"Isn't that what I said?" said Susan. "Haven't I been saying that from the beginning?"
"And is bigger on the inside than the outside?" said Barbara.
"You've been in and out of it several times, young woman," snapped the Doctor.
"And you and your grandfather travel in it to other planets and other times?" said Ian.
"So do you, now," said Susan, "haven't you noticed?"
"And you and Susan are Time Lords from the planet Gallifrey," said Barbara, "with the fantastic ability to change your form every time an actor tires of the part?"
"Oh, be quiet," the Doctor snapped. "None of that comes out for several years yet."
"And Barbara and I followed you home from school one day from the 1960s school where I teach science and she teaches history," said Ian, "so that we could be kidnapped along on your journeys and provide normal human perspectives for the audience to identify with?"
"Whatever gives you that impression?" said Susan.
"So where are we now?" asked Barbara, as the rising-and-falling motion of the central column of the mushroom-shaped hexagonal freestanding control console in the middle of the bigger-on-the-inside-than-the-outside time machine called the TARDIS which acronym stood for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space stopped, and the central column began slowly turning, signifying the accumulation of data by the TARDIS sensor scanners.
"Well, I can't place our position in space and time precisely, because the dog ate the navigation manual, which I wrote," said the Doctor, looking over the console readouts, "but I can say from the readings that we're on Earth or a planet remarkably like it." On the television set - er, the scanner screen - appeared a rocky, quarry-like landscape.
"Grandfather," asked Susan, operating the door control, "is the ambient evil plot level indicator working again yet?"
"No, my dear," replied the Doctor. "We'll just have to chance it."
Trazadone and Zyprexa watched the strange blue box that hadn't been there when they'd passed by a minute ago. As they watched its side opened up and four people got out.
"Obviously aliens," said Zyprexa. "Or they wouldn't be in the Quarry of Doom."
"They have still broken the Quarry Taboo!" said Trazadone. "Their lives are forfeit!"
"Or at least their shoes. Those boots the younger male is wearing look really sturdy, don't they?"
"We must take them!"
"I think the temple monks generally get first shot at the sacrifices' clothing."
"I mean we must seize the aliens and bring them to justice!"
"They are aliens," said Zyprexa. "They may not understand that they have earned a just death for their sacrilege."
"That does not change their fate!"
"My point is that they outnumber us two to one."
"Oh," said Trazadone. "Well, let's go tell the Eskalith at the temple, and he'll send some guards back with us."
"Now we have no idea what the people are like here," said the Doctor, leading the way across the rocky terrain. "We must be cautious and maintain peak alertness in case of need to escape."
As he spoke they pased over a ridge and out of sight of the TARDIS. Susan promptly collapsed with a cry.
"What's wrong?" Barbara asked, panicked, as she and the others converged on Susan.
"My ankle," Susan whimpered, holding her right ankle. "Is it broken or just sprained?"
"Can you walk?" asked Ian.
"Could someone help?" Susan responded. Barbara helped her up.
"Don't you think we should send the girls back to the TARDIS?" suggested Ian.
"Yes, yes," agreed the Doctor. "Take Susan back, Miss Wright - you know by now where the first aid kit is. Chesterton and I shall continue."
"Yes, all right. Don't worry about us, will you?" Barbara took one step supporting Susan back in the direction they'd come, and collapsed under her, whimpering and holding her own left ankle.
Trazadone and Zyprexa rushed into the Serzone temple, to find the acolyte Wellbutrin standing holy guard outside the Innest Sanctum.
"We ... we ..." Trazadone panted, for they had run all the way from the Quarry of Doom.
"We need ... to see ... the Eskalith," panted Zyprexa.
"It's ... an ... emergency," said Trazadone.
"Strangers ..." said Zyprexa.
"In the Quarry of Doom."
"Ooh, can't have that," said Wellbutrin. "Go on in."
Trazadone and Zyprexa burst into the Innest Sanctum. Their sight was still a little blurry from their run from the Quarry, but they thought they heard a voice saying, "Soon, Eskalith, my invasion force will be in orbit and your collaboration will be rewarded."
"Say," said Zyprexa, "that sounds like the Vocal Manifestation of the All-Creating Soulsource that we started hearing at the temple services just after that strange meteor shower."
"You didn't hear any voice in here," said the Eskalith.
"I thought I did," said Zyprexa.
"Me too," said Trazadone.
"Well you didn't," said the Eskalith. "And you certainly haven't seen me shutting an alien machine with lots of little flashing lights and making little 'beep beep' noises into a secret compartment in the wall, either."
"Ah well, there you've got us," said Trazadone. "My eyes, at least, are still blurry from the run from the Quarry."
"Mine too," said Zyprexa.
"The Quarry of Doom?" asked the Eskalith. "You didn't go in, did you?"
"Eskalith, no!" said Zyprexa. "But it is right off the path to the mall."
"We saw people in it, though," said Trazadone. "Strangers. They had strange clothing and strange voices, and I think they had hair on their heads."
"Oh, those were hats, surely," said Zyprexa.
"Strangers in the Quarry!" said the Eskalith. "Funny how things work out, eh?" he added to the wall where the secret compartment wasn't. "Well, you two have been very wise to come to me with this, but I think I can assure you that the All-Creating Soulsource will take care of this problem without any need for mortal intervention. You two just run along now."
"Yes, your Holyship." Trazadone and Zyprexa left the temple and set off back on the path.
"You know, Trazadone," said Zyprexa, "I have the uneasy feeling that we did just exactly the wrong thing when we told Eskalith about the blasphemers."
"It was our imagination," said Trazadone, "like the voice we didn't hear."
"Oh why did we ever come to this planet?" Barbara cried.
"Doctor," complained Ian, now carrying Barbara while the Doctor dragged Susan along, "how much more of this sort of thing must we suffer through before you get us home to 1963?"
"Is this ridge the one near the TARDIS?" Susan moaned.
"Party poopers, all of you," growled the Doctor. "Here we are on a new exiting planet, with fascinating new cultures and perhaps exotic new technologies, and all I hear is, 'How rocky this ground is!' 'I want to go home!' 'My ankle's broken!' Where is your curiosity?"
Instead of opening the secret compartment again, the Eskalith went through the secret door into the Secret Even More Inner Sanctum, and kowtowed in front of the alien machine with lots of little flashing lights and making little 'beep beep' noises. "Did you hear, O Megalomat?"
"I did indeed," said the voice Zyprexa and Trazadone hadn't heard. "The strangers must be the agents we've been expecting from the totally misnamed Independent Agency of Do-Gooders Against Evil Interplanetary Imperialism."
"What shall we do?"
"Set loose ..." The Megalomat paused dramatically. "... The Creature!"
As the Doctor continued to berate his companions they all finally topped the ridge they were scaling. Beyond it they had expected to see the TARDIS.
"This was the wrong ridge, wasn't it?" said Susan.
Instead of their salvation they were greeted with a sight of horror. There was a creature of a size somewhere between a horse and an elephant, with large eyes that didn't blink and a rubbery-appearing skin. Its mouth flapped like it was on a hinge, and the front pair of legs had knees instead of elbows and didn't move in coordination with the back pair. In its belly it made a noise as it had been thirty couple of hounds questing.
"What kind of animal is it?" Ian asked after the women screamed.
"That noise," muttered the Doctor. "It's familiar. Why does it make me uneasy?"
Suddenly a beam of coherent light shot from the creature's mouth and struck the ground just in front of them, destroying whatever was there - i.e., a rock - in an explosion that was mostly smoke. They all hit the ground, Susan and Barbara rather more literally than Ian or the Doctor when their support disappeared.
"That's it!" crowed the Doctor triumphantly as they all crawled on their bellies away from the ridge the way they came, and the ray blasts continued against the ridge behind which they strategically retreated. "That noise from inside the creature, as it had been thirty couple of hounds questing, is the characteristic howling of a particular radiation generator, created by an Earthman named Dalton, most commonly used for offensive weaponry. Hoo hoo!"
"Are you saying ..." panted Ian.
"Yes, Chesterton. It's not a natural creature. It's two men in a rubber suit!"
The creature topped the ridge behind them. The Dalton rays began moving closer.
"One other thing I should, perhaps, mention, Miss Wright," said the Doctor as the foursome crawled, "in case you and Chesterton haven't already noticed."
"What's that?" Barbara asked.
"This isn't an episodic television series," said the Doctor. "It's a serial."
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