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.‘But what about Mel here?’ the Doctor enquired when the formalities were over.‘None of the Kangs have said how you do to her.’There was a pause.Fire Escape shook her head.‘You we like, Doctor,’ she announced.‘What you wear is high fabshion and icehot for an old one.’‘Thank you very much,’ the Doctor replied, not absolutely sure of the exact meaning of these words but getting the general drift.‘But clothes don’t maketh the man, you know.’‘No,’ agreed Bin Liner.‘But all Kangs have colours.Blue.Yellow.Red.What is Mel’s colour?’ she turned suspiciously towards Mel, who felt all eyes trained on her now.‘I don’t have a colour,’ she retorted, stung by the fact that the Kangs had been deliberately ignoring her up till now.‘And I certainly don’t want to be a Kang.’‘We don’t want you to be a Kang,’ Fire Escape snapped back fiercely.‘Not a Red Kang.’ It was a cue for the Red Kangs to start their chant again and, much to the Doctor and Mel’s dismay, start it they did.The Doctor had to raise his voice to make himself heard over the din.Finally it subsided as quickly as it had begun.‘Look,’ the Doctor began when quiet was restored.‘I think now we’ve been introduced, some explanations are in order.We are visitors to Paradise Towers.Only just arrived.You can’t expect Mel to understand what you’re talking about.’‘No visitors.’ Bin Liner’s remark came out so swiftly and so fiercely that the Doctor didn’t at first catch its import.‘Pardon?’‘No visitors,’ Bin Liner repeated.Again, she seemed to regard the captives as fools for not understanding her.‘No ball games.No flyposts.No visitors.’ They were the sort of words Mel was used to seeing on noticeboards back home but Bin Liner was repeating them now with a deadly seriousness.‘You mean visitors aren’t allowed?’ the Doctor enquired patiently.He hoped that he and Mel were not just about to be punished for infringing some obscure by-law of Paradise Towers.Bin Liner shook her head.‘No visitors ever.’‘Not since time start,’ added Fire Escape.All was becoming clearer.The Kangs had quite simply never seen any visitors.Mel didn’t like to think too closely about what might have happened to any tourists who had been tempted by by seeing the video brochure before her to sample the delights of Paradise Towers.She suspected they had not had the most satisfactory of holidays.The Doctor meanwhile was thinking more about the present.‘There’s always a first time, you know,’ he insisted.‘Not everyone you come across is going to be a Kang.’‘No,’ Fire Escape agreed.‘There are old ones.And Caretakers.And –’‘Ware tongue!’ Bin Liner interrupted fiercely.Fire Escape bit her lip and lapsed into silence.‘And?’ The Doctor’s eyes were agleam with curiosity.There was nothing more likely to get him interested than discovering something that somebody didn’t want him to know.But this time there was no way of finding out what Fire Escape had been about to say.Bin Liner’s warning had been enough.The Doctor had to turn his attention to what the Kangs were prepared to tell him.He asked therefore about the Caretakers they had mentioned.‘They wipe away our wallscrawl,’ Bin Liner explained.‘Chase us down carrydoors.Catch us if they can.’‘I see,’ the Doctor nodded.‘But all the young ones are Kangs?’‘Yes.’‘Young girls I should say, of course,’ the Doctor corrected himself.‘There aren’t any boys around, are there?’‘Boys?’ Fire Escape’s face was blank.The other Kangs’ faces too.‘What are boys?’ Her face wrinkled in puzzlement.The concept was clearly new to her.‘There are old ones, and the Caretakers, and the Kangs and the –’ But this time she stopped herself and the Doctor was still none the wiser.He was beginning to suspect there was a strong possibility he would never be.Indeed, he was also beginning to think there was something to be said for Mel’s notion of looking for some other planet with a swimming pool.The crossbows were not reassuring.It was time to make an exit.Mel, he noticed, was already trying to edge herself nearer to the TARDIS.It was worth a try anyway.The Doctor smiled brightly and edged with her.‘Well, I must say, it’s been nice meeting you but I think it’s time we ought to be on our way.Don’t you think so, Mel?’‘Yes, Doctor, not a moment to lose,’ she agreed heartily.The TARDIS was only some thirty paces away but those thirty paces lay past a whole crowd of Kangs.Mel and the Doctor prepared themselves to run for it.But the Kangs were far too quick.They sensed what their captives were going to do before they even began to do it and blocked their paths.I suppose, the Doctor thought sardonically, when you live in a nightmare like Paradise Towers, you have to learn to act quickly.‘We heard you talk of the pool,’ Bin Liner announced, coming right up to the Doctor.Acute hearing too, he noted to himself.‘The great Pool in the Sky.’ Fire Escape spoke the words with a great deal of reverence and not a little fear.It was the first indication Mel and the Doctor had that the swimming pool they had so lightly selected might have a much deeper significance for the inhabitants of Paradise Towers.It was useless, however, to try and argue that their overheard conversation had been perfectly harmless.They had said enough to convince the Kangs that they were not to be let go.‘You’re coming to our Hide-In.’ Bin Liner announced.She gave a gesture of command.Experienced hands grasped them and, before they knew what had happened, the Doctor and Mel had their hands tied neatly and firmly behind their backs.Being bundled up in this way was marginally preferable to being impaled by metal arrows but still didn’t make them feel at ease.‘I see the art of knot-tying hasn’t died out here anyway,’ the Doctor muttered ruefully.‘I wonder if the Blue Kangs behave like this?’‘I thought they liked you,’ Mel returned in some puzzlement.‘They liked my clothes,’ the Doctor corrected, remembering the Kangs had dubbed them ‘high fabshion’, whatever that meant.‘It’s clearly not enough on its own.’‘Are they tied and true?’ Bin Liner had been watching the execution of her orders with an expert eye.The Red Kangs nodded.Fire Escape, meanwhile, was otherwise occupied.The Doctor’s ever-inquisitive eye tried to study what she was up to but it wasn’t easy with the scrum of Kangs around him.She appeared to be using some sort of telephone.But a phone concealed artfully in a battered old mechanical drinks dispenser.Presumably this was to hide its existence from the Kang’s enemies, which appeared to be legion.Whatever she was hearing on the phone had Fire Escape worried.She summoned Bin Liner over.‘Red Kang Eye-Spy says we can’t go through the usual carrydoor.Blue Kangs out and lurking.’Bin Liner was thoughtful.‘And the Yellows?’Fire Escape listened again.Her face became grave as she turned to her companion.‘No Yellows.All unalive.’‘All.’ Bin Liner echoed her in an awed voice.‘All.’ Fire Escape put down the receiver in silence.This was news they had obviously not expected to hear from their lookout and it had taken them by surprise.Suddenly the two girls looked very young and rather frightened [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]