Small, 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.
‘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!’
With 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.
The 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.
Sarah Jane and friends had arrived at the base and an officer, wearing a red beret and military uniform, leant in through the window of the car, and said, ‘I'm sorry, this UNIT base is under lock down.'
Sarah Jane smiled, and flashed her ID badge up at him.
‘Well, we've heard all about this mess. The problem with UNIT today is their standards have dropped,’ she answered.
Having given her badge a good thorough inspection, the military guard opened the gates to allow Sarah Jane to drive through the entrance on to Ealing's military facility.
‘Hey!’ yelled the officer, as the gates closed behind the small car as it drove on through. Staring at the ID badge, the officer called after Sarah Jane. ‘This is expired in 1973!’
Sarah Jane watched the receding figure of the guard in her rear view mirror as she and the rest of the team smiled. Once there was some distance between them and the gate house Sarah Jane and her friends left the car in search for the Graske.
‘Where do you think he'd be?’ asked Rani.
Sarah Jane, on shutting the doors of her car, suddenly heard a disturbance from the branches of a tree towering over her from a field beyond the base itself.
‘What's that?’ she said aloud.
Turning in the direction of the rustle of the branches, Sarah Jane spotted a fence between them and the tree itself. The fence was there to prevent anyone from breaking in to the base, but it was clear to Sarah Jane that somebody had found a way out. There was a gaping hole in the fence, big enough for the size of a Graske to get through, but upon looking up into the tree, there he was.
The Graske peered down at them, before tumbling from one branch and swinging from another.
‘Stay away!’ he ordered.
‘No, hang about, we're here to help,’ Sarah Jane explained.
‘Yeah, we gather you're the culprit of a theft!’ announced Clyde.
The Graske's eyes shifted from Sarah Jane to the boy. Scowling, the alien revealed the device stolen.
‘This is all I require,’ said the Graske, snarling at Clyde.
‘But what is it?’ asked Luke, an obvious question which was obviously on everyone’s mind
‘Device not known to Graske!’ stated the small alien.
‘Did you not bother to read the small print when you signed on for the job of collecting this?’ Clyde joked.
The Graske shook its head.
‘Who are you working for?’ asked Rani.
The Graske answered in a whisper.
‘My master, the all-powerful destroyer of worlds, the sun destroyer…’
‘That doesn't sound good,’ said Sarah Jane, reaching for the device.
‘NO!’ declared the Graske. ‘I must fulfil his demands. If I do not, there will be repercussions.’
‘Where were you heading?’ asked Clyde.
‘The hills, where the teleportation field is operational…’ said the small creature in a hurried glance left and right.
‘What is it?’ asked Sarah Jane.
The Graske had heard the sound of soldiers on foot patrol within the area.
Two UNIT officers.
‘The men aren't responding,’ said Officer Luther, striding alongside Captain Kenworthy.
‘There must be something wrong,’ said his superior.
Suddenly, the pair entered a clearing. There ahead of them, were their men. They were dead.
At the sound of the patrol heading in their direction, Sarah Jane, Luke, Clyde, and Rani, and now accompanied by the Graske had headed back to the car. Once everyone piled back inside, they continued their journey towards the entrance at high speed. The gates were down and closed to all.
‘Brace your selves!’ exclaimed Sarah Jane, as she sped towards the gates, and crashing through them. ‘This is becoming a habit,’ she whispered.
Luther and Kenworthy on hearing the sound of Sarah Jane’s car, were quite some distance behind them, but had drawn their pistols, and fired upon her motor, but they were too late. They had made their escape.
‘To the hills then?’ asked Sarah Jane.
‘To the hills, indeed!’ muttered the Graske.
'I don't know why I'm helping you,’ said Sarah Jane, hands on the wheel, steering the car.
The Graske said nothing.
‘I thought the plan was to prevent this “Destroyer” from getting his hands on the device, whatever this technological device is?’ pondered Luke. Clyde gave him a nudge, while Sarah Jane took her eyes off the road. The car swerved sideways, and she quickly returned to her steering of the little turquoise motor.
The Graske turned to Luke, endearingly.
‘Nice one, Luke,’ said Rani.
‘If the boy is correct, my answer is no,’ replied the Graske.
‘Luke, who's my son, is right,’ said Sarah Jane.
The Graske was not pleased to hear this. ‘There will be repercussions!’ he exclaimed.
‘Still…’ said Sarah Jane. ‘We want to know of what this device can do, and what this “Destroyer’s” intentions are…’
Turning off the road, Sarah Jane took her friends and the Graske down a narrow path, that led to the hills in the far distance, just visible through arching branches cutting just above the window screen of the car.
‘Time is of the essence!’ said the Graske, alerting Sarah Jane.
‘We're nearly there,’ she answered him.
‘Where?’ asked Rani.
‘I scanned Ealing, and there were two energy traces. One off the Graske, and the teleportation module he speaks of. The location is a hot spot for time travel…’
‘Since when?’ wondered Luke.
‘Since the military came to Ealing,’ said Sarah Jane. ‘The site is a disused military camp the gates have yet to be removed from the site however. Then they moved, to a location nearer to home. Mr Smith said they had discovered Ealing itself was a hotspot, not because of a time disturbance on a hill, but because there were things happening that were most unusual.’
Sarah Jane pulled up beside the gates on the hill top. There was a small hole in the bottom right hand corner of the gates where the mesh wire appeared to have been melted away.
‘Is this your way in and out?’ asked Clyde.
‘It is,’ answered the Graske.
‘How'd you expect us to fit through there?’ he continued.
‘I do not.’
‘What do you mean?’ demanded Sarah Jane.
The Graske shook his head. ‘You must not intervene,’ he told her. ‘I must fulfill my master's demands. I must carry out my orders!’