Serpent Crest part two - The Broken Crown, by Paul Magrs

A BBC Audio Books Drama, released 6 October 2011

(The Story So Far - excerpts from the previous story.)

ANDREW [narrating]: Imagine living in a house with nowhere to hide, where the people who were supposed to look after you just made your life a misery, and didn't leave you in peace for a moment. Imagine if the folk who you're trying to get away from always came looking for you. If you imagine those things, you imagine me.

(Door opens and a strict sounding woman speaks.)
AUDLEY: There you are, skulking away in the library. You shouldn't be in here unsupervised. There are things in this library you aren't supposed to see.
ANDREW:  I know.
AUDLEY: Your guardian makes these rules in order to protect you, Andrew. The Rector knows best.
ANDREW: I know that.
AUDLEY: What's this you're reading?
ANDREW: It's nothing. It's just
AUDLEY: The Arabian Nights.
AUDLEY: You know, child, that this is one of the banned books in this house.
ANDREW: I don't see why. It's harmless.
AUDLEY: Books as colourful as this will overstimulate your imagination. That is not good for you.
ANDREW: Let me have it back. Please.
AUDLEY: Certainly not. You'll come with me. Your guardian is waiting for you. He must hear of this.

ANDREW [narrating]: I watched the wicked old woman climb the library steps to put my book back on the topmost shelf, too high for me to ever reach again. Part of me longed to push her off those steps while she stretched, and to send her spilling to the floor. Perhaps I could break the old monster's crooked back. But instead, I merely stood there, feeling lost and hopeless, my mind still spinning with the glorious, magical tales of the Arabian Nights. She was right about one thing, my nursemaid. Tales of this sort, fairy tales and fables, did something to my imagination. They lifted me out of that dark and dreary world in which I found myself living. They made me forget I was a powerless orphan of 13, trapped in the Rectory in a village called Hexford, deep in the English countryside. I was at the mercy of these terrible creatures, the Rector and the nursemaid, who watch my every move, and not even my imagination was free.

AUDLEY: Come away from that window, Master Andrew.
AUDLEY: Because people don't want to see your face looking out at them.
ANDREW: No one can see me. There's hardly anyone around, just two strangers wandering the village. They didn't even notice me watching them.
AUDLEY: Nevertheless, your guardian won't want to hear about you pressing yourself against the windows, looking like a prisoner.
ANDREW: He doesn't want me to do anything.
AUDLEY: What was that, young man?
ANDREW: The Rector, he'd be happy if he could just shove me away in a broom cupboard and never hear from me again.
AUDLEY: What nonsense. Now come and finish your school work for Mister Bewley.
ANDREW: Please can I go out? Sally and Jake said they'd wait for me.
AUDLEY: You're going nowhere. Looks to me as if a storm's brewing.
ANDREW: But they'll be waiting for me!
AUDLEY: Those two should be in the schoolhouse, but I dare say their mother and father are drinking themselves stupid in the White Hart again, too oiled to notice.
ANDREW: I want to see them. They're my friends!
AUDLEY: Attend to your algebra, Master Andrew, and don't blub.
(Door opens.)
BEWLEY: Mrs Audley? Andrew?
(Door closes.)
BEWLEY: What's all this? I could hear you both arguing all the way back up the hallway.
AUDLEY: It's nothing. The child is testy this afternoon, Mister Bewley, that is all.
ANDREW: I can't do anything. I can't read the books I want, I can't go outside when I want.
AUDLEY: It's all for your own good.
ANDREW: Is it? Or do you just enjoy making up stupid rules?
AUDLEY: Why, you little brat!
BEWLEY: Mrs Audley, don't let yourself become aeriated. Andrew means no harm.
AUDLEY: He's a monster!
BEWLEY: Shush now, woman! You go too far.
AUDLEY: He was looking out of the windows. Anyone passing by the Rectory might have seen him.
BEWLEY: I'm sure the Rector would not appreciate you speaking about his ward like this.
AUDLEY: I tell you, I'm getting to the end of my tether.
ANDREW: She hates me. I know it. You hate me, don't you.
AUDLEY: I certainly hate being here in this horrible place.
BEWLEY: I say enough, now. Let us all calm down.
AUDLEY: He won't obey me. Every little thing he questions and disobeys.
BEWLEY: Perhaps the boy needs a little more freedom.
AUDLEY: He can't. You know what the Rector would say to that. He must observe the rules. We all must.

HAROLD: Afternoon, Rector. Your usual, is it?
DOBBS: Just a small one, Harold. I've been cudgelling my brains over Sunday's sermon all morning. Felt the need to stretch my legs and be amongst people.
HAROLD: You won't find many of them here on a Thursday afternoon. They're all at work. Leastways, those that haven't done a moonlight flit, and there's certainly been a few of them lately.
DOBBS: Ah, but it's the waifs and strays who I can help the most, not the blacksmith at his iron or the farmer in his field.
HAROLD: Talking of waifs and strays, old Mother Maddock reckons there's been a couple of strangers wandering around the village all afternoon, in fancy dress.
DOBBS: Not from the Parish Council, are they?
HAROLD: No, no, you can rest easy. According to Mother, they're togged up in the strangest manner. A tall bloke and a woman. I told her, Hexford could benefit from some local colour.
DOBBS: Well, if I see two such oddments wandering around, I shall certainly give them a wide berth. I have enough on my plate coping with our own parishioners, never mind someone else's. Now, would you mind putting this on the slate?
HAROLD: Go on, then. Seeing as it's you.
DOBBS: I'm much obliged to you.
(Door creaks open.)
DOCTOR: Here we are, Mrs Wibbsey. The village pub's still here, anyway. The White Hart.
WIBBSEY: That's funny, it must have changed its name.
(Door closes.)
WIBBSEY: In our time, it's called the Dragon. Not that I've been in there much, I hasten to add.
DOCTOR: Well, we're about a hundred and fifty years too early for Bingo and chicken in a basket, not to mention the smoking ban. (coughs)
WIBBSEY: Do we have to come in here?
DOCTOR: The village pub is always the best place to do a little earwigging. You saw that newspaper in the village shop. This is 1861. We need to get acclimatised.
WIBBSEY: Well, apart from there being no Nest Cottage, or mini-market, the village doesn't seem to have changed that much. Oh, what a blessed pickle we're in, Doctor, stuck in the past with the Tardis a hundred and fifty years away.
DOCTOR: Well, I did say that wormhole travel isn't the most reliable.
WIBBSEY: And what about Boolin and little Alex? What if they made it to our time but we didn't? I don't know how they'll manage, I really don't.
DOCTOR: Ah, landlord. Am I glad to see you.
HAROLD: In need of libation, are you, sir?
DOCTOR: No, thank you. I prefer a drink. Wormhole travel always makes me parched. I see you feel the same, Rector. Large gin, is it?
WIBBSEY: Hello there. We're new in Hexford.
DOBBS: Should I care?
WIBBSEY: I beg your pardon?
DOBBS: I suppose you're expecting me to extend the hand of hospitality on behalf of the village. Well, we don't get many of your sort in these parts.
WIBBSEY: Is that why everyone's staring at us?
DOBBS: No doubt, like me, they're surprised to see a lady standing brazenly at the public bar of the White Hart.
DOCTOR: Oh, yes, sorry about that. It isn't very seemly, Mrs Wibbsey, in this day and age.
WIBBSEY: Perhaps you should have left me tied to a post outside.
DOCTOR: (sotto) I wish I'd thought of that. (normal) This is Mrs Wibbsey, and I am the Doctor, and you are?
DOBBS: Dobbs. Reverend Dobbs.
DOCTOR: Oh, delighted to meet you.
HAROLD: Will you be wanting a drink, sir?
DOCTOR: Oh yes. Another gin for our friend the Rector, a pint of ginger pop for me with a twist of lemon, and a small glass of water for my female companion here.
HAROLD: Very good, sir.
WIBBSEY: You're too kind.
DOBBS: Obliged to you.
DOCTOR: Bottoms up. I wonder, Reverend Dobbs, do you know of anywhere we might stay for the night? I'm afraid we arrived in Hexford without making suitable arrangements.
DOBBS: Harold here has rooms upstairs. I doubt he's got anyone in them. It's not exactly the Connaught.
DOCTOR: I suppose the ineffable air of menace and doom must put off the day-trippers, eh?
WIBBSEY: Doctor.
DOCTOR: Well, he must have noticed it. He lives here, after all, and he's responsible for the spiritual care of everyone in the village, aren't you, Reverend Dobbs?
DOBBS: I would deem it a favour, sir, if  you'd leave me alone. One glass of gin does not buy you the right to question me.
WIBBSEY: Now you've rubbed him up the wrong way.
DOCTOR: Elementary detection, my dear Wibbsey. That's all I'm doing.
DOBBS: Hexford is a peaceful village. There's nothing strange nor devilish here. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be off. I've a sermon to finish.
(Door opens and closes.)
DOCTOR: Oh, I think we've made our first friend here, Mrs Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY: Look, we'd better book those rooms. I don't fancy sleeping in a hedge tonight.
DOCTOR: You're right. Landlord? I wonder if he takes Denobian Slime Dollars, eh?

ANDREW [narrating]: That night, when the moon was wreathed in soapy clouds and the village was still, out I went into the rank grass and brambles and thorns. I ducked through curtains of ivy and entered the walled gardens where no one but my friends and I ever ventured. Sally and Jake were waiting for me, just as we had arranged. As always, they looked rather startled at their first sight of me, as if the intervening days had blurred their memory of how I looked. But for my sake, they rallied and smiled. They both hugged me. We were happy to once more escape beyond the confines of the Rectory gardens and the village, and to run for the woods, and the shelter of the dark trees, to our private world.

(A tawny owl calls to-wit to-woo.)
SALLY: I was almost caught leaving our house tonight.
JAKE: You're too clumsy, that's what it is. You need to be more like me.
ANDREW: No one was awake in the Rectory. I heard Dame Dob come crashing home about an hour ago, pie-eyed with gin as usual.
SALLY: Our dad sees him in the White Hart.
JAKE: He says he'll fall over one day and break his neck. He'll be dead then and they'll find him in a ditch stinking of gin.
SALLY: Never mind him. What are we going to do tonight?

ANDREW [narrating]: But there was no doubting the reason why the three of us had convened. There never was. We traipsed through the woods to a certain special, sheltered spot. Here, in the undergrowth, just two months before, we had discovered our greatest treasure.

SALLY: I love our den. It's like sitting in a giant silvery fish.
JAKE: Who's going to be God tonight?
SALLY: You're always God.
ANDREW: Well, it's my thing, isn't it?
JAKE: It's our thing. We all share it. We found this den together.
SALLY: And the precious thing. We found that together too.
ANDREW: Yes, but really, I think they're mine.
JAKE: You're just selfish and want everything.
AUDLEY [OC]: Master Andrew? Master Andrew!
JAKE: Who's that?
ANDREW: Oh no, it can't be.
AUDLEY [OC]: Master Andrew! I know you're out here again. Whatever you're doing, it's time this business came to an end.
ANDREW: It's Mrs Audley, my nursemaid. She must have followed me all the way here.
JAKE: We told you to be careful.
SALLY: Wriggle down inside here. Get your head down.
ANDREW: Ow! Don't touch my face.
JAKE: Shh, keep quiet.
ANDREW: Jake, where's the precious thing?
SALLY: It's here.
ANDREW: Is it safe?
SALLY: It's just where we left it last time, waiting for us.
AUDLEY [OC]: I'm fair out of puff coming all this way through the woods for you. What are you doing, young man? Where the devil are you?
ANDREW: Why won't they ever leave me alone?
SALLY: Maybe she won't find us.
AUDLEY [OC]: You'll catch your death, out here on a night like this.
ANDREW: Jake, pass me the precious thing. I know what to do about her.

(Birds singing.)
WIBBSEY: Oh, I'm so tired. I didn't sleep a wink last night. I'm sure that mattress had things living in it.
DOCTOR: Horsehair, if it was like mine, and from a very lumpy horse. You're too used to the luxurious future, Wibbs. You've gone soft.
WIBBSEY: Well, you may be right. Once upon a time I was used to a more basic standard of living. That was when I had my own time. Time I belonged to.
DOCTOR: Don't get maudlin, Wibbsey. We had a decent breakfast, didn't we?
WIBBSEY: Tacky porridge and lump of mouldy bread? I thought I might at least get an egg since his chickens have been making such a row since daybreak.
DOCTOR: Ah, here we are. Saint Patrick's Rectory. Let's see if our friend's in.
(Knocks on door.)
WIBBSEY: What'd you want to bother him for? He obviously didn't want anything to do with us.
(Door creaks open.)
DOCTOR: Morning, Rector. I hope you're feeling better than you look.
DOBBS: What do you people want?
WIBBSEY: I hope you don't mind us calling at this early hour.
DOBBS: As it happens, I do. Something of a situation has been developing this morning.
DOCTOR: Has it, indeed. Shall we come in, and you can tell us all about it.
DOBBS: Well really, I
(Door closes.)
DOCTOR: Oh, oh, oh, what a lovely dank dark hallway you have here. And look up there, Wibbs. Ooo, a minstrel's gallery.
WIBBSEY: Oh yes, and there's someone watching us from it.
DOBBS: You, boy, get away from there. Go back to your room.

ANDREW [narrating]: But I was fascinated by these new arrivals at the Rectory. The skinny woman looked so alarmed and twitchy and embarrassed beside her companion. He was already bounding into the hallway, pushing past my unfriendly guardian, examining all the pictures and ornaments, patting the stuffed animals on their heads as if to pacify them. I drew back from the bannister, but stayed within earshot.

DOBBS: I would  be grateful, sir, if you left, this moment.
DOCTOR: I'm afraid we can't do that. You see, we've been sent by the Met.
DOBBS: The London Police? What's that to do with Hexford?
DOCTOR: It's rather a far-reaching investigation. I am the Doctor, and this is Constable Wibbsey.
DOBBS: A female policeman.
DOCTOR: Mmm. We're incredibly ahead of the times.
WIBBSEY: If you can tell us what the matter is, perhaps we can help.
DOBBS: It's merely a local matter. Someone has gone missing in the night. My ward's nursemaid.
DOCTOR: Oh dear, oh dear.
DOBBS: She left her bed just after midnight and simply wandered off, it seems. She was last seen approaching Hexford Woods.
WIBBSEY: That's a good fifteen minutes away.
DOCTOR: How extraordinary. It just so happens that missing maids is our speciality. Wibbsey has an amazing nose for these things. Show him your nose, Wibbsey. Shall we have a pot of tea, Rector?
DOCTOR: Yes, tea.
WIBBSEY: Oh, that'd be lovely.
DOBBS: Oh, very well. If you'll make yourselves comfortable in the parlour there, I'll see what I can do. (leaves)
WIBBSEY: Here, why are you so interested in this Rector?
DOCTOR: I wasn't particularly until he mentioned a missing person. Remember, there's been a wormhole active here recently. We came through it.
WIBBSEY: Oh, don't remind me.
DOCTOR: Well, finding it again could be our only way of getting back to the future.
WIBBSEY: Other than waiting around for it to come naturally.
DOCTOR: Yes, well, I don't know about you. I prefer something nippier. Shall we repair to the parlour? I bet he's got a parquet floor.

ANDREW [narrating]: And so I crept downstairs and listened at the parlour door, my heart beating faster, terrified of being caught. But somehow I knew that the advent of these strangers meant an impending change to our stagnant lives here in Hexford.

BEWLEY: Young Master Andrew, why are you lurking there? Earwigging, are we?
ANDREW: No, sir.
BEWLEY: Does the Rector have visitors? Let's have a listen then. Perhaps they know something about poor Mrs Audley.

ANDREW [narrating]: My private tutor, Mister Bewley, was a kind, patient man. He protected me from the impatience and the fury of the other adults who cared for me. Sometimes he indulged me like this, as if I was his little brother rather than his pupil. But that day, as Mister Bewley listened to the voices coming from the parlour, his face grew pale and his whole body stiffened.

DOCTOR: What a state the lawn's in. Dreadful.
(Opens a sash window.)
WIBBSEY: What are you doing? Where are you going?
DOCTOR: Shh. I'm hopping out for a bit while he's fetching the tea. I'll meet you back in the pub at lunchtime.
(Closes the sash window behind him.)
WIBBSEY: Oh, Doctor, you can't just go off like that.
(Door opens.)
BEWLEY: Good morning.
(Door closes.)
WIBBSEY: Oh, good heavens. Boolin, it's you.
BEWLEY: I am Mister Bewley. Excuse me, but have we met before?
WIBBSEY: It's me, Mrs Wibbsey. Don't you remember?
BEWLEY: I'm afraid I have no recollection.
WIBBSEY: But you must. Unless. Do you live here, in this house?
BEWLEY: Indeed I do. I am tutor to the Rector's ward.
WIBBSEY: I see. How nice.
(Door opens.)
BEWLEY: Andrew.
(Door closes.)
WIBBSEY: Oh, my goodness. You gave me a start. That's a colourful mask you're wearing.
ANDREW: This is my face.
BEWLEY: Please, do not be alarmed. This is Andrew, Mrs Wibbsey. The Rector's ward.

ANDREW [narrating]: She smiled rather stiffly, as if she wasn't used to talking to children, and solemnly shook my hand.

WIBBSEY: It's very nice to meet you, Master Andrew. May I ask how old are you?

ANDREW [narrating]: I had a new paper mask on that morning, big as a pumpkin, freshly painted, uncreased and clean brown paper. My last one had become crumpled and dirty from the night before. So here I was, with a bright new face on, entertaining company.

BEWLEY: Master Andrew's in disgrace this morning, I'm afraid. He was caught running about in the woods last night.
WIBBSEY: I see. Got a naughty streak, have you? And you like wearing funny masks.
ANDREW: Reverend Dobbs says I must. He says people would go out of their minds if they saw what lies underneath. All the other villagers are discomforted by me. Some of them call names up at my window.
WIBBSEY: People can be very cruel.
ANDREW: So I make these faces out of paper. I paint the features on myself.
WIBBSEY: Very handsomely, too.
ANDREW: I'm like Jack in Jack and Jill, when they mended his head with vinegar and brown paper. That's right, isn't it, Mister Bewley?
(Door opens.)
DOBBS: What is the boy doing here?
ANDREW: I'm sorry, sir.
DOBBS: Mister Bewley, kindly remove both him and yourself while I take tea with our guests.
BEWLEY: Very good, sir.
WIBBSEY: Really, he was no trouble.
ANDREW: Goodbye, Mrs Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY: Goodbye.
(Door closes.)
DOBBS: That child is a menace. I was a fool for taking him on at my age. Tea will be along shortly. Where exactly is your friend?

DOCTOR:  (singing in French.) Fifteen minutes, she says? I make it. Whose woods are these? I think I know.
(A girl giggling.)
DOCTOR: Hello. Hello, who's there? Ah, I can see you, you know. Come on out of those bushes. Now then, I'm the Doctor. Who are you?
JAKE: I'm Jake and she's Sally.
SALLY: Are you looking for Andrew?
DOCTOR: Andrew?
SALLY: The Rector's ward.
JAKE: He's our friend.
SALLY: The Rector keep him prisoner.
JAKE: Shh, Sally.
DOCTOR: Does he now?
SALLY: He keeps him locked up in the Rectory, but Andrew can get out.
JAKE: Be quiet, I say. Don't believe her, sir. She makes things up.
SALLY: I don't. It's true. He comes out at night to meet us, and he climbs up on the roof of the Rectory, and he watches what happens in Hexford.
DOCTOR: And why does the Rector keep him locked up, do you suppose?
SALLY: He's fattening him up to eat him.
DOCTOR: (laughs) Surely not. I thought that only happened in fairy tales.
JAKE: My sister lets her imagination get the better of her.
DOCTOR: Well, there's nothing wrong with that. But do you really believe the Rector means your friend harm?
SALLY: What about the nursemaid, eh? What about her?
JAKE: Shush! Don't.
DOCTOR: What happened to the nursemaid?
SALLY: We saw it all, just last night. The Rector came out of his house. He was furious and starving. He hadn't had any supper, only gin, and he ate her, didn't he, Jake. We saw him do it.

(Pouring tea.)
WIBBSEY: Well, thank you for the tea, Rector.
DOBBS: No doubt foolish villagers will ascribe a sinister motive to Mrs Audley's disappearance, like they did with all the others.
WIBBSEY: Others? You mean there've been other disappearances?
DOBBS: Oh, indeed. But I thought you would have known that. Isn't that all part of your investigation?
WIBBSEY: Er, yes, of course. I was just wanting to verify it with you.
DOBBS: This is a backwards place, Mrs Wibbsey. Very superstitious. I wouldn't be surprised if the villagers were simply doing away with each other and blaming some supernatural force.
WIBBSEY: You talk as if you don't belong here.
DOBBS: I've never belonged here. I came from a city parish and never managed to leave. Events rather overtook me. But we must all shoulder our burdens, mustn't we?
WIBBSEY: I've always thought so, yes.
DOBBS: And nowadays I have the responsibility of a child.
WIBBSEY: What will you do about er, replacing the nursemaid?
DOBBS: Quite possibly Andrew is too old for one now. He has his tutor, Bewley. I could be accused of having cosseted him, keeping a nursemaid on till now. But he has been sickly, you see. Quite ill, in fact. He needs a lot of looking after, and he can be quite demanding. And then there's everything else to run. The whole house needs a lot of work.
WIBBSEY: What you need is a housekeeper.
WIBBSEY: Yes. And I'd like to apply for the position, if I may.
DOBBS: Really? But I thought you worked for the Met.
WIBBSEY: That's just a temporary job. The Doctor's been trying me out, but frankly he hasn't been very impressed. He says my deductive reasoning leaves a lot to be desired, and I tend to fudge the fingerprints. I do though know how to keep a house running in tip-top fashion, and while we're in Hexford I might as well make myself useful, don't you think?

JAKE: Oi, keep away from those bushes, Mister.
DOCTOR: Why? What are you hiding there?
JAKE: Nothing for your eyes.
DOCTOR: Well, that just makes me even more curious.
(Bangs on metal.)
DOCTOR: Ah. Oh dear, that's quite a secret. What do you children know about this wreckage?
SALLY: That's our secret den.
DOCTOR: It's also a product of an advanced civilisation from the stars.
JAKE: Leave it alone. That's our property.
DOCTOR: Found it while playing, did you? Must be quite exciting, sitting in there.
SALLY: If you don't stop prodding it, we won't tell you any more about how Dame Dob, I mean, the Rector, ate the missing villagers.
DOCTOR: Why do you call him Dame Dob?
JAKE: Because he mended Andrew.
SALLY: With vinegar and brown paper, like in Jack and Jill.
DOCTOR: Did he now? Then perhaps I'd better have a word with him.
JAKE: He'll eat you too.
DOCTOR: (growls) I'll give him terrible indigestion if he does.
(Sally laughs.)

HAROLD: I'm sorry, Miss.
WIBBSEY: Missus!
HAROLD: Mrs Wibbsey, but I can't serve you on your own. It's just not done.
(Door opens.)
DOCTOR: Two dandelion and burdocks, landlord. Kiss of lime and a ton of ice.
HAROLD: Very good, sir.
(Door closes.)
WIBBSEY: Oh, thank goodness for that. These people are living in the dark ages. I was beginning to wonder if you'd turn up.
DOCTOR: I always turn up. You'll never guess what I found in Hexford Woods.
WIBBSEY: Not Mrs Audley.
DOCTOR: No. A space module, wrecked beyond repair and tangled in hawthorn.
WIBBSEY: Oh, my goodness. And I think I know why.
DOCTOR: Oh yes?
WIBBSEY: I've met the child's tutor. It's Boolin, Doctor, from the Robotov Palace. He's here, and he doesn't remember me. He doesn't seem to recall a single thing.

ANDREW [narrating]: As the afternoon wore on, I took refuge in the one place I could hide without the Rector or his wretched staff disturbing me. Only my tutor, Bewley, knew how to find me in my secret rooftop den. I'd just written a note for Jake and Sally, and fashioned it into a paper plane, when he called up through the attic eaves.

BEWLEY [OC]: Come down, Master Andrew. I want you to welcome the new housekeeper.
ANDREW: Very well.

ANDREW [narrating]: With practised skill, I fired the plane off the roof and down to the street where Jake was waiting to catch it, then I climbed down the ladder to my attic room only to find

WIBBSEY: Hello, Andrew. This is a fine room you have up here. Oh, I love that globe, and the rocking horse.
BEWLEY: Well, boy? What do you say?
ANDREW: Welcome to the jail house, Mrs Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY: Oh, surely it's not as bad as all that?
ANDREW: It is. Once you come to the Rectory, you're stuck here for ever.

CHILDREN: (echoing singing) Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. (Crow caws.)

ANDREW [narrating]: So Mrs Wibbsey started learning about the household and what her new routines would be. She and I chatted a bit, and I felt immediately fond of her. I wondered if one day I'd feel brave enough to take my mask off in her presence. Then I went up onto the rooftop again to watch the village below. I spied on the inquisitive Doctor wandering around, visiting the tea room and the small village shops, then pacing the green with his arms outstretched. It was as if he was looking for something he's lost.

CHILDREN: (singing) Up Jack got and home did trot as fast as he could caper, to old Dame Dob who patched his nob with vinegar and brown paper. (laugh)
SALLY: Hello, Doctor.
DOCTOR: What are you two doing hanging round the cemetery gates?
JAKE: We often play here. What are you doing?
DOCTOR: Oh, just following my nose.
JAKE: You'll learn nothing from the grown-ups in Hexford.
SALLY: They're all too scared.
DOCTOR: Of what, exactly?
JAKE: Of the Rector. They only go to church because they're frightened not to.
DOCTOR: He seems quite a reasonable fellow to me.
SALLY: Perhaps he'll eat your friend, the old woman.
DOCTOR: She'll take some chewing. (laughs) Where does all this cannibalism go on, anyway?
JAKE: Tonight it's going to be in the Rectory gardens. We heard him telling the Church Warden.
SALLY: If you're there tonight, you'll soon see how people disappear.

ANDREW [narrating]: By nightfall, the house was settling down. Mrs Wibbsey was in her new room, wearing a borrowed dressing gown and combing out her hair. My guardian was writing one of his endless sermons, and I had an appointment of my own. Knowing how my friends, Jake and Sally, were always so hungry because their parents didn't feed them properly, I crept into the gloomy pantry and filled a string bag with black treacle tart, half a pheasant, loops of black pudding.

COOK: 'Ere, what's going on? Thief! Robber!
ANDREW: I was starving, Mrs Noggins.
COOK: Now we know that's a fib, Master Andrew. I'm told to keep my mouth shut and don't ask, but I know very well that you've no appetite.
ANDREW: I, I have tonight.
COOK: Oh yes? That's why you've thrown all this lovely stuff into an old string bag, is it? Look at this. Oh, my treacle tarts. Everything's all mashed up.
ANDREW: Please. Please let me have it.
COOK: Perhaps I ought to alert the Rector, see what he thinks of having a young robber under his roof.
ANDREW: Oh, please don't. Let me show you. The food isn't just for me. There's a far better reason in the garden.
COOK: It's not for Mrs Audley, is it? Not hiding out there, is she? Silly old fool.
ANDREW: Please come with me. Then you'll understand.
COOK: Oh, crumbs.

ANDREW [narrating]: So I led her outside into the gardens, under the moonlight. Mrs Noggins, the cook, seemed to fall under a trance of fear. I hefted my sack of jumbled, crumbling food, and she stumbled and whimpered, and soon lost her bearings.

COOK: Oh, where are you taking me, you wicked child.
ANDREW: I'm not wicked.
COOK: Reverend Dobbs took you in out of the goodness of his heart.
ANDREW: His heart isn't good, Mrs Noggins. It's as black as your treacle tart.
COOK: Oh, I don't like being out here. Let me go back. Show me back to the house. I'll not tell anyone, I promise.
(Creak of metal gate.)
ANDREW: Come into the rose garden.
COOK: Oh, my heavens. What are these two doing here?
SALLY: Hello, Andrew.
JAKE: Why have you got her with you?
ANDREW: I couldn't help it. She was going to twit on me to Dame Dob. Have you brought the precious thing?
SALLY: Yes, it's here, just like you asked.
COOK: 'Ere, what's that thing?
ANDREW: It's my secret egg.
COOK: I, oh, it's beautiful. Worth a bob, I'd say.
ANDREW: Watch. See how it glows?
COOK: Oh. Oh, it's marvellous. It's like something out of a dream.
ANDREW: It's better than that. Look into the glowing light, Mrs Noggins.
COOK: Ooo. Ooo.
(Her ooos turn into a scream as something roars.)
SALLY: She's gone.
JAKE: You can come out now, Doctor. We know you've been watching.
ANDREW: What's he doing here?
DOCTOR: What have you done with the cook?
ANDREW: You couldn't have stopped it.
DOCTOR: I realise that. You'd better give that thing to me.
ANDREW: Why should I?
DOCTOR: Because it's dangerous. It shouldn't be here.
ANDREW: Neither should I. Neither should you.
DOCTOR: Give me the egg, Andrew.
ANDREW: Would you like to look at it? (long pause) Come, Doctor. You're curious. You're keen to know about things. Look deep inside the egg. What do you see?
DOCTOR: I won't look.
ANDREW: But you are looking. You can't help yourself. Tell me. Tell me what's inside.

DOBBS: Mrs Wibbsey! Mrs Wibbsey?
(Door opens.)
WIBBSEY: Oh Lor'. Whatever's going on now? What time is it?
DOBBS: Mrs Wibbsey, where is the child?
WIBBSEY: I beg your pardon, Rector?
DOBBS: He isn't in his room.
WIBBSEY: I haven't seen him. I've only just woken up. Might Mister Bewley know?
DOBBS: This is what happened the other night. I can't let it happen again.

(A medley of distant voices, including one calling Doctor.)
DOCTOR: Alex, switch it off. Make it stop glowing.
ANDREW: Why'd you call me Alex?
DOCTOR: You don't know what that thing really is.
ANDREW: It's my playground. Look into its depths. There's a whole world in there. Many worlds. It's a patchwork land of monsters and demons and fairy tale creatures.
DOCTOR: I don't know about that, but I do know that thing is immensely dangerous.
ANDREW: Do you know the Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch? The Rector has a book with a picture of it.
DOCTOR: And that's what you've got in that Egg, is it? The voices of Heaven and Hell crying out to you?
ANDREW: Calling to you, Doctor. They're calling to you.
WIBBSEY [OC]: Doctor! Doctor! Are you there?
DOBBS [OC]: Andrew? Boy!
WIBBSEY: Doctor, get away from that awful thing.

ANDREW [narrating]: It must have looked quite alarming, that silvery glow around the Doctor. Those evanescent tendrils reaching out from the secret Egg to ensnare him. The new housekeeper leapt bravely forth, exerting her wiry strength to knock the Egg from my hand. Immediately, the light cut out and the Doctor toppled sideways to the ground.

DOBBS: What are you doing, boy? What is that thing?
WIBBSEY: Doctor, are you all right? Rector, help me with him.
DOCTOR: I'm all right. Just a little wibbsey, Mrs Woozey.
WIBBSEY: It's knocked him sideways, that thing. Whatever were you doing, Andrew? The Doctor's a friend.
DOCTOR: Worlds within worlds. I saw them inside that egg, Mrs Wibbsey. All those souls trapped inside, crying out to me.
WIBBSEY: It's the same Egg, isn't it? The one from little Alex's chest.
DOCTOR: Yes. And I think it knows me. I could sense antipathy.
ANDREW: It wants you. It knows that you too are filled with many places, many stories and many different people.
DOBBS: Come on. We're going back indoors right now.
WIBBSEY: Yes. We'll all catch our death out here.
DOCTOR: Rector, take the Egg from him.
ANDREW: No! You can't have it. You shan't!
DOBBS: Get out of the way, boy. What is it, a trinket you stole?
ANDREW: Precious thing. You can't take it from me. None of you can. It's mine!
BEWLEY [OC]: Hello? Are you all out here? What's going on?
WIBBSEY: Doctor, that's Boolin, Alex's physician. I told you he was here, but he didn't recognise me.
DOBBS: It's all right, Mister Bewley. Everything's under control.
WIBBSEY: Could you give me a hand with this gentleman, Mister Bewley? It's the Doctor.
BEWLEY: Doctor? Is Andrew unwell?
DOCTOR: Hello there, Boolin. How very nice to see you again.
DOCTOR: Are you all right, man?
WIBBSEY: It must be coming back to him.
BEWLEY: I'm fine, just a little giddy.  I'm sorry. Come on, Let's help you inside.

ANDREW [narrating]: They treated me like they always do, like a damaged child who need handling with kid gloves. One who isn't even a proper person. I was despatched to my room. They tried to wrest the secret Egg out of my grasp, but I wouldn't let them. It glowed and thrummed in my arms, and I was content for a while. But downstairs, the Rector was furious.

DOBBS: Neither of you is welcome in my house any more.
WIBBSEY: Can't we discuss this tomorrow, Rector? It'll make more sense in the morning light.
DOBBS: Mrs Wibbsey, ever since you and your associate turned up here, there's been nothing but upheaval and
DOCTOR: This treacle tart is awfully good. Someone should congratulate the er (coughs) oh dear, that poor cook. Oh.
DOBBS: What's he talking about?
BEWLEY: Rector, you can't simply throw them out. Harold won't take them in at this hour. Besides, Mrs Wibbsey hasn't done anything wrong.
DOBBS: Very well. I will reconsider in the morning. Mrs Wibbsey, perhaps you would check that my ward is safely in his bed, and Mister Bewley, that the rectory is secure for the night.
WIBBSEY: Certainly. Doctor, will you be all right sleeping in here tonight?
DOCTOR: As if I'd sleep at a time like this.
DOBBS: In that case, perhaps you and I can talk a while longer, Doctor. I will stoke the fire.
DOCTOR: Good. Now listen. That Egg is the deadly product of an extremely advanced civilisation. It can't be left in the hands of a child, Rector, it simply can't.

(Knock on door, door opens.)
WIBBSEY: Andrew?
(Door closes.)
WIBBSEY: Are you asleep yet?
ANDREW: No, I'm still awake.
WIBBSEY: Oh, and still clutching that Egg, I see.
ANDREW: It isn't dangerous. The Doctor's wrong. But it's very precious.
WIBBSEY: What are we going to do with you, eh?
ANDREW: I wouldn't hurt anyone, would I?
WIBBSEY: I don't believe you would, least not intentionally, but some people can do harm without ever meaning to.
ANDREW: You wouldn't let anyone hurt you, would you, Mrs Wibbsey. They wouldn't dare.
WIBBSEY: Well, not any more, maybe.
ANDREW: I'd hit anyone who wanted to hurt you.
WIBBSEY: I could have done with you around earlier in my life, my little champion.
ANDREW: Help me, would you? Help me with my mask, please, dear Mrs Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY: With your mask?
ANDREW: I can't sleep in it. I would crumple my face. I have to unhook it and hang it up until morning.
WIBBSEY: Oh, I see. Of course. Just untie your strings at the back. There you are. That all right? I
(Rustle of paper replaced by whirring of machinery.)
WIBBSEY: Oh. You poor child.
ANDREW: Are you frightened, Mrs Wibbsey?
WIBBSEY: No. Of course not. Hush now, Andrew. Go to sleep. Goodnight. God bless.
ANDREW [OC]: All I wanted, all I want, is stories. Make the stories real. Need people. Stories need people, don't they?
BEWLEY: Is he asleep?
WIBBSEY: Only just. He's gone straight into a dream. He's a distressed little boy.
BEWLEY: You must be rather alarmed at the things you've witnessed today.
WIBBSEY: You'd be surprised by some of the things I see.
BEWLEY: The child's face, didn't it shock you?
WIBBSEY: All that plastic and metal, and those poor human eyes in the middle of it all. Perhaps I expected worse, seeing as how he wears his mask all the time. But a cyborg face isn't so bad, even a poor damaged one like his.
BEWLEY: What do you know about cyborgs?
WIBBSEY: I think you're playing games with me, Mister Bewley, or something has happened to your memory.
BEWLEY: I don't know what you mean.
WIBBSEY: I think you do. Just now, in the garden, you recognised the Doctor, didn't you. We all knew each other ten years ago, didn't we? Somewhere a very long way from here.
BEWLEY: I, I don't know. Much of my past life is lost to me.
WIBBSEY: But surely you remember us? In the short time we knew each other, we were friends.
BEWLEY: Were we? My brain was damaged in the crash.
WIBBSEY: What crash?
BEWLEY: A carriage accident ten years ago. The same accident in which Andrew was orphaned. The Rector found us wandering near the woods and took us in.
WIBBSEY: Oh, my goodness. Your shuttle must have crash-landed. That's why you've both got injuries.
BEWLEY: He has been very good to us. He's kept us safe.
WIBBSEY: Boolin, you didn't have a carriage accident, you came here from outer space. You're not from Earth, you're from the Robotov Empire.
(Andrew is muttering.)
WIBBSEY: Look, under the bedclothes. The Egg's starting to glow again. We must get it off him.
ANDREW: No, no, get off. Stop it!
WIBBSEY: Andrew, we must have it. Boolin, don't just stand there, help me.
BEWLEY: Yes, of course. Give it to me, Andrew.
ANDREW: No, go away, Mister Bewley.
BEWLEY: Disobedient child. Give me the Egg.
ANDREW: I won't. I won't. I'll never let it go.
BEWLEY: I must have it. The Doctor told me to look after it.
WIBBSEY: So you do remember.

DOCTOR: I think you'd better tell me what you know, Rector.
DOBBS: It still sounds like madness, even now, some ten years later. Ten years. I can hardly believe it. I found them at the roadside, just next to Hexford Woods. Bewley was carrying the boy. Just a toddler he was then. Where they had come from I never knew. Bewley refused all medical attention for him or the boy. In time he healed both himself and the infant, but the boy had received colossal injury to his face.
DOCTOR: So Boolin did what he could to patch him up, and you and he elected to keep the boy at home disguised in crude paper masks.
DOBBS: It was the best we could do. Bewley had no memory of his past life other than his skills as a physician. Since they had no home, I took pity on them. I told everyone that Andrew was my ward after the death of relatives overseas, and that Bewley was his tutor. In truth though, poor Bewley had to teach himself before he could teach the boy. They've tried to blend in, you see, to fit in here with our world, and yet now I fear the boy's injuries were more than skin deep. He's never been quite normal. He's capricious, wild sometimes, and I am beginning to suspect he is insane.
DOCTOR: Poppycock. He's just had a lot to deal with. Boolin likewise. You see, I recognise them both from long ago.
DOBBS: Then you know where they're both from?
DOCTOR: Oh yes. And it's a very long way from here.
DOBBS: Doctor, have you come to take them back? I've grown attached to the boy.
DOCTOR: Even after everything? After disappearances and everything he's been up to?
DOBBS: He's my ward, don't you understand? I looked after him because he was just a child. It's become my job to protect him, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Admirable sentiments, Rector, but don't you ever wonder where he really belongs?
DOBBS: Not any more. He belongs here now.
DOCTOR: But things are getting out of hand. I've seen inside that secret Egg. He's created something horrible and marvellous in there.
DOBBS: Will you take it away from him?
DOCTOR: I have to try.

ANDREW: No! Leave it alone! It's mine. No one else must have it.
WIBBSEY: He's getting hysterical.
BEWLEY: Alex, please. Listen to me.
ANDREW: What did you call me?
ANDREW: That's what the Doctor called me in the gardens.
BEWLEY: It's all come back to me in a flash. It's as if I've woken from a long, long sleep. I protected you, I saved your life. Alex is your real name, from the life before.
ANDREW: This is my only life, here!
BEWLEY: You don't know what you're doing with that thing, Alex.
ANDREW: Don't call me that!
BEWLEY: You are the heir to a mighty space empire. You, we, escaped with a Skishtari Egg. You were too young to understand.
ANDREW: Get back. Keep away from me!
WIBBSEY: I'd listen to him if I were you. It look like it's coming to life again.
BEWLEY: It was our mission to take the Egg to safety. It's too dangerous. We came here in order to nullify it, to place it somewhere safe, only the mission went wrong.
ANDREW: No! It's mine. And now it will have you.
BEWLEY: Don't. No!
WIBBSEY: Mister Bewley!
ANDREW: There, he's gone.
WIBBSEY: Oh, no.
ANDREW: I did warn him.
WIBBSEY: What's happened to him?
ANDREW: Now he's with the others, in the worlds I've been making. Maybe he'll be happy there.
WIBBSEY: Oh, Andrew. He was your protector. You've no idea. When you were just an infant, I saw. I was there when he was trying to keep you alive.
ANDREW: Enough, Mrs Wibbsey! I don't want to hear any more.
WIBBSEY: He only ever did his best for you, Andrew, and look what you've done.
ANDREW: Mrs Wibbsey, I'm warning you.
WIBBSEY: He was your only link with your homeland.
ANDREW: Shut up!
WIBBSEY: There's so much he could have told you about who you really are.
ANDREW: I don't care who I really am. Don't you see? I don't care!
WIBBSEY: Oh, let go of me, Andrew. I'm on your side.
ANDREW: No one's on my side. I'm alone, aren't I? I'm alone in this world.
WIBBSEY: This isn't you talking. It's that thing, that Egg. Somehow it takes you over.
(Door flung open.)
DOBBS: What in Heaven's name are you up to?
DOCTOR: Let her go, Andrew.
ANDREW: Pick up my paper face from the table, Mrs Wibbsey. Now come with me.
DOBBS: Now just you wait there.
DOCTOR: Let him pass. (sotto) He's got the Egg.
DOBBS: Oh, what nonsense. I'll not let a child dictate to me.
DOCTOR: I mean it. He's dangerous while he's got that thing.
WIBBSEY: I'm all right, Doctor. I'll go where he wants me to. He knows I don't mean him harm.
DOCTOR: And where do you want to go, Andrew?
ANDREW: Back into the garden. My friends are waiting for me there.

(That tawny owl's still calling.)
WIBBSEY: Andrew, you must let us help you. The Doctor can sort this out, I'm sure.
ANDREW: The Doctor must be sent away,
WIBBSEY: Andrew, no.
ANDREW: And you, Mrs Wibbsey. You pretend to be my friend, but you must be sent away as well.
(Children laughing.)
ANDREW: My friends are here.
SALLY: Our usual place, Andrew.
JAKE: Where we always wait for you.
SALLY: Your face! But that's not you. That can't be you.
ANDREW: Sally, it is.
SALLY: What have you done to Andrew?
ANDREW: This is me, Sally.
SALLY: No! (screams recede)
ANDREW: Sally, wait, please. Are you going to run as well, Jake?
JAKE: I, I'm not scared.
ANDREW: Are you sure? Maybe you want to scream as well.
JAKE: I, I knew there must be something underneath your mask. Something you're hiding.
ANDREW: I like Sally. She's let me down. Now I've got one less friend.
JAKE: Why is she here?
WIBBSEY: Look, you've got to talk some sense into your friend. That Egg he's got.
JAKE: Do you mean the precious thing?
WIBBSEY: He's been using it to do away with people. Ordinary people from the village, your people, your friends, family.
JAKE: We don't care. We were glad to see them go.
ANDREW: See, Mrs Wibbsey? Jake is my true friend. He doesn't care what I do.
WIBBSEY: Andrew, don't.
ANDREW: Oh, don't worry, I'll not send you away yet. I want to try something else first. Something spectacular.
(Energy grows.)

DOBBS: We'll never find him out here.
DOCTOR: Reverend Dobbs, would you believe that your ward is the last remaining heir to a galactic empire, and that the so-called magic Egg is a holy artefact belonging to his deadliest foes?
DOBBS: What?
DOBBS: He's a child, Doctor. A child whose mind has been damaged.
DOCTOR: I think we're too late.
DOBBS: What on Earth? Surely it's the Horned Beast itself.
DOCTOR: It certainly doesn't look much like a chicken.

(Roars and screams.)
ANDREW: Isn't he fantastic? At first I wasn't sure I could make it happen. Until now, I've only placed people inside the Egg, but I suddenly thought, what if I could bring something out? Something from my own imagination. And here it is. Behold, a dragon!
WIBBSEY: Oh, Andrew, make it stop.

ANDREW [narrating]: The creature was leaping and breathing fire all over the walled gardens. Soon the villagers began to stir, lights came on and screams rang out as they witnessed the most exciting thing to happen in Hexford village for a thousand years. They rushed out of their humble abodes, across the dark green, through the tall iron gates, into the Rectory gardens to see the dragon I had unleashed from its fairy tale prison.

DOCTOR: It's all very marvellous, ladies and gentlemen, but it shouldn't be here.
WIBBSEY: Doctor, Doctor, oh, look at it. It's unstoppable!
DOCTOR: I've dealt with dragons before, Wibbs.
ANDREW: Keep away, Doctor, or you'll go the same way as Mister Bewley and all the others. How'd you feel about spending the rest of your life in a fairy tale?
WIBBSEY: Andrew! Your dragon is attacking the crowd!
JAKE: He can't really hurt them though, can he? He's only an imaginary being, isn't he?
ANDREW: Oh no, he's as real as we are. He can slaughter them if we want.
DOBBS: Please, child. Stop this.

ANDREW [narrating]: In a curious hush, everyone watched as my dragon took gracefully to the skies above the gardens, holding the postmistress, Mrs Sneed, in its dripping jaws. Her screams faded as his wings beat harder and harder. With everyone distracted, I decided to make my escape. Clutching the precious Egg, I darted past the crowd of startled villagers and back to the house.

DOBBS: The boy, he's getting away!
DOCTOR: We must get after him.
WIBBSEY: We can't leave the village fighting a dragon.
DOCTOR: Gentlemen, you need to lure that beast down with livestock. Dogs, chickens, pigs, guinea fowl, whatever you can muster. Place them on the village green and stand back. And when the dragon flies too low, dampen his wings and his flames with your best water hoses, eh? That'll fettle the beast. And in the meantime, we have to go after a very troubled child, and his Egg.

ANDREW [narrating]: I raced through the house and up to my eyrie high on the Gothic rooftop of the Rectory. From there, I could see the humans squawking and squealing as they made for the village green. I decided to see how far my precious thing's powers could reach. Choosing an old man and his wife at random, I concentrated my will on them, and they vanished. With one simple thought from me, they were drawn inside the Egg's inner dimensions. I realised that even from up there I could send them all away if I wanted to. The whole rotten village of Hexford.

DOBBS: Where are we, where are we going?
WIBBSEY: He'll be on the rooftop. I know how to get there.
DOBBS: But Doctor, we'll never stop him. Did you see what he did? His powers are positively demonic.
DOCTOR: Not demonic, Rector. That's a Skishtari Egg, and it's somehow imbued Alex with powers akin to its kind.
DOBBS: He'll wipe us all out.
DOCTOR: So hurry, man, hurry.

ANDREW [narrating]: By the time they clambered onto the damp slates and started shuffling their way towards me, I was almost glad of the company. With Mister Bewley gone, I felt more alone than ever. Perhaps I'd been wrong to banish him into the Egg.

ANDREW: Have you seen my dragon? He's having so much fun up there in the sky.
DOCTOR: Andrew, this has to stop right here.
ANDREW: Why does it?
DOCTOR: You've done some terrible things tonight. Even your young friends are scared of you.
ANDREW: They're just humans.
WIBBSEY: You said they were your true friends.
ANDREW: But as Boolin reminded me, I'm not human. I'm not even a real boy. Why should I care about any of the people down there?
DOBBS: Andrew, this isn't you talking. You were a good boy, a compassionate boy. Why, you cried over that baby bird, do you remember? That one the cat brought in. A sparrow, dying as it carried it into the sitting room. You cried and cried over that.
ANDREW: I was a baby myself then. I felt sorry for the stupid things. But now I know it's best to have no feelings at all, just like a boy made out of silver and gold and clockwork insides. A boy with a paper face and cartoon features.
WIBBSEY: I know you're hurting, Andrew
ANDREW: How would you know? You've only known me for a few days. How do you know what my secret feelings are? How could you?
WIBBSEY: You're not the first person to grow up amongst strangers, to want a bit of kindness and someone of your own. I know what that can be like.
DOCTOR: She's right, Alex. It must be very confusing for you to learn all of a sudden that you're someone else.
WIBBSEY: Doctor, be careful on those roof slates. Don't get too near the edge.
DOCTOR: You've had a lot to take in. You've only just learnt that you're the Robotov heir from a hundred thousand years into the future.
ANDREW: Stay back, Doctor. If you come any closer I'll make you sorry.
DOCTOR: Threats are dreary, Alex. The last resort of the terminally unimaginative.
ANDREW: All of you, keep away from me.
DOCTOR: And you aren't unimaginative. There's a lot going on in that mind of yours, boiling and fermenting with ideas and images.
WIBBSEY: Oh, Doctor, do be careful! He's right on the edge of the roof.
DOCTOR: You've poured a great deal of your imagination into that Egg.
ANDREW: He wouldn't let me read the story books. He banned them to the topmost shelves, thinking they would make me want to venture into the world. But that just made the stories all the more alluring. So Boolin let me read them in secret, and I committed ever one to memory.
DOCTOR: And without knowing it, you were committing all those memories to the Egg.
ANDREW: And now I won't let you take it from me.
DOCTOR: It's unstable, Alex. Your mission was to bring it somewhere safe, where it would be nullified, where it would harm no one else, but it has taken you over.
ANDREW: No, Doctor. I control the Egg, not the other way round. It's mine, and all the lands and the people inside.
DOCTOR: Oh yes, the people, the poor people you have captured and committed to a prison of fiction.
ANDREW: All stories need people, Doctor. What was the good of creating a world if it didn't have any people in it?
DOCTOR: Alex, you've been doing terrible things, and you will go on to do much worse unless you hand the Skishtari Egg over to me.
WIBBSEY: Please, Andrew, be a good boy.
ANDREW: I, I don't know what to do.
DOBBS: Oh, for God's sake do as he says, or do I have to come over there and make you.

ANDREW [narrating]: It was the Rector who foolishly broke the spell. With a sudden burst of furious energy, he flung himself across the flat part of the rooftop and seized me.

DOCTOR: Rector, no, Don't be a fool, man.
DOBBS: Just give us the Egg, you little idiot. Argh!
WIBBSEY: Oh, Andrew! What have you done?
ANDREW: I banished him, of course. Dame Dob has gone into the Egg and now I've got no one. I'm completely alone in the world.
DOCTOR: That thing's still active. Shut it off.
ANDREW: I, I can't.
DOCTOR: What do you mean, you can't?
ANDREW: Normally it stops when it's fed on someone, but it's still going. I can feel the power building again.
WIBBSEY: Oh, what's happening?
DOCTOR: Give it to me at once.
ANDREW: It's too late, Doctor.
WIBBSEY: I feel as if I'm being grabbed. What's happening to us?
ANDREW: I can't stop it.
WIBBSEY: Doctor!
DOCTOR: I know I keep saying this, Mrs Wibbsey, but hold on!

WIBBSEY: Oh, no. Oh, not again.
DOCTOR: Are you all right, Mrs Wibbsey?
WIBBSEY: We're somewhere else again.
DOCTOR: And this time no church bells.
WIBBSEY: Oh, it's like a cave.
DOCTOR: Mmm. Worlds within worlds, Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY: But where's Andrew?
DOCTOR: The device was out of his control. He could be anywhere.
WIBBSEY: Have you got a torch in those pockets of yours?
DOCTOR: Yes. Fiat lux. Oh.
WIBBSEY: Oh my. It's a proper treasure trove.
DOCTOR: Astonishing.
WIBBSEY: Jewels, gold. It's like a, a warrior's tomb or something.
DOCTOR: Never mind about that. I can't actually see a door.
WIBBSEY: Oh no, neither can I. Come to think of it, it does feel very stuffy, almost as if there's no air in here at all.
DOCTOR: Now don't panic, Mrs Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY: Oh my goodness, Doctor, what if this is a tomb after all? What if there's no way out? We could be sealed in here forever!

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