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moon of saturn page 2

What had she got herself into this time.

Mr. Hasjat gave her an apologetic grin, followed by a look of total frustration and embarrassed defeat, through the bars that separated her from her liberty. Good grief! She must have seen more cells than a geneticist. Poor Jo!

The Master switched off the TV picture of the girl's predicament, and turned to the Doctor, who, following his capture had been recovering from the effects outside.

'How do I know that that really is Jo?' asked the Doctor 'I tell you, I left hr back at U.N.I.T. H.Q.'

'Tut, tut, tut!' the Master was going to enjoy defeating his opponent, even on this petty score.

'Well now, Doctor, I suppose there is a remote possibility that the young lady in the cells is really a Min Terr-ian who remarkably resembles our dear Miss Grant.'

Min Terr?! So this world of yellow skies and white sands was Min Terr! And what about Jo? The Doctor realised that the image of Jo on the TV screen could easily be Jo, as the Master said?

He tried to collect his thoughts, still suffering a little from the effects of the exposure on the outside. Min Terr! Indeed! What work of fate had brought him here? Chronologically, he had clearly arrived after his encounter with the Master in 15th Century Romania. But what was the Master up to? Why did he need the Doctor's help?

'Believe me, Doctor,' the Master continued in his uniquely malignant yet genuine-sounding soft tones, 'I do not wish to use Miss Grant's life as an incitement in this matter. You must join with me, Doctor, in this enterprise. We were very good friends, once...'

'Yes, I remember..." said the Doctor. The couple had been close friends indeed, united in a strong desire to further their own knowledge and experience of the Cosmos, although their individual reasons for such desire were as opposite as matter and Omega!

The Doctor did his best to stand firm. On the one hand, he loved Jo very much, and on the other, he could not allow himself to be blackmailed into working with the Master in some diabolical scheme. At times like these, he realised how the likes of the Master could find it so easy to reject love and comradeship, and to adopt instead single-mindedness and self-interest.

The Master then produced a selection of
charts, illustrations, and blue-prints which aptly described the nature of this "enterprise" which he was about. The Doctor was absolutely appalled; in fact, he was speechless.

'Believe me, Doctor,' the Master appealed, most convincingly, 'even if I wished, I could not abandon this plan. You cannot yet comprehend the circumstances.'

The Master's tone betrayed his anxiety. The Doctor studied his enemy's imperturbable features.

'Guards!' snapped the Master, hoping not to give anything away, 'Take the Doctor to the cells and let him meet his young friend face-to-face.'

As the Doctor was being led away, the Master strode towards a banal of electrical equipment in one corner of the room. An octagonal blue screen was illuminated with the flick of a switch. A pulsating white dot advanced across the screen towards the very centre of the octagon. They were coming. Perhaps he could pull it off even without the Doctor's help. Besides - the Doctor and Miss Grant could still be useful in other ways...

~~~ 

The Doctor looked at Jo reproachfully. Ironic - it had been his recent desire to leave planet Earth which now placed him in a position where the life of his companion would most likely be used to persuade him to aid the Master in that planet's annihilation.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hasjat had been going on for some time about how out of character the Master's behaviour had been in throwing the couple in the cells; well particularly in imprisoning Jo - Hasjat wasn't sure about her friend. No - he didn't like the Doctor's eyes - real murderous villains eyes, they were...cold...ruthless...cunning...

The Doctor's eyebrows sprang upwards in disbelief as Hasjat continued his discourse on the Master's usual affability.

'I laugh just to think of some of the things 'e does. 'E 'as me in stitches, sometimes. Look, look, look. Look at this. See this gun? 'E gave it to me for me thirty-f..f..f...me birthday a few years ago. It 'as me initials on it. Isn't that nice?'

Jo looked at the Doctor, he was not known to suffer fools gladly. From what he had told her, her Time Lord friend had found it difficult to restrain (and consequently, retain) his tongue in the company of everyone from Julius Caesar to the Sun King; he was certainly not going to tolerate Hasjat's harangue!

‘Mr Hasjat! The Master happens to be one of the most dangerous criminals in the entire Universe! Who aided the Autons in their second attempt to invade Earth? Who evoked the fury of the Daemons? Who aroused an entire colony of Sea Devils in an attempt to cause an inter-species war on Earth? Who orchestrated the tyrannical reign of Pope John Paul Georgian Ringo IV in the 14th Century?' The Doctor was exasperated, realising that his arguments made little sense to Hasjat.

Jo looked at the little security man through the bars of the cell. 'Please, Mr. Hasjat. We've done nothing wrong, really. The Master's a bad man. You've got to let us go!' she pleaded.

'D'you mind? Madam, I have a job to do, and by golly I will do it! I'm not unfeeling, but...well...there you are...'

'Yes,' agreed the Doctor, 'here we are, and here we are likely to stay. How can you ask Mr. Hasjat to commit sacrilege, Jo? This is Min Terr. Remember all that business with Dracula? These people believe the Master to be their god!'

'How dare you, Madam, I mean, sir!' Hasjat snapped, 'We all love and respect the Master - I don't deny it! - but, even though I don't go to church as often as I should, and further more, nay, in short - what was I thinking about? - yes; I must warn you, before you speak further, that I am a man with clear cut convictions!'

'Oooh!' said Jo, 'My Auntie Nelly had those. when's the operation?'

'D'you mind? And I say again, that the Master is a highly respected man around here - no doubt about it. But, my word, we don't worship him! Dear me, no! You've got it all wrong, chum. No, the dearly beloved creators of this beautiful land of Min Terr, are known to we, their 'umble mortal servants, as the...'

Conveniently, before Hasjat could expound his triumphant deification, the lighting in the cell-block was suddenly and completely shut off. Hasjat gave a gasp of surprise and began to fumble for his torch and his "birthday" present - the gun!

'What's the matter now?' he grumbled, 'I was just saying to old Harry the other week," 'arry" I said, "that lot needs rewiring," I said, but nobody ever listens to me. I'll just 'ave to do it myself. I'll only be a h-h-h-half hour. Don't do anything I wouldn't do, eh? Ha ha! What a life! Dear me...'

He was once again interrupted - this time by a high-pitched repeating alarm. The Doctor and Jo watched the light of his torch vanish into the uncompromising darkness as he stumbled down the corridor to answer the alarm. For a few seconds, the couple sat in the dark nothingness, and then light began to gradually reaffirm its existence. In the glowing light, they watched their cell-door, electronically controlled, swing slowly open.

'Come on, Doctor!' cried Jo, 'we're free!'

'Are we?' he asked in reply, 'The lighting failure, then the alarm of a coincidence, don't you think?'

'Oh, come along, Doctor. Anything's better than hanging around here for Mr. Hasjat to come back!'

He did not share her impulsive naivety, but neither could he resist a challenge, not like to stay in one place for too long. They vacated the cell, and hurried along in the opposite direction to that taken by Mr. Hasjat.

Smack! On racing round a bend in the corridor, they at once found themselves sprawled on the floor and seeing stars.

'Oi! You'd better watch where you're goin' mate, or I'll fetch ya a punch up the bracket!' exclaimed the fellow into whom they had bumped. Like Hasjat, he wore a steel-grey uniform; he also had tightly-cropped wiry black hair, proboscis askew, and a cauliflower ear; his I.D. badge said, "Security officer Simes".

'Awfully sorry, old chap,' said the Doctor, helping Simes to his feet, 'I wonder if you wouldn't mind directing us to the interrogation centre? You see, we seem to have mislaid a tall blue box!'

'Oi!' said Simes, 'Ain't you the geezer me and the boys brought in today?'

'That's right,' said the Doctor, smiling.

'Ere! Wasn't Hasjat s'posed to be wif you?'

'Yes, he was,' said Jo, 'but he went off to see what the alarm was about.'

'The alarm? Bloomin' great twit! That was me set that off! Oh yeah! Everybody's scarpered!'

'Scarpered?' asked the Doctor.

'Yeah! Done a bunk!'

'Why? What's going on?'

'We've been cheated mate. Took to the cleaners by "them that must be obeyed"! Typical! 'Ere, I'm off to look for old Hasjat. If you wanna get out, then go down that way. All 'ell's breakin' loose 'round 'ere!' And off he went.

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