“Do stop shouting, there’s a good fellow,” said the Doctor, when the Brigadier finally paused for breath. However, he was frowning, too. “I forgot. Up on that spaceship, there was clear evidence that those aliens could have some sort of effect on the human mind. Perhaps that’s what’s happened to Liz -.”
“There’s nothing wrong with my mind, thank you, Doctor.”
“You have to admit, this is rather uncharacteristic -.”
“That doesn’t mean I’m possessed!”
“In any case,” cut in Lethbridge-Stewart, a little more calmly this time, “none of this negates your contract with UNIT or prevents you coming back to work with us. I’ll expect you to be ready in half an hour.”
He marched out.
“Liz, I really do think I’d better make sure -. Even aside from the aliens there was the kidnapping and I -.”
She put a hand to the Doctor’s arm. “I’m all right. I promise. Trust me, Doctor.”
“Obviously, I do, but -. Oh, very well.” He gave her one last doubtful look before taking his leave.
Professor Ralph Cornish coughed, the bright red beginning to fade from his face, but only slowly. “I’d like to know what that was all about.”
“An experiment,” said Liz. “Interesting, wasn’t it?”
He said, “Interesting? I thought I was going to be lined up against the wall and shot. I’d never have agreed if I’d known it was going to be that dangerous.”
“Don’t talk nonsense,” she told him, but there was a secret smile playing about her face.
“I do apologise, Brigadier,” said Liz, catching him later in one of the offices. She turned her gaze to the desk and schooled herself to remain straight-faced and as innocent as she could manage. “I can’t think what came over me. The Doctor must have been right about those aliens, after all.”
He glanced down at her. “Somehow I don’t believe that for a moment. What were you playing at?”
Liz considered how to answer that. Some sort of honesty was called for, but ‘wondering what it would take to get a reaction out of you’ seemed unwise, if not plain suicidal. She thought at the very least she’d get a lecture on the subject of irresponsibility if she owned to that.
She looked up slowly and realised she’d been found out.
The Doctor wandered into the room and stopped abruptly to find Liz Shaw kissing the Brigadier. He backed out hastily. Good gracious! he thought. He had been right; the presence of those aliens really must have had a strange effect on her. First Professor Cornish, now the Brigadier… This was completely unlike her. What had they done?
He opened the door again, considering it his duty to rescue them both from such an awkward situation, but registered on a second glance that it would be equally true to say that the Brigadier was kissing Liz and he quietly removed himself again.
This was terrible. The effects must have been more widespread than he believed. He’d have to declare the space centre in quarantine before this sort of thing spread. It was horrifying to imagine what the results might be. He lost no time in heading off to do something about it.
When he tried to explain this to Professor Cornish, the man only swallowed back laughter and said, “Oh, so that’s what it came down to. I did wonder."
“Well, do I have your permission to close down the space centre and make a thorough examination of everyone on the premises? If people aren’t themselves, anything could happen.”
He bit his lip. “No, you don’t, Doctor. It’s all quite simple. Maybe this time I can explain something to you?”
He stormed out with a scowl on his face. Really, the nerve of the man. As if he didn’t know his colleagues far better than a stranger and clearly something must have happened to cause such odd behaviour.
He supposed that he should keep an eye on them and hope it would pass as swiftly as it had come.