The Crystal Brucephalus by Craig Hinton

The Crystal Brucephalus by Craig Hinton

Author:Craig Hinton
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Science-Fiction:Doctor Who
ISBN: 9780426204299
Publisher: Virgin Publishing
Published: 1994-12-14T10:00:00+00:00

‘That’s odd.’ Lassiter double-checked the granite monitor. The Doctor’s signal seemed to have disappeared. ‘Ottway?’

‘Carl’s off duty, Professor. Kruust here.’

‘Kruust: anything odd going on?’ Kruust was an Earth Reptile; technically competent but prone to going all wobbly at the first sign of trouble.

Kruust sounded puzzled. ‘Odd? Odd as in wrong? No, Professor, everything’s running smoothly. Better than smoothly – you must have given the Legions a pay rise.’

He forced a laugh. ‘Okay, Lassiter out.’ But the Doctor had definitely vanished, with no sign of him in Ancient France.

Lassiter instructed the webwork to run a sweep of every site in the Carte de Locales. It could just be an equipment malfunction, but he had a bad feeling about it.

‘Are we to disappoint our guests, or will there be rejoicing as the Crystal Bucephalus opens its doors?’ The Maitre D’ was striding into the Legion tank.

Lassiter frowned. ‘Seabstian, oh, she’s ready to open. Now, if you want.’

The general manager checked his pocket watch. ‘Oh no, Alex, we still have one minute left.’ He came forward and slapped him on the shoulder. ‘I knew you wouldn’t let me down.’

‘Wait a moment, you don’t understand.’

‘Understand what?’

‘The Doctor.’ He held his hands open. ‘He’s vanished.

Vanished from the Grid.’

The Maitre D’ sneered most unpleasantly. ‘Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.’ He tugged on his waistcoat. ‘Let’s put all that trouble with the Doctor and his friends behind us.’ He smiled, almost beatifically, and rubbed his hands. ‘The Crystal Bucephalus is now open for business, and all our problems are over, Alex.’

Lassiter looked at the monitors and displays, trying to counteract the feelings of dread that were shooting up his spine. ‘Oh no, Sebastian. I’ve got the most horrible feeling that they’ve only just begun.’

The Doctor fell out of the Time Vortex, his body wracked with excruciating pain. It wasn’t supposed to be like that! For a brief moment, he was able to take in the faint twin suns peering through the pinkish sky, the grey stone cones that stood to the left and right. Then he felt the cold: definitely below the tolerances of even a Time Lord, especially one who’d just been ripped out of the Vortex. Within seconds his mind cut out, his body admitting defeat to both the forces that had ravaged his body in the Vortex and the sub-zero temperatures. He collapsed on to the cold pavement with only his limpness preventing serious injury.

Within minutes, his blue jacket and silk pantaloons had been covered by the ceaselessly falling snow.


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