Chapter 26

Not being able to help herself, Tegan screamed as she dangled over the cliff. The chain bound to her waist by a heavy band of titanium steel, cut into her sharply. Closing her eyes to ward off her growing fear, she cried out for help she knew probably wouldn't come. Tegan—hardly for the first time, loudly cursed the kill-bot, and stated that she wished she'd never stepped foot in the TARDIS.

"That's Tegan, alright." The fifth Doctor said softly, "I'd know that voice anywhere." Feeling horrified and helpless, he watched the scene playing out above his head.

"You have but one thing to do, Time Lord. Obey me. Only then shall Tegan be freed." The man-dog told him, his cultured voice dripping with suave persuasion. "And if you do not do so within the next five minutes, I shall instruct the kill-bot to open its fist. It is ironic, is it not? For Tegan's fate also lies within your grasp. You have but to speak yes or no, to seal her fate."

Whirling suddenly about, the Doctor angrily eyed Rogerious. His chest heaved as he felt his hearts beating double time. "Alright! Yes! Don't hurt her. You win. I'll do whatever you ask. Just...get Tegan away from that...thing." He growled at the bounty hunter.

That I shall, Doctor. Rest assured. But first," he sneered, "you will hand over the key to your TARDIS." Rogerious demanded pompously, holding out his furry hand.

"What!" The Doctor boggled. Heso taken aback by this new demand, he momentarily forgot about Tegan. Frowning deeply, he said, "That was not part of the deal. You have me. What do you want my ship for?"

"Have you any idea how much a TARDIS would fetch on the black market?" Rogerious barked a sharp laugh, "And of course, there is the personal satisfaction I will gain in taking away from you, that which you value the most."

Another scream for help from Tegan drew the Doctor's attention back to the matter at hand. He quickly shot anxious glances from Tegan to the TARDIS, back to Tegan again. Rogerious reminded him that his five minutes were nearly gone. Slowly, the Doctor moved his hand towards his trouser pocket.

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