Demon Quest part three - A Shard of Ice, by Paul Magrs

A BBC Audio Books Drama, released 4 November 2010

(The Story So Far - a recap using excerpts from the two previous stories.)

ALBERT [narrating]: On the day I met the Doctor, I was already fearing for my life. I didn't think things could get any worse than they were. I was wrong. The year was 1847, and I was being borne by royal carriage across the Murgin Pass, a journey already perilous enough. The narrow roads veer wildly above endless crevasses. I hid inside my carriage with the dark curtains pulled, whimpering softly. The Murgin Pass was well known as a region of sudden death. Many wandering souls had breathed their last up on those chilly climes. I had heard terrible dark legends concerning the area. It was said that for forty years and more, many a traveller had come to a bad end in that awful zone. What made the crossing even worse was the weather we had been suffering that winter. The storms came swirling out of nowhere as if to mock our progress. But I was on the worst and most ruthless deadline of my career. The driver and the royal footman, who in truth were little more than my jailers, were trying their hardest to get me to the palace on time. It was beginning to seem hopeless, yet we all knew that my very life depended on it. But even then, even if we crossed the Murgin Pass and descended into the gentle valley, what then? You see, I had failed in my task. I had nothing to show the King. I dreamed each restless night about what his reaction would be, and that scared me more than the vertiginous horrors of the journey to the palace. But then, just as things seemed as ghastly as they could be, something completely unexpected happened.

(Horses neighing in fright as the Tardis materialises.)

ALBERT [narrating]: The horses screamed in panic and terror. The driver tried to control them as they reared up and almost clattered backwards onto the carriage. In that instant we nearly careened straight off the roadway into the valley. With hindsight, death might have been a blessed release. A solid blue object had appeared several yards ahead of us, directly in our path. For a while we were all shouting, until the driver managed to calm the horses down. They had to be his priority. Without them to pull us, we would freeze up here in these wicked climes. But the box, what kind of hellish magic was this?

DOCTOR: Hello? Oh, there you are. Good morning. I say, did you realise you almost ran into us? You should learn to indicate.

ALBERT [narrating]: The most extraordinary man had emerged from a door in the box. Behind him came an older looking fellow, rather bewildered in his aspect. But my attention remained on the fellow in the ludicrously long multi-coloured scarf, and the coat tails flapping all around him as he came running up to my gilded carriage. He patted the horses as he passed them by.

DOCTOR: Shh. There, there, Neddie, Doris, Copenhagen, Bucephalus.

ALBERT [narrating]: And calm descended on them instantly. Then he turned his attention to us. To me in particular. Peering from behind my curtains through the carriage window, I expect I looked absolutely furious.

(Icy wind, crump of boots on thick snow.)
DOCTOR: Hello there. I'm the Doctor. Would you mind telling me where we are? I've been trying to get my spatial geometer going again, but half of it is missing and it's all rather difficult.
ALBERT: You almost killed us, you babbling fool.
DOCTOR: Yes, we did, didn't we. You see, I wasn't expecting us to materialise above a crevasse like this on a very narrow road. It is a very narrow road, isn't it. A wonder no one was killed.
ALBERT: This is the Murgin Pass. No one in their right mind would attempt to cross it at this time of year in these conditions.
DOCTOR: I expect that speaks volumes for both of us.
ALBERT: The climate is lethal.
DOCTOR: And is there talk of monsters? Great hairy beasties with slobbery fangs?
ALBERT: You are demented, sir. Now remove that, that cabinet of yours. We need to pass by.
DOCTOR: In a hurry, are you?
ALBERT: I'm late for an audience with the King. He is wintering at his Summer Palace Saint Clemence this season. I am supposed to be there already. He is a very impatient man.
DOCTOR: What a pity. You see, I can't really move my er, cabinet, as you call it.
DOCTOR: It's on the blink.
MIKE: Doctor, we'd better shift the Tardis out of their way. The driver is about to blow his top.
DOCTOR: Yes, we were just discussing that, Mike. I was explaining to this gentleman here that I can't possibly move the Tardis.
MIKE: What? Why?
DOCTOR: (sotto) In its current state, the spatial geometer isn't up to short hops. It was difficult enough getting us anywhere near our target, but I'm fairly sure we managed it. (normal) I'm afraid you'll have to back up and return the way you came. We'll come with you in your carriage and find somewhere to weather the storm. It's getting much worse, and the dark is rising.
MIKE: But Doctor, we just
DOCTOR: Shh, Mike. Wibbsey wouldn't woffle on like this.
ALBERT: This is intolerable. I must reach Saint Clemence before midnight or the King will have me executed.
DOCTOR: Even riding full tilt, you'd never make it tonight, and you'd certainly be killed racing into that maelstrom. Listen!
MIKE: He's right. That's looking deadly.
DOCTOR: Aren't you glad that my Tardis has blocked your way? You should thank me.
ALBERT: I'm being waylaid by madmen.
DOCTOR: Did I introduce us? I am the Doctor, and this is Mike Yates. We're from a place you'd never believe. And you are?
ALBERT: I? I am Albert Tiermann.
DOCTOR: Oh! The Albert Tiermann, by any chance?
ALBERT: You have heard of me?
DOCTOR: Oh, I was recently given a book of your stories.
ALBERT: Impossible. There's never been a volume published in my own name.
DOCTOR: No? What's this, then?

ALBERT [narrating]: Suddenly, time stood still. Or, that was how it seemed. Though my extremities were burning with the cold, fit to drop off, though the howling storm felt as if it was about to pick us up and plunge us into the pitch-dark valley, still I focused all of my attention on a blue leather-bound volume which the man held up before my eyes. There was my name, embossed in gold, on the cover. Holding my breath, I reached out with a frozen finger and traced my own name.

DOCTOR: See? I couldn't put it down, you know. Marvellous stuff, wasn't it, Mike?
MIKE: If you like that sort of thing. Fairy tales.
DOCTOR: What did you say?
ALBERT: I am but a storyteller. The tales I tell are simply stored up in my head. No one has ever collected them. They haven't been printed anywhere.
DOCTOR: Not yet, perhaps.
ALBERT: Can I see the book properly?
DOCTOR: We'll have to see about that. Now, before we all perish up here on the Murgin Pass, let us into your carriage. Command your men to turn back. Take us to the nearest habitation where we can hole up for the night.
ALBERT: Yes, very well.
DOCTOR: Come on, Mike, climb aboard. It's a filthy night, abominable. Did you ever meet the Yeti, Mike?
MIKE: I'm afraid I never did. Not Yet-i.

ALBERT [narrating]: And so they clambered inside, and I gave my driver instructions. I watched as this strange man, the Doctor, stowed that precious book away, back inside the dark folds of his huge overcoat. My name, in gold lettering. How I longed to open it up and see what was within. I had to have it. I had to see. We were crammed into the tiny carriage, the three of us buffeted and shoved as our driver and the footman turned the horses around. And then we were off, back the way we came, the wind howling all around us. The Doctor's eyes were luminous in that murky air. He was staring at me.

DOCTOR: Albert Tiermann. So, you become famous later in your life. A writer of fairy tales.
ALBERT: So you say. For now, though, I am merely the King's storyteller, and he will be most upset we have missed his deadline. I have failed him. I was to bring him my new story, but the storm has defeated us.
MIKE: A lot of trouble to go to just for a story. Couldn't he read a book instead?
ALBERT: The King is blind. For many years now, he has depended upon me to tell tales. Wherever I am, I can expect a summons at any time. Whenever the King demands my presence, I must tell him a new story on pain of death.
DOCTOR: Well, surely that's a hollow threat? He'd be cutting off his own supply if he killed you.
ALBERT: The King is capricious, Doctor. Some brave souls would even say mad, but not I. But I do know you have to tiptoe gently around his Majesty's moods.
MIKE: Must be a lot of pressure, coming up with new stories all the time.
ALBERT: You've no idea. Look at this face, craggy and saggy. And these blood-shot eyes. I've barely slept these past ten years. See how my hands shake? I cudgel my brains day and night trying to think of new tales, something to divert him from the misery of his madness.
DOCTOR: He should get out more.
ALBERT: So you see, that book, I would love to look inside it, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Ah. I should never really have shown you that. It's a Time thing, you see. Very important we don't get everything warped around the wrong way. We don't want to go giving you your own ideas, do we?
ALBERT: Ideas are what I need. The well runs dry. I have no more stories for the King. Even if we had made the deadline, I had no tale to tell him anyway. The wellspring of my imagination has run dry.
DOCTOR: Oh, dear. Well, luckily, I've a whole load of stories of my own I can tell you. Oh, yes.
MIKE: Doctor, is that wise?
DOCTOR: I don't mind giving the fellow a hand, Mike. Look at him. He's in despair. Wait till I tell you about the affair of the Keys of Marinus, or the terrible to-do over the Doomsday Weapon. Oh, ho, ho. ho, ho, what a tale that was. It went like this, you see. I heard the alarm clock, and I reached out to touch it

ALBERT [narrating]: Some time passed on the perilous roads. In the lee of the great mountain, we found an isolated hunting lodge. The driver did well to locate it in all that turbulent storm. It was a strange, shambolic collection of buildings, mounded over with heavy snow. Its honey-coloured lights flickering in each window were such a welcome sight that I almost wept.

DOCTOR: And it was at that moment that I had to ask myself, have I the right? Oh, have we arrived somewhere, when I was just about to tell you about the dreadful Tombs hidden under the surface of the planet Mars.
MIKE: Just give it a rest now, Doctor. You've just about blown the poor chap's mind.
ALBERT: Yes, thank you. All very interesting stories, Doctor. Quite useless to me, of course.
DOCTOR: Useless? Why?

ALBERT [narrating]: I found the man's conceit quite staggering. He himself was the hero of all his tales. What good were they to me, unless I made him the hero of every story I told? Feigning tiredness, I closed my eyes and shrank into my coat, whilst the two of them talked in hushed tones.

MIKE: You're acting in a very strange manner, Doctor, telling him all those things.
DOCTOR: I'm testing him out, Mike. We're in one of his stories, remember. Those are our images in that book illustration. I need to know how and why.
MIKE: Where did you say you got that book again?
DOCTOR: The village hall bring and buy sale. Mrs Wibbsey was foolishly giving away belongings of mine at cut down prices. It's a long story. And somebody looking slightly like the Emperor Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus did her a very dodgy deal. My spatial geometer in exchange for a bundle of documents in an old sack. Documents of dubious provenance.

ALBERT [narrating]: In the reception hall of the lodge, a small kindly-looking woman greeted us warmly.

FRAU HERZ: You are all extremely lucky. Foolish, silly men. Braving the weather in the mountains this time of year? We haven't had guests here in three whole weeks. We didn't expect to see any more until April.
ALBERT: Thank you for the wonderfully warm welcome.
FRAU HERZ: Oh, I am Frau Herz. Welcome to my lodge. But I am not even sure that you are real. Do my senses deceive me? You could be corpses, frozen on the mountain. You might be ghosts coming in here demanding rooms tonight.
ALBERT: I assure you,
gnädige Frau Herz, we are not ghosts. Simply wanderers in the hills.
FRAU HERZ: I would let no brothers of mine wander in these hills at night. Now, we have only two rooms fit for sleeping in. We have suffered a few leaks and what-nots in the winter. So, who is happy to share?

ALBERT [narrating]: I managed to secure a room for myself under the attic eaves. I refused any supper or further conversation and took to my bed. I had survived the day. I was not dead. But in the palace of Saint Clemence, no doubt the King was cursing my name. As I sat in the darkness of my poky little room, I spared no concern for my driver and the Royal footman, who were bedding down on the straw in the stables with the horses. Along the attic corridor, the Doctor and Mike Yates were discussing the day's events. If they had known how thin the walls were, they would have talked more quietly.

(Occasional distant howl of wolf.)
DOCTOR: So you see, Mike, it's vital that we find these missing pieces of circuitry from the Tardis.
MIKE: I dare say poor Mrs Wibbsey didn't realise what she was getting rid of.
DOCTOR: Or indeed what she was keeping. Without the spatial geometer, I'm stranded on Earth.
MIKE: I remember your original exile here.
DOCTOR: This is different. This time it's all a silly mistake, except
MIKE: Except? What is it?
DOCTOR: Someone or some thing is acting against me, taunting me and laying traps, and then slipping away through Time.
MIKE: It's a good job you've got Mrs Wibbsey and me to help you sort it out. The old team. We did a superb job against those Space Hornets last year, didn't we?
DOCTOR: Did we? I suppose we did, yes.
MIKE: The Brig could hardly believe it when I told him. Well, I suppose he could, really, after all the things he's seen. And then I saw Ms Shaw in the summer, and then Jo Grant as was. She was in the country back in October, and she just laughed, and said it was just typical the way you just turned up once more and, and why are you looking at me like that?
DOCTOR: Have you been telling everyone?
MIKE: But, but, they're our friends.
DOCTOR: It's wise to play your cards a little closer to your chest, Mike. You don't know who's listening in. You don't know who's really on your side.
MIKE: And to think you used to accuse the Brigadier of finding menace in his own shadow.
DOCTOR: Quickly, Mike, come and look at this.
MIKE: What is it?
DOCTOR: Look, through the window, out there in the snow. Oh, it's gone.
MIKE: Well? What was it?
DOCTOR: Something very strange indeed. A nimble, dark-limbed creature, winged like a gigantic bat, swooping effortlessly on the air.
MIKE: Look, it's been a very long day, and from what Mrs Wibbsey was saying at dinner last night, you've had a pretty hectic time of it lately.
DOCTOR: But there really is something out there. A being of some ghastly description. That proves we're in the right time and place after all, Mike. The Tardis has transported us to the exact spot for the next confrontation.
MIKE: But who with?
DOCTOR: I can't be sure. We need to investigate further, but I feel certain that we're on the correct trail. These documents, they are like the instructions for an elaborate paper chase, a treasure hunt through Time. It is very, very curious, but do you know something, Captain Yates?
MIKE: What's that, Doctor?
DOCTOR: No one does curiosity better than me.

ALBERT [narrating]: A storyteller can go anywhere. In his mind he is free to explore any place he wishes. And even in the real prosaic physical world that we must all inhabit, the storyteller still has more freedom than most. My stories have opened doors for me, created magnificent opportunities. In the recent years of my success, I have travelled across boundaries and kingdoms, and gone where I pleased. I have sung for my supper and mingled with the high and mighty. I've eavesdropped at courts and in banqueting halls, and heard things I was never supposed to. Yet that night, whilst earwigging on the Doctor and his friend, I heard some of the most outlandish talk of all. It was often hard to make sense of their words, which seemed of a piece with the nonsensical tales the Doctor had been spouting in the carriage. In time I moved away from my listening post at the door and lay shivering in my bed, thinking I was locked up in this remote hotel with a raving madman. This talk of demons, though, and his tale of pursuit across the ages, it stirred something in me. Recognition, perhaps? Whatever it was, it kept me awake that night, even though I was exhausted. I seemed to imagine the Doctor's bright eyes glaring at me, almost accusingly, in the dark. It was as if he knew more about myself than I did. Conscious that if I ever did reach the King's palace he would find me bereft of a new story and kill me, I did something I had not done for years. For the first time in decades, even, I prayed that she would come. She who had visited me in a snowy wilderness once before, emerging out of the deep blizzards of my childhood home. She who had wound up the coil of creativity inside me and set me trundling on the course of a storyteller's life. Now that those same clockworks inside of me had run down, leaving me floundering and hopelessly reliant on my own poor imagination, she was the one person who could save me. My angel, my muse. Perhaps I had already sensed her nearby in the snow, but somehow, that night, it was as if I knew she would appear.

ICE QUEEN: Albert. Albert. You must wake up. I am here.
ALBERT: I'm not asleep. I've stayed up, waiting for you. I knew you would come.
ICE QUEEN: You were sleeping, my love. Such a touching, tender sight you made, slumped at the end of your bed. Your simple faith in me. Well, here I am again. It has been a long time.
ALBERT: I want to thank you. You gave me so much.
ICE QUEEN: What a strange predicament I find you in now, my love. Trapped here with these peculiar people.
ALBERT: Do you think they're peculiar too? The older man less so, but this Doctor.
ICE QUEEN: I passed by his room on the way to see you. He is staring out of his window, refusing to sleep. He stares at the snow as if defying it, as if his stares could melt the frozen heart of winter itself.
ALBERT: I'm glad you are disturbed by him too. It is as if he has sought me out. He blocked the way as we traversed the Murgin Pass. He has deliberately put himself in my path.
ICE QUEEN: I saw what happened. I was watching from afar. I have always been watching, my love. I see everything that happens to you.
ALBERT: Then, do you know about that book he has in his possession? He showed it to me when first we met. He flaunted it with relish. He knew what effect it would have.
ICE QUEEN: And what is this book, my lovely man? I have never seen you so shaken, so desirous, before.
ALBERT: It is a book of fairy tales.
ICE QUEEN: You already know all your stories by heart.
ALBERT: You don't understand. The gifts you gave me have helped me make my name as a storyteller, they have given be a wonderful life, but they have all run out. I've used up all the stories.
ICE QUEEN: And you think the Doctor's book will give you more?
ALBERT: He says it comes from the future. It contains my future life's labour.
ICE QUEEN: Mmm, how delicious. I wonder you didn't snatch it away from him.
ALBERT: I'm too feeble, too spindly. The Doctor and his friend would have overpowered me. There was nothing I could do.
ICE QUEEN: Still, what a temptation. Your oeuvre, your life's work, just a heart beat away.
ALBERT: I need it. I need that book.
ICE QUEEN: Perhaps. Albert, who am I?
ICE QUEEN: Do you trust me? Do you believe in me?
ALBERT: Why, yes, I always have, haven't I? Since I was a small boy.
ICE QUEEN: Then tell me, who am I to you?
ALBERT: You're my angel, my Ice Queen.
ICE QUEEN: And as your Queen, I rule over you completely, don't I? No one will ever melt the connection between us, for I gave you absolutely everything you needed to fulfil your ambition, didn't I? I have been the single most important entity in your whole existence.
ALBERT: Well, of course. I would have been nothing without you. My poor mother had nothing of value of material worth or assets right up until then end. My father would never acknowledge me or my existence, even. I would have been a nothing, a mere pauper, without your help, your ineffable, impossible magic.
ICE QUEEN: So, you must understand, my precious little man, it shames me to my frigid core to bring this subject up like this, but I find that I must do so. This is a crucial point in both our existences. This night, the Doctor has stepped boldly into our lives, bearing with him the book that purports to belong to your future. I find that I must remind you, my darling, of the fact that you owe me, Albert, do you not?
ALBERT: Of course. I owe you everything. You know, Majesty, that I would do anything at all for you. Anything. I promised, didn't I, back when I was a boy.
ICE QUEEN: That's good, Albert. That does my icy heart good to hear. Now, listen to me. I have been working hard on your behalf lately, to bring that book into your life. The culmination of my own personal ambition is close.
ALBERT: Your own?
ICE QUEEN: You are not the only one with dreams, my love. But my recent exertions have left me weak. Before I can complete what I set out to do, I need time to refresh my energies. But there is work for you whilst I am gone.
ALBERT: What do you want me to do?
ICE QUEEN: The Doctor has an enquiring mind. Already he will be looking for answers to questions about his new environment, but he must not find them. Keep the Doctor here. Keep him safe. Do not let him leave. (fades)
ALBERT: What? Where have you gone? Where are you?

ALBERT [narrating]: But she had vanished from my room. Only a lingering frost vapour in the stilled air, a miasma that I could almost taste. She was gone, and my heart sank low in my feeble chest. I lay awake shivering for what seemed like the rest of the night. My mind kept roving over her words. By dawn I had begun to question her. In bestowing this gift of mine, hadn't she already made me pay well enough? I went downstairs blearily to find my fellow guests in boisterous mood.

(Crackling fire.)
DOCTOR: I doubt my own housekeeper could have produced a more sumptuous breakfast,
gnädige Frau Herz.
FRAU HERZ: (laughs) Oh, get on with you, you old flatterer.
MIKE: Ah, good morning, Herr Tiermann.
ALBERT: Good morning all.
DOCTOR: Morning.
FRAU HERZ: You look dreadful. Was the room chilly? Was the bed lumpy?
ALBERT: No, everything was fine. I always sleep badly. Have you seen my servants yet? What do they say about conditions?
FRAU HERZ: Oh, the snow is very bad. The roads are even more dangerous. No one will be moving anywhere today.
DOCTOR: What a shame. Never mind, Albert. At least you have a very good excuse for being late.

ALBERT [narrating]: At that moment, the footman came crashing into the room, looking wild-eyed and distraught.

(Door opens.)
HANS: Help us, please!
MIKE: Good God, man, what is it?
FRAU HERZ: Close the door! The cold is coming in.
HANS: You must come and see. Help him!
DOCTOR: Who? What's happened?
HANS: Please. I think he might be dead.
DOCTOR: Yes, of course. Mike? We're coming.

ALBERT [narrating]: I followed them out into the furious winds and snow. The Ice Queen had instructed me to keep the Doctor safe, but at the same time I knew that if anything happened to my driver, it would be disastrous. Who else could get us out of this benighted valley?

HANS: He er, he woke and saw something. He thought he saw someone out there in the wilderness.
DOCTOR: I see. Did he now. What a stupid thing to do.
MIKE: But you thought you saw someone too, didn't you, Doctor.
HANS: I followed as fast as I could. Come and see, please. I can't move him on my own.

ALBERT [narrating]: We found him in a terrible way. He was curled over in a foetal position in an empty field of snow, perilously close to the edge of a precipice. He had lain for some time with the snow falling over and encrusting him. At first glimpse I thought he was dead.

DOCTOR: We must work quickly. You, footman, what's your name?
HANS: Hans, sir.
DOCTOR: Hans the footman? Run back and tell Frau Herz to build up the fire, and have blankets ready, and boil water.
MIKE: He's not about to give birth, Doctor.
DOCTOR: He needs to thaw out. I'm not sure he can live through this.

ALBERT [narrating]: The Doctor easily took command of us, and next thing we were carrying the body of my driver between us. He weighed as heavy as a fallen tree trunk. He felt hollow and dead. Was it even worth it, I wondered? Surely it was too late for him. But then I wondered again. Who would drive my carriage when the weather improved? A selfish thought, perhaps, and a horrible one. Someone had deliberately put my driver out of action.

FRAU HERZ: Oh, the poor devil. I feel so bad now, making your servants sleep in the stables, so vulnerable out there.
ALBERT: He was a fool, running out into the snow, according to the footman.
HANS: He saw someone, a woman.
DOCTOR: A woman!
FRAU HERZ: Pah! Chasing women? Just like my Gustav used to.
HANS: I, I thought I caught a glimpse of her myself. And a voice was calling. She was like a siren in the snow.
ALBERT: Nonsense. The blizzard can make you see and hear all kinds of things.
DOCTOR: Don't set him too close to the fire. We must warm him up gently, gradually. We don't want to barbecue him.
FRAU HERZ: Will he live?
DOCTOR: I don't know.
ALBERT: Without him we'll be stuck up here for even longer.
MIKE: Doctor, what was it you saw in the snow last night? Could it have been this woman?
DOCTOR: No, that's not what I saw.
FRAU HERZ: There is nothing out there. My hotel is the only establishment for miles around. No one can survive on their own all night. If there was someone, we would be aware of them. They would have come knocking here.
DOCTOR: There is something out there. I know that much. And it's oblivious to the most ferocious elements. Tiermann?
ALBERT: Yes? What?
DOCTOR: Have you noticed anything untoward?
ALBERT: No. No, of course not.
DOCTOR: I assume you have a very keen eye and ear, hmm? As a collector of stories.
ALBERT: Very keen.
DOCTOR: And if there were anything unusual or dangerous here, you would be bound to let us know about it, wouldn't you?
ALBERT: Of course I would.
DOCTOR: Then I'm very glad to hear it.

ALBERT [narrating]: I turned on my heel and left them to it. Left them to cajole my driver back to life.

MIKE: Tiermann knows more than he's saying.
DOCTOR: But of course he does.

ALBERT [narrating]: I seized my opportunity whilst the others were downstairs, waiting to see if the frozen man would live. Cursing the creaking floorboards, I snuck into the room that the Doctor and his companion had taken. They had slung their few belongings about the place, and already the room was a scene of rumpled chaos. I spotted his long overcoat at once, strewn over the dressing table with abandon. I rooted inside those pockets and came across all sorts of strange instruments, made of brass and wood and curious materials I had never seen before. I found an apple core and some string, and yet I didn't find the book I was looking for, just a crumpled piece of paper, and scribbled upon it were the puzzling words, look behind you. So I turned around, very cautiously.

DOCTOR: Can I help you, Albert? I can't abide snoops.
ALBERT: I, I was just
DOCTOR: I know what you were doing. You thought you could just come in here and help yourself to what you want.
ALBERT: To what I need. My life depends upon it.
MIKE: Ah, here he is. Should have known. Was he after your book, Doctor?
DOCTOR: I kept it with me. It shouldn't fall into the wrong hands. It would very remiss of me if it did.
ALBERT: But mine are the right hands. It belongs to me, doesn't it, if I write these tales anyway, eventually, if this is my own book?
DOCTOR: I think you need to calm down. You'll do yourself a mischief.
ALBERT: Calm? I am calm!
DOCTOR: Mike, leave us. See if Frau Herz needs your help in the kitchen. I'll talk to Albert here.
MIKE: Are you going to give him the book?
DOCTOR: This book comes from the future, but there is more to this situation than that. I would like to know a little more about it, and I think Tiermann here can help us.

ALBERT [narrating]: The other man, Mike, left us and I was alone with the Doctor. Suddenly, all of his genial warmth left him. He bore down on me with a very dark expression.

DOCTOR: Sit there. Do not move. Look into my eyes, Albert Tiermann.

ALBERT [narrating]: I knew she would be angry with me, but I had no choice. The Doctor's voice was mesmerising.

DOCTOR: It is very dangerous to go poking about in other people's belongings. You never know what you might find.
ALBERT: I am sorry, Doctor.
DOCTOR: We are in danger here. Some kind of creature is out there, an entity that has been watching us. One of our party has been injured, very nearly killed, and yet you're more concerned about this book of mine. You're a very callous, cold-hearted man, aren't you?
ALBERT: There is nothing more important in the world to me than that book.
DOCTOR: Try human life.
ALBERT: That book, I don't know how you came by it, I hardly even care. All I care about is it is proof. Proof that my stories live longer than human beings. That is what your presence here has taught me, so they are more important, surely? Human life comes and goes, just flashes of heat and light, fading away in the bigger darkness.
DOCTOR: Does that make it less important? Does that diminish people? Does it really, Albert?

ALBERT [narrating]: I hardly knew what I was saying as I looked into his eyes. I fell under his influence, and he started to ask my questions. I tried to stop my thoughts, my breath. I tried to resist him, but the answers to what he asked me came bubbling up, foaming out of me, spilling over beyond my control. I was seething with the urge to tell him my secrets. I found myself longing to turn my very self into a story for this stranger.

DOCTOR: Do you want to know something interesting? The awful thing about self-fulfilling prophecies is that you end up losing completely what you thought belonged to you. What I mean is, if I simply turn this book over to you, you would steal these tales, wouldn't you. You would copy them out and say that they were yours.
ALBERT: They are mine. That is my name on the cover.
DOCTOR: But where did they come from, Albert? What is their origin if you simply copy them out? To give you these stories early, why, then I would be stealing from you your right to call them your own.
ALBERT: I don't care about that. Can't you just give them to me, make it easy for me?
DOCTOR: Nothing worthwhile is easy, Albert.
ALBERT: My father used to say something like that.
DOCTOR: Did he.
ALBERT: He was a writer. He wrote things I couldn't even dream of writing. He was the famous Ernest Tiermann.
DOCTOR: I see. And you set out to follow in his footsteps.
ALBERT: I was a by-blow, born the wrong side of the blankets to one of his many lowly mistresses. My mother was a washer-woman. She told me tales at night of my wonderful father, and she even read me his stories, and I dreamed of one day meeting him and telling him the stories I had made up in my own mind. I wanted to show him I had that talent and that cast of mind too.
DOCTOR: And did you?
ALBERT: He never gave me the time of day. He threw my mother a few paltry coins and had us chased away from his town house. I grew up determined to show him. I would learn and practice and be better at tale-spinning than he ever was.
DOCTOR: And here you are, story-teller to the King.
ALBERT: I, I cheated. I don't deserve that position, that name. Not really.
DOCTOR: Ah. Now we get to it.
ALBERT: It's all a sham. All of it.
(A scream!)
ALBERT: Good God, what's that?
DOCTOR: Frau Herz, downstairs.
ALBERT: You're running towards the scream?
DOCTOR: Of course!

ALBERT [narrating]: As he swung that great curly head to look at me, I saw in the Doctor's expression that he thought me a coward, as well as a self-confessed cheat. I felt I had no choice but to follow in his wake as he thundered down the staircases into the great hollow chamber of the downstairs hall.

DOCTOR: Mike, what is it?
MIKE: I don't know. I can't find Frau Herz. She was in the kitchen.

ALBERT [narrating]: The doors had been flung open, the locks and bolts wrenched away from fixings by a superhuman strength. It was as if a gigantic fist had punched a dent in the kitchen door that led to the yard outside. Thick fresh blood was splattered on the tiles, on the cobbles and in the snow.

MIKE: Look at all this blood.
DOCTOR: It's taken her away.
FRAU HERZ: No, I am here. I am safe. It is the boy, the footman, Hans, that, that creature took. Hans saved me. He grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let that thing take me away.
DOCTOR: Brave boy. Mike, see to her, would you? She's been hurt.
MIKE: Yes, of course, Doctor.
ALBERT: What was it? What came in here?
DOCTOR: Whatever attacked the driver must have been disturbed before it could carry him off. Now it's tried again, and succeeded with the footman, Hans. It has to be the creature I saw last night. I must go after it.
MIKE: The creature?
FRAU HERZ: That demon, with wings like a great vampire bat, and teeth, and claws. It rushed in and filled the whole room. Oh, the stench of it, like brimstone and rotting meat.
DOCTOR: Did you see where it went with the boy?
FRAU HERZ: Just out into the snow, to the mountain.
DOCTOR: Take charge here, Mike. Barricade everything, all the doors and windows. That thing will come back.
MIKE: I suppose you wouldn't take my revolver?
DOCTOR: Correct, but I will take Albert here.
ALBERT: Me? Why?
DOCTOR: You can help me.
ALBERT: What can I do? I'm a physical coward. I'm weak. I can't.
FRAU HERZ: Pull yourself together, man. Your servant has died for you.
ALBERT: No, Doctor, it's too dangerous. You must stay here. We all must.
MIKE: He's having some sort of a breakdown, Doctor.
DOCTOR: I know, but he's got further to go than this. There are things he must face. I have a feeling the demon is connected to him.
ALBERT: No, I don't know anything about it!
DOCTOR: Come with me.

ALBERT [narrating]: He was like a great beast the way he dragged me along, like a lion chomping into the scruff of my neck. I felt that he could have shaken me to pieces. I tried to protest, mindful of the instructions of my Queen, but he would brook no refusal. Out we went into the cold, where the snow was beginning again. The man called Mike reluctantly started to barricade the kitchen door after us with a butcher's block, crates, and tin buckets. Though the snow was suddenly falling thick and fast, it was easy to follow the trail. Purple-black blood had fallen hotly, and the footsteps of the creature were pronounced.

DOCTOR: Hans won't have survived this, I'm afraid. Too much blood and gobbets of flesh, look, strewn in the snow.
ALBERT: I see.
DOCTOR: But do you care? Can you even feel the slightest twinge of remorse?
ALBERT: He was a good servant, I suppose. The King will be discommoded by his loss.
DOCTOR: Is that all you can say?

ALBERT [narrating]: I didn't reply. I was ashamed at my lack of human feeling. I felt the Doctor's anger bristling between us as we clambered into the horrible unknown. We followed the very obvious trail further, and it became higher and steeper and more perilous by the minute. We shuffled and took tiny steps on the lethal ice, checking each moment that the ledges and perches would carry our weight. But it looked as if this demon had taken skipping steps, huge bounding leaps up out of the valley, up the sides of the mountain.

DOCTOR: Only the most tenacious explorers would track this creature to its lair.
ALBERT: You say you saw it last night from your window. Are there really such things as demons?
DOCTOR: You know there are, Albert. Don't pretend. And you know this one well, don't you?
ALBERT: How? I don't consort with demons.
DOCTOR: Ah, but they don't always appear how we imagine them to. Perhaps yours looked like an angel, hmm?
ALBERT: Or perhaps he looks like you, Doctor. You were conjured up out of nowhere, death has followed you here, I feel as if I am in a nightmare.
ALBERT: What the?
DOCTOR: It may be any number of things, Albert Tiermann, but that was the sound of a genuine monster, something with large teeth and claws, and a nasty appetite for destruction. Something we must do battle with and destroy.
ALBERT: Do battle with?
DOCTOR: Oh, yes. You've lived too long in just your imagination. You must have courage. You must face this creature.
ALBERT: I don't think I can.
DOCTOR: Come on, climb!

ALBERT [narrating]: Where did the rest of that day go? We spent it on the trail of that horrible noise. I entered into an almost hypnotised state, plodding reluctantly after the Doctor, who seemed quite happy to clamber through the blizzard on sheer wet rocks.

DOCTOR: There's a cave. Open your eyes, man. You can't just wish all this away. Look at the cave.
ALBERT: I can't go up there.
DOCTOR: But you can. Your footman has died for you. That's his lifeblood we're following. Your driver is still frozen to the core, if not dead already by now. You have to face your fears, Albert.
ALBERT: What are we going to find up there, in that cave?
DOCTOR: I think you know already.
ALBERT: How can I?
DOCTOR: Because, if you like, this is all a fairy tale, Albert Tiermann. Just another fairy tale. A nasty, bloodthirsty, wicked tale. And if you think hard about it, you know how it will end.

ALBERT [narrating]: He helped me up the final few feet until we stood before the cave mouth. A strange green luminescence shone from within.

DOCTOR: (echoes) Hallo? Anyone home? Shop!

ALBERT [narrating]: His bravado staggered me. He wandered blithely into the creature's den as casually as he had the hotel down in the valley far, far below us.

DOCTOR: Come on, man. We haven't got all day. Look, the afternoon's getting darker. We shouldn't stay here too long.

ALBERT [narrating]: What had this man led me into? I didn't know anything about him, other than he possessed the book that meant more to me than almost anything in the world.

(The space echoes.)
DOCTOR: Hallo? Any demons home, hmm? Ah, can you hear it, Albert? Like a great dragon waiting in the dark, wings all folded primly, waiting nicely for the young hero to come a-slaying. By the way, did you bring a sword?
ALBERT: We're not facing a dragon, Doctor.
DOCTOR: How disappointing. It's a very long time since I bearded one of those in its den. Oh, what have we here, then? Ah.

ALBERT [narrating]: Having gone along several tunnels, we turned a corner and there saw up ahead a figure seated impossibly on a diamond throne, in a grotto of sapphires deep inside the cave. It was my Queen, my secret Queen of Ice. Curiously, she seemed to be asleep, her head thrown back, her eyes closed, her form pressed into the throne almost as if it were seeking warmth from within its frame. We moved forwards until we stood directly in front of her. It was only then that she became aware of our presence. Her eyelids shot open, and she bolted upright as if disturbed from a long dream.

DOCTOR: Hello there. Did we wake you? That's a very impressive throne. Biothermic, isn't it? Radiates energy from
ICE QUEEN: Albert, what are you, what is he doing here? I gave your instructions quite clearly.
ALBERT: I couldn't stop him. He was too determined.
DOCTOR: Well, well. Ah, so you two know each other.
ALBERT: She, she
DOCTOR: He's lost his tongue, I'm afraid. Some of these writers, they get tongue-tied in the presence of beautiful ladies. You are a lady, I take it?
ICE QUEEN: Oh yes, Doctor, I am.
ALBERT: She is the most beautiful lady in the world. She is my Queen, my angel
ICE QUEEN: Albert has known me a long time, haven't you, my special one.

ALBERT [narrating]: As I stared at her now, I tried to explain to the Doctor, but how could I ever make him understand what she had done for me? How she had bestowed up me whatever meagre talent I possessed. She had come to me that first night when I was a child, and whispered into my ear, planting the tiny golden seeds from which my stories grew. I made them germinate and become the masterpieces they eventually were.

ALBERT: You see, Doctor, I have no true imagination, no real gift. I owe it all to her. In return she asks so very, very little. By comparison, no price at all.
DOCTOR: There's always a price to pay for consorting with a goblin.
ICE QUEEN: I beg your pardon, Doctor?
DOCTOR: That's the way of it, isn't it, in fairy tales? There's no such thing as a magical free gift.
ICE QUEEN: Albert is the expert on that.
DOCTOR: You are Albert's benefactress. You have given him his talents, his stories.
ICE QUEEN: I have been generous to my little writer.
DOCTOR: But you're shrewd too, aren't you, Queen of Ice? What was your price, hmm?
ALBERT: She placed a shard of ice inside my chest, inside my heart.
ALBERT: She made it so that my feelings are frozen. I am distant from the mass of humanity. I feel no pity, no sorrow, no love. I feel nothing for anyone, only for the characters I create in my tales. My only sympathy is for them, and my only love is for my Queen.
DOCTOR: Ha! You're her slave, in other words. Underneath all the fancy words and verbiage, beneath all the fanciful nonsense and metaphor, all you're really saying is, you're her slave.
ALBERT: And happy to be so.
DOCTOR: She placed that shard of ice so that you could never have feelings and imagination of your own, so that one day she could use you again.
ICE QUEEN: Oh come, Doctor, how could I place ice in anyone's heart?
ALBERT: Through magic. You are a magical being, an angel.
DOCTOR: The only magic here is stage trickery, glitter, sound effects and nonsense! You, my poor man, have been hoodwinked by a metaphor, an illusion.
ICE QUEEN: Oh, be careful, Doctor. You will destroy him with the shock. You'll rob him of his dreams.
DOCTOR: And you of your puppet. I'm here to disillusion you, Albert. This is no fairy tale creature, no angel or sprite. She's what we tracked here, the same creature that slaughtered your servants.
ALBERT: No. She came to me long ago, when I was a lonely child with no hope, no gifts. She promised me
DOCTOR: She is your demon, Albert. All this time that's what she's been, just a monster in a beautiful disguise. She's been biding her time until today, until this very moment.
ALBERT: Leave me alone! What do you know?
DOCTOR: Quite a lot, as it happens.
ICE QUEEN: (laughs) This is priceless. You should be taking notes, dear Albert. One day you could write all of this up into one of your stories.
ALBERT: No. Why are you talking like that? Your voice, cold, laughing at me.
ICE QUEEN: I'm not laughing at you, my dear.
ALBERT: Tell me he's wrong. Say he's lying. You're my Queen. You're not a murderer, are you? You're not that creature, that disgusting
ICE QUEEN: You're the one with the supposed imagination here, Albert. You tell me what I am. I can be anything you want me to be.
DOCTOR: See? Rather disturbing, isn't she? I think you've been allying yourself with a thoroughly bad lot there, Albert.
ICE QUEEN: You owe me, Albert. You owe me everything. The one final thing I asked of you was to keep the Doctor safe at the hotel, and you have failed me.
ALBERT: Is that all you wanted me for?
DOCTOR: Oh, that and much more, Albert. She needed you to become who you are, the renowned teller of fairy tales. Only then could she invent this book in your name, you see? The book you've been so curious about. Look here. Look at the colour plate of this particular tale. Ha.

ALBERT [narrating]: I was drawn forward to look into the book. I longed to do so, but at the same time I dreaded it, too, fearful of what I would find in the seared and frangible pages. If this wasn't magic, what was it? My head started to spin.

DOCTOR: Look, Tiermann. What do you see?

ALBERT [narrating]: The illustration clearly showed my angel, my Queen of Ice, but she was caught mid-transformation. Like a goddess of old, she was turning into a demon, beating her wings as they turned leathery and clawed. Black curling horns were blasting out of her beautiful forehead. Her expression was one of pure malice as her talons ripped into the flesh of her victims. And one of her victims was clearly the man standing before me in his multi-coloured scarf.

DOCTOR: Self-fulfilling prophecy, Albert. The book was her lure to bring me here. She came to you in the first place in order to control your life and bring us both to this day. Why don't you ask her if I'm right?
ALBERT: Is he?
ICE QUEEN: Albert, my love, I know that you above all understand the ways of an artist. I have had an appointment with the Doctor for a long time. Now, thanks to you, my little instrument, and the progress of your career which has brought you to the Murgin Pass, I was able to engineer the Doctor's appearance. This storybook was merely my way of inviting this great man, this voyager through Time, to his destiny.
ALBERT: You, you devil!
DOCTOR: Steady, Albert. Interestingly, Mike Yates is in the drawing, see? He stands beside me, fighting off the demon, doing his gallant best like an old soldier should, yet he's not here.
ICE QUEEN: Oh, your powers of deduction do you credit, Doctor. I must admit I was not expecting to see you both here in my little bolt-hole.
DOCTOR: I gathered that. Been doing a little refuelling, have you? Must be exhausting adopting human form for so long. I dare say that's why I saw your true form out in the snow last night. Thought you could get away with it under the cover of darkness, hmm? I dread to imagine what kind of noxious energies are throbbing in your frosty old veins.
ICE QUEEN: So now let us go and find Captain Yates at once.
DOCTOR: Oh, must we? Can't we just say our farewells here?
ICE QUEEN: Albert, make sure the Doctor comes back safely, and try not to fail me again. Remember, only if you do as I ask, can you ever have the glittering future you desire.
ALBERT: That book will be mine, and all of its stories?
DOCTOR: Oh, Albert.
ICE QUEEN: I can make it so.
DOCTOR: Don't believe her. She can do nothing. She's just a grubby killer, a monster with a thirst for blood. Can't you see your footman's blood on those cold talons of here, eh? Can't you smell the slaughter, Albert? She used you. You're just a pawn in her game. She doesn't care whether you write your stories or not.
ALBERT: She does. You do care, don't you?
ICE QUEEN: My love, how can you doubt me?

ALBERT [narrating]: Suddenly the Ice Queen rose out of her seat. She stepped down from her glittering throne and floated upon the air, all gossamer and silken thread, and shrieking with banshee laughter. But then

ICE QUEEN: (laughing) We must go down, down to the valley!
ALBERT: She's flying away!
DOCTOR: Quick, after her! She's going back to the hotel!

ALBERT [narrating]: The Doctor and I ran to the cave entrance in pursuit. On the way we made a grim discovery in one of the tunnels. A pile of discarded husks, withered and drained of all life. They were the bodies of her victims, including my footman. We began the return journey back into the valley. It was dark now, and a curling brown fog was flooding the fields of ice. The Doctor and I, moving as quickly as we could, slithered and hastened our way. Meanwhile, she soared through the gloaming on angel's wings.

(The Ice Queen laughs.)
DOCTOR: If she kills Mike, I won't forgive either you or myself. I brought him into this. There's no need for him to die.
ALBERT: In the illustration, you both die. That's how it looked.
DOCTOR: It's a decoy, it's faked. You didn't write it, she did. It can't come true! Here!

ALBERT [narrating]: He threw the precious volume over his shoulder at me. That which he had been so careful not to let fall into my hands, tossed so carelessly.

DOCTOR: Keep it if you want. Pretend the stories are yours. Over time, that's what they'll become.
ALBERT: I should never have trusted her, should I.
DOCTOR: There's no point in going over that now. Come on, run.

ALBERT [narrating]: And so we fled, heedlessly, madly, towards the hotel at the bottom of the valley. Our demon would be there by now, surely. I thought I heard a wisp of her laughter threading through the air. My heart was pounding as we raced, heading towards whatever terrible scene lay in wait of us. Was it exhilaration I felt? Excitement? They were feelings I wasn't used to at all. What awaited us at the hotel was a scene of horror. In the dining room, all the tables and chairs had been flung upside down. Frau Herz was lying unconscious, possibly dead, beside the silent body of the driver. The fire in the hearth was leaping out of control, throwing lurid shadows on this ghastly tableau. The Queen of Ice dominated the room. Her shining wings were unfurled, and she was turning herself properly into demonic form, almost exactly as the illustration showed. In her arms she imprisoned the helpless, bloodied form of Mike Yates, just as Mary holds Christ in a touching Pietà. He stared at us in terror, hardly daring to move.

MIKE: Doctor, they just came bursting in. This thing, it cast Frau Herz aside like a dish rag.
DOCTOR: All right, all right, calmly now, everyone. We need to be calm. Albert, would you care to introduce Mike to you best friend?
MIKE: What's it doing here?
DOCTOR: This entity has been the cause of all the recent disturbances.
MIKE: It's crushing the life out of me.
DOCTOR: Hold on, Mike. Insane though this creature might be, I can't believe it would drag us all the way from Nest Cottage and lure us here just in order to kill us off. It has to be after something else.
ICE QUEEN: I have long admired your intelligence, Doctor.
ALBERT: Stop it. I never wanted this, this bloodshed and violence. I didn't want this in my world.
ICE QUEEN: Your world, little man? (laughs) I think you mistake this for one of your own asinine stories. But this fairy tale isn't one of yours, Albert. This one is mine.

ALBERT [narrating]: I felt something in my chest crack clean across, like the frozen surface of a lake when the spring rains come. I was thawing. The shard of ice was broken, it was starting to melt, and all of a sudden I could feel.

ICE QUEEN: You are released from my control, Albert. I see the Doctor gave you the book. That's all the future you need. All your promises in one set of covers. You don't need me any more.
ALBERT: I wish I could send you back to Hell.
ICE QUEEN: (laughs) Hell isn't where I come from.
DOCTOR: But then where, exactly, hmm?
ICE QUEEN: Do you really want to know, Doctor?
DOCTOR: That's what all this is about, isn't it? This and the other encounters in Sussex and Paris. I can't help but get the impression you want to take me somewhere.
(The Ice Queen laughs.)

ALBERT [narrating]: Suddenly the room around us was changing and shifting. At first I thought I must be losing my mind, but the Doctor and Mike were reacting to it as well. The rough-hewn floorboards had vanished, to be replaced by intricate mosaics. The walls, which had been smudged with years of candle grease, were now filled with painted tableaux. Suddenly we were in some kind of temple, with burning braziers.

DOCTOR: Now I understand. I've seen all this before. You only had to ask, demon, instead of messing around and toying with people's lives, laying horrible traps. If you wanted me to accompany you somewhere, you only had to ask.
ICE QUEEN: As if it would have been that easy.
MIKE: I dare say she isn't suggesting a trip to Bognor, Doctor.
ICE QUEEN: Very well, let's try it. Will you come with me, across the universe?
DOCTOR: Release Mike first.
ICE QUEEN: We have far to travel, you and I, and I'm afraid you may never return this way again.
DOCTOR: Well, I love travelling, you know that. But where are we going? Will I need my swimmers?
ICE QUEEN: It is a place the like of which you have never seen.
ICE QUEEN: Even you. I am waiting for your answer.
DOCTOR: Then I'll say it again. Release Mike.

ALBERT [narrating]: Without a further word, she slackened her claws and let the Captain slip out of her grasp. He scrambled to his feet and then produced a stubby, strange looking weapon.

DOCTOR: No use, Mike. You can't harm her. Go outside. Take Tiermann and Frau Herz, if she's still alive.
MIKE: What is this place? Where's the hotel gone?
DOCTOR: This is a dematerialisation chamber, a very primitive kind of Tardis. Now go. Please, leave us alone.
MIKE: Are you sure?
DOCTOR: Of course I'm sure. Get out.

ALBERT [narrating]: Amazingly, the hotelier was still alive. She groaned as between us the old soldier and I dragged her out into the courtyard. Where the hotel had been, there now stood a plain square solid box, with a single door ajar. I crept back and peered through it, eager to see what was happening. As a teller of stories myself, I knew that this one was about to end.

ICE QUEEN: Come to me, Doctor. Come into my arms, and I will take you to my home.
DOCTOR: You still haven't said where it is. What's its name?
ICE QUEEN: Sepulchre. I will take you to Sepulchre.

ALBERT [narrating]: The Doctor nodded very solemnly, then stared at his feet for a moment. It was as if he was pausing before handing himself over into the care of that hideous demon. And then

DOCTOR: Never heard of it.

ALBERT [narrating]: Faster than I've ever seen anyone move, he whirled around on one heel, clamping his hat down on his head and swirling his endless scarf all about him. He was hurrying out of the room as fast as his legs could carry him.

ICE QUEEN: Come back!
DOCTOR: Not today, thank you.
ICE QUEEN: Noooooooo!
(Dematerialisation sound.)

ALBERT [narrating]: He came flying past me, barrelling out of the door, just about doing somersaults in his eagerness to get outside.

MIKE: Doctor.
DOCTOR: I made it, Mike. Hey, I got out!
ALBERT: It's gone, vanished.
FRAU HERZ: Where is my hotel?
DOCTOR: I'm afraid it's been sucked into a dimensional vortex, Frau Herz. Tell me, how old was it?
FRAU HERZ: It has been in my family for forty years.
DOCTOR: Put in place by the demon around the time of your birth, Albert. It had every detail planned.
ALBERT: We must be grateful we are still alive, Frau Herz. The Doctor has done us all a great service today.
DOCTOR: You realise your angel has gone forever?
ALBERT: I know. I am glad. I also know now that I will still be able to write without her. I don't know how to thank you, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Just leave me out of your storybooks, eh?
ALBERT: I will.
FRAU HERZ: What are we going to do without the hotel? We'll freeze up here with no shelter. Where will I live?
MIKE: Doctor, can we take them somewhere?
DOCTOR: I hate giving lifts in the Tardis. It's a very bad habit to get in to. People go talking about it afterwards and it causes all sorts of trouble.
ALBERT: You've already done so much for us.
DOCTOR: I know. And I really must be off.
MIKE: But they really will die of exposure if we leave them here.
DOCTOR: (growls) All right. All right. Just don't tell anyone.
(The Tardis dematerialises.)

ALBERT [narrating]: And that is my story of the short time I spent with the Doctor. It is the tale of my last hours in thrall to that angel, that demon who controlled my life for so many years. You will notice that he asked me to keep him out of my storybooks. I have kept my promise. You will not find him featured there. But he didn't say never to recount it at all, and I knew you would be interested to know about it, your Majesty.

DOCTOR: Well, that's those two safely dropped off.
MIKE: Pity we couldn't get a bit closer to the King's palace. Albert's still going to have a long walk.
DOCTOR: Yes, well, until the spatial geometer is completely reassembled, it's make do and. By the way, what's that sticking out of your pocket?
MIKE: What? Oh, I almost forgot I had it. It's something I found in the hotel while you were out, dashing about with Tiermann. I didn't mean to steal it. I was just going to show it to you. Some kind of futuristic thing, isn't it? It seemed very out of place in Frau Herz's knife drawer.
DOCTOR: It's another missing element! I assumed it had vanished along with the hotel. Captain Yates, you are amazing.
MIKE: I am?
MIKE: Oh. Well, I'm glad I picked it up, then.
DOCTOR: You're a genius.
MIKE: Oh, hang on. Don't go too far, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Oh, all right, I won't. Give it here and stay out of reach.
MIKE: Spatial geometer, indeed. You always did like your funny gadgets. By the way, there's a light blinking on that one there.
DOCTOR: That's the Nest Cottage answerphone. Someone's been in touch.
WIBBSEY [OC]: Hello? Doctor? Oh, I hate talking on these dratted machines. Look, I don't know if you and Mister Yates are going to be back in time for supper, but I really wish you'd let me know. And another thing.
DOCTOR: Good old Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY [OC]: That last artefact in the bag. The book cover thingy. You left it here so I suppose that means you're coming back. I've just been having another look at it. Not my cup of tea, it's for children, I expect, but I looked closer and we're all on it. You, me, Captain Yates, and we're in Central Park in New York!
MIKE: What is she talking about?
DOCTOR: It's the final artefact, an old comic book from the 1970s.
WIBBSEY [OC]: There's all these balloon things coming out of our mouths with words we're supposed to be saying. You're shouting out is it a bird, and Mister Yates is yelling is it a plane, and there's a great big balloon coming out of my mouth, and I'm saying no, it's (beep).
DOCTOR: The tape ran out. Pity.
MIKE: Has she been on the cooking sherry, do you think?
DOCTOR: Teetotaller, remember.
MIKE: Whatever can it mean?
DOCTOR: It means we have to stop by Nest Cottage and eat whatever glorious concoction Mrs Wibbsey has prepared for us. Then we must bundle her aboard the Tardis and set the coordinates for our next port of call as dictated by this very strange paper trail.
MIKE: Wow, New York City, here we come!
(The Tardis dematerialises.)
DOCTOR: I'm glad I got this answerphone. Rather handy, aren't they?

<Back to the 4th Doctor episodes

Doctor Who and related marks are trademarks of BBC . Copyright © 1963, Present. The web pages on this site are for educational and entertainment purposes only. All other copyrights property of their respective holders. H