The Doctor hurried in after Jo. He entered in time to see his assistant trying to awaken Diana.
"She doesn't seem to want to come around," Jo said. She took a firmer hold of Diana's shoulder to shake her, felt the resistance in the limp body to being disturbed, and lifted the blanket. "Doctor, she's been tied to her wheelchair!" she exclaimed.
Almost in one motion, he covered the distance to the wheelchair, sweeping back his cape to free his arms, and checked the unconscious girl's pulse. He quickly pushed back one of her eyelids. There was no corneal reaction to the light. "Good heavens," he said. "She's nearly dead. She's been drugged with some type of barbiturate."
He fished into his left pocket, drew out a pen knife, and handed it to Jo. "Start on the ropes."
While Jo obediently sawed at the ropes, he tipped back the unconscious girl's head to open her air passage and listened. "Still breathing," he said, listening, then added, "No, she's stopped now. Tip her back." Jo helped him tip the chair all the way back and ease it quickly to the floor. "It's chained to the table," she exclaimed, but the chain permitted them to lower the wheelchair onto its back. He began the frantic pushes against the girl's heart. "Leave the ropes. Find a call box or phone," he ordered. "Get an ambulance here."
With a brief nod, she hurried out while he just as frantically pushed open the girl's mouth and expelled quick breaths into her lungs.
She found a telephone in one of the halls and called for help. When she returned to the lab, the scene had not changed. He was bent over Diana, pushing against the heart again.
"Is she responding, Doctor?"
"Not much. Start on the ropes again. Hurry. They're working against her circulation."
More frantic minutes of desperate work freed Diana Wilmer from the wheelchair. The ambulance crew hurried in just as Jo was able to clear off the last rope, the lead man armed with a portable medicine chest.
"Get me a syringe of stimulant," the Doctor ordered. "Don't waste time. We'll lose her."
The attendant doubtfully knelt down, opened the box, and pulled out a syringe and serum cartridge. "Who are you sir? A doctor?"
"Yes man, a doctor! Hurry up!"
"He is!" Jo chimed in. "He's kept her alive so far! Do as he says!"
It was a time for unplanned decisions, and the attendant wisely passed the syringe over to the Doctor. The Doctor glanced at the amount of fluid in the cartridge and injected a portion into a vein in the unconscious girl's neck. "Start back on heart massage," he instructed the attendant, "But keep the pace regular whatever you do. Is there oxygen?"
"Coming," one of the others said.
"Well get it up here!"
It was a tense several minutes, but the oxygen tube came to replace the mouth to mouth resuscitation. Just as the Doctor was guiding down the aspiration tube, he caught a flutter of a pulse in Diana's neck. "There she goes. Good girl!" he exclaimed softly. "She's back."
"She's got to go to the UNIT infirmary," the Doctor said to Jo as he worked. "You'd better call in. Get them to arrange it over the radio. She'll be safest with us."
He nodded down at Diana, at her exposed neck. "See that mark? That's where the barbiturate was injected. Not more than a half hour ago, I would wager."
"What on earth for?" Jo asked.
He didn't answer her. "All right," he said, finishing and looking at the medics. "You chaps can take over. Jo, see to that call, will you?"
She nodded and hurried out. "We're going to patch through orders to you to take her to the medical care at UNIT," he told them.
He stood up and let the attendants move her to a backboard and then onto a stretcher. They started an IV, quickly taping it into place. As one person, the three of them gathered their materials, lifted the stretcher to its full height, and wheeled her out. Jo hurried back in. "Their dispatcher's got it, Doctor," she told him. "What is it?"
"Look at that," he whispered, nodding at a small black box by the door. "No don't touch it," he said as she would have stooped to get a closer look. "Go on, Jo. Ride with her in the ambulance," he said. "I want to get a look at it."
"What is it?" she asked as she hurried to the door. She stopped and glanced at him.
"A bomb," he said. "But not detonated--obviously."
"A bomb?" she exclaimed.
"I think so. Go on. I'll be all right."
* * * *
"Diana, can you hear me? Can you hear me, my dear?"
For a moment she thought it was the Master, and the gladness that she felt at the voice calling her to consciousness was forgetful of his treachery. She opened her eyes and saw instead the fair haired, oddly dressed man who called himself the Doctor.
"There you are," he said kindly. "Welcome back, Diana."
She took in a deep breath and choked on the dryness in her throat.
"Here, try this," he said, slipping a hand behind her head and holding a plastic hospital cup to her lips. She drank away the dryness in her throat while he held the cup for her. As her mind cleared, she remembered what had passed in the lab, and she gave a fearful start, upsetting the cup. He caught it nimbly before the top flew off.
"It's all right," he told her. "You're not at the university. We took you away."
"Away?" she gasped.
"Yes, you're at UNIT," he told her. "It's all right, my dear. I found the bomb and dismantled it. It never went off."
She didn't answer him but let her eyes search the room. On a sofa against one wall, her father was sprawled out, asleep. She looked away and saw the girl, Jo Grant, curled up in a deep chair, also sleeping. The one window revealed that she was one or two stories above ground level, and that the sun was newly rising.
She looked up at him.
"The Master injected you with a drug?" he asked her. "You were under his control?"
She decided just to agree. "Yes," she said.
"It's all right now. When you're stronger, I'd like to ask you more. But for now you should know that you're safe in a guarded army installation. He can't get to you."
"You're like him." she whispered.
"In some ways, child," he said soberly. "We are of the same race."
"You found me?"
"Yes. And revived you. As long as you're here, you're in my care," he told her.
"Don't send me away," she whispered.
"Not while you need care," he promised.
"Please, never," she said. "So lonely where I am. It's a prison. I know I can help you."
He seemed not to have any idea of what to say for a moment. Then he said, with a note of finality, "For now you're here. You'll certainly be here until you're well. I want you to rest, now."
She obeyed and relaxed back into the mattress and pillows, closing her eyes. He crossed over to Jo, who was waking.
"Oh I've a crick," she said sleepily as he helped her climb stiffly out of the deep chair. "The bomb?" she asked in a low voice.
"The Master's handiwork," he said with a grim nod. "He's back in our front yard, but I'm still not sure why. But I told the Brigadier to send a crew down to the Ringed Beeches to look for him." He glanced at Diana, who was asleep again. "She can tell us more in a few hours. I'll have a nurse find you a bed for the meantime. That chair doesn't seem too comfortable."
* * * *
The Master had his arm into the wall safe all the way up to his shoulder when suddenly the UNIT soldiers seemed to materialize around him, rifles ready. The sturdy sergeant--Benton--threw him up against the wall before he could reach for either disruptor or transmaterialization device.
By now Benton was an old hand at the Master's tricks and hidden devices. Before he allowed anybody to move the renegade timelord, he did a thorough search on the Master's person and took away the weapons and devices that the Master relied on. The renegade timelord remained silent, and he did not protest when Benton--with evident satisfaction--produced handcuffs and locked his hands behind his back.
"I'll be out of these by nightfall," the Master said at last with a sneer.
"Maybe so," Benton told him. "But not these, old son." He held up a pair of leg irons. "Put him on the floor, you two, and the rest keep your guns on him." And Benton locked the leg irons on him.
"DO you really think these pathetic mechanical devices will stop me?" the Master asked him as the soldiers hoisted him back to his feet.
"Oh I don't know," Benton said, reaching into one of the capacious pouches of his field uniform and drawing out manacles. He manacled the Master's bound hands to a chain that he locked around the Master's waist. "Now I'd say you're fit to travel. All right," he said to the soldiers. "You know the directive."
* * * *
"There's tea," the Doctor said to Jo as she entered the lab. He reached into a pocket and fished out a sandwich wrapped in wax paper.
"Somewhat the worse for wear," he said, tossing it onto the table in front of her. "But it should still be fresh enough--though tattered. Did you have a good rest?"
"Oh yes, sometimes three hours is all it takes," Jo said ruefully, unwrapping the sandwich. He smiled at her joke and poured tea into the chipped mug that she used.
"Look what about that bomb?" she asked. "Meant for us?"
"Yes, I think so," he told her. "I got the readings from the triangulation teams while you were napping. It's all starting to make sense."
"How about explaining it?"
"There was another magnetic disturbance last night," he told her. "That's the one that saved our lives--yours, mine, and Diana's."
"How?" she asked.
"First you should ask, whose," he told her. "Now I see what that joker has been doing. Transmaterialization is an energy intensive process. I'm sure you've heard the theory--that matter can be converted to energy and back into matter. It's tremendously dangerous. Mild interference can drain off the signal and send a person's parts all through the atmosphere. And signal loss or interruption is irretrievably fatal."
"But it is possible?" she asked.
"Yes, but it's usually used just for short distance travel, and it has to be carried out in a strong and stable energy field to guard against energy loss or distortion."
"So the Master has been transmaterializing?" she asked. "Why? Where has he been going?"
"Short distances," the Doctor told her. "And that's what he did last night. I believe he was nearby. He set the bomb for us and transmaterialized away. The bomb was supposed to blow up when we passed through the doorway. But he forgot himself. He's used to working with shielded devices, Jo--as are we. But the bomb's circuitry was simply a jury-rigged affair. It was not shielded at all."
"So?" she asked.
"Transistors don't like strong magnetic fields," he told her. "Especially unprotected transistors. Magnetic fields are rich with static electricity. When he transmaterialized, the strong magnetic field created random charges that burned through the silicon in the transistors in the bomb's circuit. Prevented them from closing the connection and detonating the bomb."
"So we were lucky," she said with a sigh. She took a long drink of the tea.
"Ah, he was forgetful," the Doctor said. "Carelessness is his failing."
"Now what?" she asked.
"I plan to finish repairs on that burned out panel and get another look through the vortex telescope," he said. "I've rigged up a camera to the lens, so we can capture what I see on film. Might prove interesting. Are you finished your tea? Let's get back at it, then." He was interrupted by the beeping of the telephone, and he picked it up.
The Brigadier did not wait for him to speak but greeted him with something approaching a shout of triumph. "Got him, Doctor! With his arm in the family safe!"
"Oh, well done, Brigadier!" he exclaimed. "I was sure you could pull it off. Just the sort of job you're good at. Is he in lock up?"
"He's in the security cell, with a guard inside and outside. Do you want to see him?"
"Yes, I'll be right down. Listen, Brigadier, I think it might be best if Dr. Wilmer's laser apparatus and notes were brought here," the Doctor told him.
"You still think the information is in danger?" the Brigadier asked.
"Could very well be," the Doctor told him. "If I were you I would press Wilmer on what prototypes he's developed. The Master was after something in that safe, and he's far ahead of Wilmer in laser design. It may not have been information he wanted, but some hard goods."
"Very well, Doctor, we'll see to it."
"Have the contents of the safe brought here to my lab if you can," the Doctor instructed.
* * * *
"Come to gloat, Doctor?" the Master asked him as the Doctor was ushered into the security cell. The cell was a 20 foot by 20 foot room built of concrete blocks. A wall of steel bars with a barred door divided the cell into a large half and a small half. The small half was the half that included the heavy exit door. The large half included a cot, a wooden chair, and the Master. There was no door in the wall in that half of the room.
In the small half, a UNIT soldier stood guard at the heavy, reinforced door, facing the cell and the Master. On the other side of the door, another guard stood ready, facing the hallway. The Doctor entered with the Brigadier, who nodded to the guard and then left.
"No, not to gloat," the Doctor said. "I came for information."
The manacles and handcuffs had been removed from the Master, but he still wore the leg irons. He sat down in the chair.
"I have nothing to tell you."
"You know I'll find it out from the girl soon enough. Your scheme is over."
The Master darted a look at him. "The girl is alive?"
"Yes, no thanks to you."
Without thinking he stood up and would have come to the bars, but he fell over the leg irons. The Doctor started at sight of his adversary thrown down like that. It shouldn't have been pitiable, but it was. The guard remained unmoved.
After a moment the Master picked himself up. "I must remember that quick starts are not possible just now," he said wryly. "It was a mistake," he said.
"Falling?" the Doctor asked. "Or the attempted murder?"
But the Master said nothing more.
* * * *
When the Doctor entered the infirmary that afternoon, Diana's father was gone, as was the briefcase he had brought in the night before. Diana was dozing in the bed. Other than the hydration IV, all the rest of the life support paraphernalia had been taken away.
Jo came silently behind him, softly closing the door.
"Diana," he called gently.
She opened her eyes, looked at him blankly for a moment, and then brightened. "You came back."
"Of course, my dear." He drew a chair closer to the bed. "How are you?" he asked, taking her hand and automatically checking her pulse. "Seem to be coming along all right." And he smiled.
"How did we escape?" she asked.
"The detonator circuit failed," he told her. "It was touch and go with your breathing for a bit, but you have a strong will to live."
"Who was he?" she asked. "And who are you? I mean, what are you?"
Her own instinctive recognition of the differences between timelords and humans had already puzzled him.
"Do you sense a difference in us?" he asked.
"You're more alive than we are," she said. Jo had settled down in one of the more comfortable chairs, within conversation distance of Diana but also out of the way enough to be unnoticed. She shot the Doctor a look of surprise. Working for the Doctor had demonstrated to her his incredible vitality, brilliance, and charismatic enthusiasm for his interests, but she had not sensed that difference instantly upon meeting him.
"I want to stay with you," Diana told him. "I know I can be of help to you. He taught me the equations of time travel--the vortex."
"Did he now?" the Doctor asked. He put on an air of friendly interest, but the revelation stunned him. "Did you understand them?" he asked.
"Some," she told him. "But now he's gone. You're the only one left."
"We captured him," the Doctor told her. Her look of startled hope and expectation at the words was another surprise. But the look quickly passed from her face.
"He taught me the secrets of the universe--some of them, but then he killed me," she lamented.
"Tried to kill you," the Doctor said gently.
"It's the same when it's from him," she said. Jo was looking dumbfounded. They were both accustomed to surviving victims of the Master being confused, depressed, even filled with remorse for what they had been made to do under the power of his will. But Diana's reaction bordered on the bizarre.
"All my life has gone to him," she added, almost to himself. She seemed suddenly absent.
"Is she hypnotized?" Jo murmured, so quietly that Diana did not seem to hear her.
"I'll see," he said. "Diana," he began, with more authority in his voice. She instantly gave him her attention. "Let's have a look at you--see how your memory is doing," he said. He put his hand under her chin and looked at her eyes. "That's fine, my dear, just relax and let me have a look at you. Just relax, now. . . "
"No!" she snapped her eyes closed. "No, only him!" She held her eyes clamped shut, and both the Doctor and Jo saw that she was trembling with the tightness of all her muscles bunched together, resisting him.
"You'll open that door," she gasped. "But you won't explain it, and you're going to send me back home."
"I'm not going to hurt you," he protested.
He sat back in the chair, surprised, dismayed, and thoughtful. At his silence, Diana opened her eyes. "I want to see him," she said suddenly.
His voice became firm. "That would be very bad for you."
"I'll never get over it until I hear him tell me why," she said. "I want to know he didn't hate me."
Jo's short supply of silent patience had been used up by this time. "Diana, he hates anything human," she exclaimed. "But it wasn't personal."
"Let me see him," she insisted. "There's a guard, isn't there? I'll be safe."
"Oh very well," the Doctor agreed reluctantly. "I suppose it is your right to confront your attacker. But you should know that he is ruthless and cruel at heart. And when he's imprisoned he'll say anything vicious just to get back some of his own."
"I want to know that for myself," she said steadily. "And then you can look at my mind all you want."
"I'll have Sgt. Benton serve as your escort," he told her. "But not today. Tomorrow, if you're more improved." He glanced at Jo. "Perhaps we'd better go." They stood up.
"I'll do anything at all for you if you'll only let me stay here," she said. "I don't want to go back to my father's house."
"He has the responsibility for your care, Diana," the Doctor told her, looking down at her with sympathy. "I have no authority to take you from him, and besides, there's nothing for you to do here."
"You haven't given me a chance."
"My dear, if you were a trained scientist we would have a great many uses for you," he told her honestly. "Go to university as soon as you can, study hard, and come back. That's your best plan."
"I'm so alone at my house," she begged him. "And now it will be worse--now that he came and taught me about time and the universe. Please don't send me back."
It was a wringing request. She was a far different creature from the proud girl who had verbally sparred with her father at breakfast. Jo's eyes were full of sympathy, and the Doctor spoke quickly, to head off the possibility of Jo joining in on the plea on Diana's behalf.
"You'll be here a few more days, my dear," he said quietly, laying his hand across her forehead to calm her. "But I cannot keep you here. I'll be back in the morning."
* * * *
There was no window in the security cell, but the Master could sense that a new morning had started. He had spent his time in imprisonment pacing as much as the leg irons would allow, ignoring questions that were put to him by the Doctor or the Brigadier, or just sitting in the chair provided him and waiting. He did not enjoy being patient but he could be patient, and there was nothing to do in difficulties but outlast them--and keep a plan ready. Sergeant Benton, thorough but not insightful, had removed all of the devices on the Master's person, but his search had neglected some of the more useful and basic tools that the Master always found indispensable. A small set of lockpicks were sewn into the seams of his clothing and embedded in his shoes under the soles.
He knew that if they moved him to a penal system prison, he would have to change his clothing for prison garb, and so escape had to be soon. But the guards were tireless in their watch, and remorseless.
Footsteps out in the hallway told him that visitors were coming, and he looked up expectantly, but just as the door to the room opened, he heard Diana's voice. It startled him.
She came in with Sgt. Benton. She looked pale and unwell, but her gaze when she looked directly at him was positively unreadable--a remarkable thing in a human. He stood up.
"Diana," he said. With difficulty he walked over to the bars and looked down at her. Benton was eyeing him with deep distaste and disgust, but the sergeant nodded to the guard to tell him to leave the room. The soldier exited.
"Miss Wilmer wanted to see you," Benton said curtly.
"I'm glad you did," the Master told her.
Diana looked up at the sergeant. "Can't I see him alone?" she asked.
"I'm sorry, Miss," he told her. "I've got orders to have official personnel watching him at all times. Direct visual contact."
"The Unit administration seem to be of the persuasion that I can walk through walls," the Master said pleasantly.
"But this is private," Diana pleaded. She looked back at the door. "Look, what if you watched just for two minutes through the observation glass in the door?" she asked.
"Not with his hands free and you in here, Miss," Benton said.
The Master obligingly held his hands through the bars. "I want to hear the girl out," he told Benton. "I'm sure I owe her that much."
Still doubtful, Benton handcuffed him with the chain of the handcuffs on the inside of the bars so that the Master could not get a good grasp on anything on the outside of the bars.
"I can only give you two minutes," he said to Diana. "I don't know that it will do much good, Miss." He glanced at the Master. "I'll be watching every second."
He stepped out and closed the door, and his face instantly appeared at the door's small window.
They were both silent.
"How are you?" the Master asked her.
"Better," she said. "Breathing all right."
"I'm glad to hear it."
"I wish you would bend down so that I could talk with you more easily," she said.
He gingerly crouched down so that they were closer to eye level. He could see Benton scowl through the observation window. It was a narrow reinforced Plexiglas window in the heavy door. He had the idea that even the strapping Sgt. Benton had to get up on his toes to see through it very well.
"Did you want to say something to me?" the Master asked her.
"I could have helped you," she said seriously. "Willingly. You didn't have to do that to me."
"I believe that now. And, for what it's worth, I am sorry."
"Now that it's too late," she said, and she reached into the wheelchair and drew out the last thing that he expected--her father's registered hand gun. Her own body screened it from Benton's view. "They never expect a crippled girl to do things like this," she said. "It's a definite advantage to being in a wheel chair."