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The Mind Robber: Epilogue

By Alden Bates

There was a final tortured sigh and a faint blue faded from the corner of the small study.

A white haired old gentleman with half-moon glasses looked unsteadily at the spot where a tall blue hut had stood moments before. It marked the end of an extra-ordinary experience.

Although it seemed that he had fallen asleep on his desk in the Ensign newspaper offices and then awoken in a large white chamber, he had the feeling that a considerably longer time had passed. The Doctor, a short man with untidy dark hair, had been messing around with a large, six-sided table in the centre of the room. The chamber had shuddered once, as if a small earthquake had taken place, then the old gentleman was gently led outside.

Now the odd blue hut which enclosed the white chamber had vanished. The man sat down in the swivelling chair. A calendar on the wall gave the date as June, 1926. He tried to remember the events he had experienced while asleep but his memory failed him.

He caught a few snatches; some sort of giant brain such as the ones illustrated in the medical journals he sometime saw (a good friend of his was a surgeon), extraordinary men in white armour, although he got the impression that they were wholly mechanical. If he tried to remember any more, his head began to throb.

The old man sat for a good twenty minutes trying to remember. A small stack of paper near the back of the desk was one of his last Captain Jack Harkaway stories for the Ensign. A collection of pens sat in a holder near a pot of ink. The afternoon sun streamed through the gaps in the blinds over the window - he had forgotten to open them in the morning.

He sighed and stood up. He felt like he needed a bath.

A quiet voice spoke from nearby. ‘You failed us,’ it said in faint tones.

The man jumped visibly and turned. A faint splash of white shifted uneasily in the place where the blue hut had stood. A sharp memory suddenly came back to him, a memory of himself talking, and the voice with which he spoke was somehow metallic.

‘We relied on you to trap the Doctor. His mind power was needed to take over Earth,’ the amorphous shape continued tonelessly.

The old man blinked and tried to gather his thoughts. ‘Why?’ he finally asked wearily.

‘Our race...’ It paused, ‘has no form. We need the Earth and all its people to survive.’

The old man waited for a moment as the shape seemed to grow dimmer. He began to speak but the shape gathered itself and continued.

‘That man, the Doctor, he is one of us. He found a form. We did not. We are doomed, unless we can find a container...’ The form shifted position, approaching the old man.

The man's eyes widened. Wordlessly, he backed away towards the door. The shape bore down on him, obscuring his shape. Then it faded.

The study was silent for a moment, then the old man straightened up, his eyes burning with an inner, alien light. His voice was underlaid with a slight whispering echo.

‘The world of the Time Lords will be reached,’ he said. ‘Then we will be free.’

This item appeared in TSV 34 (July 1993).

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