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Doomsday Presage

By Adam McGechan

Holborn, London, 1887

The man hissed in annoyance as the door to the small chamber opened slightly. He gently closed the huge, leather bound tome, keeping his thumbs at the appropriate pages.

‘Oh, I'm so sorry, my dear fellow,’ said the mustached individual who had appeared from around the door. ‘I didn't realise that anyone was occupying this room. Pray, continue with your study.’ The newcomer swiftly backed out of the room, silently swinging the heavy oaken portal closed after him.

The man at the desk stroked his short black beard thoughtfully.

It couldn't be them. It's much too soon. Surely.

Shaking his head, he re-opened the book, removed his notes from inside, and continued to copy a small passage from the ancient manuscript. He cast a knowing eye over the rest of the entry, soundlessly mouthing the alien syllables.

Ogot erus sawb mal taht. Tnew yram taht ereh wyr evew onssa etih wsawece elfstib. Malelt tilad ahyram!


The call from outside the door broke his concentration. He relaxed slightly at the sound of another, more familiar voice, murmuring this and that about the formalities of the library. He stifled a laugh.

‘Oh, Ambrose. You pathetic cretin. If only you knew.’

With the sound of soft footfalls receding away from the door, the man with the beard turned back to his work. Nearly there. So nearly there.

Io Evohe.

The man with the beard smiled.

Eko Eko AZAL!

Slowly, and very quietly, the Master began to laugh.

This item appeared in TSV 46 (January 1996).

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