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.Gingerly, he began to play its blue light over the surface of the segment…‘Doctor.’He looked around, wondering where the voice had come from.‘Boonie?’‘No, Doctor.’Cautiously, he stood up, the sonic still in his hand.There was no sign of anyone – not Boonie, not Mother.No one.And then he saw it.It had been hidden by the random piles of machinery thrown down by Mother and the broken bits of appliances left by Crusher and Chuck, but once it moved he saw it.It was a robot, about the size of a large child.Its upper body was a scratched, pale blue cube, its lower body an inverted pyramid from which sprouted two segmented legs ending in flat, circular feet.Two similar, flexible arms extended from the sides of the cube.A small screen was set into the front of the body near the top, glimmering bluey-white.It had no visible head.‘I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure,’ he said charmingly, reaching out a hand.But the robot remained where it was, ten metres away.‘I’m using this servitor as a conduit to speak to you,’ the voice said.It sounded surprisingly lively, but the Doctor had no idea whether that was its real voice, the voice of whoever was speaking through it, or just a disguise.‘Who are you?’‘You don’t need to know that.’‘Oh.OK.What do I need to know?’‘You need to know that if you attempt to interfere with the device at your feet, in any way, that you will not see Donna Noble alive again.’The Doctor clenched his jaw.‘I don’t take kindly to threats,’ he said sourly.‘Particularly not ones directed against my friends.’‘Then don’t take it as a threat, Doctor,’ the voice said, its bouncy nature sinisterly at odds with its words.‘Take it as a promise.Interfere with the segment and Donna dies.’‘How do I know you’ll honour your word?’ asked the Doctor.‘You don’t.But if you do anything to the segment then you can be sure that we will.This is not your fight, Doctor.’The Doctor sighed and stuck his hands in his pockets, kicking at a bit of scrap on the ground.‘Now, y’see, threatening Donna is the fastest way to make sure it is my fight.You really haven’t thought this one through, have you? If you’d just given Donna back to me, then things might have been different.’ He shook his head ruefully.‘But you had to go and do the threatening bully-boy bit, didn’t you? I mean, assuming you are a bully-boy and not a bully-girl.There’re plenty of those around.It’s not big and it’s not clever.’The Doctor stopped as he caught a brief flare of white light from one of the side aisles.‘The recovery party beaming down, eh? Hope Donna’s amongst them.I want to make sure she’s OK before I agree to anything.’And to hammer home his point a little more, he took a step up onto the segment and began jumping up and down on it.‘Hello!’ he said cheerily as two figures – a muscled black man with a grim, angry face and a thin, blonde, humaniform robot – stepped into the light.He looked around in mock puzzlement.‘No Donna?’As if in answer, there was another flash of light and a slightly bemused Donna materialised a few metres to the side of the new arrivals.She squinted in the darkness, getting her bearings, before she spotted him.‘Doctor!’‘Hello again!’ he grinned, hands in pockets, still jumping up and down on the segment like a child full of tartrazine.‘We’re really going to have to stop meeting like this.People’ll begin to talk.Especially with you being a goddess an’ all! “Too good for him!” they’ll be saying.’‘They wouldn’t dare,’ laughed Donna.Donna started to head towards him, but the man stepped forward with an outstretched hand to stop her.She pulled an apologetic face at the Doctor.‘Looks like I can’t come out and play just yet,’ she said.The man indicated that Donna should stay where she was, and then he and the blonde robot crossed to the Doctor and stood a few feet from where he’d finally stopped his bouncing.‘You’ve set up some sort of interference field, haven’t you?’ asked the little, boxy robot chirpily.The Doctor smiled and pulled out the sonic screwdriver, the tip of which was glowing a gentle blue.‘Turn it off and step off the segment.’Keeping an eye on Donna, the Doctor jumped down; the man and the robot came and stood right next to the battered artefact.‘The interference field, Doctor,’ the little robot reminded him.‘Oh yes.’ He fiddled with the screwdriver for a moment.‘Good,’ said the robot.‘Thank you.Goodbye, Doctor.Let’s hope our paths don’t cross for a while.I’d hate to have to be the one to inform you of Donna’s death.One never knows what flowers to send, does one?’‘What?’ called Donna, not understanding what the little robot was on about.‘Donna!’ called the Doctor, stepping back from the segment as he felt the hairs stand up on the backs of his hands.‘What?’ ‘Catch!’And with that, he flicked the slider on the side of the sonic and sent it spinning through the air in Donna’s direction.As he did so, he waved cheerily – and jumped back up onto the segment, just as the snowy glow of the transmat enveloped it, the muscle man and the blonde robot.And him.Reflexively, Donna caught the sonic – in time to see the Doctor and the rest of them vanish.‘Oh,’ said the little blue robot, surprised.‘I wasn’t expecting that.’‘What happened?’ came a voice – it was a young white kid with a nose-stud, sprinting towards them, and a massive great robot, thundering along behind him.‘The Doctor – he’s gone,’ said Donna, still trying to work it all out.‘Gone?’ said the boy.‘Where?’‘Garaman’s ship.They’ve beamed him up.’Suddenly, there was a clattering noise, and the little robot fell over, its arms and legs flailing about all over the place.‘Garaman?’ said the boy, ignoring it.‘Garaman Havati?’‘You know him?’ asked Donna, still trying to work out what had just happened.It was all going too fast for her to keep up.But the boy didn’t answer.He touched something on his lapel and then pulled a face.‘Kellique says there’s some sort of interference field here, stopping us from beaming up.’Donna held up the sonic screwdriver.‘This?’‘The Doctor’s device? That’ll be it – turn it off, quick, otherwise they’ll be long gone.We need to beam up to our ship, quickly!’Confused and dazed – but still a little suspicious – Donna slid the slider on the sonic and the glow faded.The boy touched his lapel again [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]