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This is a work of fi ction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the

This is a work of ction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used ctitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2013 by Tommy Donbavand

All right reserved. Published in the United States by Broadway Paperbacks, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Broadway Paperbacks and its logo, a letter B bisected on the diagonal, are trademarks of Random House, Inc.

This edition published by arrangement with BBC Books, an imprint of Ebury Publishing, a division of the Random House Group Limited, London.

Doctor Who is a BBC Wales production for BBC One. Executive producers: Steven Moat and Caroline Skinner.

BBC, DOCTOR WHO, and TARDIS (word marks, logos, and devices) are trademarks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under license. Cybermen originally created by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request.

ISBN 978-0-385-34678-8 eISBN 978-0-385-34679-5

Printed in the United States of America

Editorial director: Albert DePetrillo Series consultant: Justin Richards Project editor: Steve Tribe Cover design: Lee Binding © Woodlands Books Ltd. 2013 Production: Alex Goddard


First Edition

Woodlands Books Ltd. 2013 Production: Alex Goddard 1   3   5   7   9

23 November 1963

PC Reg Cran eld turned the corner into Totter’s Lane, the beam of his torch slicing through the fog. It was a thick one tonight, what his dad would have referred to as a ‘real pea souper’, had he still been alive to say it. It was a cold one, too. Reg pulled his jacket tighter around himself, hoping that the lads back at the station would remember to keep the teapot warm this time. He didn’t want to come back to a cold brew on a night like this. Still, at least the streets were quiet tonight. Everyone was indoors watching the news reports coming in from America. Nasty business, that. This wasn’t his regular beat. He’d swapped shifts at the last minute with his drinking buddy, PC Rawlings, who claimed he was coming down with


beat. He’d swapped shifts at the last minute with his drinking buddy, PC Rawlings, who claimed


the u. Reg wasn’t convinced. Fred was as healthy as a horse; he’d never had so much as a snie in all the time they’d known each other. Sergeant Clough reckoned it all had something to do with what had happened last night, when Fred had returned to the nick as white as a sheet, blabbering on about ‘people in the mist who weren’t really there’. More likely he’d stopped ofor one too many bracers at the Rose and Crown, but Fred had swapped with him plenty of times over the past few months so he could go and visit his dad. Reg found himself thinking about his father again. It was two weeks now. Two weeks since he’d slipped away, less than half an hour after Reg had left the old folks’ home after his nightly visit. It was almost as though his dad had deliberately held odying until his only son was safely on the number 91 bus back home before heading for the pearly gates. Not that his dad had believed in any form of life after death. In fact, he only went to church on Christmas Eve because he’d promised Reg’s mother that he would continue to do so after she had died. ‘If there was an afterlife, I’d know about it,’ he used to tease. ‘Your mother never stopped nagging me when she was alive, and there’d be no stopping her coming back from beyond the grave to do the same.’ Of course, now his dad had gone oto join his mum. Wherever that was. Reg hadn’t even found out until he telephoned


course, now his dad had gone o ff to join his mum. Wherever that was. Reg


the home from the station the next morning to see if his dad had had a comfortable night. He didn’t have

a telephone at his at, so the staat the home had no

way of contacting him. Of course, now there was no point in getting a line installed at all. His torch swept across the wooden gates of Foreman’s scrapyard, and Reg paused to check they were securely locked. There had been rumours of teenagers hanging around the gates at all hours of the day and night, although no break-ins had been reported, and nothing had gone missing. Still that didn’t mean the yard was going to become a hang- out for school kids when they should be at home with their families. Not on his watch. ‘Reggie…’ Reg spun round, waving his torch to and fro like

a fencer’s foil. ‘Who’s there?’ ‘Reggie!’ Reg shivered. This wasn’t funny. The only person who ever called him by that name was his dad. Whoever was doing so now would have some serious explaining to do. ‘I said, who’s there?’ Then his torch picked out a face. A face looming slowly out of the thick mist. A face that didn’t seem to be connected to anything else. ‘This is Police Constable Craneld,’ he announced. ‘Identify yourself!’ ‘Reggie – it’s me!’


else. ‘This is Police Constable Cran fi eld,’ he announced. ‘Identify yourself!’ ‘Reggie – it’s me!’


Reg felt his legs turn to jelly, forcing him to press his free hand against the scrap yard gates to steady himself. ‘Dad?’ The face was clearer now, taking shape as more wisps of fog blew in on the breeze. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, Reg’s father. ‘Dad!’ he croaked, his mouth suddenly bone dry. ‘Dad, I… I don’t…’ ‘You left me, Reggie.’ ‘What?’ ‘You left me that night. Left me to die alone.’ Reg’s legs gave way and he slumped back against the gate, rattling the padlocked chain. ‘No… You don’t understand!’ ‘I was alone, Reggie. Alone and in pain. I couldn’t even call for help.’ ‘B-but, Dad…,’ said Reg, blinking back tears. ‘I had to get the last bus. You know I always get that bus when I come to see… when I came to see you. You know that.’ The face was drifting closer now, swelling out of the fog, growing more and more real with every passing second. ‘You don’t know what it’s like, Reggie,’ the face said, its expression twisting into an angry sneer. ‘To be abandoned by your family. To be left alone by those you’ve cared for all your life!’ ‘It wasn’t like that!’ sobbed Reg, the tears owing freely now. ‘If I’d known, I’d have stayed. I promise!’


like that!’ sobbed Reg, the tears fl owing freely now. ‘If I’d known, I’d have stayed.


‘Stayed to watch me die?’ ‘Yes. N-no! I mean I would have stayed there so I could have got help for you!’ ‘But you didn’t stay, Reggie. After all I’ve done for you!’ ‘Dad, please…’ Reg’s voice was little more than a whisper. The face darted forward towards him, mouth wide and teeth bared. Reg dropped his torch to the ground and covered his eyes with his hands. ‘No! NO!’ Then the face of PC Reg Cran eld’s dead father began to scream.


covered his eyes with his hands. ‘No! NO!’ Then the face of PC Reg Cran fi