announced, ‘is an object of incomparable value. A gift from Logar,’ he added quickly, remembering the orthodox susceptibilities of his labourers.
Inside his TARDIS laboratory the real Master was busy bracing his equipment for the lifting of his precious column.
Outside, the Sarns toiled to move the many tons of rubble and stone that had collasped on the Master’s time-machine during the earthquake. The children scavenged the small bricks and debris whilst the women conveyed away the light stones in a human chain, the men levering apart the heavy blocks and pillars, to reveal at the bottom of the heap a yellowing, Corinthian column with a door in the side.
‘A pillar of stone?’ cried Timanov in dismay.
‘A TARDIS!’ The Kamelion-Master smiled with satisfaction. ‘I am most grateful.’
Peri was now very worried, for there was still no sign of the Doctor and Turlough. If she was abducted by this Master, her chances of seeing New York again were nil.
‘You realise this creature is about to do a bunk?’ she said, trying to stir up trouble between the Master’s robot and the Chief Elder–only to wince with sudden pain as the steel hand of her captor tightened around her wrist.
But Timanov, who was growing more and more suspicious of the Outsider’s strange behaviour, needed no promoting from the American. ‘The Outsider will not leave without rewarding his faithful Sarns,’ he warned.
The metal Master gave him an icy smile. ‘As my word is my bond, Chief Elder, this is the day of reckoning for us all.’ He took a step towards his TARDIS as the strongest men of Sarn began to haul on the ropes they had attached around the top of the column.
Inside, the Master clutched the metamorphosis projector as he felt the whole laboratory shake, then tilt like a beached yacht yielding to the incoming tide. Slowly the room revolved until floor, ceiling and floor were, once more, in their rightful positions.
‘At last!’ The Kamelion-Master surveyed the upright column with immense satisfaction, and tugged Peri towards the door.
‘Don’t let him escape!’ screamed the girl.
‘Where are the gifts?’ protested Timanov angrily, little suspecting that both Outsider and stone pillar were about to disappear into thin air.
‘Gullible idiots!’ The robot Master laughed in the face of the disappointed Elders and dragged the struggling Peri through the entrance.
‘We’re too late!’ cried Turlough, running into the ruin with the Doctor and Amyand, just in time to see the door of the Master’s TARDIS slam shut.
The Doctor was already running towards the blue police box. ‘I’m going to materialise around him,’ he shouted as he ran. But he had reckoned without six angry, disillusioned Elders, who were less than mollified to see three prisoners from the cave at liberty, and were about to assault the great box. They rushed to the Doctor’s TARDIS, laser guns at the ready.
Pushing Amyand and the Doctor between himself and the police box, Turlough turned to face the old men. ‘It is the will of Logar that you obey me,’ he announced in a grave voice. ‘Put up your staves, for I am your new Chosen One.’ He raised his arm in a Nazi-style salute to display, on his underarm, the brand of the Misos Triangle.
There was consternation amongst the Elders. Could the mantle of the dead Malkon really have fallen on this heretic? Timanov examined the embossed triangles. It was beyond doubt the authentic mark of Logar.
‘What are you waiting for?’ Turlough nudged the Doctor towards the TARDIS door.
‘The box is sacred to Logar,’ protested Timanov. ‘It may not be profaned by his enemies.’
‘The Doctor is no enemy,’ replied their self-appointed leader. ‘He is the rightful custodian of the box.’
The Elders continued to hold the Doctor and Amyand in their sights, though they dared not point the deadly lasers at Turlough, for no one dared kill a second Chosen One.
‘Who is this Doctor?’ asked