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.She put on her Walkman (though allowed the headphones to dangle loose around her neck), bunged in a Mory Kante tape, then hurried through to the console room.The Doctor was busy at the console, making minute adjustments to ease the TARDIS's passage from the Space/Time vortex.The rods of light in the transparent cylinder of the time rotor were meshing and then separating above the console like champing teeth.He was muttering to himself, flicking hair absently out of his eyes.'Hi!'Sam shouted.The Doctor raised a hand without looking at her, though whether in greeting or to urge her to be quiet she wasn't sure.Undaunted, she stomped across the room and leaned on one of the four massive girders which curved up into the cobwebbed darkness above the console and supported the time-rotor mechanism.She watched the Doctor for a moment as he skittered around the console like a squirrel, and then she called, 'I gather from the gear that we're off back to Earth again.So what period are we going to grace with our presence this time?'The Doctor grunted and gestured at the monitor screen.Sam read what it said there, and despite herself felt a tingle of excitement.The Victorian era! Even now, despite all she had seen and experienced, which was enough to blow anyone's mind wide open, she couldn't get over the awe-inspiring fact that soon she would be walking about in the past of her own planet.It was an era she'd learned about at school, and had perhaps learned more about from watching films and TV serials based on Charles Dickens's novels, and the old musicals that they always put on at Christmas - My Fair Lady and all that.Yet although her stomach was juddering with anticipation, she couldn't possibly let the Doctor know how excited she was.In what she hoped was a taking-this-kind-of-thing-for-granted sort of voice, she said, 'So what we gonna do this time? Catch Jack the Ripper or something?''We're several years too late for that,' murmured the Doctor, evidently preoccupied.'Oh yeah, right,' she said, as if the Doctor had pointed out something she already knew, but which had briefly slipped her mind.Then a thought struck her and, her eyes shining, she said, 'Doctor?''Hmm?''Do you know who Jack the Ripper was?'This time the Doctor looked at her directly.He appeared to consider her question for a moment, then said quietly, 'I know many things.Too many, I think, sometimes.''So you do know!' Sam exclaimed.The Doctor pointed at her and frowned.'You can't take that with you,' he said.'You what?' said Sam guiltily.For a moment she thought he was referring to the Levellers T-shirt beneath her jacket, that maybe as a Time Lord he had X-ray vision, but just hadn't happened to mention it to her before.She felt herself beginning to blush at the implications of this, then realised he was referring to her Walkman.'Why not?' she challenged.'You know why,' the Doctor said, and then added more gently, 'Sam, you're far from stupid.'She tried not to appear flattered by the compliment.'It's a dangerous anachronism, right?''Right,' replied the Doctor.'I knew that.I was just wearing it to annoy you.''I know,' the Doctor said, smiling.The engines of the TARDIS reached a crescendo, and then began to quieten.'So what do you think of the clothes?' she asked, half raising her arms self-consciously.The Doctor blinked, and then his smile expanded into a grin as though he was only now seeing her for the first time.'You look delightful; he said.Sam pulled a face.'Oh, cheers,' she said, nonplussed.'I don't think I want to look delightful.''How do you want to look?' asked the Doctor.'I dunno.Cool.Confident.''You definitely look cool,' said the Doctor.'In fact, you'll be one of the coolest people around.The 1890s equivalent of a.a Spice Girl.''I think I'd better take that as a compliment; said Sam carefully.'Otherwise I might end up giving you a slap.'The TARDIS engines ground to a halt.The time rotor ceased its gnashing.The Doctor turned his attention back to the console, checked the instruments, then smiled.'Splendid,' he said.'We're where we're supposed to be.I'm getting the hang of this.'He operated the lever that opened the doors and jumped down from the control dais.Sam hastily took off her Walkman, tossed it on to a nearby chair which the Doctor had told her had once been the throne of a pretender to the title of Earth Empress, and followed him outside.In fact, she all but cannoned into the back of him, because he was standing very still on what appeared to be a towpath, surrounded by drifting fog, looking around suspiciously.'Oof,' she said.'What's up, Doctor?'He frowned.'This isn't right,' he murmured.'This isn't right at all.'Sam felt her spirits sinking.'What's not right?' she asked dangerously.'Well, look around you.It's dark.''So? It tends to do that at night-time.You've probably been too busy saving planets and stuff to notice before.''No, no, you don't understand.The TARDIS instruments distinctly stated that we had arrived in London at two p.m.on January the eleventh, 1894.As I see it, this could mean one of two things.Either some great catastrophe has befallen the Earth which has plunged the planet into darkness.Or.''Or?' prompted Sam.'Or it's not two p.m.'She sighed.'What you mean is, you've got it wrong again.I bet we're not on Earth at all!''No no no no no,' said the Doctor quickly, holding up his hands as though to stem her anger.'The TARDIS has probably just got her a.m.s and her p.m.s mixed up.She gets a bit forgetful sometimes.Dear old thing.' He turned and patted the TARDlS's chipped and battered exterior, then pulled the door shut.'No, this is Earth all right.Smell that air.'Sam did so, almost choking on the sulphurous fog.'Only London smells like this,' said the Doctor cheerfully.'It has a certain.ethos.A certain bouquet.' He paused, looking puzzled.'What's the matter?''Déjà vu ,'said the Doctor, then shrugged.'Occupational hazard.Come on.'He strode off along the towpath.There was a high, rough-hewn flood wall on his left, and on his right a drop into foggy blackness from which could be heard the gentle lap of water.'Where are we going?' Sam asked, having almost to jog to keep up with his long-legged strides.'We're going to a little bookshop I know to buy a copy of last month's Strand magazine.It should still be on sale.''Right.Er.why?''Because my issue met with a little accident.''God, are we living dangerously or what?' said Sam a little ruefully.Then she frowned.'Doctor?''Hmm?''I think I might have spotted a minor flaw in your plan.''Really?' said the Doctor, surprised.'And what might that be?''Where are we going to find a bookshop that's open at two o'clock in the morning?'The Doctor stopped dead, and again Sam almost walked into the back of him.'Ah,' he said.'I wondered when you were going to notice that.''Oh yeah, sure,' she said.'So what are we going to do? Go back to the TARDIS and wait for daylight?''Certainly not! Now we're here we might as well find out where we are.''Then what?'The Doctor shrugged.'We'll think of something [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]