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.From somewhere nearby, there was the sound of running water.The smell of greenery.The Doctor turned his head.‘Oh,’ said the woman.‘You must be one of the good guys.’‘How… can you tell?’ the Doctor asked.He hoped the words were audible, but he couldn’t hear his own voice for some reason, so he wasn’t sure.‘Because you’re covered in bruises.’The Doctor considered this.‘I could be… one of the villains… who’s just… been punished.’‘Don’t be silly.Good guys don’t punish bad guys by beating them up.’The Doctor almost nodded.‘Hello, Sarah Jane,’ he said.He wondered if Sarah looked surprised.It was hard to tell, since he could see only her knees from here.Her body was crouched down by his side.‘You,’ she said.‘It’s you, isn’t it?’‘I… think so.Let’s pretend it… isn’t, and see… what happens.’‘A.A.Milne.’‘Was it? Ah.’ The Doctor managed to move his neck again, until his eyes were aimed directly at Sarah’s face.She didn’t look the way he remembered her, but then again he didn’t know how much of this he may have been hallucinating.She was definitely looking apprehensive, though.The poor girl.Over her shoulder, he could see a fountain, the same pale cream in colour as the ceiling.Clean water dribbled out of the mouths of not‐quite‐stone cherubs, which – if the Doctor wasn’t mistaken – all seemed to be wearing armour.Oh.Religious‐military imagery.Early Rassilon Era.There were elaborate archways set into the wall somewhere beyond the fountain, and the Doctor wasn’t surprised to see that they didn’t actually go anywhere.‘What did they do to you?’ Sarah asked.‘Torture.Should be… used to it.By now.’There was a tickling sensation in his scalp.He realised Sarah was running her fingers through his hair.‘You know, I knew you were in trouble.I was going to come and rescue you.’ Sarah looked around the room.‘But it looks like we’ve both been rescued.Haven’t we?’‘What’s the last thing you remember?’ the Doctor asked her.She clicked her tongue.‘I was in an office.Waiting for a man called Llewis.I was looking out of the window, and this Ogron had just climbed out of his car…’ She trailed off.‘Doesn’t really make a lot of sense, does it? Where are we?’‘TARDIS.Took myself out of time.This area… a catch‐all.Anything that leaves the continuum… this close to the TARDIS… gets put here… for safekeeping.’Sarah laughed.‘Let me guess.They just happened to leave enough equipment in your cell for you to make a taking‐things‐out‐of‐time machine.’The Doctor tried to say ‘no’, but couldn’t quite remember how to, so he shook his head instead.‘Did it myself.Took myself out.No… no? No.No equipment.’‘You took yourself out of time? What, just like that?’ Sarah clicked her fingers.‘Wait a minute.How come you never did that when I knew you? I mean, I can think of a couple of times when it would’ve come in handy.’‘No.Don’t understand.’ The Doctor took a deep breath, and it hurt.‘Not escape.Out of time.Soon… soon we’ll be taken back.Back to where we came from.No escape.Not from here.This process… the equations… takes up time.Effort Energy.No real purpose.Gives us time, maybe.Thinking time.That’s why… we don’t use it.Pointless.Last resort.’Sarah stood.‘But we’re in the TARDIS, aren’t we? We can just set the co‐ordinates for somewhere else, and –’‘No.Look.Look around you.’So Sarah looked.Then she put her hands on her hips, and walked around the fountain towards the far wall, where the arches were.She started circling the room, her high heels tack‐tack‐tacking on the smooth floor.‘No exits,’ said Sarah.‘This area… an emergency measure,’ the Doctor told her.‘Catches things that… drop out of time… until the TARDIS can put them back.No doors.Too much of a… risk.Don’t know what… might get on board…’Sarah’s face bobbed into view again.‘So why did you bother coming here if there’s no way out?’‘Had to… do something.Running out of… of options.Thought… if I escaped at least for a moment… I might… might think of something…’He realised his voice was fading.The left eye was clouding over, just like the right one.Everything suddenly seemed a very long way away.‘You mean, this was the best you could do?’ asked Sarah.‘The great work,’ the Doctor croaked.‘No other ideas.Sorry.’Sarah tapped him on the forehead.‘If you’re so clever, tell me this.How come I ended up here?’‘Good question.Must have plucked you out of time too.Your timeline must have been part… part of the equation.’ He suddenly realised what he was saying.‘Yes.Yes.The timeline equation I drew… I was thinking of you… when I drew it.Must have been subconscious.Must have included you… in the design.Shouldn’t be possible, though.Not without some kind of… focus…’‘Hold on.’ Sarah started rummaging around in her pockets, in a fashion the Doctor found strangely appealing.She plucked out a blob of black plastic, just the right size to fit into the palm of her hand, and held it in front of his face.‘Took it from the office,’ she said.‘Any good?’The Doctor nodded.‘Alien.Receiver technology.Must have picked up… the signal… the equation.’ He let his head sink back, his neck exhausted.‘Yes.That’s it.That would do it.’Sarah absent‐mindedly started curling some of her hair around one of her forefingers.The hair was blonde, strangely enough.‘So [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]