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.Suddenly the nature of the struggle changed.Linx feinted, dodged to one side, then sprang forward with incredible speed.His arm swept out, smashing the flimsy shield from the Doctor’s hand, leaving the Doctor defenceless.Linx stood gloating for a moment, raised his ray-gun—and the Doctor smashed it from his hand with a precisely-timed kick.For a moment they confronted each other.The lipless mouth of the Sontaran stretched wide in a fearsome grin, and his little eyes glowed red with bloodlust.Slowly he began shuffling towards the Doctor.The Doctor backed away.He was facing an opponent too heavy to throw, too strong to hold, too tough to be disabled by any blow.Unless, unless he could get behind him, and strike at the probic vent.Well aware of the Doctor’s intentions, Linx made sure to keep his front to his enemy.Twice the Doctor tried to get round behind him, but the menace of Linx’s slashing blows kept him back.The Doctor knew that if just one of those blows landed he would be in trouble.And if Linx ever got him in his grip.They shuffled round and round the workshop in a deadly waltz, jockeying for position.Hal slipped cautiously into the great hall.Irongron and Bloodaxe were snoring at the table, sleeping men-at-arms all round them.Hal slipped from one man to another, taking knives, swords and crossbows and tossing them out of the window.He disarmed Bloodaxe, then turned to Irongron, the last, and the most dangerous.Hal reached for Irongron’s sword and began sliding it from its sheath—and Irongron’s eyes came open.Perhaps it was because he was so much stronger than the others, perhaps because he’d eaten less of the stew—whatever the reason, Irongron was suddenly awake.With a roar he surged to his feet, smashing Hal to the ground with a single blow.He looked muzzily around at his sleeping men.‘Treachery,’ he muttered thickly.‘Black sorcery!That toad Linx has bewitched us all.’ Drawing his sword he staggered from the hall.Sarah looked desperately round the workshop.If she could find some weapon, perhaps she could strike Linx down as Rubeish had done.Before she could act, the Doctor’s foot slipped, and Linx was upon him.A smashing blow sent the Doctor flying across the cellar.He scrambled to his feet and backed away, but the blow had weakened him.Instantly Linx was upon him again.He seized the Doctor by the arm, and hurled him across the room.The Doctor cannoned against a wall, and almost fell.He shook his head half stunned and backed away.Linx sprang forward again, and grappled with him.The Doctor put forth all his strength and actually succeeded in holding Linx for a moment.The two stood straining, motionless, locked together like some statue.Then Linx hurled the Doctor to the ground.The Doctor struggled to rise and then collapsed.As Linx went to pick up his ray-gun from beneath the bench, Sarah threw herself upon him but he brushed her casually away.She flew across the room, slammed into a column, and fell.Linx picked up his gun, took careful aim at the Doctor—and the door crashed open.Irongron stood swaying at the top of the steps.He glared at the glowing scout ship.‘Destroy my castle by sorcery, would you, toad-face? Irongron is too strong for your magic.’ Raising his broadsword, Irongron moved down the steps.‘Die, star warrior!’ Linx raised his ray-gun and gave Irongron one long blast, the weapon at maximum power.Irongron twisted in the grip of the red glow, then crashed down the steps like a falling tree.As Linx turned to shoot down the Doctor and Sarah, an urgent bleeping note came from the control room of his ship.He remembered that he had left the ship on automatic countdown.Now there was not so much as a second to spare.Besides, his enemies would die in the blast.Linx snatched up the osmic projector, ran into the control room and took his place in the flight-chair.His stubby fingers flew over the complex controls.The throbbing of the ship rose higher and higher until the castle was shaken to its foundations.Hal shook his head and staggered to his feet.The whole room was shaking crazily.He lurched across to Bloodaxe and slapped his face.Bloodaxe’s eyes came open.He stared dazedly at Hal and reached for his vanished sword [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]