet, and she seemed to surf along for ever and a day, before she finally sank down. close to the heart like console, which opened closed rhythmically It reminded. Ace of films she had seen of the blow-holes of large whales.

On Maxilís instructions, and despite a final plaintive cry from Ichabod., Ace threw the. capsule quite easily into the opening heart, which quickly closed around the catch.

"You made it. Good girl!" Maxil shouted triumphantly.

"How could you doubt me?" Ace said, with pride and egotism.

"Weíre not out of this yet, so save the celebrations for later. Move away as far as you can," The Doctor said.

Ace found herself suddenly free from the pool of amber which seemed be slowly retreating. It was like watching a the ocean tide going out from a beach. It seemed to retreat from the heart; shaped console, where a woman had now appeared.

Above, Ichabod was sighing deeply. "0h, God. , . . . "

The woman looked beautiful to Ace. She was also pale, and slightly anaemic looking. It was the passion, and pain in her Eyes that gave her a truly glowing radiance. Only Marcher seemed unmoved by her slightly ephemeral appearance. She stood close to the heart. One hand touched it, gently, Softly, just for an instant.

"My son," she called in a frail and painful whisper. "Where are you?"

" I t' s an illusion," Marcher shouted. " It's just another game "

" I' m here, Mother, " Ichabod said, struggling for the most appropriate words he could muster up.

The clock counter seemed to freeze now at twenty seconds precisely.

"You realise that you have to stop all of this now, don' t you?" The woman said, softly, but without harshness or anger.

" I want to, butt I' m afraid . "

"Be brave. The time is long overdue, but you must see why this simply has to happen now.

"She' s not really here, " Marcher shouted.. "She's just a product of the Matrix. "

"Are you here, Mother?"

"No, she's not," scoffed Marcher.

"That's not entirely true is it?" The Doctor said, as though addressing the apparition itself.

" In part, Doctor. As Marcher says, I am part of a Matrix programme, but do not forget, Son, that the Matrix is a repository of knowledge that captures and contains the thoughts and feelings of the Time Lords and the people who the Time Lords encounter . My final thoughts were my fears for your future without me. Those thoughts were snared by the Matrix net, and preserved forever. My love for you lives on there. All my concerns and desires about your health, and happiness are preserved there forever, and they still evolve. The Matrix gives them a new life; an artificially contrived one in some ways, but nevertheless, they live on. I am a product of the Matrix yes, but the words I speak are a true expression of the love I still feel for you now. I am not an illusion.

Tears trickled down Aceís cheeks.

"Lies, all lies!" Marcher shouted, already knowing at heart that his words were no longer convincing, but desperation spurred him on. He noticed that the amber was receding away more rapidly now, and that he would soon be clear of it. He noticed that The Doctor and Maxil were almost free as well. He looked towards his staser gun. which was already lying clear, dry and clean. It was still just out of his reach. He knew that he would. have to move fast, any time now.

The Doctor , Maxil, and Ace watched in silence. Maxil felt as though he was intruding in something private and deeply personal. He wished he could go out, and give Ichabod and his Mother some privacy.

"I wanted to live on, Ichabod, believe me, but it was never to be. You faced the same struggle, every day, every time you regenerated. You saw death staring you in the face all your life. Now you must give in and simply accept death. Other people, and other life forms must have their freedom back. "

" I've nearly died so many times now. . . "

"Everybody has to face death, just as you are doing now, Ichabod.," The Doctor said, with sombreness. "Most of us were never so aware of it as you are, Let go. Follow your Motherís example."

Ichabod wept . " I've been such a fool havenít I? A fool and a coward."

" It wasn't all your fault," The Doctor said. "You were used ."

As the amber dissolved around them, Maxil and the Doctor stood up. Neither of them had any of the slime on their bodies or on their clothes. Only around Marcher did the pool remain present at all as yet.

Maxil, aware that Marcher had gone silent after so much hateful ranting, became suspicious. He walked to the edge of the receding pool . He could see Marcher' s Staser rifle lying on the floor, and realised that Marcher was leaning over for it, but he couldn't get to it first, because of the remaining patches of amber. He wondered if he could glide across the amber, as Ace' had done, but h~: was too late to attempt it, as Marcher pulled his feet free, dived forward, and grabbed. the staser.

Maxil called to everybody to take cover, but everyone else's attention was on the spectral woman, as Ichabod asked how she could still love him now, after all the terrible things he had done.

Whatever answer she was going to offer him was lust forever as the staser blast tore her chest open. With a slight cry of surprise, she fell backwards towards the heart, dissolving into a red mist as she vanished.

Marcherís insane laughter broke through the mournful silence. "You see! She was just a dream; a silly illusion."

Maxil, his eyes blazing with vengeful bloodlust anger and the horror of what he had just witnessed was about to jump forward to get Marcher, despite the Doctor telling him to stay back, when several Octopus like tentacles ripped through the floor and grabbed. the self-proclaimed cult leader tightly around the waist. They crushed in on his ribs. He screamed, and dropped his staser. Maxil stepped forward and picked it up quickly, leaping back from the thrashing tentacles as he did so, though the squid-like limbs seemed uninterested in him. "Donít shoot." The Doctor said, forcibly. "This is between them now. Thereís nothing we can do to intervene without pushing Ichabod over the edge. completely."

Ace, with one Eye on Marcher's desperate struggle, was walking round the control console, but she saw no trace of the woman, or the capsule like devise that had somehow created her.

Many of the tentacles vanished, leaving only a pair, that constricted themselves ever more tightly around Marcher. After a while One of two tentacles released itself from around Marcherís chest and with incredible ease picked from his pocket a small brass ring with a green indicator light flashing on it. "You were carrying it all the time," Ichabodís voice whispered tearfully, and angrily. Within seconds, Marcher found that the Time Ring he had planned to clamp to The Doctor's wrist was now firmly strapped to his own left ankle. He screamed.

From above, the timing devise started its inexorable countdown afresh. It offered a now consistent ten minute programme.

"Do what you have to do, Doctor. I won' t try to stop you now, ^ Ichabod said, with grim and iron determination.

"What about the countdown?" Ace asked, as The Doctor moved quickly towards the little cockpit TARDIS he and Maxil had arrived in. "I think it should still work." he said, for Maxilís benefit.

Maxil was more interested in listening to Ichabodís answer to Aceís question. .

"That is how long Marcher has to live, not you, Ace."

"Are you sure about this?" The Doctor asked.

"Quite sure. This is what must be done, but hurry, please, just in. case I do change my mind. "

'"You won't. Not now," Maxil said, dryly.

" I' m sorry it had to come to this. I really am," The Doctor said, leaping into the little TARDISís cockpit. He quickly set the controls for a dematerialisation, and then jumped out again, landing easily on his feet . The TARDIS vanished, and reappeared seconds later, sticking half in and half out of Ichabodís larger heart. It was the other heart from that that which Ace had thrown the Matrix viral contagion capsule containing information about Ichabodís Mother, moments before.

Ichabod gave a slight, but surprisingly dignified cry of pain and alarm as his heart was partly torn open. To Maxil the little TARDIS had now taken on the appearance of a dark, black dagger but as he watched, it seemed to melt, dissolve and collapse in on itself , spilling a viscous mercury-like substance into the heart. Maxil remembered the Doctor warning him not to activate the other chameleon circuit option before they arrived inside Ichabod, and now he could see why.

"I' m breaking the contacts your body has with the telepathic and organic circuitry of your TARDIS," The Doctor shouted. "It's likely to be very painful. I really wish I could have made it easier fur you."

Ichabod was struggling to talk, but no words were coming out, only a fading whisper. The liquid was creating an acidic burning effect as it went. Ichabod' s cry of pain became more pronounced, but it was drowned out sharply by Marcher's terrible and cowardly agonised wailing.

Ace looked round at him and saw him thrashing and clawing wildly at the tentacles that still gripped him.

"Get it off. Get it off," he shouted. Ace realised. after a moment that he meant the bracelet on his wrist, rather than the octopus arms. Maxil walked over to the staser dropped by Marcher, picked it up, and aimed it at the panic-stricken Time Lord,

The Doctor stepped quickly in front of him, almost shielding Marcher with his own body. "Leave it!" he said simply.

A gash appeared in Marcher' s younger, chubbier face as though some invisible claw had struck him. Soon, several deep cuts and abrasions formed. blood was trickling down his cheeks. "Help me," he pleaded, pitifully, as his hair started to fall out, and he was getting fatter and taller. The tentacles did not slacken in any way to compensate for his increasing size.

"He's regenerating," The Doctor said, in reply to Aceís questions about what was happening. "The pressure on his ribs has told him that he faces death, so itís forced a regeneration process."

"Whatís happening to his face?" Maxil asked.

"He's had cosmetic surgery. He used a lot of non-Time Lord tissue. His new body is rejecting the skin grafts."

"It's horrible," Ace said, wanting, but unable to turn away as the man's face fell away like so many chunks of rancid dog-meat. She had heard of regeneration, of course, but she had never imagined the speed. and violence of the experience it must have been fur` the Doctor. She looked round briefly at Maxil who resembled Melís Doctor, and gasped in awe at the strange and awesome nature of her travelling guide.

"Look at the counter," Maxil said, pointing up at the ceiling. Ichabod` s facial features had disappeared, but the clock itself remained in place. It's timer was now on a direct, non-irratic course through itís final ten seconds.

"Doctor," Maxil said. "What if heís still going to detonate? What if this is still Event Two?"

The Doctor shook his head. " I don't think so, not now."

As the timer reached zero minutes and zero seconds, Marcher vanished, instantly, with a desperate echoing cry. "Wait!"

The clock, and the octopus tentacles also disappeared, switched off as easily as an electronic light is turned out .

Ichabod sounded as though he was moaning softly. Ace had little time to take in the full nature of Marcherís passing as the floor was trembling and shaking slightly. The lights in the control room began to flicker and dim, going out completely after a few moments. Almost immediately, low intensity infrared. lights came on in their place. Ace was reminded of her school's photography development dark room.

"Emergency lighting," Maxil explained.

" Is he dying?" Ace asked, tremulously.

The Doctor nodded his head. "Iím afraid so, yes . "

The amber had all dried away. The tree roots in the ceiling had also gone without trace, The skin like texture of the TARDIS Console were was beginning to crack. and peel. away from the wall and from the floor. Rapidly growing clumps of dust seemed. to be rolling towards one another, pulled like magnetised iron-filings. Around Ace, cobweb thin fibres seemed to be rising into the air, and moving towards both the swelling dunes of dust, and the newly developing and emerging clusters of skin and tissue that were now growing out of the dust piles. They migrated quickly towards one heart; that remained intact, beating slowly, but

audibly. The heart was shrinking quickly disappearing down inside into the nest of vein like fibres that were attaching themselves to it. Ace, and Maxil had to step aside frequently to allow the gossamer like fibres get past them. Ace found that she was looking down at the body of a man, growing, and almost evolving directly from the. material converging there. Ace couldn't help thinking of the of Biblical image of Adam, the first man, being created by God, from the very soil of Eden. She had to remind herself that this man, who had been her father for a while, was actually dying.

There were now several small fragments of metal, wood, wiring and plastic separating themselves from the from the embryonic adult flesh, as the grim process continued towards its inevitable climax.

The Doctor was the first to be able to pull his attention away from the amazing event. "Max, listen, I need the keys to your TARDIS. There isnít much time left."

Maxil looked round as though daydreaming. His attention was still focused on Ichabodís final metamorphosis. After a moment, the significance of The Doctorís words reached him. He looked shocked and indignant, but as the Doctor repeated his request, Maxil Shrugged his shoulders and threw the keys over to him. The Doctor explained that Ace had a duplicate copy of the key to his own TARDIS. Maxil nodded to say that he understood.

Even though he hadn't asked for an explanation, the Doctor offered one anyway. "It simply has to be your TARDIS, Max. It has to look and behave just like a new planet here, to stop the Doradi System from disintegrating completely. If I could have used my TARDIS, I would, but my chameleon circuitry is unstable. We couldnít have a grand piano or a London Police Call Box orbiting the Doradi Sun could we?. So you see..."

"Just do what you have to do, Doctor," Maxil shouted. "Get it over with. "

The Doctor turned, walked to Maxilís TARDIS, called to Maxil to collect him in five minutes time, no later, and stepped inside the TARDIS. Within minutes, he had disappeared with it.

The body growing on, and in part, directly out of the floor, was becoming more visibly and recognisably human. The walls around the remaining Time Lord and Earthling began to contract and shrink in. To Ace it felt like being inside a car being crushed by a scrap-yard car compactor. It happened rapidly, and violently. Ace looked at Maxil, who tried to offered her some words of comfort. "The TARDIS is returning to its ordinary inner dimensional size, I think. It should stop contracting when it gets down to about the size of The Doctorís TARDIS console room."

Ace wasnít sure if Maxil had convinced himself of this, let alone, convince her.

Ichabodís TARDIS began to shake and tremble quite severely. Ace stumbled against Maxil, who steadied her, "I think we ought to get into the Doctorís TARDIS," he said, grabbing Ace firmly by the shoulder. His hold wasnít firm enough. Ace pulled free of him of him sharply. "No. I want to see this. I have to."

Maxil nodded and patted her on the back. He stood close by her, ready to pull her clear if the situation got too critical.

Ace felt sure that she had detected. a movement from the body they had assumed to have died now. At first she assumed it had been shifted slightly by the turbulent shaking of the TARDIS itself, but when the growing arm pointed and reached up towards the ceiling as if trying to make contact with something above itself, there was no longer any room for doubt.

Ace stepped quickly towards the figure, before Maxil could stop her, and embraced the dying Time Lordís hand gently in her own. His skin felt cold, leathery and flaky to her, but it appeared to be rapidly growing less wrinkled, and increasingly smooth, as she touched it. She felt the fingers squeezing her own out of affection, and genuine love. ' Ace," Maxil said, touching her shoulder. "Come on. " Ace ignored him, and Maxil stepped back slightly, realising that Ace was in no immediate or specific danger. Maxil felt utterly helpless now. He had no idea how to handle this situation at all. He could only watch. He could not help but envy and admire Ace for her strength and composure at this crucial time, especially after what she herself had so recently endured.

The more Ichabodís features became recognisable, the less material, corporeal body there was of him to lift itself free from the dying structure of the TARDIS console room. Maxil was able to recognise more and more of the elderly features Ichabod had stubbornly worn in all of his regenerations, but they were in dramatic and violent flux, growing and yet also fading to make way for some younger version of themselves as they developed.

A cracked, gnarled whispering voice struggled free of the broken, chapped lips, talking with much of the unspeakable agony Ichabod surely felt at this time. "Icha... Icha... Icha not God!" There was a note of triumphalism about the statement. He smiled as though he had achieved something he had wanted to say for a long time.

"Shh!" Ace said with gentility and compassion. "I know. I understand."

Maxil was moved. He knew the exact significance of Ichabodís words from watching the Matrix footage of his infancy. He knew that it was unlikely to have told Ace of the words being said in his earliest infancy, but she spoke as if she understood him perfectly, with a wisdom and conviction well beyond her age. "I wish I had been your daughter, on Galifrey, Ichabod. I never really knew my real father."

Maxil gritted his teeth and choked back tears. He had to keep control of his own feelings, he knew that. he had to remain strong. He wished The Doctor had stayed and let him go instead.

Ichabod gave no indication that he had heard Aceís words, but he talked through her as though to someone he could see behind her. "It hurts Mum!"

Ace knelt down beside him, and kissed his hand, which was now that of a much younger man, if not already the hand of a child.

His transformation intensified with a final cry of pain. Before she realised what had happened, Ace found herself holding the delicate, fragile, tiny hands of a premature naked baby boy.

As the final strand of umbilical flesh rose up gently from the floor and slipped effortlessly and soundlessly into the babyís belly button, Ichabodís eyes gently closed in a gesture of acceptance and relief. His mouth pursed open slightly, making for a stoic, relaxed and dignified image. Ace picked him up from the floor and held him to her breast. Her eyes were streaming with silent tears.

Maxil whispered to her, and embraced her. Before it dawned on her that they were moving, he had led her half way to The Doctorís TARDIS.

"Whereís The Prof...?" Ace asked, weakly.

"Itís all right," Maxil said. ""Iím coming back for him. We have it all arranged from here on in."

*******

The Doctor had set Maxilís TARDIS to materialise in planetary shape around Ichabodís shrinking time machine, which viewing screens showed The Doctor to have now reverted to its original cabinet design configurations. Checking the atmospheric conditions thoroughly until he was sure of them, The Doctor used the Time Ring he had borrowed from Commander Elan specially for the task at hand, and allowed himself to be transported back inside Ichabodís crumbling TARDIS control console room.

*******

 

On the planet Thryxx there was a slight earth tremor and the eye in the sky faded from view for a few brief minutes, after visibly appearing to shrink and collapse in on itself. Now, a large grey, bland rock solid world of about the same dimensions as the eye had been, was there directly in its place.

"Heís done it," Commander Elan said. "The Doctor and maxil have done it. I think weíre all safe now."

Beragon and the cultists who heard him began cheering wildly and crying in each others arms. Within minutes, the former cultists were starting an impromptu street party, but the celebrations came to an abrupt and sombre end as the blue police box materialised and the door opened. What they saw told them without need for words exactly how their liberty had been restored for them.

Ace allowed the waiting nurses to take the baby from her arms, and then, more reluctantly, she consented to being taken to the infirmary for a rest. The other patients there were naturally afraid of her at first, after their last encounter with her, in a more hideous guise, but her natural innocence, and the deep, haunting sadness of the story she moved them to accept her as a true friend within a very short time.

Maxil waited until he was confident that Ace was going to be all right and in good safe hands, before he went back to the police box. On the way he learned that Elan had just flown off from Thryxx on a special mission of his own. Maxil smiled briefly as he knew exactly what that mission involved, but the pleasure soon evaporated in the light of the tragedy that had just occurred.

It had been five long tired hours since Maxil had promised to collect The Doctor in about five minutes and no later, but given the nature of a TARDIS Time Machine, Maxil knew that he would still make the appointment on time.

*******

Theyíd left. The TARDIS was empty. The Doctor was relieved that Maxil and Ace were safe now. The Doctor made a quick cursory examination of the remnants of the chameleon circuitry in the shattered central control stack of Ichabod's TARDIS. He had been assured by Doctor Meux that the contagion fluids that were used to kill the organic circuits connecting Ichabod to the TARDIS would leave certain TARDIS functions undamaged if used properly. Assured by further observations and quick experiments that all was going according to plan, The Doctor used the main door control button to fully open the door leading out from Ichabodís TARDIS to the interior of Maxilís planet sized Time And Space machine. The Doctor made sure that the route out that way was completely unobstructed. He knew how quickly he would have to run.

Walking quickly back to the central control console that had been Ichabodís heart, The Doctor thought he could hear the telepathic circuits begging him desperately to give them another chance, and possibly to join in with them in recreating Ichabodís grand Experiment. The Doctor knew that it was only the fact that they were now so severely and mortally damaged that prevented them from having any real influence over him at all. He realised just how much Marcher had really manipulated Ichabod now, on feeling the power of the telepathic circuits.

Reaching the console, The Doctor quickly set the chameleon circuitry to the task he desired for it, and ran for the door as fast as his little legs would carry him. As he dived through the door and slammed it firmly shut behind him, The Doctor saw Ichabodís TARDIS shrinking down, and turning the colour of sandstone.. The Doctor watched on Maxilís view screens as the TARDIS that had decimated a whole quadrant of the Galaxy and destroyed millions of lives, was reduced to a barely visible and still shrinking speck. The Doctor went back to it, and picked it up, barely able to see it at all now. It was completely weightless in his hand. He popped it into a small glass jar he had found in Maxilís TARDIS and sealed the jar tightly, watching all the time as Ichabodís TARDIS shrank down to less than the size of a needle or pin head.

The Doctor put the jar in his pocket, and waited patiently for maxil to arrive and collect him. Maxil arrived exactly on time, bearing terrible, but inevitable news.

********

Marcher was barely aware of his surroundings at first, because of the ongoing excruciating pain brought about by his regeneration crisis. When he saw the edges of the eyepieces he had crudely cut into the clown-like charicature Omega suit hooded headpiece Marcher screamed again. He looked down at the heavy suit he wore, and lifted his hands to feel the edge of the metal visor that was far too heavy to lift off by himself.

There was a strange new agony for him to endure too. At first he couldnít quite place it. For some reason his left ankle hurt like hell, and then he remembered with new terror what it was. The Time Ring he had originally intended for The Doctor was now activated and attached to his leg. He couldnít reach it to remove it. The suit was too heavy to allow him to be able to move about. He was also feeling pain from the Time Ring that he had originally strapped to The Doctorís wrist on Thryxx which had now also arrived at Tarsarus. He was sitting on it, and it was digging painfully into his backside. He felt it through the Omega suit, but the pain in his ankle was the worst of the two. The suit was too small for him, having been made for Ichabod originally, and then intended for The Doctor. Marcher was now growing to over six feet tall.

Marcher heard the reverse retro-thrusters of the tiny coffin ship firing. He had primed them himself to trigger as soon as they sensed the presense of any Time Lord genetic imprinting within the Omega suit shroud. He felt the sudden surge of. forward momentum.

He cried hysterically, knowing full well what was about to come. He knew now by some powerful instinct that his death wouldn't activate a new Eye Of Harmony, and that his horrific doom was inevitable. He had described the gory details of how black holes affected people over and over to amuse Gideus. They had laughed out loud together about the effect it would have on The Doctor. Hair, sinking down, like tiny daggers pressing back into the scalp. Fingers involuntarily bunching into fists, and continuing to move in, ripping their way through the palms of the hands. The wrists would also fold in, or out, the bones breaking whichever way, so the arms were forced to fold into the chest.... Right into the chest. Ribs would fracture; the nostrils would press inward, against the bridge of the nose. The eyes would be dragged back into the skull socket as they imploded. The mouth would jam tightly shut. The teeth would grind into one another and be forced back into the gums. The tongue would solidify and knife its way through the lower jaw. The body would be pressed flat, and simultaneously stretched out, to infinite length, like a piece of plastecine or spaghetti, pulled and pressed for all eternity in a corner of the Black Holeís Point Of Singularity where even Time itself was trapped. The consciousness and the pain would go on for ever. For ever. For ever. For ever. ...... The Omega probe made its final journey.

***********

Holt was daydreaming and contemplating what might happen if he just went back to Thryxx without Marcherís permission. Before much longer he knew that he would have to go. Food and fuel were running low. He had to keep on periodically firing the counter-thrusters to keep his own little one-man shuttle craft from the jaws of the Black Hole of Tarsarus. The radio silence was worrying. It had never been part of the plan. He knew that some kind of crisis had befallen Thryxx, and he guessed it had somehow involved The Doctor, or Ichabod, or possibly both. That meant that the Doradi system had to be Swarming with Time Lords by now. He wondered where else he might be able to run to lay low for a few years or centuries. He decided to wait for possible clues; perhaps a word from Marcher, who had always found some way of getting out of a crisis, or a problem, no matter how dire the circumstances seemed.

Just as he thought this, Holt saw the little coffin ship burst into life as its aft rockets fired. Within seconds the rocket vanished from sight, and plummeted into the Black Hole Of Tarsarus. What took moments to Holtís view would take literally forever from the point of view of the craftís reluctant passenger.

"Goodbye Doctor," Holt said, laughing with delight. "Goodbye."

After a few minutes of frenzied gloating, Holt tried to turn on his own spaceship' s TARDIS conversion and dematerialisation machinery. Nothing happened. Stomach sinking fast in panic, he grabbed the radio and an urgent call to Thryxx, and demanded to talk to Marcher immediately. The voice that replied was definitely not Marcherís. Nor was the reply from Thryxx.

Commander Elan introduced himself, and demanded Holt' s immediate unconditional surrender. "Do not attempt to use Time Rings or other escape devises. We have blocked the frequencies you require to operate them. We are prepared for any and all such eventualities. Open your outer airlocks and prepare to be boarded immediately. Dispose of any weapons you have on board through the air locks or rubbish hatches. We are too far away to be seen directly, but our weapons have you locked directly in our target range. If you set your viewing screens to what is in Sector #fg876c you will see the firepower that you are now facing. "

Guessing with dread already, Holt looked at the view screen, on the advised settings, and found that he was staring at the forward guns of a new Bow Ship, modelled directly on those used by Rassilon and the Galifreyan forces in the war against the Great Vampire.

"You' re nicked, Sunshine, " Commander Elan said.

Holt opened the outer airlocks as instructed and sat down with his head in his hands. Nothing mattered to him any more in life. He wondered if Vaporisation was really all that bad. Death was beginning to seem rather an attractive proposition.

© Copyright. Arthur Chappell

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- LORD TIME Divided into thirteen chapters, each with it's own link. CHAPTER BY CHAPTER - LT1 LT2  LT3 LT4 LT5    LT6   LT7  LT8    LT9      LT10    LT11   LT12 LT12b LT13