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trapped! page 3

The Master found himself on the charred surface of the planet Nivkel - decimated as it had been by the Dalek torpedo in an earlier adventure ( see Dr. Who & The Master Plan ) - in the shadow of a classic Dalek flying-saucer which was, itself, nothing more than one giant Dalek-machine, for at the heart of the ship's computers was a mentally-augmented Kaled mutant whose brother and sister clones were responsible for the rest of the Dalek fleet elsewhere in the galaxy.

The Daleks were holding the Master at blaster-point. One of them had a red 'dome' and blue sensor-spheres displaying that it was of higher rank than the other mere silver Daleks. This 'chief' Dalek stood before a contraption that resembled a mini-TARDIS console which the Master recognised at once - it was a Time-Scoop!

'We used the Time-Scoop to bring you to this world where you betrayed the Daleks in an earlier adventure!' said the red-headed Dalek.

'Betrayed?' protested the Master. 'Never! I served the Daleks. I remain your slave. It was the Doctor who defeated you!'

'You escaped with your life. A Dalek task-force was exterminated by the missile.'

'But there was nothing I could do to help them. I was almost killed myself. If you spare me now, I will help you to capture the Doctor. He is your real enemy - mine too! I am even prepared to offer you my TARDIS.'

'We do not need your TARDIS. We have one of our own! We also have the Time-Scoop,' said the Dalek.

'Ah yes, and do you mind telling me, how you got your hands...err suction-cups on it?' he asked.

'It was supplied by a rebel Time Lord know to you as the Valeyard!'

The Master chuckled, 'You would be most surprised by what names the Valeyard is known to me.' The villain then offered to give the Daleks further instruction in the use of the Time-Scoop, that they might employ it in capturing the Doctor - if only they had known how close their quarry was! All this the Master used to bargain for his life.

'The Dalek Supreme has declared that you are not to be trusted' was the unwelcome reply. 'You will be exterminated!!!!'

~~~

Only a few hours before, Liz had simply arrived at UNIT HQ to ask the Doctor's opinion, and now she found herself beneath the surface of an alien planet being held prisoner by semi-robots. There were, three Cybermen, and one had black 'jug-handle' ear-phones thus indicating his higher rank. According to his 'chief' Cyberman, his race had been afflicted with the illness attributed to the use of synthetic water; Cyber-doctors deduced that the remaining organic parts of the Cyber-anatomy required nothing less than natural H2O. Consequently, the Cybermen had come to Nivkel, a planet rich in huge, untainted underground lakes: nine-million Cybermen now rested in suspended animation in the planet's bowels, receiving pure water by a system of pumps and pipes - only these three remained animated to oversee the operation.

'That reminds me,' said the Doctor, 'It's rather dry down here. Could do with a nice drink of water myself. How about you, Liz?'

At once, the Cyber-leader lunged out and grabbed the Doctor by the shoulder with his powerful metallic fingers. 'You will come with us, Doctor,' it said, 'You have information of value to us. But first, you must tell us the where-a-bouts of the other Time Lord.'

'Other Time Lord? Did you say, other Time Lord? What other Time Lord?'

'Two TARDIS-machines arrived on Nivkel. You can hide nothing from us. WHERE IS THE OTHER TIME LORD?!'

'My dear chap. I have neither the faintest idea nor the foggiest clue - in short, neither a notion nor an inkling nay, allow me to be more specific: not the dimmest glimmer, sir - of what you are talking about.' said the Doctor, perplexed.

Inside the Master's TARDIS, the little Kaled mutant considered its predicament. The scanner showed that it was on Earth. It had to get back to Nivkel. The bomb on top of the time column was ticking away, and the 85mm cannon of the UNIT tank was aimed right at the open door of the TARDIS. Against its instincts to annihilate the two Earth soldiers, the Dalek reluctantly magnetized itself to the floor of the TARDIS and threw the "Fast Return" switch...

~~~

'We refuse to go!' snapped the Doctor.

'Why?' said the Cyberman.

'Well, our oxygen supplies won't last much longer, you know, and besides, my companion is very tired.'

'We have ways of making you walk!' answered the Cyberman.

The Doctor refused to budge. The Cyber-leader pointed at Liz and in response, one of the underlings suddenly snatched the oxygen-helmet from her head. At once, she began to gasp like a fish out of water. Doctor Who removed his own helmet and put it over her head and then began to wrestle with the Cyberman for possession of the other one.

Liz, recovering and realizing what was going on, lifted a small rock and brought it down onto the Cyberman's metallic skull. That didn't do much good, but it did give the Doctor a second or two - which was all that he required - to get back on his feet and recover his helmet which had been dropped in the brief struggle.

'Kill her!!' the Cyber-leader commanded the second Cyberman.

However, before the Cybermen could even raise his gun to fire at Liz, the tunnel resounded with the wheezing noise of the TARDIS materializing. The Doctor, Liz and their Cyber-sparring-partner, looked on as the other two Cybermen were suddenly squashed flat by the solidifying form of a Police Box. The now lone Cyberman approached the TARDIS and began to examine as the couple hurried off to hide behind some nuclear-fuel tanks.

Just then, the Police Box doors swung open.

'Exterminate!!!' cried the emerging Dalek, and the remaining Cyberman crumpled to the ground under the blast of a death-ray!

The Doctor was astounded.

'I'm astounded,' he said, though very quietly least the Dalek should overhear.

The Dalek swung its eye-stick, which also functioned as an antenna, into the air and sent a message to its superior on the planet's surface. 'Bomb in Master's TARDIS will detonate in fifty rels,' it reported.

'Excellant,' came the reply. 'We shall take off in thirty rels. Return to our spaceship!'

'I obey,' said the Dalek as it began to glide away down the tunnel to find a way out.

'What's going on, Doctor?' asked Liz.

'I don't know, Liz,' he replied. What a turn up for the books this was. What in the name of Omega was it all about? The Doctor decided to search the TARDIS - the doors of which were wide open - for a clue.

As soon as he entered, he recognised it as belonging to the Master - and he also recognised the biscuit-tin shaped on top of the time-rotor: a Dalek-nite explosive, ticking away. He at once used the console computer to scan the TARDIS for the Master's heart beats - both of them. No luck - where could the bounder be? A plan lit up in the Doctor's mind. However, as usual, there wasn't much time. He again used the computer, this time to locate the Dalek space-ship on the planet's surface. Ah, there it was - almost exactly overhead. He re-set the TARDIS co-ordinates...

~~~

As the Dalek raced along the tunnel, it was being pursued by a not-quite-yet-exterminated Cyberman. The badly injured silver-soldier took aim and fired at the Dalek's sense-discs, momentarily stunning the Kaled blob inside. The Dalek then spun around and retaliated, missing and hitting instead the valve on a huge canister of gas. A death-ray battle ensued...

'What's all that noise outside?' asked Liz. This was all too much for the girl; she had often heard the Doctor talk about the Daleks and the Cybermen, and now she had met them both inside a half hour!

'I don't know, Liz. But I suggest we get back to the TARDIS - my TARDIS - at once,' he said, throwing the "Take-off Delay" switch and leading her hurriedly, back the way they came to safety…

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