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|Main setting:||Sydney, Australia, the late 20th century|
|Part of:||Short Trips: Zodiac|
|Short Trips short stories|
|Constant Companion||The Switching|
The Doctor, Ace and Bernice have come to the house of LaMort in Sydney. Ace waits in the car, listening to the news about a recent massacre, while the Doctor goes inside. Bernice explores outside, scouting for a back way in, and meets LaMort's elderly neighbour, who tells her the LaMort house is haunted.
Inside the house LaMort observes her party guests. She notices them talking about her. She sees the Doctor standing nearby, staring at her in contempt. She knows he wasn't on the guest list.
Bernice returns to Ace. Ace goes to the house by the front door while Bernice sneaks in through the back by way of the neighbour's back yard. Inside, Ace is greeted by LaMort, even though she wasn't invited to the party. Bernice has made it to LaMort's back yard, which is full of decaying plants and maggots. When she nears the house, she notices its run-down condition.
The Doctor is feeling pain, the kind he feels when one of his companions leaves him. LaMort has left the room, and the Doctor goes in search of her. Upstairs, she gets some pills. The Doctor appears and tells her she cannot die, that he won't let her leave her work. He realises she wants something different, something new.
Ace sees LaMort head upstairs, then the Doctor following. Bernice appears from outside. Ace notices Bernice acting strangely. She realises that Bernice can't see the people in the house. They discuss what they see, and Ace learns Bernice sees the luxurious house as a run-down ruin. Bernice realises that LaMort means “the Dead”. They go upstairs where the Doctor is confronting LaMort.
LaMort can't see Bernice, and Bernice can't see LaMort, but they can hear each other. The Doctor has Bernice tell LaMort about herself, hoping LaMort will see that humanity will soon explore the stars and LaMort will be able to experience new worlds. LaMort drops the pills on the floor.
- The Doctor borrowed a Jeep Cherokee.
- LaMort's house has a view of the Harbour Bridge and the Pacific Ocean.
- Ace mentions a hog, or Harley Davidson motorbike, to Bernice.
- The stories in Short Trips: Zodiac are inspired by the signs of the zodiac. This story's theme is Virgo.