All in the Mind Episode One;Liz Shaw;Caroline John;Third Doctor;Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart;Jon Pertwee;Jeri Massi
All in the Mind
Written by Jeri Massi
Before the first Doctor could assess what was happening, Liz slammed her shoulder right into him, then ducked down under his arms and skittered around him as he twisted and tried to grab her.
In the lab area, the lab coated version of the Doctor was at the workbench. Amazed at sight of Liz, he tried to intercept her. But Liz knew the advantage of being so much smaller than her adversary. She ducked down so low that she hit one knee against the floor, then shot away. He almost got her, but she slipped through his arms and ran for the lab doors.
Though one of the versions had locked them to keep her in, one of the others had unlocked them again. She slipped out the right hand door, slammed it closed, and whipped out her own keys. She managed to get the proper key into the lock just before the template Doctors got to the doors on the other side. She slipped the bolt over just in time. They were locked in. It purchased a brief delay for her. The doors rattled as the copies of the Doctor pulled on them and shouted. But one of them had a key. She had to hurry.
She darted down the hall. Trying to get off the grounds would be madness. Apparently she was the only person left who didn't look like the Doctor. She found the door to the lower interstitial and tried it. It was unlocked.
Of course, she thought. Any service personnel would have been lured out and "replaced" with the template code. Nobody would have thought to lock up again.
She entered the narrow closet that housed an air circulation unit, reached down, and pulled up the heavy wooden cover from the steam tunnel ladder. Quickly, she climbed down the iron ladder. Liz had no fear of insects and understood the biological environment of the dark, moist steam tunnels. Their chief benefit was that they led all over the site. They also had tight maintenance crawlspaces where she could fit, but the Doctor could not fit.
She reached level flooring and looked around. "Steam tunnel" was a misnomer. She was in a low hallway with pipes overhead, lines of cabling along one brick wall, and puddles underfoot at intervals. There were even light bulbs every dozen paces or so. These, she knew, would not shed light for very long. Once the invaders figured out where she'd gone, they would kill the lights from the circuit breaker boxes above. But she knew where the emergency supplies were kept. She hurried down the tunnel and snatched a heavy service torch from a bracket in the wall.
Artery tunnels turned off of this main branch every several yards. Liz paused and quickly recalled the few times she had seen drawings of the underground grid of tunnels and crawlspaces. On occasion, she and the Doctor had traced them out to determine if the wiring system could accommodate one of his new experiments.
She made a swift decision and ran past two openings, then turned down a third. There was another torch in a bracket, and she snatched it up, then thought better of it. Snatching up each flashlight would be as good as leaving a trail. Instead, she unscrewed the top, shook out the batteries, and crammed them into her pockets. She returned the emptied torch to its place.
Nobody was following her yet. She realized that the parasitic invaders, in spite of a certain strategic brilliance at being able to implement a surprise attack, had never really grappled with the way that humans thought about things. Nor had they viewed the layout of UNIT as anything beyond the problems of drawing out their victims in order to take them by surprise. The idea that somebody could use the same terrain as a means to hide might be foreign to them. They might just run back and forth for a while before they settled down to thinking things through and reasoning out the places she would select to hide.
She hurried down the artery tunnel, which became more slippery as she went. The roof was so low that Liz had to keep her head down. She reviewed her memory of the tunnel layouts and reasoned that she must be going towards the perimeter of the grounds, at least in a general sense. There had to be an egress point---either on the other side of the fence or close to it on this side. But the more distant sections of utility tunnel had not interested her and the Doctor very much. Her memory was hazy on these points.
Abruptly, the lights overhead switched off. Liz stopped and in the darkness she frowned. So they knew---or had made a good guess---on where she'd taken refuge. And these creatures, inexperienced as they were, had the Doctor's abilities. They would be more agile than a human male and would have better perception in the dark.
She realized that the torch was of limited benefit. If she shone it, she might give herself away. She clasped her hand over the front of the torch and risked a single moment of light to show her the way ahead. Then she switched it off and moved forward quietly, head low.
For a long way she heard nothing, and the soft glow of occasional warning lights and safety lights prevented the tunnel from being perfectly dark. Then, as she took a soft step, she thought she heard the echo of another footstep, up ahead, moving in cadence with her. She moved forward but halted her step, and she heard it distinctly. Somebody was up ahead of her.
Liz reversed the heavy service torch in her hand to use it as a club. Then she backed up carefully, not running. There was a turnoff not far behind her; she would use that. But she paused and heard nothing.
Two hard, hot hands seized her by the shoulders and shook her.
"Answer my questions and I'll let you go!" a voice hissed. "Tell me how it's done and I'll let you go!"
She swung out with the torch and connected into an elbow. The person who had her gasped and fell back. She struck again with a wide, determined swing in the darkness, hitting at a mere shadow. But the heavy butt of the torch made a loud crack as it connected with a head. The figure stumbled down, and she rushed past it, unsure of how many people were down in the tunnel with her. She rushed around a corner and suddenly felt incredible pain radiate from her head. She couldn't breathe.
Her arms peddled in the air, and the darkness diminished. The shadows resolved themselves into shapes, and these resolved themselves into two heads---the dentist and Miss Larch.
"Deep breath, Miss Shaw," he said, his eyes worried. "Deep breath. It's oxygen."
Liz gasped, and cool air rushed into her lungs. She was covered with sweat.
"Again, my dear. Again. Try to relax and breathe deeply."
The dentist's surgery was quiet and calm, with air gently rushing from the ventilation system.
"You have had a serious reaction to the injection," Miss Larch said. "We have notified an ambulance. It will be here immediately. Breathe deeply and calmly."
"We have adrenaline right here if we need it, and epinephrine as well."
Her eyes flicked to the instrument tray, but now it looked like some sort of control device, with numerous leads that coiled and spilled over the edge onto her. These leads snaked up under her sweater and under the disposable bib.
"We are monitoring your heart and lungs. You'll be fine," he said. "Nod if you understand me."
She nodded. But she thought, This isn't a dentist's surgery. This is the dream. I'm dreaming now.
Indeed, everything felt hot and hazy, and she was disoriented.
"You're still breathing," he said. "Keep breathing. Everything will be all right."
But everything was not all right. The heat and haziness were not the heat and haze of a dentist's surgery but the heat of struggle in a dark steam tunnel under the floors of UNIT. Someone or something had pounced upon her, and as far as she knew, she lay exposed and vulnerable to it on the concrete floor of the tunnel.
"It's Benton!" a voice hissed in her ear as the shadows crowded over her again. Somebody was trying to hold her still, and she was struggling. "Miss Shaw, it's Benton!" he hissed again.
She paused, uncertain. Sgt. Benton and the Doctor were the same height. But the faint smell of the cheap laundry soap used to wash UNIT uniforms was right, as well as the smell of the mass-manufactured after shave favored by the big sergeant.
He risked making his voice slightly louder. "It is Benton, Miss Shaw. They don't know I'm down here." It was his voice.
She relaxed, and he helped her up but kept his hand on her head to prevent her from straightening up. She reached up hesitantly in the darkness and touched his head. Yes, it was Benton's close cut hair, and the side of his face had that shaven-skinned, slightly rough texture of a young man who has to shave a dark beard.
"They don't know I'm down here," he whispered. "Not as far as I can tell. Their body count is wrong."
"Can we get out?" she asked.
"Not this way. The Brig had the exterior hatches bolted down and concreted over last year as a security measure against intruders. The only way to get out is from hatches in some of the buildings on the grounds."
"Then we should select the least significant building possible that has entry into these tunnels."
"That would be the maintenance building, over by the back gate," he told her. "It's a long walk. I don't know if I can find it."
"I can find it. I remember the main arteries." She looked around the dim tunnel. "Can you point me towards west?"
His head a silhouette, he nodded down the tunnel. "Come on," she said. "I think I can figure out the way. Do you hear them?"
"No, I don't think they've figured out that we're down here."
"Well they jolly well know that I'm down here," she said. "That's why they killed the lights."
"No, I killed the lights," he told her. "I pulled out some cabling. Make it difficult for them if they came down here. I mean, sooner or later if they double-check rosters they'll realize that they missed me and will come searching."
Of course, she thought. The beefy sergeant could lie in wait in the dim tunnels and trap them one at a time as they searched in the darkness, and perhaps garner a few weapons for himself. But she was a different matter.
"I'm not strong enough to fight them," she said. "I'm afraid I'm a handicap to you, Sergeant Benton.
"Well the main thing is to get out of here if we can. We've got to warn the authorities. And you can explain what's going on to them, Miss Shaw."
"Come on then," she said. With her in front to guide them, they started out, heads down because of the overhead pipes, moving cautiously.
"Do you understand what they've done?" Benton asked behind her. "I mean, can we reverse whatever's happened and restore our people?"
"Sergeant, we mustn't speak," she told him. "Not here, not until we're safe."
He instantly became silent. Liz listened, but apart from an occasional sound of condensation on the pipes dripping, or the low hum of generators, the tunnels remained silent. But the walk was far longer than she thought it should be. Just as she wondered if perhaps she had taken them in a wrong direction, they came to an abrupt end in the tunnel. An iron ladder led straight up to a hatch. Overhead, all was silent. If they were at the maintenance building, it didn't sound like any of their captors were inside.
"Before we go up," Benton said quietly. "We ought to make a plan, Miss. If only one of us gets out, we both have to know what they've done to the Doctor to make all these copies. And we have to know if we can reverse it."
She hesitated and turned to him in the dimness. "We can't undo it, Sergeant. And I'm not sure of the process that they use, but they are able to instill a code into a person's DNA---"
She'd forgotten that Benton didn't know even the basics of DNA science. And her own knowledge---thanks to the Doctor's tutelage---was miles ahead of anybody else's on earth at present.
"Do you know what DNA is?" she asked.
"It's part of our cells, isn't it?" he asked.
"It's like a map, a living map, of each of us. It not only decrees what we look like and our other attributes, it gives instructions to our RNA to carry out vital processes."
"Yes. These creatures somehow are able to impose a code over DNA that alters it. The changes transform each person they get. They choose an ideal specimen to serve as a template. Then they alter the template so that it can accommodate them when they take over the physical body. Then they start capturing people and putting that template DNA and its change agents into them. It transforms the victims into perfect receptacles."
"And it even affected the Doctor?"
"He's the basis of their template. I'm sure that his DNA is ideal for their purposes because it's so flexible."
"But look here, I don't understand---" And Benton's voice was confused. "Can you help me understand the Doctor's DNA better? How could this happen?"
"The Doctor has a system of DNA configuration unlike ours," she said. "His DNA is what we could call a dynamic DNA. Instead of giving blueprint commands to the RNA, the DNA is more conversant with the RNA, more---" She stopped. The tunnel was dead silent. There was no sound from above. She looked around. "Where are they?" she asked. "Why aren't they looking for us?"
"We've gotten away for the moment. Please, help me understand so that I can get help if you and I become separated."
"No, we have to get away while they're all off somewhere else," she said. Come on!" She started up the ladder towards the hatch, but just then the hatch was pulled away, revealing a white square of light from the ceiling of the maintenance building.
"Get back!" she gasped. The Doctor peered down at her, his eyes startled. "Liz no!" he shouted. "Don't tell them anything!"
Benton seized her and dragged her down the tunnel. She stumbled and struggled.
"Benton, I think that was the real Doctor. Let me go!"
"Miss Shaw, that's a trick! Come on!" he exclaimed. He had her by the arm and pulled her after him.
"But how do you know?"
"Because I saw the Doctor earlier, all laid out on a table, and he wasn't going anywhere. Pale as death, with all kinds of tubes running into him. That bloke up there looked far too sturdy. He's trying to lure you in! And now they know about me, too! Come on!"
She couldn't resist him, and she realized that he was probably right. It was too improbable---even if the real Doctor could escape his captors---that he would go out to a utility building. Even if he realized that he had to get down into the tunnels to get out of sight, he would easily do so from entry points in the main buildings.
They ran down the dark tunnel until they reached a cross way. He stopped her and let her go. They were both panting. The dimness was still silent around them.
"What now?" he asked. "They know we're down here. They'll be flooding us with knockout gas in a few minutes."
She was startled. "Can they do that?"
"Oh yes, Miss. Just a matter of battening down all the hatches and then throwing a few switches in UNIT's utility control center. The Brig had canisters of gas installed a year or so ago, when we first took possession of these buildings. Security measure."
"Then we have no choice but to go topside," she said.
"Come on, there's a hatchway into a water heater closet near the men's bunks. That's not likely a hatch they know about. It's not in the site drawings."
"How do you know about the site drawings?" she asked. "You're a soldier, not a maintenance person."
"Security Officer for six months, Miss. We issued change orders for the drawings when the bunks were remodeled and the new water heaters installed. That's when the work men put the hatch into the steam tunnels. But the contractor never got the revised drawings back to us. Come on!"
"You know the way?" She was startled. Twenty minutes ago he'd been helpless about finding his way.
"I think so! Follow me!"
She immediately followed, but she realized that their roles had shifted. At first he had been willing to do what she told him. Now he was in command. Perhaps, she thought, he was simply overcoming his reticence to give her orders now that their danger was so acute. The soldier had taken over.
They ran in silence down the dim hallways. She heard distant sounds of slamming and banging from above. The hatches were being sealed above them, as Benton had predicted. Any time now, the knockout gas would be released. But suddenly Benton lifted a hand to call a halt. He had found an iron ladder. It looked new.
He set his hands on the frame and glanced at her. "Me first," he said. "Just in case those blokes are up there."
"All right. Be careful."
He climbed up until his feet were level with her shoulders. For a moment he seemed to be pushing against resistance. Then he stepped up higher to get his shoulder and part of his back under the hatch, and he pushed against it. He grunted, but she heard the satisfying sound of a latch snapping off at its bolts. He quickly straightened and lifted a hand to catch the wooden hatch before it fell back with a slam. Then he scrambled up.
In a moment, his face reappeared in the square of light, and he extended a hand towards her. "Looks like no one's about," he whispered. "Up you come."
She climbed up, and he helped her over the edge of the opening. They were in a wide cabinet crowded with four tall water heaters. He carefully closed the hatch and then straightened up.
"We've got to make a new plan," he whispered. "But in case only one of us gets out, you must tell me: How is the Doctor's DNA different from ours?"
"The Doctor's DNA is not to blame for this. He doesn't absorb people and replicate them."
"No, I know that." His voice verged on impatience. "But how is his DNA different from ours? If we know that, other scientists can figure out how it's being altered to allow these people to turn human beings into templates."
"I don't know if anybody on this planet can figure that out," she said. "We don't understand DNA very well."
"We have to tell the authorities something. Explain it to me."
"The Doctor has a dynamic DNA that shares many functions with RNA. In human beings, DNA is more distinct from RNA. In timelords, the DNA and RNA take on each other's characteristics in order to synthesize--Benton!" She pointed in horror at the closed hatch as she got a whiff of something that seemed to drive the air out of her lungs.
He looked down. Thick tendrils of white gas sprouted effortlessly around the seam of the hatch. The closet was filling up with the choking cloud. He put an arm around her and pushed with his shoulder against the door to get them out. Liz felt a dizzy, spinning sensation. She stared at the water heaters and wondered if the pilot lights, coming into contact with the gas, would blow them all sky high. Ether was explosive, as were other anaesthetic gases, she thought. All that struggle, and they might accidentally be killed in a blast.
Benton's arm felt tight around her shoulder blades. He was squeezing her ribs too hard as he pushed against the door to get them out. He was afraid, she thought, as she realized that she could no longer see. The tight pain on her rib cage continued, and a voice said, "If you can hear me, try to relax." It sounded like the Doctor, or one of his doubles, but she wasn't sure.
Another voice said, "The heart rate is quite erratic. They were right. We'll kill her if we don't let them have their way."
She lost track of the words and for a moment or two even forgot her fear and dread of being captured. When she opened her eyes, she was lying on the floor in a quiet room, the lights turned low. The Doctor lay in a long reclined chair very much like a dentist's chair. Numerous tubes and wires ran under the thin blanket that covered him. His face was white as pearl, his closed eyes were sunken and his lips were pulled back and tightly pressed together. He looked like he was dying.
She stood up and stepped nearer. Was this the real Doctor? Or a double? She pressed her hand against his cold forehead. His lips worked for a moment, and then he whispered in a dry, faint voice, "Tell them nothing, Liz. This is what they've done to you."
"Can I get you free? Shall I try?"
"The mind uses the drug first and then attaches you to itself," the faint voice whispered. She realized that though his lips were moving, the voice was all around her. "--a physical dependency. A stronger dose and a boost of power, and all your vital signs slowed down," the voice whispered. "Everything will come to a halt and frighten you. All the activity must cease for a split second."
The prone figure of the Doctor suddenly sprang to life and threw the blanket over her. He seized her and covered her head with the blanket; then he bear hugged her so hard that the air left her lungs. On the other side of the blanket, his powerful hands covered her nose and mouth and held her still as she tried to struggle. A black roaring began in her ears. She felt her heart pounding, and then the pounding faltered. A chill swept over her. She tried to gasp and could not. Two tears suddenly sprang from her clenched eyes.
When she next opened her eyes, she was back in the dentist's chair. The lights had returned to normal brightness. The Doctor's face leaned over her, and she punched him as hard as she could on the under side of his nose, pushing up.
He yelled and fell back, his face in his hands. Liz drew in a sharp breath that filled her lungs out to her ribs, felt a rush of strength stronger than she'd ever felt in her life, and bolted upright. She sprang away from the chair. "Liz!" he exclaimed. There was a stainless steel dental tray at hand, cluttered with electronic connectors and drug ampoules. She snatched it up in both hands, sending the bits flying, and smashed it over his head as he tried to straighten up to say something.
He fell face down across the lower part of the long chair. She rushed to the door. She was in the dentist's office again, she realized. She pulled the door open, and the Brigadier, hands behind his back, stepped inside, calm and self-possessed.
"Are you feeling better, Miss Shaw?"
Behind her, the Doctor shouted, "Watch out man! She doesn't know what's happened! In her mind, she's escaping."
"Then she shall be allowed to escape," the Brigadier said. He stepped aside to let her get through the door if she wanted. "Nobody's going to hurt you, Miss Shaw. And whatever you thought was happening was a dream." He had her attention for a moment. "A very powerful dream," he added.
She rushed past him, out into the hallway. UNIT soldiers guarded the door to her room, but they remained completely impassive as she bolted out the door. Up the hallway, four more soldiers stood guard over Miss Larch, the Dentist, and the receptionist. Two soldiers stood at the elevators. She rushed up the hall and stared at the three prisoners, who were all in hand cuffs and leg chains. They looked at her and then looked at the floor. She turned back to look down the hallway. Neither the Brigadier nor the Doctor followed her. After a moment, she went back to the exam room.
The Doctor, recovered from being bashed over the head, stood at the foot of the long chair, rubbing his head with one hand and tenderly feeling his nose with the other. The Brigadier remained with his hands behind his back, patiently waiting. She didn't come into the room, but she poked her head inside. "What's happened? Where is Sgt. Benton?"
"Here I am Professor Shaw." And Benton, cell radio in hand, came up the hallway from the other direction. "Just doing a recce of the back rooms."
"Miss Shaw, you were drugged by these agents and brought into contact with a device that they call 'The Mind,'" the Brigadier told her.
"They use powerful drugs to increase electrical activity in your brain," the Doctor told her. "And they stimulate dream centers with their device to create images in your mind. Essentially, they access certain functions of your brain that prompt you to dream, and in that dream state, they are able to question you. Whenever you shy away from providing answers, they use that device of theirs to evoke dreams that make you talk."
"What you wouldn't say to an enemy, or a stranger," the Brigadier added, "you would say to a friend. Or to a colleague."
"All they do is guide you into a dream where you believe you are in danger, and then provide you with a friend in the dream," the Doctor said.
"All of that was a dream?" she asked.
"We don't know what---specifically---you were dreaming," the Doctor told her. "But we know that's what they were doing to you." He paused. "Do you recognize that you've been dreaming?"
She looked at Benton. She recalled the inexplicable change in him---from docile and ready to follow her lead to much more commanding and sure of himself. "I'm not---Ouch!" she exclaimed as her tongue inadvertently touched her sore tooth. "Oh my tooth!" She clapped both hands to her jaw. "They never fixed it."
"No," the Brigadier said, his voice quite dry. "I'm afraid you're still going to need that root canal."
But the pain of the reality of the tooth flooded her with realization. All that had passed in the steam tunnels: it was now taking the distant, hazy quality of a dream, and not real life. The men's barracks, she realized, had never been remodeled. Ever since she'd come to UNIT, she'd heard the soldiers grumble and complain about the lack of hot water, the leaks in the roofing when it rained, and the unheated showers. Nor were there canisters of knockout gas in the steam tunnels. She'd seen the Building Management Control System, and there were no controls for such a risky security device.
As she seemed to be reorienting herself, the Doctor spoke, cautiously: "They warned us that if we tried to detach you from the device they call "The Mind', that you would go into cardiac arrest. We introduced some ideas to you in your dream state that seemed to take hold with you, helping you to know you were being questioned and it wasn't real. When we realized that we couldn't break you away easily, we warned you that we had to stop your breathing and slow your vital signs to fool the machine. And then we got you away from it." He paused, guilty. "I suppose it turned into a sort of nightmare for you."
She realized that he had never seized her to suffocate her. Not in such a crude way as she had dreamed. But somehow, she had known in some sense what he was doing to her, and her mind had woven it into the dream.
"You did have a strong reaction to being removed from the machine," the Brigadier said. "It was touch and go for a moment. For that, we apologize."
"It was all a nightmare," she said. She paused and then said, "I want to go home."
The Brigadier was brisk. "Certainly! Sgt. Benton--"
"I want to take a taxi," she said.
He nodded. "Very well." He let her walk out. She took the elevator down to the ground floor. The traffic was thick and heavy, and the despair of ever hailing a cab brought reality back to her again.
Only after another twenty minutes had passed, when she was in a cab rolling over the damp, dark streets, did she feel more at home with reality. She began to regret punching the Doctor.
* * * *
When Liz walked into the lab at UNIT the next day, the Doctor was working on the TARDIS console, which took up most of the floor space in the cluttered room. He barely glanced up as she entered. But his manner was calm and amiable. "Hullo Liz. Feeling all right today?"
"My tooth is making me miserable."
He threw a glance to the workbench. "Just put that in your mouth for a minute."
She took up a tiny, square block, about half the size of an ice cube. It was some sort of device sealed in clear, hard material. She still felt guilty for punching him and bashing a stainless steel tray over his head, so she put the tiny cube into her mouth and looked at him.
He withdrew a handheld control device from his pocket and flipped a toggle. Liz felt a hum. The pain slowly and steadily drained out of her tooth.
"Better?" he asked as he saw her eyes widened.
"All right, just let it work a few seconds more. Then you can mold that square of molding amalgam over your bad tooth and bite down on it, and I can trim it for you and give you at least a temporary filling that will hold you until you can get an appointment to have a crown made."
She took up the plastic, which was an amalgam she had never seen before, and spit out the cube. Then she inserted the temporary crown material and worked it over the tooth. She gingerly bit down on it and then pulled it out and handed it to him.
As he walked away with it to find his jeweler's glass, she said, "I am sorry I hit you, Doctor."
"Quite all right. I should have realized that the most obvious suggestion they would implant was that your colleagues could no longer be trusted."
"But who were they?" she asked. "What did they want?"
"They wanted information on me, from what I heard you saying in your sleep," he told her. "Looks like somebody out there knows about me and is wondering where I've come from and who I am." He took up the jeweler's glass in his free hand and glanced at her. "We should have realized that was a possibility. And what better person to tell them about me than my closest colleague--the only person who knows what I'm talking about half the time."
"But who are they?" she asked.
He became slightly huffy. "You know, the Brigadier nags at me for never telling him enough about extra-terrestrials, but when it comes to agents and enemies here on earth--in his backyard so to speak---he's more closed-mouthed than I am. He won't tell me who they are."
"How did any of you know that I'd walked into their lair?" she asked. "Why, you actually recommended that dentist to me!"
"Yes, because he was recommended to me." And the Doctor's voice was rueful. "Handfuls of cash and a chain of communication from paid 'former patients' who praised him to other doctors and dentists ingratiated his name in circles close to both of us. He could keep refusing ordinary people who called him on the grounds of not being able to accommodate new patients. He took only those who had information he had been assigned to obtain--cabinet ministers, scientists, economist, military leaders."
"And me," she said.
"Cheer up. You're a member of an exclusive club." He had the glass screwed into his eye and was whittling away with a small scalpel on the bit of plastic.
"But how did you find out what was going on?"
"Benton went in after you. Part of protocol to give you fifteen minutes or so and then go check on you. They resisted his demand to see you, and when they finally let him in, he didn't like the look of the set up. All those cables running back and forth between you and a control panel in the wall. And you were completely out. They told him it was an advanced station for oral surgery. But he agreed with them to their faces and then rang up UNIT from outside. Once the Brigadier showed up, that was the end for them, but they wouldn't tell us how to disengage you from the machine, so we had to work it out for ourselves." He walked back to her. "I have to fit this over the tooth for you."
She was so grateful that he'd taken the pain away that she opened her mouth and let him seat the molded crown for her. "Bite down gently," he told her as he removed his hands. "And just give it half a minute."
As she did, he added, "You can tell me about your dream if you like. Or you can just forget about it if you feel recovered. But the bad news is that we do know that other governments know about me, and they may understand that UNIT headquarters in London is sitting on all kinds of restricted information that even the Americans at NASA don't know about."
The tooth felt firm and stable. "Does that mean anybody could be an enemy?" she asked.
He folded his arms. "It could." He glanced at her again as she cautiously pushed against the tooth with her tongue. "Feel all right?" She nodded without speaking. "It's just a temporary now," he told her. "Won't last more than ten years or so."
She sucked against it to give it a pull, but it seemed unshakable.
"What do you think?" he asked.
She let out her breath. "An awful lot of trouble over a tooth," she said at last.
I appreciate comments from readers. Please tell me what worked for you in the story and what did not work. Did any part move too slowly? Was the story hard to get into? Were any of the characters not true to the television series? I appreciate all input.