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A Marshy Problem

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"No, wait. That doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere."

Charley sighed and tried to push her hair back, but humidity had glued it to her forehead. "Maybe they're backwards," she suggested, without a great deal of hope. The Doctor had spent the last twenty minutes trying to show her how to use the mechanical stilts, and thus far he himself had not gotten much past extending them.

"I think if they were backwards, I would be going backwards. Now I'm not going anywhere at all." He added plaintively, "They've changed them since last time I was here. Or they haven't changed them yet; I'm still not sure about those co-ordinates." He bent almost double and aimed his screwdriver at his left foot. The stilt collapsed, dumping him on the muddy ground.

Charley covered her mouth, then just laughed at him. "Well you're not getting me up on a set of those."

Unperturbed, he smeared the mud across his frock coat in an effort to brush it off, before collapsing the second stilt. It folded into an inch-thick plate on the bottom of his shoe. "What kind of adventuress are you?"

"One who likes to keep her feet on the ground," she told him, and he had the grace not to laugh at her. If he murmured anything about not saying that when he met her, it was covered by the sound of his screwdriver.

Then the stilts snapped to full extension and began to march across the swamp, Doctor and all, and he didn't have time to say anything about the Airship R101.