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thief!

The workshop was closed.

It was very late at night, and in the city, the last artificial light blinked off. An old man stood in the corridor just outside the workshop.

He edged himself cautiously around a pillar set in the wall and placed his small tool bag on the floor. He stood still for a moment to catch his breath, and then beckoned to the shadows for his companion to follow.

A small young girl came around the corner and looked at the locked doors to the workshop.

'Now what?' she queried.

The old man flicked back a lock of his white hair and picking up his tool bag, he took out a small black rod and placed it the lock.

There was a small sharp click and a shower of sparks, followed by a sheet of gushing, flowing smoke and the door swung open. The young girl smiled and ran into the workshop, followed closely by the old man.

A flick of a switch and the room was bathed in a flood of warm golden light. There were benches covered with sophisticated tools and rows of half-repaired machines.

The old man walked up to a plasti-glass case set high in one of the walls. Inside, there was a set of keys, each with an identification tag. The old man wrapped a piece of cloth around his hand and viciously punched the plasti-glass, showering himself in a rain of sharp shards.

The girl looked worried. 'Are you alright?' she asked.
The old man dusted the fragments from his clothing and replied: 'Yes, my child, I am fine.'

He picked up a key from the shattered cabinet and read the identity tag aloud which consisted of a series of numbers and letters and walked over to the machine with the corresponding figures stencilled on the side.

As the key was inserted into the lock of the machine the door hummed open. The old man entered followed by the young girl.

As the large doors closed behind them, the young girl looked around the control room. 'Where now?' she asked.

The old man's answer could faintly be heard above the rising groaning noise of the machine. 'We have a TARDIS,' he said, 'We can go anywhere, Susan.'

written by
ROBERT HAMMOND
copyright 2009

artwork by
COLIN JOHN
copyright 2009