AN: This is written from the TARDIS's POV and covers "Marco Polo" to "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". A good portion of this is a zip past the adventures and focuses on how / why the 'Ship' or Verity (or Lynx) and the Doctor ended up with the relationship that they possess. The main exception is the scenes that take place in and around the ship. This concludes Susan's time with the crew.
Reviews are a lovely thing and I want to thank OtherMeWriter and FireSenshi2 for the ones gained on the last chapter.

How the Doctor was won: Or the trials of trying to catch a stubborn Time Lord.
Part Three: Watching

I landed my Doctor and crew on the Roof of the World. I never intended to land them there, but such as things were I did anyhow. The damage I suffered didn't allow me to hold out any longer once I came into the gravity well of earth. The high mountains are the sort of place where time can stand still, where humans live generation after generation locked in unchanging beliefs and habits. Thus was the case when my crew was observed exiting what seemed to be a 'magical' flying craft far smaller than what was needed for four people to survive. I know landing here was a mistake, right off, if only because it means we will be here in this time far longer than any of us wish to be. The cold thin air is very difficult for my Doctor's weakened lungs to breathe. He's short tempered, and my current damaged condition does not lift his spirits.

While Ian and Barbara try to pinpoint which mountains I've landed them in it is Susan who guesses correctly. And although Ian would be quite happy with that, he's not going to like the fact that we are centuries before his own time. The simple fact is I need to do some self-repairs. I have been stressed to the point of almost tearing myself apart. As much as I dislike doing it, we are going to have to stay here in this time for a while. My pilot makes a cursory examination of the surface systems and tells me that he can see nothing wrong, no reason to be here at all. He's quite ready to hop on. I scream at him. As typical, he can't hear me. Fine. He wants some major reason to stay? I'll give him one. It's selfish of me, I know. The others will never know that I fried that circuit. The Doctor hurries out into the weak mountain light quite upset at the darkness inside the main room, "Oh, dear, dear, dear, dear! We're always in trouble! Isn't it extraordinary - it follows us everywhere!"

Ian turns and looks at him, "What's the matter?"

"All the lights in the ship have gone out! The whole circuit has burnt itself to a cinder, and added to that it affected the water - we haven't got any!"

"Well, the water's no bother, Doctor. I mean, we've got snow - plenty of it, but how about the heating?"

"Oh, the heating as well! Everything's gone to pot!" This causes Barbara to join in the scream fest. Soon Ian and she have stormed off to find help while the two Gallifreyans attempt to find and fix the problem. The situation is not nearly as dire as my Doctor might believe it to be; I would not let them freeze. I have energy, plenty, and would make them fuel for a fire if it came down to that. The situation with his failing memory goads me like a sharp spike might. With each passing day he becomes more of a stranger to me.

They find the damaged circuit before Ian and Barbara return. They loosen the part and disconnect it so the Doctor can carry it outside to look at it. The part should take just about the same amount of time to fix that I need to mend my internal systems. Understandably my pilot is distressed and flustered by this. It's an easy subsystem to repair however, and I know all the parts are held in the Parts Room that will be required for the fix. Ian and Barbara return, having spotted their observer, at least in part. The man follows them back to the others and Susan sees him. The Doctor only pauses a moment to put the part back inside before joining the others in giving chase. I'm left alone on the mountain. Feeling that my pilot is too far away for me to help I power down further and begin working on the self-repairs. The following dawn is bright and clear as only the high mountains can be. My crew, sans the Doctor, arrive with another group, only one of which is an European. I pay passing attention to the scrutiny I am given. The European says, "So, this is your caravan?"

Ian explains that I am called a TARDIS and that I move without the use of wheels. While the leader of the native warriors contends that my crew are evil spirits I sense that the other man believes such 'magic' may have use to him. He tells of witnessing levitation at the mental power of the Buddhist monks in the Kahn's court and inquires as to the size of my internal dimension. Barbara assures him that there is plenty of room for four inside me. But it is Ian again that tells the man that only the Doctor has the power to open and fly their caravan. Susan doesn't have reason to contradict him as she has yet to get a new key. Upon learning that something is broken within me the leader of this group decides to have me brought down to their camp. From there manages to convince my Doctor that the warriors are fearful of the magic inside his strange caravan and thus he must not enter me to work in the repairs. Although I have powered down I am aware that this man, Marco Polo, does not do this to assist but rather to meet his own goals. I am strapped to a wagon and carried to the waystation of Lop. The journey is a long one, and I am fully able to commence self-repairs to a degree that I thought was going to be impossible.

It is in Lop that the Doctor discovers his gracious 'host' intends to give me to the Kahn as a gift. He does not understand what it is that makes me what I am, nor the fact that I need the Doctor to function. However, he is right at I am a most magnificent gift. Unlike anything else on this Earth. My pilot's reaction is quiet fury. I've not felt this intense emotion in him for many a year. While Polo believes that the Doctor can make another TARDIS, and is right to a degree, he has no idea that I am – we are – bonded. Another would not be the same. I sense the tickle of awareness that the underlying connection and the fear draw to it. Even if he could make another, he couldn't bond with it. I'm not sure he knows how to anymore. The anger my Doctor feels is just shy of explosive violence. Instinctively I reach for him and jerk back at the painful reminder that he cannot hear or feel me. I weep as he storms away. Even Ian's attempt to change our host's mind makes my pilot angered, for he comes stomping back, somehow knowing that I need him close and overhears Ian saying, " -- I'm afraid you don't understand all the problems involved."

The Doctor snaps, "And neither do you, young man!" I believe that our connection is strained and that although he cannot feel me in the way he used to, he still knows that he needs to be near me. This makes him testy and cross. He jumps back into the argument with Polo, just because he feels slightly less jittery here than he does farther away. Barbara also joins in the argument, trying to make Polo see reason. She tells him that he does return home, that she knows this as a fact. His strange look at her is ignored. The Ian reminds him that only the Doctor has the power to make the caravan fly and Polo insists that the Buddhist monks can and will discover its secrets. The old Time Lord scoffs at him.

In the end Polo shouts, "I refuse to listen to any more. My mind is made up! Your caravan goes with me to Kublai Khan!" The entire situation hits my Doctor after Polo has stormed away and he begins to laugh. Hysterically. Barbara and Susan try to calm him, but the horror of the situation releases itself in the only way it can – disbelief and laughter. I feel so bad. He's quite distraught by this. And for once he doesn't know what to do to get out of this mess. If only I could reach him… But Time, both the flow of it and the Eternal, is on our side. And as always there is a plot afoot that needs to be foiled.

The next bit of our trip leads us into the vast Gobi Desert. The strain of being kept apart is wearing on my Doctor with every passing day, and this shows in his manner. He is surly and bitter. It reminds me of the time we spent apart on Gallifrey, when I had my heart bled of power. This explains much of his pervious risky behavior. His attitude grows darker and stormier as we venture farther and farther into the sandy wastes. His refusal to eat bothers me to no end and there is nothing I can do about it. While Ian manages to do what is seemingly impossible and maintain an air of civil companionship with their host who is more like a jailer, Susan is distraught on many levels. She knows her Grandfather needs his TARDIS; she can see this in his mind and his soul. He'd rather will himself to die than to go on without his ship. She doesn't know the why of this but her grandfather's lack of response to her tells her more that she ever wanted to know. She remembers faint impressions of her mother finding out her father had been killed in the war and how she just gave up the will to live. Her grandfather's current attitude – frighteningly enough – reminds her of that haunting sensation. It's no surprise to me that she is upset by it.

"We'll get the TARDIS back, Susan," Barbara tells her.

Susan suppresses her tears, unsure if she can explain what is happening, "Yes, but at Kublai Khan's Court, when it's too late." Her eyes focus on the stars. How can she reveal that her grandfather is dying? She knows he is. The despair rolls off of him in waves. He needs his TARDIS like everyone else needs air. Susan rapidly blinks, "We should be up there - another time, another galaxy."

Barbara remembers Lynx and cannot help but to smile, "Oh, we'll think of something." If only I could bottle up her faith and hoard it against the darkness… Wait. Why can't I? Why can't I give them all some of Barbara's light? I begin projecting that feeling of hope, but as ever, I cannot just give it to my crew. Instead it works to hearten everyone, even the enemy. I stop with that. It's better to reach out to one at a time.

"How? Ian playing chess with Marco? Grandfather being rude and sulking by himself?" Susan looks at Barbara, showing more of her years than she has before.

Barbara raises an eyebrow, "Oh, I didn't know he's sulking. Is he?"

"Well, he won't eat. He won't even talk to me."

I whisper a caress of feeling to Miss Wright and she smiles again, "Well, you know him better than I do. But I'd have said he was just feeling defenseless. He has a wonderful machine, capable of all sorts of miracles, and it's taken away from him by a man he calls a primitive. Look, TARDIS is the only home we have at the moment, and when we're in it, we feel safe and secure. But when we're out of it..." She gazes out across the desert feeling a ghost of what the Doctor is experiencing because I'm showing her how closely the Time Lord and I are bonded. After a moment she sighs.

Susan looks at her, wondering what it is that Barbara has learned about the time ship. Something has made her aware that her Grandfather's ship is much more than it seems to be. Did she just call the TARDIS 'home'? After a moment she asks, "Will he talk to me? Confide in me?"

"Oh, he's like a rubber ball. He'll come bouncing out of there soon full of ideas."

This relieves Susan and she goes back to looking at the stars. Barbara watches her for a while then shoos her to bed. Barbara stands there a while longer, looking at the stars and the sand and remembering the feel of a slightly larger than normal cat under her fingers. She glances at the time ship, where it sits on its wagon and sighs. There's no way to get close enough to even stroke the TARDIS's side with the warriors watching them. The forced separation must be torture for the Doctor. She heads back inside, watches the chess match. And then discovers that the sudden sandstorm has Susan out in it. When Susan is found the girl tells her that she went out to follow the Warlord Tegana when he left the camp. She is suspicious of him. Barbara does not tell the others, knowing that at the moment Tegana is in Polo's graces because he 'saved' Susan and another girl, Ping-Cho, and guided them back to camp. The only good thing that came out of this is that the Doctor begins to spend time with the others again.

Then someone destroys the water the caravan is relying on. They divert to the north in hopes of reaching an oasis. With little water the chances are very slim. Tegana sets off ahead of the others saying he will being water back to them once the last of the water rations are gone. The Doctor is strained by the situation, he's unable to maintain his naturally lower body temperature in the driving heat and passes out. As a concession Polo agrees that Susan and my pilot can ride inside me, but he demands that Ian and Barbara remain outside. I can at least do something to help him but not until it is cooler. The heat of the day would undo anything I tried. But the cool of the night will let me help them.

I feel that the slow movement of the caravan does not stop at all that night, but this assists me. I begin to use block-transfer equations to make water. There's no time for containers. I simply allow it to form and run over my walls, drip off the ceiling, wherever it may form. With the sunrise I change my formula to keep it cool inside, to make the water condense even more. I can only hope that it is enough. My pilot thinks at first that he is dreaming, "Oh... water... water... water!..." the droplets are not much, but it serves to rouse him. He quickly can see what I'm trying to do. He leaps up and over to Susan, "Susan, Susan, child. Susan, wake up. Wake up, quickly!" She blinks at him as she tries to focus. "Fetch some cloth and cups." Her response is less than promising. He shakes her slightly, "We must catch the water... we mustn't waste a drop! Come along, child, wake up, quickly! Look at it... it's streaming down the walls. Look, we must collect it. It's water! We must... quickly... quickly... before the ship heats up in the sun... hurry child... hurry please..." With sudden alarm she realizes what he's saying. She rushes to comply, gathering up clean cloths and containers and frantically helping him sponge up all the water. Amazingly they share this bounty with Polo and his men, although I do not believe that they should. I cannot stop my Doctor from being generous. That goes against his nature.

Only once the caravan is moving again to the oasis do I relax. This is not what I had foreseen. The chances of these events are shifting like the sands of the desert. I realize that it is my – our – being here that is causing these changes. The plots of the power seekers vie with one another and I am at the center of them. But the situation has made my pilot realize the need to be crafty and he uses the limited access to me to make another key and to gather together the parts he needs. He believes it will take a week to fix the damage. I wonder if he will get that week.

Polo demands the key before they set out again. The Doctor hands over one without a fuss. But he hides the other, determined to get the circuit repaired so they can leave. His next chance is at the waystation of Tun-Huang. Once there he shows Ian the spare key. The situation with making the repairs is interrupted by Barbara following Tegana and the resulting distrust that the Warlord manages to sow between Polo and my crew. While this is going on, it only serves to make Susan's friend Ping-Cho more determined to spend time with Susan and listen to what she says because they are being forced apart.

Soon we are on the road to Shang-Tu, following the Yellow River. Progress on the circuit has slowed because there is almost always someone watching me when we rest, but by the time we reach the waystation at Lan-Chow my Doctor estimates one or two more days should do it. However he's sure that there will be trouble because someone outside the four of them knows of the second key. Unfortunately this means that it is likely others know of it as well.

Each stolen night is a balm to his soul, he cannot hear my whispers of feel my emotions but he relaxes and is soothed all the same by his time inside working on repairs. This is how it has always been for us. Once we reach Sinju the repairs can be completed and then we shall fly free… unless the situation changes unexpectedly. Which of course it does when he are caught upon exiting me. The Doctor manages to finish the repairs, alright enough, but when he leaves he is spotted by Polo who has been brought there by the warlord. The second key is forced from his hand and Polo formally claims me for his Kahn. The Doctor warns him that he will never be able to enter the ship, and that he will never tell him how either. As they are dragged away the Doctor calls, "You poor, pathetic, stupid savage." He then starts to laugh again. This worries Ian to no end. The last time the Doctor worked himself into this state it took a brush with death to snap him out of it.

Polo then sets the four travelers into their own tent, treating them as captives instead of guests. The journey takes them into a Bamboo forest. Guards are set on their tent, now, nightly. The Doctor wonders why he and Susan even bothered to try to save these people in the desert. Even Ian has changed his attitude; "We can't go on like this! We must get out." He tosses a plate to the ground and it breaks. They determine that they must reach several objectives, one is escape from the tent while avoiding the guard. The second is getting a key back, some how…. Even if it means taking Polo hostage. Ian picks up part of the plate. He can cut his way out of the tent, deal with the guard and then they will face off with Polo. Only, once again things don't go according to plan. Ian manages to get out, but discovers that the Guard has been killed already. Ian decides at that point that he must warn Polo about a potential attack. He lets the other three know before moving off to warn the man. He sneaks into his tent and rouses him from slumber, "Marco, Marco... wake up." The man goes for his blade, "No, no, it's all right." Amazingly Polo listens to him, "Marco, the guard's dead, I think we're in for a bandit attack."

"Bandits? Where's Tegana?" he quickly rouses.

"He's outside. I didn't tell him - I thought it best to tell you first." Polo and Ian rush outside and the warlord is ordered to wake the bearers and gather weapons. It takes some convincing, but the man does not dare refuse. Polo sends Susan and Barbara into the tent where Ping-Cho is sleeping with orders to keep her safe. Rather quickly it is determined that they will need more than steel to drive the attackers off. Ian comes up with a plan to use green bamboo as noisemakers. Polo agrees. Even though he knows that Ian was trying to escape he must admit that the four are honest people, driven by desperation. They gather plenty of the green wood, and as the moon rises the battle is joined. The Doctor provides matches that easily light the piles of green hollow wood. As the fight proceeds the bamboo begins to explode. The sound is enough to drive the attacking Mongol warriors away. That and the fact that Tegana kills the leader of the attacking group. The Doctor notes that the two men seemed to know each other. But the survivors celebrate the route anyhow.

By the next mid-day they have stopped again. Polo revokes their being prisoners of the Kahn, but refuses to actually let them go. In fact they are to be rushed on by horseback, six days hard ride with the bulk of the caravan to follow. The strained connection between Time Lord and Ship is about to be stressed to the breaking point. There is nothing either one of them can do to make it any different. By the next day we have reached Cheng-Ting and I know events are being slotted into place that might alter centuries of history. I am moved into the stables where the devious Tegana plots to have me stolen and taken north. The Doctor has but once chance at escape… and Susan's delay is the thing that keeps it from happening. But I at least am able to tell that he will survive this next trial, because he becomes even more determined after touching the controls to get away from here.

It is Ian and Ping-Cho that discover that I've been stolen. He and the young Chinese girl set off to find me. They are not far behind and their horse is faster. Soon they have located where I am and discover that it is Tegana who has ordered the Doctor's ship stolen. The warlord says, "I serve Noghai. And with that, he will rule the world. Noghai's sorcerers will reveal its secrets." The Kahn's warriors come into the clearing, stopping Tegana from killing Ian and Ping-Cho. Tegana quickly changes his tune, "My name is Tegana - the Warlord. Get rid of these men. They were trying to steal the Khan's property." He says of Ian and Ping-Cho.

"That's not true," Ian says.

The captain says, "I am Ling-Tau, captain and courier in the great Khan's service, I remember both of you. You were with Messr Marco Polo's caravan."

Ping-Cho says, "He is the thief - we caught him with that." she indicates the warlord.

"Pardon me, my lady. I have not the authority to judge in this dispute. It's a matter for the great Khan. He has left the summer palace at Shang-Tu, my Lord. You will see him in Peking." With that Ian, Ping-Cho, Tegana, and the guards escort me to the palace in Peking. It is many days travel. When we arrive Ian and Ping-Cho are taken away, accused of the theft that Tegana engineered. This angers Barbara, but like the rest of it there is nothing to be done about it.

I am brought before the Kahn. "So this is our flying caravan! Thank you for recovering it for us, Lord Tegana," the Old Kahn says. Then he announces, "The lady Ping-Cho has been excused of complicity in the theft."

"Good fortune gave me the opportunity of serving the great Khan. The Khan shows much wisdom and compassion. What crimes she committed were done under the influence of others. The old magician, my lord, tried several times to regain the caravan."

"Were there other attempts to steal it? Marco did not mention them to us." Polo enters the room, "Marco, thank you for our gift."

The man bows, "I am the Khan's obedient servant."

"We are glad to know. But then, there were other attempts to steal the caravan? Why did you not invoke our laws? They were on our soil, therefore, subject to our laws. Why did you not invoke them?"

Polo looks at the warlord, sensing that he's going to need much honesty here, "To have done so would have been unjust, my lord. Our laws are alien to them. The caravan belonged to them, my lord."

Tegana burst into the conversation, "My lord, I can hold my peace no longer. Forgive me. How can that be? You claimed it in the Khan's name? You wear the Khan's gold seal. It gives you your authority to take what you will."

Making a decision Polo says, "It was wrong of me to do so. When the cause is just. This was not."

The Khan is curious now, "What was it then?"


The Khan tells him then that he won't let him return to Venice because he won the craft from the Doctor. He then tells him to bring him the key after the feast, and that he is distressed and angered by Polo's conduct. After Polo leaves the Khan turns to Tegana, "You'll also attend us after the banquet, Lord Tegana. We'll discuss the terms of our settlement with Noghai. But we... be on guard against you."

Tegana looks at him with surprise, "What have I that the Khan should fear?"

"The power of persuasion," the Kahn says as he shoos him out.

All through the banquet I sit, listening to the events around me and pining for my Doctor. But I've not even caught a glimpse of him here. During the meal the man meant to marry Ping-Cho dies. I am there when the relieved girl is told. The Kahn offers to let her stay in his court, as the man's widow, even though the marriage was to take place in the morning. He then asks her what she thinks of the mysterious travelers, and she honestly answers, "They are my friends, my lord. As they will always be."

The Khan means to set Ping-Cho with Ling-Tau and calls Polo to his side so that the young man can escort her away. Once the Empress has left the Khan says, "She is forthright and honest. We trust her, as we once did you. Our mind dwells upon your conduct, Marco, and we've decided that you have to prove yourself worthy of our trust. If you fail this to do, we take from you our patronage, banish you from our Court, and let your enemies fall upon you. You have the key of the caravan?"

"Yes, my lord. But you would be well advised to have the Doctor with you when you open it."

"Fetch him, Marco, fetch him. No, wait! Not until our audience with the Lord Tegana is concluded."

Polo leaves the Khan, retaining the keys, and goes to get the Doctor. The Khan meets with Tegana and the Warlord says, "I promised Noghai to make an end of this matter." He then lunges at the Khan with his sword. The guard in the room moves in to stop him and is killed by the better swordsman.

Polo rushes, "Tegana!" He steps in to defend the Kahn. The fight is frenetic and dances from one end of the room to the other, but slowly Polo gets the upper hand. He forces his opponent into a corner and knocks the blade from his hand. Polo snatches it up as Ling-Tau and the rest of the warriors rush into the room. They move to hold Tegana.

"We warned you, Tegana, those who rise against us will be humbled. You must die," the Khan tells him as the Doctor and his group enters the room. The warlord grabs a blade and impales himself on it before he can be struck down. Susan screams.

"Take him away," says the victor. The guards immediately obey Polo without hesitation. While this is going on Polo turns to the Doctor and thrust the keys into his hand, "Doctor, take the keys quickly! Now go! Go!"

The Doctor, surprised, says, "Thank you. Thank you." Then he addresses Susan, "Come along..."

Ping-Cho doesn't want to be the cause of yet another delay, "Susan, goodbye. Your caravan, quickly!"

Ian, Barbara and the Doctor are already inside, Susan says, "Ping-Cho... Goodbye!" she turns and hurries to my door. As soon as she crosses the threshold the door closes and the strange blue box dematerializes. Verity tries to give them all the feeling of warmth. Barbara carefully strokes one wall and pauses to feel the faint vibration. To her it is like a purr. She never thought that she would want to get away from Earth.

"I'm going to change my clothes." Barbara says before she heads off into the wardroom room. A moment later Susan echoes her comment.

Ian just rests both hands on the console, careful to not touch the actual instruments and closes his eyes. He never thought he'd be so grateful.

"Tea. That's what I've been forgetting. I think I'll have a cup. Would you like one, Chesterton?"

"Real English tea, Doctor?"

The old man chuckes, "Fresh brewed, real honest tea. Yes. English? Maybe… or French. I'll have to see what I've got left in the kitchen. Come along, come along. It'll be a while yet before we land."

They meet the girls on the way, both whom inform them that the water situation seems to be corrected now. The kitchen is quite a ways away from the main door but they find it in fairly good time. The kettle is waiting and filled, ready to heat up. The Doctor puts it on and rummages through the cabinets. In short time he's got tea and tea bags, and strainers for loose leaf. And biscuits in about fifty different choices. Barbara says, "Doctor? Why didn't you tell us you had a kitchen?"

"Because it is quite far from the door, and I usually don't want to walk all the way here. I don't keep it well stocked anyhow. Susan and I use the food machine most times."

"Maybe if you asked, your wonderful ship would move it closer to the door." Barbara steps in to help him with the tea.

The Doctor manages a smile at her, "And just maybe I'll do that. Anyone want cream or sugar or honey in their tea?" He sits the pots, pulled right out of the cabinet, on the table.

The tea allows him to hear the caress of his ship against his soul for the first time in a very long while. He drinks several cups before heading back to the control room. I encourage this behavior. As a reply he fondly pets the walls as he leaves. Susan watches him go and notices the fact that he's trailing his hand over the ship. She looks at Barbara after Ian has left, "That's odd. I've never see Grandfather pet the TARDIS before."

Barbara looks up at her, guilty of doing the same thing, "Eh?" I purr in her mind as she realizes that she's petting the table.

"You're doing it too? Why?"

"Oh, Susan… Don't you feel her? The TARDIS has been welcoming us home ever since we came back aboard."

The young woman sits quietly for a moment. "Yes. But she always feels that way to me." At that moment the pitch changes, "We're landing! Come on." They rush back to the control room.

Gathering around the console with the two men they hear Ian ask, "Any radiation, Doctor?"

I hum to my pilot, he smiles and strokes the panel as he takes in the readings, "No, nothing to speak of. The counter's hardly reading anything. Shall we take a look?" The Doctor turns on the scanner.

Barbara says, "Oh look, that's the sea, isn't it?" The screen shows a beach and a very still sea.

"Yes and sand! Grandfather, I wonder where we are?" Susan asks.

The Doctor consults the readings with a frown as Ian says, "Well, one things for sure - we're not at Southend!"

This generates some laugher. Susan pleads, "Grandfather, can we go and have a look? Can we?"

"Yes, yes, I don't think... I don't see why not. There's nothing... no danger about." The Doctor motions for the others to come with him, "Come on, let's go and have a look." I send out a pulse of warning, because things are not what they seem here.

The response I get is a light, fond pat and Ian's frown. Susan opens the doors and Ian shakes his head, "No. Well, I thought when you switched the scanner on… I thought I saw something move up there... Oh, probably just a shadow."

"Well let's go outside and have a look."

Carefully the crew steps from the safety I provide, exiting into a foreign world. They notice that the rocks are very jagged and that the sea is completely mirror-like. "It is the sea. Why, it's beautiful! Grandfather, do you think it's safe to go for a swim?" Susan asks.

Ian comments, "Yes, absolutely calm. Not even a ripple."

"It isn't frozen, is it?" Barbara wonders.

The Doctor catches Susan. For once, he is paying attention to my urgings for caution, "Oh, no, no, no, not at the moment, child. However inviting that water looks, we don't know what sort of creatures may be lurking beneath its' surface. And Barbara, it's much too warm for the sea to be frozen."

They move further away. "It's so quiet!" Barbara says. Ian agrees with her, noting that there's no animal life or birds at all. She points out, "And there's nothing growing." A little bit later they conclude that the sharp rocks and 'sand' is glass. Very sharp glass. The Doctor begins to wonder why the glass was put here. But Susan makes the most fearful discovery: the 'water' is acid. Luckily it's her shoe and not her foot that dissolves in the tidal pool she finds. She comes back to me in Ian's boots to get some more shoes. The young woman doesn't see the odd websuited figure that is examining my three-dimensional interface because it hides before she reaches the blue box. Susan takes Ian's boots off before stepping into the control room.

I try to convince her to stay inside by hiding her shoes, interfering with the lights, even sticking the door closed, but I don't dare actually contact her again. Her reaction to me from the last time has told me quite enough about how she perceives me. Susan is a determined young lady, however, and manages to thwart all my obstacles, finding a pair of shoes even though she must do so in the dark, and managing to get the door open in spite my best efforts to keep them closed. She doesn't even take a second notice of the trouble I'm giving her. Stubborn girl.

Because of the tea I'm still in contact with the other group. The Doctor walks up to Ian and Barbara, "Sea of acid, Mmm. Astonishing. You know, in all my travels I've never come across anything like this before. However, Susan wasn't harmed anyway."

"No, she was a bit frightened at losing her shoes but she's gone back to the ship for another pair," Barbara tells him.

"Yes, and if you'd had your shoes on, my boy, You could have lent her yours. You mustn't get sloppy in your habits, you know," the old man says to Ian. Ian has the grace to laugh. "Good gracious!" The Doctor heads down the beach a bit farther, having seen some transparent torpedoes.

Ian and Barbara follow him, "It looks like a glass torpedo."

"Or a one-man submarine. Well, it's certainly designed for going under the water." Or in this case, acid.

Barbara quickly finds another one, and calls out, "Doctor! There's another one over here... and there's something inside it!"

While this is going on Susan leaves the TARDIS and spots a trail of footprints that leads toward the center of the island. She calls out one time, gets no answer and decides to follow the trail. She is not aware that she is being followed herself… Forgetting my earlier vow to not contact her, I try to warn her, but she's not paying attention.

Ian gets the top off the fourth sub, while the Doctor points out the crack, "See that crack along there? That's where the acid must have seeped in." Ian uses the Doctor's walking stick to slide the object out of the sub.

"It's a protective suit!" says Barbara. "Look, There's a tear in the material here."

I then turn my attempts to my pilot, sending him a 'shout' of alarm and warning. "Yes well, I think we ought to go back to the ship and try and find Susan. She should have caught up with us by now. Come along!" The Doctor gets up. Ian still lacks shoes. As they carefully move across the glassy 'sand' the science teacher points out the building in the center of the island, "Good! Good! Now perhaps we might learn who it is uses these strange ships. Anyway, let's go back to the ship and find Susan. Later, perhaps, a little visiting, I think." That Ian can agree to. They pick their way cautiously back to the TARDIS. It is quite clear however that Susan is not there. They quickly conclude that she must have gone to look at the building. The Doctor says, "Yes, sand here and glass on the beach. I'm beginning to think that sea of acid is a defense barrier."

"What you mean is, that all visitors are unwelcome?" Barbara has a bad feeling about this.

"Yes, it would seem so."

On that note they head off to check out the building in the hopes that they can find Susan. It is nearly half a day later when they return. Barbara says, "Ian, wait a minute. The Doctor's miles behind. I don't know about you but I felt terrible leaving that old man. We seemed to be his last hope."

"Yes, I wish there had been something we could have done for him." Ian agrees.

What he doesn't know is that there's no way to leave this place unless they do help that old man. The Doctor's arrival soon brings this fact to light, "Well, well, don't just stand there, come along, come along, keeping me waiting," he snaps. The other three laugh at this. But the Doctor comes to a halt in front of his ship and frowns. There's a humming sound filling the air. The Time Lord mumbles under his breath a very choice swearword in a language that he knows doesn't translate and then says, "What..." It seems as if the very air has become solid.

"What is it?" Barbara exclaims.

"It's some sort of invisible barrier! What do you make of it, Doctor?"

The look on the Doctor's face is one of dark fury. "I don't know, I don't know, there's no substance here." He indicates to Susan, "Have a look round the side, child, go along. Is it a circular barrier?"

She does as he's asking her to do and then says, "It's goes all the way round. There aren't any corners to it."

"No, of course, there wouldn't be. No, the molecules would be at their weakest." He shows some delight over the technology even as he's angered at being denied his ship once again, "It's fascinating, Chesterton. Yes, I've got it; I've got it! Do you know, I think a force barrier has been thrown up around the ship!"

At that point another voice fills the air, "I am sorry you have forced me into keeping you from your ship. But your refusal to help me left me no alternative! If you help me find the keys of Marinus I will let you have free access to your machine... when you have delivered all the keys to me. If not, you will stay on the island without food or water. The choice is yours."

Ian shouts back at him, "Choice? What choice?" They are greeted with silence. Having no alternative they tromp back to the building.

Several very long and lonely days pass before they return. I ponder this. What is my fate to be if they don't return? How can I find my pilot? Should I lock onto the ring and try to reach him? But before I can do anything they do return. The Doctor rushes inside. He's consumed something over the course of the last few days that gives him better contact with me. I try to spark his memories, shoring his mind against the effects of his aging, bathing him in compassion and love now that he can temporarily connect with me. He's not going to make it too much longer, I fear. But this I keep from him. He lets the connection with me fill him, trying to store the sensation, knowing it will fade. Then with a sigh he exits back out onto the beach where Susan is waiting for him. "Everything all right, grandfather?" There's another young woman with her.

The Doctor looks at his granddaughter fondly, "Yes, my child, chase the others up will you?" Susan agrees and heads off to find Barbara and Ian. In her wake my pilot turns to the other woman, "I'm glad to have this moment alone with you Sabetha. I want to speak of your father. You know, he was a very wise and brilliant man and I know how you felt when you learned of his death."

She says sadly, "And his life's work destroyed."

"Oh no, no, no, no, I wouldn't say that. His work will go on only not quite in the same way. But I don't believe that man was made to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws but they cannot preserve justice, only human beings can do that. Now I only hope that you'll carry on his good work, please?" His words gain him a smile, "Goodbye. Bless you, my child." He's been too long away from his own 'mission' and heads back inside his ship as the rest of the crew hurries up. Susan, Ian, and Barbara say their good byes as the sound of my systems powering up fills the air. My Doctor calls, "Susan!"

As the native couple that they spent their days helping walk away Barbara says, "Oh dear, I shall miss them."

Ian shakes his head, "Come on, Barbara." He steers her into the blue box that he's began to see as 'home' and the door closes behind them. As I leave this strange world I believe another attempt at getting the teachers home is in order. Earth will be my next attempt. It is the wish, hidden away, of Barbara's to experience a period of history that she has studied that pulls me off course this time. I quite like the history teacher, and so I see the opportunity to reward her and take it. Perhaps though the lessons to be taught here are just a bit on the harsh side. No, Barbara has been helpful but quick to judge and hasty to change things to her point of view. Now she needs to face the reality of what she's read and live the history that she claims to be an expert of. I land in a dark tomb and signal that all is safe.

Barbara is the first one out, with Susan right behind her. She spots the mummy in its elaborate robes and ornate mask that lays in eternal slumber on a stone slab that dominates the small chamber. Pottery and jewelry, gifts and offerings meant for afterlife, surround it. The history teacher is excited, as I knew she would be, "Look at that! It's an Aztec mask. He must have been a priest."

Susan nods and says, "Well, the Aztecs were Mexicans. We must be on Earth again." But Barbara is quite busy studying the various bits on the slab, picking up a necklace for a better look. The dark haired teen continues, "I wonder what year it is?"

"Oh, he must have died around 1430, I should think. All these things belong to the Aztecs' early period," Barbara tells her.

Impressed, Susan responds, "That's what I call really knowing your subject."

It must be fate, because the teacher places the necklace down and tries on a bracelet that looks like a golden coiled serpent. As it fits perfectly she promptly forgets that it is on her arm, "Ah well -- that was one of my specialties, Susan."

Susan picks up a knife with an obsidian blade, "Well, what little I know about them doesn't impress me. Cutting up people's hearts."

"Oh, that's only one side to their nature. The other side was highly civilized."

To this Susan retorts, "The Spanish didn't think so."

"Oh, they only saw the acts of sacrifice," Barbara replies as she looks over more of the relics. "That was the tragedy of the Aztecs. Their whole civilization was completely destroyed, the good as well as the evil." It is at this point that Susan finds the way to open the passage into the next chamber. It's one way only but none of them know that yet. Barbara, not thinking of any danger, is the first through into the next room. Susan decides to make sure her Grandfather and Ian know which way Barbara has gone and returns to the TARDIS door to wait. While she is gone the portal into the next room closes. Although Barbara has been warned to not wander off she is mesmerized by the pristine state of the chambers. "Its perfect!"

An Aztec priest, who has come to leave veneration to Yetaxa, the individual interred here, discovers her. He threatens her with punishment for trespassing then spots the bracelet she is wearing. This elevates Barbara in his mind to the status of reincarnated. His approach caused Barbara to back away and she finds the portal is closed.

Soon after, the others emerge from the tomb. I know it shall be a lengthy while before I see them again. It is a danger and a risk. Barbara needs to learn that small changes can be made but large ones will correct themselves, no matter what she wants.

It is Ian that I see first, as he enters the tomb through a secret portal that opens under Yetaxa's burial slab. His quick mind spots the method used to keep the door open. It consists of a small projection, rope, and muscle. Ian attaches the length of material that he's found to the projection and carries the bulk of it with him as he exits the room again. Outside there is a sacrifice in progress designed to make the sun emerge from darkness, and when it is over Susan will be flogged for her independent nature. The start of the eclipse provides the cover Ian needs to muscle the door open and for the four to escape. Ian tosses his warrior's helmet aside as he flees the throne room for the tomb. The priests and guards decide that the sun is of greater import and return to the ritual.

Barbara pauses next to the mummy and removes her headdress and jewelry. "We failed..."

The Doctor sadly places a hand on her shoulder, "Yes, we did. We had to."

The cloak is the next item she removes, "Then what's the point of traveling through time and space? We can't change anything. Nothing. Tlotoxl had to win. And the one man I had respect for...I deceived. Poor Autloc. I gave him false hope - and in the end, he lost his faith." The coiled serpent bracelet is the last to go.

"Yes," the Doctor says to her, " but -- He found another faith. A better. And that's the good you've done. You failed to save a civilization - but at least you helped one man." At this the history teacher smiles. She heads into the time ship, the door already being unlocked by Susan.

I know that there has been an unintended side effect to this trip. My pilot pauses and stares at the mummy. Then he removes a medallion from his pocket and places it next to the corpse. I try to tell him to keep the token as I know it means a lot to him. He's felt something important here and I want him to have the reminder of it. This makes him hesitate then return for the item. He caresses it with his fingers and I see the image of a woman in his mind. Her name was Cameca, and for a brief while they were engaged. He has brushed love, and the warmth of it makes him happy. I reassure him that this is OK. The medallion slips into his pocket and he smiles to himself. He then picks up his walking stick, a gift from the Kahn, and enters into his TARDIS. Without a word he activates the controls and we depart from that time and place.

Ian, Barbara, and Susan all rush for the bathing areas and new clothes. I can't say I blame them, as the area they were in was hot and humid. The Doctor sets the controls and lets me chose where to go. Unusual freedom he's given me, but then he figured out an exact time and place and knows how to get back to where Ian and Barbara belong should they ask now to go home. Only the couple doesn't ask. So I spot something where the four of them can set things back on the proper course and settle down. That is, after all, why my Doctor wanted to be a Time Lord – correcting the course of time so that the universe is in general a better place.

It takes him a little while to notice that we've come to a rest. When he does he ponders the readings as they are showing movement still although there's no power coursing through my systems. I giggle. The Doctor shakes his head at Susan over the readings. Ian approaches, "What's the matter, Doctor?"

"We have a bit of a mystery, my boy. It's my instruments."

Susan takes up the thread, "Yes. According to these controls here, we've stopped."

"And those," the Doctor points to the offending part of the console, "instruments say that we're still moving..."

"Perhaps we've landed on top of something," Ian suggests.

"Or inside something..." Barbara adds.

Everyone looks over at the teacher. "Mmm?" the Doctor ponders this a moment.

Barbara just looks back at them before Susan finally asks, "What did you mean, Barbara, inside something?"

"Perhaps that's why we still appear to be moving," Ian agrees.

"How's the scanner, Doctor?" Barbara says to my pilot. She can feel that I'm amused, at the very least.

At this the Doctor returns to the controls, "Covered with static. Let's try it again, Susan." His granddaughter reactivates the screen but gets the same result.

Ian's scientific mind turns to the problem, "That could be caused by an unsuppressed motor."

"Yes, or a magnetic field," he agrees.

Susan asks if they are going to go outside, and the group spends a moment pondering their mutual eagerness to explore the unknown. Ian finally realizes, "That's one thing about it, Doctor. We're certainly different from when we started out with you. We've had some pretty rough times and even that doesn't stop us. It's a wonderful thing, this ship of yours, Doctor. It's taken us back to prehistoric times, the Daleks..."

Susan adds, "...Marco Polo, Marinus..."

Barbara finishes with, "...and the Aztecs! Oh, we've all changed."

The Doctor chuckles, "Yes, it all started as a mild curiosity in a junkyard and now its turned out to be quite a, quite a great spirit of adventure, don't you think? However, now, let's get back to this little problem. Open the door, Susan. I shalln't be happy until I've solved this little mystery."

As Susan operates the door controls Ian says, "Have you checked everything, Doctor?" but then he's learned to read some of the controls too, "Yes, yes, plenty of fresh air, temperature normal." They turn to look out the doors. They can see a futuristic control room. "You were right, Barbara. We have landed inside something."

"It's a spaceship!" The Doctor confirms. Barbara beams at the correct interpretation she's made. They emerge from the safety of the blue box into a large room dominated with a giant control bank of instruments and panels and a large screen. There are two humans seated in front of it that do not move even as they approach. "Close the door, Susan." She locks it before following the others. As she catches up the Doctor continues, "Let us be careful. There's been some kind of catastrophe here." They pass two circular doors as they cross the room to the humans

Ian moves to the male, carefully raising his head and placing his fingers on the man's neck, "Dead."

"This one's a girl," Susan states.

Barbara steps up and performs the same examination that Ian did, "I'm afraid she's dead too. What can have happened? I can't see a wound or anything."

They puzzle this over and decide to return to the TARDIS. Barbara, because of her growing connection with the psychic nature of the time capsule shares both Susan and the Doctor's sensing that there's more here than meets the eye. While Susan wants to leave, the Doctor wants to solve the riddle of what happened, even if the clues make no sense as they are. The timepieces should have run for a day after death, but the bodies are still warm to the touch. Something is off here. Finally he heeds the desires of the two women and the start back to the TARDIS. Just a Susan moves to unlock the door the male 'body' slumps forward onto his control station.

"His heart had stopped beating, Doctor. He was dead!" Ian says in alarm. They rush back to the man who is mumbling. "What do you want?" The fellow directs Ian to retrieve a small transparent cylinder. This item, whatever it is, restores him to normal and he directs Barbara to assist the woman. While she puts up a slight protest she eventually follows the man's directions. Ian moves back to the Doctor, "They were both dead."

The man walks over to them, "When you found us we were in a very long sleep but we weren't dead. My name is Maitland. This is Carol Richmond, my fellow astronaut. The cylinder is a heart resuscitator."

As Barbara and Carol walk up to them the Doctor asks, "Tell me, are you from the Earth?"

Maitland confirms that they are, but that they've landed in the 28th century. Then Carol says that they should leave while they can and her captain agrees, "Yes, you will have to. There is only danger for you here, you must go."

And although the Doctor insists that he's learned to not meddle in the affairs of others he can't resist the urge to help these people, "Now, why are you in trouble?"

Maitland, having had Ian, Barbara, and now the Doctor all ask him for details gives in, "Very well, I'll try to explain. Out there is a planet we call the Sense Sphere. Its inhabitants, the Sensorites, have always prevented us from leaving this area of space." He goes on to say, "They not only control our craft; they have some influence over us as well. Somehow they have control over our brains. They are hostile, these Sensorites, but in the strangest possible ways. They don't let us leave this area of space and yet they don't attempt to kill us."

Susan finally asks, "What had happened when we found you?"

"Well the same thing that's happened many times before. They put us into a deep sleep that gives the appearance of death, and yet they've never made any actual effort to destroy us," Carol replies.

"Far from it. We both have healthy recollections of them returning from time to time to our ship to actually feed us. But -- The Sensorites may try to prevent you from leaving."

And in fact that is what the Sensorites manage to do – by removing the locking mechanism for the door they seal my dimensions closed. Being cut off in such a manner is difficult to endure but the Doctor turns his attention to helping these people in any way he can. He discovers that the Sense Sphere is rich in molybdenum, and the threat of being mined is the likely cause of the Sensorites' attack.

Susan's developing psychic powers allow her to communicate with the native peoples; "The Sensorites want to know if it's alright for them to talk to you." The Doctor agrees, as long as they are not threatened.

"What is it you want of us? Why won't you let these space-people go back to their Earth, mm?" The Doctor asks as he comes fact to face with their captures.

"None of you can ever again can ever leave the area of the Sense-Sphere. Once before we trusted Earthmen - to our cost! They caused us a fearful affliction. We shall not allow it to happen again."

"What do you expect us to do, drift around forever?" Maitland inquires.

"No, you will all come back with us. A special area has been prepared for you on the sense-Sphere. There you will live and there you will be looked after. You will do exactly as we tell you because you have no choice, none of you! We intend taking you down to the Sense-Sphere, but we do not wish to harm you in any way."

The Doctor ruffles, "My party does have a choice, and I assure we have no intention of spending the rest of our lives with you! Now listen to me both of you. You've taken the lock of my ship and I want it returned immediately."

"You are in no position to threaten us," the Sensorites tell him.

"I don't make threats, but I do keep promises - and I promise you I shall cause more trouble than you bargained for... If you don't return my property!"

This causes the aliens to cower with their hands over their ears. "We must decide what we shall do," they are told before the Sensorites retreat.

"What did they mean decide?" Barbara asks.

"Oh they might have been referring to Susan," the Doctor contends, watching his granddaughter closely. She's growing up, having been with these humans for a bit and seeing things through more adult eyes for a change. He expects he's going to have to do something soon about that and when he does neither of them are going to be happy about it. But the time is coming when she'll need to go live her own life…

"The Sensorites only spoke to me."

He sighs, "Next time - if there is an next time - they might try and control your mind child. Like they have to these two people." Susan frowns at him, but he turns his attention to other problems, "They're not invincible, no-no-no. Did any of you notice the peculiarity in their eyes?" He gets negatives from everyone. With a eye roll he says, "It's a fallacy of course that cats can see in the dark, they can't; but they can see better than we humans because the iris of their eyes dilates at night. Yes...huh! Haha! The Sensorites eyes are the exact opposite to that of a cats. The Sensorites eyes were completely dilated, that is enormous in light."

Ian gets it, "Conclusion, is that they would contract in darkness."

"Exactly, and that is our best weapon! The Sensorites will be frightened in the dark."

Susan shakes her head, "But you can't be sure of that. You're only sure that they can't see in the dark."

"I very much doubt, my child, that they can see in the semi-darkness."

Barbara can see why Susan is questioning her grandfather and takes up the same line, "How can you be sure that the Sensorites will be frightened of the dark?"

"My dear Barbara, wouldn't you be afraid if you couldn't see your enemies, mm?" He then turns his attention to Ian, having drunk tea and feeling some of his old abilities trickling back. His expression is curious, as if he's not felt this power in ages, which he hasn't, of course. "Thank you for your admiration my dear boy, thank you." He pats Ian on the arm.

Confused, the science teacher protests, "Well I never said a word!"

"Ha-ha, telepathy! You know telepathy isn't only a prerequisite of the Sensorites. I know sometimes what you're thinking! Hm-hm! Hm-hm!" This is a source of amusement for a moment.

Then Susan looks up and frowns, "I don't want to go. -- Oh... Oh alright. But none of the others must be harmed." She finally looks at the Doctor, "Don't move any of you. Grandfather it was the only way, they knew I'd agree."

"My dear what..? Agree? To what?"

Susan walks to the doorway, "To go down with them to their planet. Otherwise we'll all be killed." She walks out of the room and joins the aliens the passage closes behind her.

Ian and Barbara mount a rescue, using darkness against the Sensorites to get Susan back. Once they have her again the Doctor confronts her about her actions, "What is all this? Setting yourself against me, mm?"

"I didn't, Grandfather."

He shakes a finger at her, "Oh I know you thought you were doing your best, child, in the circumstances, but I think that I'm a better judge of that."

Susan jumps right back at him, "I have opinions too!"

"My dear girl, the one purpose in growing old is to accumulate knowledge and wisdom. And to help other people."

Irritated, the dark haired young woman says, "So I'm to be treated like a silly little child?"

"If you behave like one, yes," he tells her.

"Oh look Grandfather, I understand the Sensorites. They're timid little people. Because their minds and mine can communicate sometimes they trust me."

The Doctor understands this, he does. And he knows she is growing up. But he's not ready to let her go yet – not quite yet, anyhow. "Yes, and I can assure you that we will make good use of that fact, but not without discussion. You will not make decisions on your own accord." At this Susan sighs. He tries to make her understand that they need to work together, that the wisdom of the situation means they stick together to solve this problem, "Now do you understand, is that quite clear? Well is it?"

She, however, needs to do this. "Look, I'm not saying that I'm as clever as you or anything, of course I'm not, but I won't be pushed aside!" Susan turns away, "I'm not a child anymore Grandfather, I'm not!"

He suspects that she's not been a child for a very long time already, having to do for herself as she did. But she's finally healed enough from the trauma of it to assert herself and let go of his coat tails, "Oh Susan, Susan..." He rubs her shoulders with affection and she turns to hug him.

The Sensorites come into the room, "Why do you make her unhappy? We can read the misery in her mind."

The Doctor bristles, "Yes, and it's a good thing that you can't read the anger in mine! In all the years my Granddaughter and I have been travelling we have never had an argument, and now you have caused one!"

Susan backs down at that, realizing that he's not trying to treat her as a child but that he is scared of her leaving, "Alright Grandfather, I'll do as you tell me."

"Good, good, now let's work together and see if we can't get the lock of the TARDIS back, mm?" He says to her.

The aliens speak up; "We have orders from the First Elder. He says we must listen to you, and to transmit your words to him."

The Doctor nods, "Very well, I'd like to talk to him face to face. I want to arrange the release of this spaceship. Tell him we're not pirates or plunderers, there is only one treasure we desire from him. Freedom!"

It is agreed that Maitland, Barbara, and one of the Sensorites will stay on the main ship while the others go down to the planet. It's also revealed that something is killing Sensorites although the aliens haven't discovered what. All they know is that it started after the first group of humans arrived there ten years ago. They are gone a good while, but in the end the lock is returned and the Sensorites express gratitude for the help that the Doctor has provided in solving the mystery of the deaths they suffered.

I'm overjoyed to have them back inside me, even if Susan looks glum. The Doctor responds to her with, "What's the matter my child?" He senses me in ways he'd not felt in many, many years. I tickle his soul with delight at the contact. He remembers now what it used to be like, before he became ill. He feels glum himself at the fact that this will fade, he'll loose it again, once they leave. And yet, he's eager to go.

"I had a talk with the senior Scientist just before we left. It seems that the Sense-sphere has an extraordinary number of ultra-high frequencies, so I won't be able to go on using thought transference," Susan says.

"Hoh-ho, it's rather a relief I think. After all, no-one likes an eavesdropper about do they? No I think you obviously have a gift in that direction and when we get home to our own place I think we should try and perfect it, mm?" He tries humor in the face of his own mounting depression. I try to reassure him, enveloping him in a feeling of home and love… Against a roundelled wall stands a mahogany plinth, upon which rests the prototype armillary sphere which was a present from Eratosthenes. The Doctor leans against the controls and strokes them, letting himself remember the things about his bond with me he'd forced himself to forget.

"Sometimes I feel I'd like to belong somewhere; not just be a wanderer... When will we get back Grandfather?" Susan asks him.

He makes a face at her, "I don't know my dear, this old ship of mine seems to be an aimless thing. However, we don't worry about it do we? Do you?" Maybe the TARDIS isn't as much of a home to her as it is to him… This saddens us both, as we know now that her time to leave is rapidly approaching.

"I'm not unhappy," she smiles at him.

"Good, good," he hugs her as he responds.

Barbara smiles as she steps into the Doctor's ship and feels the living pulsing vibrations of her. It's so very good to be home, she thinks. I mentally curl her in a welcoming embrace.

Ian even feels it, "Well, here we are."

"Oh at last! I very nearly went off without you!"

The history teacher says, "We were saying goodbye to John and Carol."

The Doctor switches on the scanner, "Hah, let's have a look at Maitland and see him off shall we?" They watch the rocketship as it leaves this region of space, finally.

"Well, at least they know where they're going," Ian says.

Really, it was the wrong thing to say, as the Doctor is still well and able to read exactly how the other man feels at the moment. "Implying I don't?" His glare could peel paint off the side of a bus.

Ian backpedals, "I didn't mean anything of the sort!"

But the Time Lord is still spotting things in the science teacher's mind, "So, you think I'm an incompetent old fool do you?"

"Now Doctor, I never said that!"

"Since you are so dissatisfied my boy, you can get off this ship. And the very next place we stop I shall take you off myself, and that is quite final!" He misses the worried look that Ian and Barbara share even as he programs the controls for Earth, 1963. Susan knows that the two teachers don't want to leave. So – she changes a setting behind his back as he storms around, "Carry on!" He could have gotten the two teachers home at this point, but for Susan's alteration. The Doctor doesn't notice. "There we are. Home."

"Doctor, we..." Barbara starts.

He cuts her off with a wave, really he's not cross with her, actually he's come to like her quite a bit and will miss her sorely, "It's all right. Chesterton made the position quite clear. Now, I have some work to do."

Susan chews on her lip, because they might be on Earth, and they might be near England, but they are not in England and they are certainly not in 1963, "Grandfather, please..."

"Hush, child. Say your goodbyes and remember - we shall be leaving almost immediately."

"Do you have to be in such a hurry?" Ian asks. "Maybe you have succeeded. Maybe we are where you say we are. But, I remember an occasion when you took us home once before."

"Yes, and we met Marco Polo!" Laughs Barbara.

"Enough time has been wasted bringing you back, young man. I have the universe to explore. And the situation with Polo was entirely different circumstances! I'm rather tired of your insinuations that I am not master of this craft. Oh, I admit, it did develop a fault - a minor fault on one occasion, perhaps twice. But, nothing I couldn't control!"

"I know that. Of course you're in control. You're always in control. And I'm sure you could revisit us at any time," Ian says. "But you have your important researches to complete. You may not find the time. There's a chance that we won't meet again. Don't you think it would be better if we parted under more friendly circumstances, say, over a drink?"

"Yes. Yes, well perhaps, since you put it that way, an hour or two won't come amiss. Susan! Bring my stick will you?" The Doctor reluctantly agrees. Susan brings him the walking stick. "I'm going to see Ian and Barbara back home safely."

With that they check the scanner and see that there's a forest outside. "You know, it reminds me of a holiday I once took - In Somerset," Barbara says.

"Then I expect it is Somerset, my dear," the Time Lord says as he opens the door.

"Yes. Pity it's so dark. I can't see a sign of any buildings," Ian remarks.

The Doctor makes a face and marches out the door. The other three follow him at a bit of a distance. "Well done, Ian. I say, do you think we really are home?" Barbara asks the science teacher.

"I don't know. Won't take us long to find out, will it? Come on."

Susan just shakes her head, "If you were… Must you go?"

Barbara looks over at the young woman, "Susan, we've visited many places together - had lots of adventures. But you always knew we intended to return home when we could. I know it's hard to say goodbye but, one day, you'll understand why we had to."

Ian adds, "Don't you see, Susan? The longer we leave it, the harder it'll be."

The Doctor turns and locks the TARDIS door, "Well?"

"Well, those crops suggest a manor or farmhouse. It should be reasonably close," Barbara infers.

"It's very warm, isn't it? It must be summertime," Susan says. "Why aren't there any lights?"

Ian ponders this. If it were 1963 there would be lights about, "That's a point. It's dusk, and we've got a very good view from here."

"Well, towns and villages can be well-spaced, even in England," Barbara assures them.

The Doctor in a huff says, "Are we going to stand here talking all night, hmm?" He starts off and nearby one of the bushes rustles.

"Did you see what it was?" Barbara asks.

Ian is moving that direction, now. The Doctor comments, "Perhaps it was a rabbit. Do you know, Chesterton's getting quite jumpy these days. Young man like him shouldn't suffer from nerves."

There are muffled cries from the bush, "Well, that rabbit of yours is putting up quite a fight," Barbara says as she leans to the Doctor's shoulder. Ian walks back to the group holding onto a young boy by the scuff of the neck. The clothes he's wearing look like they have seen much better days. "Ian, you're hurting him!"

"Oh, no I'm not!" Ian protests as he lets go of the child.

After a bit of coaxing they discover that they are in France within a day's walk of Paris. By the child's clothing Ian suspects that they are off a bit in the timing. The weeks that they are gone proves that they've landed during the French Revolution, 1794 precisely. But eventually they do make it back to me. They tromp inside, all in period garb picked up in and around Paris. The Doctor has traded his normal Victorian attire for a heavy French uniform, although he's managed to reacquire his treasured ring and keep the stuff in his coat pockets. He settles down in a chair and begins removing the weighty coat, "Well, I can assure you, my dear Barbara, Napoleon would never have believed you." Whatever the troubled feelings were they seem to have been worked through now.

"Yes, Doctor, but ah, supposing we had written Napoleon a letter, telling him, you know, some of the things that were going to happen to him," Ian asks with curiosity.

Susan responds, "It wouldn't have made any difference, Ian. He would have forgotten it, or lost it, or thought it was written by a maniac."

"I suppose if we'd tried to kill him with a gun, the bullet would have missed him," Barbara says wryly.

"Well, it's hardly fair to speculate, is it? No, I'm afraid you belittle things." The Time Lord stands up and gets them into space. "Our lives are important, at least to us. But as we see, so we learn."

"And what are we going to see and learn next, Doctor?" Ian says. He's accepted this strange fate.

"Well, unlike the old adage, my boy, our destiny is in the stars, so let's go and search for it." Little do they know that they are about to have an adventure in 1963 unlike any other. It isn't my fault. I really did need some extensive repairs before the family put a stop to the efforts. But I suppose that in this case, this way is the safest…. "We're approaching a planet," the Doctor announces.

"Which one?" Ian asks.

"We shall soon see."

Barbara jerks away from the console where she'd been resting, "Ow. I burnt myself on the console."

"Oh, something overheating here. Just as well we're landing? Er, Susan, check the fault locator please."

Susan rushes to do so as Barbara wonders, "We're not going to blow up or anything are we?"

"Oh no, no, no, of course not. It's just, well, there we were in the late eighteenth century and I tried another frequency to sidestep the ship back into the middle of the twentieth century," He reassures her.

"There's something on QR18, Grandfather. And A14D," Susan tells him. Then a claxon goes off. She spins around and shouts, "YELLOW STANDBY! GRANDFATHER, THE DOORS, THEY'RE OPENING!"

"What's happening... Unbelievable! Chesterton close the doors please! We haven't materialised properly! Quickly! It's an emergency, close the doors! Quick! Use force!" Ian jumps for the doors but isn't strong enough alone to close them. Barbara joins him and a moment later Susan rushes over as well. Between the three of them and the Doctor on the lever they manage to close the doors.

"Is everything alright?" Barbara moves over to the visibly shaken old man.

He nods, "We're just landing." He then begins mumbling about the various readings, unsure of the possible effects of what has happened. Ian and Barbara both try to find out if he's really ok. "Oh please don't bother me!" The Doctor finally tells them before addressing Susan, "Susan, go back to the fault locator, and I want you to check everything, child you understand, EVERYTHING!"

Eventually Susan says, "Grandfather everything's alright! There isn't a fault anywhere, not even on yellow standby!"

He frowns at both the constant questions from Ian and Barbara and the odd sudden information that there's not a fault anywhere. "Oh don't go on with these futile questions! Please, can't you understand, can't you see?! Neither of you can understand what I'm talking about I can s-see that! But there must be something wrong, Susan! I shall have to check that fault locator myself to make sure, excuse me..."

Susan walks back over as the Time Lord focuses on the fault indicator. "Oh I do wish he wouldn't talk in riddles! What happened just then? Well, at least we seem to be alright." Barbara says to her.

Ian agrees with this and adds, "Susan perhaps you can help us?"

Susan's not even sure she fully understands all of the quirks about time travel, "I just know that the most dangerous moment is at the point of materialization."

"Nothing's ever happened to us before," Barbara says.

"Well the doors have never opened like that before."

The Doctor walks back to the controls, "Happily no harm's been done. It's most puzzling. Oh my dear Barbara was I rude to you just now? If so, I'm so sorry. I-I always forget the niceties under pressure. Please forgive me."

She shakes this off, "There's nothing to forgive."

"Thank you. Hm.. Hah! Well I suppose everything's alright. And yet, er... See the temperature there is's quite safe to go outside. Oh Susan, just turn on the scanner a minute, let's try and see where we are." Susan goes to turn on the scanner and the screen shatters from the inside out. Thick smoke belches out into the room. While Barbara is shocked and Ian is amused the Doctor takes it more as a clue, "Did you notice the way it blew out? Like, like ehh...something too big for it's frame!" He gestures about for a moment, "And yet, I don't know... That can't be right!"

"It was like an internal explosion, Doctor," Barbara says. "We must go outside and look. You said it was quite safe..."

"Perhaps you need a new picture tube?" Ian suggests. "What do we do now Doctor? Take the scanner out and strip it down?"

"Oh no, no, no, dear boy. No, it's most puzzling of course, but now don't know what's behind those doors." He seems to drift off in thought, "Yes...I wonder why the..? Well, we must see."

"Shall I open the doors Grandfather?"

"Er, yes please Susan. But all of you, cautiously please!" but in spite this as soon as the doors are open both Barbara and Susan disappear through them.

Ian thinks he's found the right question to ask, "Doctor, what made the doors open before?"

"The space pressure was far too great whilst we were materializing. The strange thing is that we all came out of it unscathed! Hah, it's, it's most puzzling, it's a big mystery my boy, come along..." He leads Ian out to where the women are. It doesn't take them long to discover how they have been impacted by the doors opening. Both I and my crew have been miniaturized. Both the Doctor and Susan come to the conclusion at the same time. But the dead insets and other clues serve to keep them from leaving straight away. Before they can leave however they are caught up in making sure a murder is accounted for and that a new pesticide is prevented from distribution. Eventually they do return, carrying a large seed wrapped in the Doctor cloak and Barbara who is unconscious. The Doctor has worked out how to fix this problem, "We've got to repeat exactly wha.. the things that happened to us when we landed."

Ian places Barbara in a chair, "Is there anything I can do?"

"Yes. That seed over there by the chair. Take it over to the table so that we can all see it. And keep that wrapped round it when you do it." The Doctor indicates the seed and his cloak, which he places on the table across the room. The Doctor sets to work on the controls. The ship dematerializes. Ian points to the seed and exclaims loudly. The Doctor shushes him, "Shh-sh. I think it's working. Splendid, I think it's working, my boy!"

"Doctor! Doctor I... Doctor, look at that seed!" Ian is practically bouncing.

The once giant seed is shrinking. "Yes yes, we've done it! Yes, ha-ha ha-ha, we've done it, yes!" The Doctor is very joyful.

"Doctor, it's incredible, that seed, it's completely vanished!" Ian insists.

"No, no my dear boy, no. Hah-ha!" he picks up the seed from the cloak, "Look, can you see, it hasn't vanished at all!"

Barbara begins to stir, ", I'm so thirsty."

Susan says, "Barbara?" and offers her a glass of water, "There you are, drink that."

The water disappears rather quickly, "Oh, I'd no idea water could taste so good. Doctor what happened in the laboratory, I don't remember much after the explosion."

"Well I'm happy to say our plan worked, and we didn't have to fire the laboratory. But we did attract attention. Do you know that a policeman came into the room just as I was about to climb down that pipe?"

"Oh good! Now what about us, can you get us back to normal?"

At that the Doctor shows her the seed, "Yes, there's your answer my dear."

"Grandfather, -- is that the seed you brought in with you?"

"The same seed!"

Susan laughs, and Barbara states, "Then we are back to normal!"

"Completely my dear!" the Doctor then says, "Now before I check up and see where we are, I suggest you all go and have a good scrub mm? Go-on, off you go!" Ian, Barbara and Susan express relief and then almost bounce out of the room like children caught playing in mud on a Sunday. The Doctor looks up at the scanner, which has repaired itself and frowns at the murky static that it's showing. "Oh dear-dear-dear-dear-dear, now isn't that irritating mm?! It repairs that wretched thing and now look at it, I can't see a thing!" The sounds shift slightly, indicating that the TARDIS is landing. "Wait I... I think we're beginning to materialize, perhaps I shall know now where we are, mm? Hm-hm..." But the screen continues to keep its secrets. No matter what he tries the screen stubbornly refuses to give a clear image. "Mmm! It's not clear, it's not clear at all! What has gone wrong?"

Unknown to the Doctor I've detected what might be the greatest threat the Earth has ever faced. I'll not be much help here but I know he will be. He must be. Moments before I materialized a one-time human passed this way and threw himself into the river. This will be Earth's fate, unless they can stop it. I've arrived in this bleak future London silently. That should be a clue that things are very bad. Inside the control room Ian is staring at the foggy image I'm able to provide, "Well Doctor, where are we now then?"

Beside him Barbara wishes, "Somewhere nice and quiet, I hope."

"Oh yes! Let's have a holiday!" Susan says to her Grandfather.

He ignores her, "Take a look for yourselves." Neither Barbara nor Ian can make out anything. Susan turns to the readouts with a frown. The Doctor says, "Well, it looks like moving water to me. It might be a river...somewhere. I don't know, hmm! What's the reading Susan, hmm?" He moves to her side as she answers.

"Radiation nil, Oxygen normal, pressure normal. Grandfather, it's an earth reading."

This makes the teachers very happy, but I know they won't be when they realize that they are two centuries off the mark for their era and how drastically things have changed in that short time span. "Well I...I don't want to boast but we might be somewhere in London, hmm?" the Doctor tells them.

Ian laughs, "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go and have a look!"

Barbara eagerly says, "Come on, open the doors."

With her grandfather's permission Susan works the lever and the doors open. We have in deed come to London… Only this future is not one that they will be happy with. I sadly watch them leave.

Once outside Ian says, "Barbara, we made it! We're here!"

The Doctor listens to the quiet, feeling unsettled by it. He pushes the sensation away, "Well, there we are, back home, your planet." He laughs.

"You brought us a long way round, Doctor."

At this the Time Lord laughs again, "More by good luck than judgement, hmm?" His humor carries him through a few moments until he notices the conditions that they are in the midst of, "Oh, what a horrible mess."

"Are we down by the docks?" Barbara asks.

"Heeellllooooo!" Ian tries with his hands cupped to help the sound travel. After a heavy pause of silence he says, "Pretty deserted. Probably Sunday."

Suspiciously the Doctor wonders, "It's uncanny. I wonder which era we've landed in? We might have landed in the early 1900's or the, twenty-fifth century."

Barbara smiles at him, "Well, its still London, anyway." Ian agrees with her.

Susan climbs up on the wall to get a better look and is warned to be careful. The Doctor mumbles to himself, "Yes, that's the word I was looking for - decay. Hmm. Most odd, most odd." This gets Barbara's attention and at her inquiry he states, "Well you take this bridge now. It isn't an easy task is it? Look at all this neglect all over the place. Been abandoned, all of it."

Susan, from the top of the wall informs the others, "I still can't see much. There's not a sign of any people any...ahh!" she tumbles down and injures her ankle.

"Susan!" Ian scolds. Both the Doctor and Barbara head over to where Susan has fallen.

"Oh, I think she's just shaken," Barbara says.

But the Doctor is angered, "Yes, she's always dashing about, aren't you? You're far too curious." Just at that moment the rubble overhead comes down and the group scrambles to get out of the way. Once the dust has settled the Doctor notices something very bad, "The ship, Chesterton, the ship!" A huge latticed metal support is blocking the door to the TARDIS. They have no way of leaving unless they can find some help to move it. As Ian moves to check it out the Doctor warns, "Don't go too near, my boy, it isn't safe."

"The whole bridge has collapsed!" the male teacher says. "We're going to need help to shift this."

"Yes, well it's all crumbling. It's going to be very difficult. But remember we're in London. Well, the, the, the people, they'll all be curious. They'll want to know why we're trying to break into a police box. Hmm?"

Ian looks at the block again, "You know, it's primarily...this girder. What I need is an acetylene torch."

The Doctor laughs, "Oh, my dear boy, you can't just whisk up men and material out of the thin air, now can you? Hmm?" At this Ian points out the warehouse and the Doctor retorts, "You know, my dear boy, I never fail to be impressed by your optimism. You can't move that by sheer brute force. You were right - you need a cutting flame."

Ian says quietly, "I know one thing for sure, Doctor. We'd better make sure we can get back into the ship before we start looking around. Just in case there's trouble."

This gains the Doctor's approval; "It's intelligent, hmm. That's good." After a moment he turns back to Ian, "But you know, young man, I have a feeling, well call it intuition if you like, I don't believe we're anywhere near your time, the 1960's." Ian expresses his desire for the intuition to be wrong. The Time Lord looks at him, "Yes, well ask yourself. Here we are standing by the Thames and, er, we've been here quite a while, how long, what, ooh, quarter of an hour, twenty minutes? Hmm? What have we heard? Hmm? Nothing, precisely nothing. No sound of birdsong. No voices. No sound of shipping. Not even the chimes of old Big Ben. Hmm! It's uncanny, hmm? Uncanny."

Ian announces that he and the Doctor are going to check out the warehouse. Susan, because of her ankle cannot walk and Barbara stays with her. While the men are gone Barbara does her best to treat the swell on Susan's ankle with a wet handkerchief. When she returns to Susan's side with the wet cloth she says, "You know, we're not in our time in London, Susan. I know London. It isn't like this. The river's too quiet and...there's no sound of traffic. There's a strange poster on the wall back there. Just doesn't make sense."

"Well, off we go again!" then she spots the look on Barbara's face, "I'm sorry Barbara. Is it selfish to want us all to stay together?"

The older woman laughs lightly, "No, of course not." She then decides that there's not enough moisture on the cloth and heads back to the river to soak it again. By the time she comes back there's no sign of Susan, "Susan!?" Gunfire rattles around her. Alarmed she calls again, "Susan!?" A roughly dressed and dirty fellow drops down to her level. "Who are you?"

The man hushes her, "Do you want to get killed?"

"Where's Susan? What have you done with her?"

"Do you mean the girl? Tyler's got her. Well come on. We've got to get out of here. Quick! Follow me!"

He takes off. Barbara is torn. She doesn't want to leave the Doctor and Ian, but she feels responsible for Susan. Finally she calls, "Wait!" as she dashes off after him.

After a short time the Doctor and Ian return to the location where they left the women. "Barbara! Susan!" Ian calls. Then he says to the Doctor, "Why? Why do they do it?" He hits a metal drum and sits on the steps.

"Oh well, it might have been something to do with that gunfire we heard across the river. Lets wait and see, hmm?" He settles down next to Ian.

After a bit Ian says, "You know, I want to get away from here."

This surprises the Doctor, "Yes, but, aren't you even a bit curious, after all, it's your city, you know. Do you no want, don't you want to know what's happened to it, hmm?"

"No." The science teacher sits a second more then gets up and paces, "No, I don't want to know. Oh, where the devil are those two?" They wait… and wait. Finally Ian says, "High tide."

The Doctor responds, "Evening. How filthy that water is, hmm?"

Ian then spots the poster, "Doctor! Doctor, come and have a look at this!"

"Huh! Stupid!" He continues, "Stupid place to put a poster. Right under a bridge where nobody can read it or see it."

"I don't know. If you have a body to get rid of, I should think it's a very good place to come to. 'Bring out your dead.'"

The Doctor frowns, "Hmm? Plague? That's got me worried. Very worried. That suggestion of yours about the plague: supposing one of them's been in that water? They're bound to be contaminated with some sort of bacteria, hmm? Anyway, let us go further afield, come along, come along." The walk around the TARDIS and the Doctor offers, "Now I suggest that you go up that way, then I go..." But he's cut off by the three robomen that are in their path. Another of the controlled creatures appears on the top of the flight of steps.

Ian says, "We could try running."

The Doctor points at the water, " -- down there... hmm?"

"Do you mean swim?" He gets a slight nod. "Well hang on, we haven't tried talking yet." The robomen have grouped up by the time Ian turns to them, "What do you want?"

The response he gets is, "Stoooppp!"

"No good, listen, when I give the word, turn and dive in the water," Ian says. But as they back to the water there's a familiar drone, and they turn to see a Dalek gliding out of the River Thames. This shocks both men into frozen positions. The creature notes them and then addresses the Robomen, "Why have the human beings been allowed to get so near the river?"

"No explanation." The Robomen state.

"Where is the robo-patrol for this section?"

"Not known."

The Dalek orders, "You will take his place until he is found. The human beings are to be taken to landing area one."

Ian and the Doctor ignore the Robomen for the moment, even as they step up behind them. Ian says, "Daleks on Earth! Doctor, how did this happen?"

The Doctor doesn't know, "Leave this to me, dear boy." Then he turns to the Dalek, "I think you'd better let us go."

"We do not release prisoners. We are the masters of the Earth."

"Not for long." The Time Lord tells it.

"Obey us or die!"

"Die? And just who are you to condemn us to death? Hmm?" He directs his next comment to Ian, "I think we'd better pit our wits against them and defeat them!"

"Stop! I can hear you. I have heard many similar words...from leaders of your different races. All of them were destroyed. I warn you: resistance is useless."

"Resistance is useless? Surely you don't expect all the people to welcome you with open arms."

The Dalek reacts with anger, something new, "We have already conquered Earth!"

"Conquered the Earth! You poor pathetic creatures. Don't you realise, before you attempt to conquer the Earth, you will have to destroy all living matter!"

This drives the Dalek into a fury, "Take them! Take them!" as the robomen pin their arms the Dalek chants, "We are the masters of Earth. We are the masters of Earth. We are the masters of Earth!"

It only takes a week for the Doctor to come through with his promise that the Daleks are not so much masters of the Earth as they thought. Once he returns to his time ship and the debris are cleared away he tells those he's met "It's to them that you must dedicate your next task - the rebuilding of the Earth...and I'm sure you're going to make a great success of it."

"You sound as if you're leaving?" the man he's talking with says.

The Doctor just smiles. He is, in deed, leaving. "Just the beginning...just the beginning." He then spots his granddaughter and walks over to her, "All alone, eh, Susan, Hmm?"

"I was thinking. It will be nice if we..."

But he cuts her off, "Ahh! Yes, I afraid we've...had so little time for that sort of thing lately. Er, eh, eh, well, I'm sorry, Susan." And he is, too. He knows this is her time and her place. He doesn't want to do it, but knows he must. "Yes, you little monkey! You know, since you've been away from that school, you seem to have got yourself thoroughly disorganized, haven't you? Hmm? Hmm." He hugs her, his way of saying goodby without saying it. "Yes, you need taking in hand. Well, er, I, I er, think I must check up on the ship, er...if you don't mind, er..." But it's not by him that she needs as her guide anymore.

"I...I'd better clear up my cupboard - it's in a dreadful muddle. Won't be long..." She calls as he walks away.

It's the last time she'll see him. she just doesn't know it yet. He slips inside the TARDIS. Unknown to the pair their conversation is heard inside the ship. David, the man she does need walks over to her. Barbara drags Ian into the ship, away from the pair. Susan starts to fiddle with her TARDIS key. David says, "Susan?"

"Yes, David?" she says shyly.

"Please stay - please stay here with me."

"I can't stay, David. I don't belong to this time."

He takes her by the shoulders, "But I love you, Susan. And I want you to marry me."

" see, David, I...Grandfather's old now. He...he needs me." This causes David to turn away. "Oh, don't make me choose between you and him, please!"

"But you told me! You said that you'd never known the security of living in one place and one time. Look, you said it was something you always longed for. Well, I'm giving you that, Susan. I'm giving you a place, a time, an identity."

This causes Susan to move away and to burst into tears, "No David!" Then she realizes that her grandfather still has her shoe, "I've lost my shoe..." this causes her to laugh a bit. Susan rushes back to David, "Oh David, I do love you! I do, I do, I do!" Meanwhile the Doctor quietly crosses over to the console and closes the doors. Ian and Barbara just watch him. The sound of them closing causes Susan to dash to the ship, "Grandfather!"

Sadly the Doctor toggles a switch so that she can hear him, "Listen, Susan, please. I've double-locked the doors. You can't get in. Now move back, child, where I can see you." she glances back at David and then moves into his arms, "During all the years, I've been taking care of you, you in return have been taking care of me."

She takes the key from around her neck, "Grandfather, I belong with you!"

"Not any longer, Susan. You're still my grandchild and always will be. But now, you're a woman too. I want you to belong somewhere, to have roots of your own. With David, you'll be able to find those roots. Live normally like any woman should do. Believe me, my dear, your future lies with David. And not with a silly old buffer like me. One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye, Susan, goodbye, my dear." And with that he forces himself to move his time ship away from 2164 and the last of his family. I feel his pain like a breach in my walls. It hurts so much for him to do this, but back on the Sense-Sphere he saw this was coming. And now that it has he knows he must never look back. If they meet again it will be because she finds him, not the other way around.