Note from author: Apologies for the long wait for the next chapter. Sometimes everyday chores and other commitments leave little time for me to pursue my hobby. Good news, though. Supermarket trips are done for the month, and I've a few days on my own before I'm off doing my bit to support American public radio. Meaning I've had some time in the past day or two, to work on this story. Many thanks to my readers for your patience. NBG

Chapter 29

Standing at the edge of the cliff, the kill-bot looked down upon Rogerious. The huge robot bowed its weighty head, accepting the order to terminate its hostage. However, Tegan already had her suspicions about her fate. And she didn't hesitate to act upon them. As the robot had turned to stare down at its master, Tegan made a mad dash for a pile of rocks behind her.

There was only one thought on the fifth Doctor's mind: saving Tegan. He advanced angrily on Rogerious, palming the tenth Doctor's sonic screwdriver as he did so. The bounty hunter made a move for his side-arm. Unfortunately for him, the Doctor already had the sonic out. He stood cool and remote, pointing it upwards.

The bright white orb of the moon thew the kill-bot's satiny black shadow down upon the Doctor and Rogerious. It stood out clearly in relief upon the ground, against the moon's blue-tinted light. The Doctor pressed a button on the device. Rogerious had his pistol out and was aiming for the Doctor's hearts, when he heard a loud buzz resonating upon the sharp night air. Somehow, it reminded him of an angry wasp trapped inside a glass jar.

In the act of turning aside in pursuit of Tegan, the kill-bot abruptly halted. It stared down at itself and tilted its head, as if puzzled by something it couldn't comprehend. Then its legs began to vibrate. Tiny oscillations shivered through the robot's body, as gentle as the touch of a feather.

Yet quicker than the eye could blink, those vibrations grew stronger. The thing's knobby metallic knee joints slowly began to wobble. The whole of the machine was now vibrating so badly that it made the earth beneath it tremble. A resonant rumble came from its caterpillar tracks, causing tiny fissures in the earth which spread along the ground, a catalyst which then lead to a slow crumbling away of the cliff's edge.

It was the sudden cascading dribble of stones which caused the bounty hunter's finger to pause on the trigger. Rogerious turned just in time to see the kill-bot shift forward, tilting precariously over the edge of the cliff. Helped along by Tegan, as it happened. She'd found a board lying on the floor of the quarry, and was using it to help speed the kill-bot's impending decent to the bottom.

The bounty hunter's head whipped backwards, his eyes shooting a questioning glance at the fifth Doctor, before a noise from above caused Rogerious to look up once more at the robot. Which was, by then, careening towards him.

Rogerious stood wide-eyed in disbelief. He had only time to utter one brief, incredulous "Woof!" before he was crushed beneath his own weapon of mass destruction.

Coughing and brushing away the cloud of debris caused by the robot's fall, the Doctor anxiously surveyed the cliff. He sighed with relief as her saw Tegan waving to him from above, apparently unharmed.

"Doctor!" She shouted.

"Are you alright, Tegan?" He called up to her.

"I'm fine. Now which way do I go to hitchhike back to London?"

Shaking his head, the Doctor smiled, certain now that Tegan was indeed perfectly fine. He wondered absently if any of the other Doctor's had a pair of ear plugs. He had a feeling he was never going to hear the end of this. Sighing again, he stared bleakly at the clear night sky. Maybe he should make a detour to Heathrow.

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