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.And see private eye Jack Corrigan, cursing at the railway timetable that will keep him in the town until sunrise – or Malcolm Blyth, hunched disconsolately over his desk and praying that this terrible night will end, and with it the throbbing pain in the back of his head.And somewhere in the town a murderer is loose, possessed now of the infinite powers which have lain for decades beneath Vampire Castle.Once more, the stage is set.The Doctor is doomed.The endgame begins.* * *The rain began to fall again as the Doctor stepped quietly out onto the dark wet street.The chimes of midnight rang in his ears and his face wrinkled with displeasure.The last five strokes; not a second had passed since his departure from the town.The remaining players in the game were right behind him; Ace, Bernice, and finally, almost forgotten about in the confusion, my own pawn Karen Davies, about to draw attention back to herself.Hardly was the group through the door when she cried out in dreadful pain and wrapped her arms hard around the knife wound in her stomach.The Doctor moved to her side, but his expression was coldly dispassionate and the tone of his voice was scornful.‘Let me guess: you’ve had a sudden flashback to the attack, and remembered exactly who tried to murder you.’‘You know, I think you’re right,’ said Karen, all innocence and sincerity.‘How could you tell?’‘Dramatic convention,’ snapped the Doctor.‘This is the end of a chapter, no doubt.I assume we’re due for a cliffhanger.’ He turned quickly, and the others followed his line of sight.It was as the Doctor had expected.The killer was there, and they all recognized him as such; recognizing also the identity of the man around whom the deadly McAllerson’s Radiation now wildly coruscated.It was Philip Chambers, and his eyes were like burning pools of ice in the shadows of his face.* * *Chapter 14Backs to Reality‘Oh, I am sorry my friends,’ said Phil Chambers with exaggerated politeness.His voice was far stronger now, and like his body it seemed to fairly crackle with the energy he possessed.‘Did I give you all a shock, just turning up like this?’‘Actually no,’ said the Doctor.‘Not at all.’Chambers ignored him.‘I suppose you’d all like to know what’s been going on around here, then?’‘I imagine you’re going to tell us,’ the Doctor grumbled, checking his pocket watch impatiently.‘Just try to be succinct – exposition passages can be very trying.’‘Philip Chambers never really existed, you see,’ said the energy being.‘Not as a whole person, not in his own right.When I came here to Arandale in the meteor storm of 1959, I sent my probes out towards the town for a suitable host body.Your fragile human forms were found to be inadequate and many were eliminated, but eventually I found what I was looking for.An unborn child, conceived but a few weeks before.A blank slate, ready for me to bend to my will.So I sent a sliver of myself into that child, and I worked on its mind, moulding its form and its personality – until eventually the child became a man, and the time became right for me to take total control of its body.’The Doctor sighed.‘Just give us the edited highlights, can’t you? You wanted a body, so you stole that of Philip Chambers.The process of consolidating your hold on him required a vast amount of blood, so you had to do it in stages, sending your dupe to collect more from the townspeople each time it was needed.The clue we should have seen was that Rosemary Chambers could only cast spells when her husband was present; she didn’t possess any powers in her own right, but she could somehow draw on the ones which had taken over his body.All fairly logical albeit predictable, improbable and rather contrived.Now what do you do for an encore?’‘That’s a very neat synopsis, Doctor,’ said the thing that had been Chambers, a little disappointed perhaps that the Time Lord had stolen his thunder.‘And to answer your question – well obviously, now I revel in the joys of my new‐found corporeity by going on a senseless rampage across this town and wiping out everyone who lives here.’‘Splendid.Well, we’d better leave you to it then.’‘Oh no, Doctor,’ the creature said.‘I’m afraid you and your companions are to be my very first victims!’‘Ah yes,’ said the Doctor [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]