Continuing their attempts to decipher the symbol left on the doors of the TARDIS, the Twelfth Doctor and Bill travel to the Renath Archive, an enormous library run by a woman called Matildus Galathea, underneath the spaceport of Cornucopia. Upon landing, the Doctor is immediately confronted by Matildus for losing a variety of books, but she begrudgingly accepts his replacements.
After the Doctor explains about the symbol to Matildus, she recommends they visit the religious section of the Archive to investigate, but she begins to forget her words while talking, despite saying it is nothing. However, Matildus quickly gets relieved of her duties by the appearance of her granddaughter Sashana. As Bill takes the opportunity to take some photos of the history section, she questions Matildus on why it is so quiet, and quickly gets shouted at for not being the academic type that the Archive was intended for. Bill storms out, slamming the door behind her.
Bill stumbles upon the bustling market place of Cornucopia and takes some more photos, not knowing she is being watched by a group of four. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Sashana are not able to make much progress, especially with the news that Matildus' confusion has been getting steadily worse. At the market, Bill's phone gets stolen by a blue-skinned child in a cape and runs away with it, followed by Bill, causing chaos as she goes. The child eventually gets cornered into a dead end, but takes the opportunity to capture Bill in a tangle-web, revealing the group of four. The girl who stole Bill's phone identifies herself as Lozz, alongside her friends Zeddy, Sparks and Morpho - the Kaballus Kids. Bill proves her innocence of not being from Cornucopia by the photos in her phone, although Lozz summons a Ristallian crater-hound called Archie to double check, and he licks Bill's face, clearing her name. Lozz explains that they captured Bill because she was inside the Renath Archive, and nobody has been seen going in or out of there for months, although they state that Matildus used to be very kind to them. However, when Bill shows them a photo she took of Matildus, she notices a mysterious red swirl around Matildus' head.
Upon discovering nothing with Sashana, the Doctor goes to quietly wake up Matildus and tell her the news, but she temporarily forgets who the Doctor and Sashana are. Matildus decides to finally pass ownership of the Archive to Sashana once and for all, with the Doctor acting as witness... as Bill and the Kaballus Kids burst in to stop it. Although the Doctor is baffled as to why, Bill goes to reveal Sashana's true identity, but she changes herself, revealing herself to be evil all along. She announces that Matildus never actually had any family and she was there to slowly chip away at her mentality, take over the archive and sell it off, although decides to fry everyone's brains with a horrible noise instead. As everyone collapses to the ground, Bill just about has the strength the blow on the flute to summon Archie who is unaffected by the noise, and he tackles Sashana into a bookcase, knocking her out.
Later on, the local police arrive to arrest Sashana, placing her in a Traulian dampening helmet to block her psychic powers. Although her mind is finally cleared, Matildus appears depressed that she has been lied to, ending up with no friends or family. However, the Doctor points out that she still has the Kaballus Kids, and he chuckles as she tells them off for running through the Archive. As the Doctor and Bill return to the TARDIS, disappointed at not figuring out the symbol, the Doctor suddenly remembers Matildus mentioning "the archivists' code" and realises the symbol may have been a coded message all along.
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor leaps to the controls and starts setting off again. When asking Bill who in time she would ask to break a code, she jokingly suggests Alan Turing. The Doctor simply smiles knowingly at her, astonishing her that that is his actual plan.
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Original print details
- (Publication with page count and closing captions)
- DWM 518 (12 pages) Next: The Unknown Soldier
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