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mall, though size did not matter, the Graske ran on, clutching the stolen item in his possession, while behind him, he heard alarm bells and military boots.

‘Must keep to schedule,’ he told himself, ‘Nothing must hold me back!’

The voice in the Graske's head was constant, menacing, and fearful.

‘Halt! Don't move!’

The Graske stopped abruptly in his tracks, turned slowly and came face to face with his military pursuers.  ‘Stay away!’ barked the Graske.

The soldiers ignored his warnings and continued to move in closer.

‘I warn you!’ the Graske went on. ‘I am armed!’

‘So are we!’ declared one of the soldiers.

The Graske revealed a weapon from its lower belt and without further hesitation fired on the military.

‘Sorry,’ it muttered, as it turned and continued his escape.

~~~

uke, Clyde, and Rani discussed the alien foes they had encountered and defeated in the past week.

‘The Slitheen at the local fire station, the Bane in the park…’

Luke counted down the most memorable while Rani had her own share.

‘Cybermats in my own back yard,’ she confessed.

‘You said they were mice?’ said Clyde.

‘…and, hello?’ said Luke, in awe of this confession. ‘You never said anything? Cybermats are dangerous!’

‘Mum said they were super mice…’ whispered Rani, as Sarah Jane passed the door to the attic.

‘Super what?’ chuckled Clyde.

‘We called pest control,’ said Rani.

‘Blimey,’ said Clyde. ‘We have been busy of late!’

Suddenly, Sarah Jane entered the attic. She smiled. There was a glint of intrigue in her eye.

‘Mr Smith…’ she announced, in a hearty tone of voice. ‘I need you!’

Mr Smith emerged from beyond the brick wall.

‘What may I do for you, Sarah Jane?’ asked the super computer.

‘Anything new?’ she asked, with a roaring enthusiasm. ‘With the numerous sightings in and around Ealing, I worry we're neglecting cities and villages beyond the boundaries of our homes…’ she said.

‘I will scan Ealing and beyond,’ answered Mr Smith in a dry but vocal tone of voice.

Luke appeared at her side.

‘Okay, mum?’ he asked her.

Sarah Jane smiled. She turned to her son, and winked twice.

‘What is it?’ asked Luke.

‘UNIT have been in contact,’ said Sarah Jane, in something of a mutter trying to be sneaky.

‘Sarah Jane,’ announced Mr Smith. ‘I have discovered a single trace of an alien in these whereabouts…’

The monitor flashed up a series of images, mostly from Google Earth, of a military base nearby.

‘What species?’ asked Luke.

Clyde and Rani then appeared at both Luke and Sarah Jane's shoulders.

‘What's going on?’ asked Clyde.

‘Have we another alien to defeat?’

‘Hey,’ snapped Sarah Jane, ‘That's no way to talk of an alien visitor, Rani!’

‘Sorry,’ she said.

‘Have just got into the habit, eh?’ said Clyde.

‘Still,’ said Sarah Jane.

‘The analysis has discovered the trace of a Graske,’ answered Mr Smith.

‘Good,’ said Sarah Jane, ‘but what was he doing in a military base?’

‘Reports of a device stolen from there indicate the Graske was the thief behind the crime,’ said Mr Smith.

‘And that must be the reason for UNIT calling?’ wondered Sarah Jane.

‘But why involve us, when they're perfectly capable of stopping this themselves?’ asked Clyde.

‘Go on…’ said Sarah Jane, wanting to know more.

‘Well, they've access to guns, bombs, all kinds of weapons, and yet they still choose to alert us? Doesn't that strike you as a little odd, Sarah Jane?’

Sarah Jane agreed.

‘Well,’ she said. ‘We're very understanding, and UNIT these days are of some concern to the Doctor. He refuses to help them of late.’

‘Why?’ wondered Rani.

‘Because they've changed,’ answered Sarah Jane. ‘And that's why we do what we do,’ she declared. ‘Thank you, Mr Smith, that'll be all!’

The computer shifted back into its place, as the wall closed in and slotted into its place in the brickwork.

‘Come on,’ said Sarah Jane, fetching her coat, ‘We've got a Graske to catch!’

~~~

ith Sarah Jane behind the wheel of her car and Clyde beside her, Luke, and Rani sat in the back, they left 13 Bannerman Road leaving K9, Sarah Jane’s robot dog, back at the house.

‘So what’s the hurry, we’re we going?’ asked Clyde

‘We're journeying to a military base on the outskirts of Ealing, we need to follow this up as quickly as possible.’ Sarah Jane replied.

To add to the theft of the device the Graske had stolen from the military, he had also been responsible for the deaths of six UNIT officers and was still hiding out in the military base itself.

‘What would the Graske want with something from UNIT?’ asked Rani.

‘I thought you wanted to be a journalist when you're older?’ mocked Clyde. ‘Come on, think…’

‘Ah… the one man with all the answers… I think not,’ answered Rani.  ‘Clyde Langer… do tell,’ she snapped.

‘Yeah, well, I have the skill and determination to do all this by myself,’ he boasted, but deep down he knew he couldn't do any of the work without his team around to support him.

Neither, Sarah Jane, Luke, nor Rani believed him anyhow.

~~~

he Graske had completed the operation, but knew his escape would be made difficult by the forces on the ground. He had climbed a tree to avoid detection, but he disliked heights. Soon, he would have to climb down, and find some way of making the teleportation module if he wished to meet the deadline he was set.

It was getting dark and, not too far from the main gates, he saw the area was indeed quiet. He was slowly on his way down the trunk of the tree, feet slipping to a branch below the next, when he reached for the branch above him to steady himself as his fears got the better of him. Reaching the main gates was a small motor, and within was Sarah Jane Smith.

 

artwork by ANDY LAMBERT
used with permission
 
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