“Susan,” The Doctor said as she appeared in the console room in a dress of red satin covered over with black lace. “Nice dress.”

“Thanks,” she answered. “But the TARDIS chose it. I walked into the wardrobe, and it was there on a hanger. It fitted perfectly.”

The Doctor smiled indulgently. “Yes, the TARDIS does that. She’s a lady, you know. She always indulges the females I have aboard.”

“Do you think she was sort of saying sorry for scaring me back there?”

“Could be,” The Doctor answered her. “And if she isn’t, I am. Come here, I’ve got a present for you.” He reached into his pocket and she saw a flash of something silver before he reached around her neck, under her long black hair. She felt the cold of metal, and something else, warmer, against her throat. When he stood back she looked down and felt the silver chain with a huge animal tooth fixed on it - what could definitely be called a fang.

“Some men say it with flowers,” she laughed. “The Doctor says it with dinosaur teeth.”

“Not a dinosaur,” he told her. “The fang of a Pazithi Wolf. I thought it would be appropriate as we go to see the last of them in existence anywhere in the universe.”

“Ok,” she said. “Cool.” She put a lace shawl around her shoulders and reached to take his hand as he offered it to her. He, despite having a room the size of a small department store full of clothes, was in his usual pinstripe suit. Or one of them. There WAS a rack of them in there. She had never seen him wear the same shirt twice, and he varied his neckties or sometimes went without one, as he was today, his throat attractively exposed, but he always wore that suit unless circumstances dictated otherwise.

Fifty years from now she could close her eyes and still picture every detail of him in that suit with the canvas shoes and the tan overcoat that was lying across the rail by the door, ignoring the coat and hat stand right beside it. He picked the coat up as he passed and slipped it on. They stepped out onto the lovely planet of Te-Fot Quartus, just outside the grand entrance to its famous intergalactic zoo.

“Is that the wolves?” Susan asked as she looked at the frieze above the entrance in which various animals had been picked out in bright, larger than life paintings.

“That’s them,” The Doctor answered as he stepped up to the turnstile and paid for two day tickets. Inside, he was assailed by the various scents of a fifteen square mile parkland filled with hundreds of different animals. His sense of smell, like all his other senses, was much more acute than that of Humans, or indeed most Humanoid species. The pervading odour of animals that, while not necessarily unpleasant was not exactly a fine perfume, either. After a few minutes acclimatising, though, he could pick out the different scents.

“The Pazithi Wolves enclosure is in the west quarter,” Susan told him, looking at the interactive plan of the zoo that she had been given as they passed through the turnstile. It opened up like a map, but it was more like a paper thin computer screen. Touching areas of it started off synthesised voices telling her about the various animals and their natural environments. She tried NOT to touch it if she could help it. She would rather go and look at the animals.

“We’ll see some of the other creatures first,” The Doctor said. “Save the best to last.”

“It’s a big park. We’ll get footsore long before then.”

“Best way to see everything is the monorail.” The Doctor pointed to the station where an open topped ‘train’ was loading with passengers. He grinned and led her to the back seat of the last carriage, far enough away from the woman at the front who was getting ready to deliver the usual routine of tour guides everywhere. Susan was willing to bet that The Doctor could tell her way more interesting things about most of the animals here.

She was right. The Doctor kept up an enthusiastic commentary as they moved at a little more than brisk walking pace past, and sometimes through or over, each of the enclosures where the prize exhibits were on display. Several times they jumped off the monorail to take a closer look at particularly fascinating animals and caught the next one. After a few hours the tea room attracted them away for a while. Susan enjoyed herself thoroughly and she was sure The Doctor was having a good time, too. And that didn’t happen often enough, she thought.

After their refreshments, Susan told The Doctor she didn’t mind if they headed for the wolves now.

“You REALLY want to see them, don’t you,” she told him.

“Yes,” he said. “I do. A remnant of my own world. They have Gallifreyan DNA in them, even if they were bred here from the original stock. I just want to….”

His voice trailed off as he tried to find a way to express his feelings.

“It’s like my uncle Phil,” she said. “He moved to Australia. He’s making great money in his work there. He’s great. But mum sends him a box every month, with English sweets and chocolate that you can’t get there, and the Radio Times, because he likes to look at what we’re watching on telly back home. I know it’s not quite the same. Uncle Phil knows England is still there if he wants to come back. But….”

“I was like Uncle Phil for a long time,” The Doctor said as he grasped her hand and they jumped on a monorail going toward the wolves. “I knew Gallifrey was there. And knowing it was there was a comfort, even if I didn’t want to go there. My life didn’t really change much since it was gone, but knowing it isn’t there any more... Uncle Phil has no idea how that feels. And I’m glad of that. I wouldn’t wish the feeling on anyone. But I do wish there was somebody who could send me a box of goodies from home now and then.”

The thought of seeing animals who belonged on his planet excited him nearly as much as a comfort parcel of Gallifreyan chocolate bars. He looked as if he was actually smelling them out as the monorail slowly approached that section of the zoo. He stood up and balanced on the edge of the open car, holding onto one of the spars that supported the canvas sunshade roof and looked hopefully around. Finally he gave a cry of delight and jumped straight off the car. Susan waited for it to stop and alighted in a more dignified way as she went to catch up with him.

He was frowning at the information panel on the railing at the top of the deep, landscaped pit where the wolves were safely housed.

“Fang is the pack leader, recognised because he is bigger and more muscular than the other three males, Rex, Gypsy and Pal. Pepper, the strongest of the females, is his primary mate, along with her sisters, Cassie, Nina, Lulu and Lola.” As he read, holographic pictures of each of the named wolves appeared above the panel and it was possible to pick them out from the real wolves in the pit below.

“A wolf called Lulu?” Susan queried.

“Wolves don’t have NAMES,” The Doctor told her. “No animal does. Names are what we give them for affection, for identification. They know each other by their scent, their markings, by instinct. But if we’re going to give names to a pack of Gallifreyan wolves, they’re going to be good, strong Gallifreyan names. Lulu! Pal!”

He muttered something under his breath that sounded a bit like swear words as he pulled his sonic screwdriver from his inside pocket. Susan watched as he applied it to the panel.

“I’ll call the leader Rasson,” he said. “Son of Rassilon. And Rex… Garrick, after my brother. Gypsy… Hext. Pal… Azmael, after my old teacher. As for the females…” He smiled and glanced at the alpha female as she sat looking up at him. “Romana,” he whispered. “And your sisters will be Flavia, Aineytta, Valena and Rodan.”

He replayed the information and the wolves now had their Gallifreyan names. Susan pulled the map from her pocket and touched the relevant section. She was not at all surprised to find that the information now included those new names. She looked down at the one now called Romana. The beautiful creature glanced back at her and gave a low but insistent growl.

“They look fierce,” Susan noted. “Did they actually roam wild where you come from?”

“Oh yes,” The Doctor replied. He smiled a distant smile as he related to her how a pack of these wolves actually lived on the boundary of his family estate. They were regarded with a healthy respect by all who lived and worked there. The wolves kept their distance from the people, although there were occasional accidents. He told of how one of his own ancestors had lost one of his lives through being mauled by one of the wolves.

“Bad wolf,” he said cryptically to himself in one of those moments Susan knew she WOULDN’T get an explanation for.

“So,” she said. “Can you communicate with them? Seeing as you’re from the same place as them.”

He shook his head and laughed softly. “I’m The Doctor, not Doctor Doolittle.”

And yet, it almost seemed as if the wolves knew him as a closer kin than any other creature in the zoo. As he looked down at them, one, two, then three looked up at him. One of them separated from the pack and came as close as it could get. The Doctor gave a soft sigh as he actually made eye contact with the beautiful animal.

“Mind you…” he added. “I could be wrong. I think.…” Then to Susan’s alarm, though not entirely to her surprise, he vaulted over the railing and dropped down to the wolf enclosure, landing lithely and with only a slight wobble. The wolves all turned to look at him as he stood very still and quiet, one hand held out in front of him, palm down, long fingers spread out. The pack leader, now identified as Rasson, moved towards him. He stood his ground until he could reach out and touch the thick, soft mane.

Susan watched in astonishment as the pack leader turned its great bulk around and sat next to The Doctor, like a well trained pet dog. The lead female, Romana, came to his other side. The rest of the wolves closed in a rough semi-circle and lay down, their heads erect but their bodies at rest. The Doctor slowly knelt between the two lead wolves, his hands still buried in their manes.

“Hey!” somebody cried out. “Look at that man. What’s he doing?” Susan quickly found that she was no longer standing there alone. A crowd gathered, exclaiming at The Doctor’s apparent ability to commune with the wolves, some declaring that they couldn’t be that fierce after all, and they must be trained animals.

“What the bloody hell is going on?” A man in a zoo keeper’s uniform pushed his way through the crowd and swore an even more extreme profanity when he saw what was going on. “Who is he and what’s he doing? Apart from offering himself up as supper?”

“He’s The Doctor,” Susan answered. “Leave him alone. I don’t know what he’s doing, but HE does.”

“Get security,” the man said, not to her, but into his two way radio microphone. “And you stay right here,” he added, grabbing Susan by her arm. “Some sort of accomplice, are you?”

“I’m not an accomplice,” she protested. “And HE is The Doctor. You don’t NEED to call security. Whatever he’s doing, he’s not harming the wolves.”

But unsurprisingly, that didn’t work. Moments later security arrived in force, including a man with a tranquilizer gun.

“Move away from the animals very slowly and with your hands in the air,” the zoo keeper called to The Doctor as the man with the tranquilizer gun and four more guards made their way through the secure gate and down into the wolf enclosure.

“Go back where you came from,” The Doctor replied without moving a muscle. “I’ll be with you in two ticks. I’m just saying goodbye to the wolves.”

Slowly, he withdrew his hands from the two wolves and stepped backwards away from them. The wolves stayed exactly where they were until he reached the steps and turned to face the security guards. Then they began to move towards them.

“Get back up the steps,” he ordered. The man with the tranquilliser gun raised it but The Doctor reached out to him, his arm a blur, and the gun fell in three broken and twisted sections, onto the steps. “Move, now,” he ordered and pushed them up the steps in front of him. As they emerged at the top and The Doctor slammed the gate behind them, the lock automatically engaging, it occurred to them all that they were meant to be taking The Doctor into custody. They turned around and arrested him. One of them took Susan by the arm. She sighed and came quietly.

“Well,” Susan said as she sat on the only chair in what seemed to be a disused office in the main administration block of the zoo. The Doctor sat on the edge of the desk. He seemed completely unconcerned about the trouble they were in. He was smiling softly as if his head was somewhere other than where the rest of him was. “The words ‘this is another fine mess you’ve got us into’ would seem appropriate, but it’s a bit too serious for that. You could go to jail or something.”

The Doctor grinned as her words brought him back from his far place.

“Let them try. Oh, but Susan, it was fantastic. I could feel their thoughts. They’re about the tenth generation since the first pack were brought here from Gallifrey, but they have a race memory of the home world. They KNOW what the moon looked like. Pazithi Wolves – they’re named for the moon, Pazithi Gallifreya, because they hunt at night. I could see it in their minds. They KNOW this isn’t their real home. They don’t mind living here, generally. The keepers treat them well. But they do know there is a place they came from where life was different. And… and they felt my mind. They saw that same moon in MY memory and they accepted me as one of them.”

He smiled again as he remembered the feeling of being a wolf, of being able to run for hours across country in the cool of a moonlit Gallifreyan night. It was a bittersweet memory.

“Did you tell them that Gallifrey is gone?” Susan asked. Although she was worried about what was going to happen to them both, she had enough compassion in her to wonder about such things.

“No,” he answered. “I couldn’t do that to them. Even if I knew how to explain what happened to their animal mind, I don’t know how it would affect them. Taking away their identity, their link to their past… it could drive them mad.”

Susan wondered how he stopped himself going mad in those circumstances. Then she remembered that he had climbed into an enclosure full of wild wolves and wondered if he wasn’t slightly mad anyway.

Then she thought she would rather go mad with him any day, than be with all the sane people in the universe.

They both heard the sound of the door being unlocked and a man in a smart suit came in, accompanied by the keeper who had first raised the alarm and the head of security. The suited man dropped the confiscated contents of The Doctor’s pockets on the table; his sonic screwdriver, TARDIS key, a sticky packet of sherbet lemons, length of shoelace, a haircomb and his psychic paper. The Doctor glanced at the last as he picked it up and giggled before handing it to Susan. She had to bite her tongue to stop herself laughing out loud as she read the credentials of one Doctor John Doolittle, Department of Zoology, the Prydonian Academy, Gallifrey.

“Doctor Doolittle,” the suited man said. “I apologise for the hasty actions of the staff. And for the administrative mistake. I understand you thought we knew you were going to be here today to look at our wolves.”

“Just call me Doctor,” The Doctor said. “This is my research assistant, Susan Rawlings. And you are.…”

“I am Professor Fynur Isthen,” he replied. “I am director of research here at the zoo. And I apologise once more for the inconvenience. I am afraid the staff thought you were in danger. I am astonished in fact that you were unhurt. The Pazithi Wolves are man-eaters.”

“My grandfather certainly thought so when one made off with his leg,” The Doctor commented. “But let’s just say I have an understanding with these ones.”

“It certainly seemed so. My staff say you hypnotised both the alpha male and female into submission.”

“Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be,” The Doctor answered, suddenly wary.

“Well, you APPEAR to be an expert in your field, and I should like to repeat my apology to you for the misunderstandings.”

“Appear?” The Doctor winked at Susan as he put on a perfect performance of a VIP visitor who had been slighted and insulted and talked about contacting his lawyer about the wrongful arrest. Isthen seemed to have forgotten that The Doctor was the one who jumped into the wolf pit and tried to mollify him.

“May I at least invite you to view the research and special projects department,” Isthen said finally. “That building is not usually open to the public, but I am sure we can make an exception in your case.”

The Doctor looked as if he was dubious about it at first, then slowly accepted the offer.

“Very well,” he said. “Susan, my dear….” He held out his arm to her and she came to his side. Isthen led them outside to an open topped electric car which brought them to the Research department.

“I don’t think I like this bloke,” Susan whispered to The Doctor as they sat in the back seat side by side. “I don’t think he’s on the level.”

“Female intuition?” The Doctor asked with a faint smile.

“Gut feeling,” she answered.

“Either way, I think you’re right. I’m going to keep an eye on him.” He put his hand on hers and squeezed it. The Doctor kept up a conversation with Isthen about his hopes for a successful Dorlian Sand Dragon breeding programme. Susan looked up the Sand Dragons on the souvenir map and the information she got about them made her wonder why anyone would WANT to breed them.

When she saw them in the flesh she was even less enchanted. The same was true of the Aculaun tree spider. She was quite sure the extinction of something the size of a dinner plate with that many hairy legs would not unduly upset the balance of universe.

“The universe is a place of infinite variety,” The Doctor told her. “Some of its variety does not equate to our concept of beauty, but it is still important. I’m just not sure about the methods used here,” he added. “I’ve never been a fan of cloning. I would prefer to see properly organised breeding schemes, even if it DOES take so much longer.”

“The work we are doing here is far more sophisticated than merely cloning,” Isthen argued. “It is a brand new technique of genetic manipulation and it is the only way to recover species that ARE extinct,” Isthen argued. “For example, let me show you….” He brought them to an enclosure in which a huge snake was curled up around a tree stump. It was as thick as a tree, deep red in colour except for a bright yellow diamond on the head, the point of it between the two bright looking eyes that opened and gazed back at them with what Susan thought was an almost intelligent expression.

“No,” The Doctor insisted. “Saving creatures that still exist, helping them recover their numbers is one thing. But the Eruduian Diamond Headed Anaconda died out through natural causes. Its planet’s climate became too cold for it to survive. It had its day, like the dinosaurs on Earth. Bringing it back to life is just as wrong as using a time machine to go back and stop people dying when it is their time to die. Either way something exists in the universe that has no place in it.”

“What of your precious wolves?” Isthen asked. “They SHOULD be extinct. Their planet does not exist any more. It is only fortunate that this zoo already had a pack of them. But would you have objected if we had produced new Pazithi Wolves by our revolutionary scientific methods?”

“Yes,” The Doctor said. “Because they wouldn’t BE Pazithi Wolves. They’d be something else. They’d be Te-Fot wolves, born here, with no race memory of Gallifrey, no heritage. That pack you have out there are genuine descendents of our moon wolves. They may be the last of them. It may be that they, too, will die out eventually. But if that’s the case, then so be it. It’s what nature intended for them.”

“Like the Time Lords?” Isthen said with a cold laugh. “A dying species, almost extinct. Should THEY not be preserved, along with their wolves?”

“The Time Lords are not extinct,” The Doctor answered him. “Far from it.”

“But you cannot survive as a race unless you interbreed and become something else. Hybrids, cross-breeds, the ‘race memory’ contaminated by the race memory of other cultures, other worlds.”

“That is not the case…” The Doctor began. Then he looked at Isthen coldly. “How did you know that I am a Time Lord?”

“Come now, Doctor!” Isthen laughed. “We are in a facility dedicated to species research. Do you think we can’t scan you and determine what you are?” The coldness in his laughter deepened. “Doctor, the last of your kind. Unique. Double-hearts, respiratory bypass. And your blood! What I could do with that!”

“You’ll do nothing with my blood. I am not one of your specimens for genetic manipulation.”

“Well, of course not.” Isthen smiled widely. “Doctor! I thought you would appreciate the value of a theoretical debate. Don’t take it all so personally.”

“It didn’t sound theoretical to me. Anyway, this has all been very interesting. But I think Susan and I should be getting on. We still have to have a look at the primate section before the zoo closes.”

He looked around. Where WAS Susan? When in the course of this ‘theoretical debate’ that he had stupidly allowed himself to be drawn into did she move away, bored by it all. And WHERE had she gone?”

Isthen made a pretence of being concerned, mentioning that many of the species in the research facility were dangerous or poisonous. But a search by security established that Susan was nowhere in the building. At least not in any room that wasn’t secured by coded locks like the one with the cryptic sign on it that said ‘Special Projects’. The Doctor had wondered about that room already. There was something about it that felt wrong to all of his heightened Gallifreyan senses, but Isthen had moved them both away quickly and brought them to look at his collection of hand bred Isuthi Dwarf Monkeys, one of the few species in the facility that Susan hadn’t taken an instinctive step back from.

One of the security guards came up to Isthen and spoke to him quietly.

“Ah!” he said. “The mystery is solved. Your young friend is in the medical centre. Apparently she had a bit of a ‘turn’ and wandered off by mistake before fainting outside.”

“Ah,” The Doctor answered, making a pretence of believing that lame story. Susan wasn’t a wilting flower who had ‘turns’. “Well, she didn’t have much lunch. I expect she just felt dizzy from hunger. I’ll catch up with her and take her for a slap up supper in town.”

“A very good idea,” Isthen answered. “My man here will drive you both to the gate. Goodbye, Doctor. Delighted to have met you and enjoyed such a stimulating chat. We must do it again some time.”

“Yeah, right,” The Doctor said, but under his breath. He would have gladly turned down the offer of a lift from Isthen’s ‘man’ but he was anxious to reach Susan and get her back to the TARDIS.

She was sitting in the medical centre when he got there, looking dazed and confused and unable to remember exactly how she got there. The Doctor said nothing, but took her by the arm and gently brought her out to the car. He kept his arm close around her in the car and as they walked out through the main gate to where he had left the TARDIS.

“Tea,” he said brightly as they stepped inside. “A nice hot cup of tea.” She murmured something incoherent and he pretended that was a positive reply to him. “Yep, tea. The very thing for you.”

She said nothing as he guided her to the TARDIS kitchen. He sat her down on a chair at the table and looked for a packet of tea. He kept talking as he boiled the kettle and prepared the teapot, aware that she was not answering him, and knowing that was wrong, but hoping that the answer to it COULD be as simple as a hot drink inside her.

He heard her move and then the fridge door opening.

“Pass the milk out, would you,” he said without looking. Then he turned and watched with sinking hearts as she tore into a piece of raw, bloody steak that was on the top shelf of the fridge. “Ok,” he sighed. “Really, that’s not good for you like that. Come on, put it back.”

She backed away from him, snarling like an animal with food it has no intention of giving up. When he approached again she swiped him with her hand held like a claw and when he still kept coming she took the steak from her mouth long enough to sink her teeth into his arm instead.

“Ok,” he said as she dropped to the floor, continuing to gnaw at the meat. He pulled the sonic screwdriver from his pocket and adjusted the setting. Keeping out of range of her teeth he shone a blue pulsating light in her eyes. At first she didn’t seem to want to focus on it, but it proved irresistible. She dropped the half gnawed meat as she fell into hypnotically induced sleep.

He carried her to the medical room and laid her down on the examination table. A simple examination of her eyes and mouth gave him a strong suspicion of what was going on. A more detailed body scan told him the rest. A simple blood test confirmed it.

“Two can play at that game,” he murmured and then he rolled up the sleeve of his shirt and jacket. He took a clean syringe and extracted a half pint of his own blood. He injected it into her arm. Then he picked her up again and carried her BACK to the kitchen. He sat her down on the chair and carried on making the tea.

“What…” she came around groggily to find him pressing a hot cup of tea into her hands. “Why do I have such a weird taste in my mouth?”

“Drink your tea,” he told her. “That will deal with the taste. How do you feel otherwise? Any headache or….”

“My head feels.…” She sipped the tea and frowned. “No headache, but I feel as if there’s a huge chunk missing from my memory. How did I get back to the TARDIS?”

“What do you remember?”

“I remember being in the research facility. I was BORED listening to Isthen banging on about genetics, and you arguing with him about it. And I was sick of looking at snakes and spiders. I thought he must have some NICE endangered animals somewhere. Then I came to a door. It said “Special Projects” and it was locked. But somebody came out of it - a technician in a lab coat, and while the door was open I was sure I heard….” She frowned again and was straining to remember. “I am SURE I heard somebody crying.”

“And, don’t tell me, you snuck in?”

“He mustn’t have shut the door completely. The lock hadn’t engaged. Maybe he was too lazy to type in the code every time. Anyway, I got in. And….”

She broke off. Her face screwed up with the effort to remember.

“There WAS somebody crying. And… there was somebody else. He grabbed me. He was….” She shook her head. “No, I can’t remember anything more.”

The Doctor put his hand on her forehead. He felt her memories. She couldn’t remember because they had drugged her, but her subconscious mind saw and heard everything. Or heard it at least. She had been blindfolded and gagged and pulled down on a table. Somebody had scanned her body and said she would do for the wolf project. She had felt something injected into her arm and then a hot sensation as if some kind of ray had been passed through her body. Then somebody had shouted. There had been an argument. Somebody said that she was WITH the Gallifreyan. If she disappeared he would make difficulties. There was another sharp feeling of a syringe in her arm and it all went black.

“A knock out drug, with some kind of amnesiac,” The Doctor said. “That’s cleared out of your system now. No problem. Except you seem a bit confused. It couldn’t have been Isthen’s voice you heard. He was with me the whole time.”

“Maybe I am confused about that,” she admitted. “But it’s HIS facility. He’s up to his eyes in it. Whatever it is….”

“Oh I don’t doubt that,” The Doctor assured her. “I just glad I got to you in time. I wonder if they intended.…” He stopped and looked strangely guilty.

“Intended what?” Susan asked. “What DID they do to me?”

“If I tell you, will you promise not to panic or be sick or faint?”

“WHAT did they do?” she demanded, making no promises.

“They might have intended you to kill me. They must have realised I was too interested in what was going on, and I’d work out that it was illegal. They injected you with wolf DNA,” he said. “It seems like they bombarded you with Delta rays, too. That would be the catalyst, to begin the metamorphosis. It might not have completed, but you would have been far enough gone to attack me….”

“WHAT! No. Oh MY GOD! I’m turning into a WOLF!” When he made the list of things he didn’t want her to do, he should have added ‘don’t scream’. He put out his hand and touched her forehead, gently calming her. It took a while. She didn’t want to be calmed.

“It’s all right,” he assured her. “I’ve dealt with it already. “I gave you something that neutralised the wolf DNA.”

“What?” she asked.

“MY DNA,” he answered with a grin. “My blood mixing with yours, running in your veins. It’s strong stuff. More than enough to combat Isthen’s genetic games, although there’s a couple of side effects I should tell you about.”

“Such as?”

“Me and you can speak to each other telepathically,” he answered, telepathically. “At least for the next few hours. You should feel more energetic than usual, too.”

“I just feel hungry at the moment,” she replied, telepathically, before she even realised she was doing it. “Oh my….” The Doctor grinned and went to the fridge. He pulled out a plate containing the second of the two steaks that had been earmarked for supper. She took one look and asked if he could knock up a nice cheese omelette.

“You’re all right then,” he answered, putting the steak back and reaching for the eggs and a block of cheddar. “You’re you again, with a little bit of me, but definitely no wolf.”

“Lucky me,” she said as she watched him prepare the meal. “But… Doctor… I still can’t remember properly… but the person I heard crying.…” She shuddered. It didn’t bear thinking about. “Doctor… what if.…”

It wasn’t telepathy that made them both think the exact same thing in the same moment. The Doctor shuddered too and his hand shook as he turned the omelettes onto a plate.

“Yes,” he said. “I think you’re right. There WAS something about that snake. Something in its eyes.”

“Oh, how horrible,” Susan murmured. “Will you be able to….”

“Here,” he said putting the plate of food in front of her. “Whatever I can do, if anything, I’ll do after the zoo closes. That’s another hour away. So eat and try not to worry.”

She ate. The Doctor did too. For a little while everything seemed quite normal. Eating omelettes in what seemed to be a quite ordinary kitchen. The normality of it was soothing. Susan almost managed to forget that they were in the middle of another strange adventure.

“Who is Tegan?” she asked.


“I felt your thoughts just then. I suppose it’s the blood thing. But I felt you thinking about a girl… a woman… called Tegan.”

“Yes, I was,” he admitted. “I was thinking about her because… well I was feeling a bit guilty. Poor Tegan had quite a rough time travelling with me. In the end, she left me because she just couldn’t take any more death and destruction around her.”

“You’re worried I’m going to do the same?”

“I can’t even take you to a zoo without a nutcase trying to change your DNA,” he said.

“It WAS fun right up until that bit,” she told him. “But anyway, we have to sort out Isthen. Stop whatever he’s doing in that place.”

“You know, we COULD just go away and leave him to it.”

“Is that some sort of test?” she asked. “You would NEVER just go away. You know that something terrible is going on in there. We can’t just go.”

“Not a test,” he answered. “If you would rather leave, now, just say the word.”

“No, Doctor,” Susan answered. “Let’s go and deal with Isthen.”

“Ok,” he said. He grinned widely at her. “Let’s do it.” He picked up the empty plates and dropped them in the sink before bounding out of the kitchen and back towards the console room. Susan caught up with him only a little more slowly. He was right. She DID have some of his energy. And, she thought, maybe just a bit of his enthusiasm for the adventure, the thrill of the chase.

“No,” he told her. “That was always in you. That’s why I DID ask you to come with me. And why I KNEW you wouldn’t ask me to take you away from here.”

“I knew you were bluffing,” she answered. “What if I’d called your bluff?”

“But you wouldn’t,” he said. “You would NEVER do that.”

“All right, I quit this line of conversation while I’m ahead. What’s the plan?”

“The zoo is closed. It’s dark outside. Let’s go snooping Time Lord style.” He grinned again and punched in a coordinate to bring the TARDIS inside the zoo.

He was not grinning, but was deadly serious when he strapped the heavy looking antique sword in its leather scabbard around his waist. It was strange to see him carry a weapon. It looked wrong anyway with a suit jacket and it was just WRONG for HIM somehow.

But when she thought of going back into that place she was glad to see him relax his pacifist principles.

“You would be safer staying in the TARDIS,” he said.

“Nice try, Doctor,” she told him. “Come on.”

To her surprise, it wasn’t the research facility that they materialised in first.

“The wolf enclosure?” Susan looked on in surprise as The Doctor stood at the open door and let a low whistle from his lips. In the darkness beyond she saw two shapes moving, and he stood aside as the two largest of the wolves, the alpha male and his chief mate, named Rasson and Romana by The Doctor, calmly walked into the TARDIS and lay down like two large pet dogs.

“They’re going to play their part,” The Doctor told her. “This is their fight, too. Isthen’s activities affect their home here.”

Susan wasn’t arguing. She just wondered if The Doctor’s surname really WAS Doolittle after all.

“No,” he assured her with a grin as he moved the TARDIS again, this time materialising in the Research facility. It was quiet, with low level night lighting on. The Doctor had an idea there would be security guards of some kind, though.

He was right. As he and Susan stepped out of the TARDIS a torch was shone in their faces and they were ordered to put up their hands. The Doctor gave the same low whistle and the wolves walked out. There were four thunks as the guards dropped their weapons and their torches.

“Just handcuff yourselves and sit down there quietly,” The Doctor told the two men. “And don’t go pressing any silent alarms or anything of that nature. You know how animals can hear things Humans don’t and you really don’t want to push your luck.”

“They may have pals,” The Doctor told Susan as the men handcuffed themselves to a sturdy metal table. “Let’s crack on.”

Susan nodded and walked with him, the two of them flanked by the wolves. He was heading, she noted, to the Eruduian Anaconda.

She didn’t want to get too close. Neither, she noted, did the wolves. Their instinct was to back off, whimpering slightly. The Doctor stepped closer. The Anaconda moved nearer. Even in the low light, its eyes seemed bright and alive and suspiciously intelligent.

Susan felt The Doctor’s mind reach out to the creature. He didn’t use words, but rather something like emotions, using them to convey a message.

And he got one back. Susan understood the message as clearly as he did. The creature was pleading with him to end its nightmare.

“I am so sorry,” The Doctor whispered out loud as he raised his sword. Susan closed her eyes as it came down with a sickening, slicing sound. She FELT the creature’s gratitude to him in its last moments.

“Sam Watson,” he said. “A casual labourer who worked here for a few weeks last year.”

“What about him?” She asked.

“Somebody needs to tell his relatives that he is dead.”

“It told you its name?”

“Yes,” he answered. “Sort of. I got a flash of a suppressed memory. The was killed a year ago while his flesh lived on in a different form.”

“Oh, Doctor!” Susan shivered. “I hoped I was wrong. But….”

“Let’s get into that locked section,” The Doctor said, turning from the sad corpse of the Eruduian Anaconda or, what was, in some small part of its DNA, the luckless Sam Watson. Either way, he didn’t feel as if he had just killed in cold blood. Rather, it had been an act of mercy. He could not have brought the Human being back. The DNA mutation was too far gone. The animal that replaced him was a tortured creature that knew instinctively that its existence was wrong.

He dreaded what he would find behind the locked door.

And when he got it open, with the sonic screwdriver’s handy lock melting tool, his worst fears were realised.

“Oh, Doctor!” Susan cried weakly. “Oh….”

“You remember it now, don’t you,” he said to her.

“Yes,” she answered. “Oh, Doctor. The things in here… end it for them, too. It’s too horrible.”

It WAS horrible. The Doctor stared in near disbelief at the collection of pitiful chimera in tanks and cages on every side. The unsuccessful experiments – at least unless Isthen was intending to create animals that still retained Human limbs or enough sentience to cry out in despair for what they once were and the monster that they had been made into.

Susan shuddered as she looked into the first cage and saw eight hairy legs, a bloated abdomen and Human eyes in the head of a spider at least six feet tall. The Doctor didn’t even hesitate before killing it. They were both sure that its dying cry was one of relief rather than pain.

He went down the line of awful mutants and brought quick, merciful death to them all. Some of them actually had enough sentience left to thank him. He wasn’t sure which seared his soul the most - those ones who were able to assure him he was doing the right thing, or the ones who had been so badly mutilated that they knew nothing about it.

Susan didn’t even question his actions. She understood that this had to be done. She wanted him to do it.

“If he’d turned me,” she whispered. “If he hadn’t dumped me after injecting me with that stuff - would you.…”

“I would never have let it go that far,” he told her.

“You would have….”


“Thank you,” she answered as she watched him decapitate something that might have been another anaconda if the procedure hadn’t gone badly wrong. The eyes that died last of all had a grateful expression.

“Doctor… over there.…” Susan whispered loudly. But The Doctor had already heard the sound and was moving towards the place. There was an operating table of sorts. In Susan’s mind a subconscious memory told her that she had been there earlier.

There was a man fastened to the table. At least he had STARTED off as a man. Now he was already starting to look like a wolf. As well as Susan’s revulsion at the sight of straight Human limbs contracting into those of an animal, of fur growing over white flesh, fangs in a jaw that was starting to elongate, The Doctor felt the two real wolves recoiling from this half-creature. They growled low and menacingly.

“Help me,” the part of it that was still a man begged. The Doctor looked at him and began to raise his sword. Then he stopped. Was this man far enough gone, he wondered? He reached and touched him on the forehead that was beginning to recede as the bone structure altered. Yes, there was still a lot of Human in there, still. He kept getting flashes of wolf behaviour, of the need to eat freshly killed meat, and a poignant memory of a big moon that told him that it WAS Pazithi Wolf DNA that had been used. But there were still stronger memories of being Human. There was anger at the betrayal that had led to his being brought here as one of Isthen’s experiments, fear that it WAS too late, and HOPE as his still Human eyes met The Doctor’s.

“I don’t know,” The Doctor told him. “Maybe.…” He glanced at the intravenous drip attached to the arm that was becoming a wolf limb. He reached and detached the plastic bag of, he presumed, condensed wolf. The equipment could be converted to take a blood transfusion. He set to work quickly, rigging it. Susan helped him without questioning his judgement except once, as she watched his blood being transfused into the victim.

“Isn’t that rather a lot?” she asked. “What about you?”

“I’m a Time Lord,” he answered. “We can replace our blood very quickly. I just need a moment or two when we’re done.”

“If you say so, Doctor,” she answered. She turned and looked at the man. She thought there was a difference already. “Can we release him from the bonds? Will he be able to come with us?”

“Yes, in a minute,” The Doctor said as he closed off the transfusion at last. “Can you tell me who you are?” he asked. Yes, there WAS a change already. The jaw was slowly receding back to Human, and some of the hair was falling out.

“Fynur Isthen, junior,” he answered slowly, and painfully.

“What?” The Doctor’s voice told of his shock. “Your father did this to you?”

“My uncle,” he answered. “Bethar Isthen. My father is director of the zoo. He set up the research facility for my uncle. But he never approved the Human experiments. He held me prisoner here, to ensure my father’s compliance. He has been giving me the treatments every day for months, but only a little at a time. I hadn’t reached the point of no return. My father kept quiet in the hope he would stop using me, let me return to normal. But I don’t think he ever.…”

“You’re going to be all right now,” Susan assured him. “The Doctor has helped you. It did work, didn’t it?” She looked hopefully at The Doctor. He put his hand on Isthen Junior’s forehead. The race memory of the moon was gone now. So was the urge to tear at raw flesh, though he was still very angry and hurt.

“Let’s get out of here,” The Doctor said, lifting him to his feet. “This ends. We’ll report this to the Te-Fot authorities. I can’t promise your father isn’t going to be in trouble as an accessory to murder. But.…”

“You are the one who committed murder, Doctor!” The lights suddenly turned on. Bethar Isthen stood at the door. He was flanked by the two guards, released from their cuffs, looking humiliated and ready to get revenge for that humiliation. “You murdered my creations,” he added as he drew closer. The two guards drew their weapons and levelled them at The Doctor.

“You murdered people to create your… creations,” The Doctor answered wishing he had started that sentence better. It sounded stupid the way it came out. But this was no time for clever prose.

“There are hundreds of billions of people in the universe. The Human race is as common as grains of sand. They are material for my creation of rare creatures, valuable creatures. What other zoos will pay for the rarest of them….”

“It’s still all about money!” There was a tone of disgust in The Doctor’s words. Then he stopped speaking. He half-closed his lips and made that low whistle again. Rasson and Romana hunched and tensed their strong muscles and leapt into the air. The two guards screamed in terror as they found themselves pinned to the floor by several kilos of wolf. To The Doctor’s surprise, as it was not part of his plan, Isthen junior had also responded to the animal call. What was left of the wolf in his limbs gave him the impetus. His uncle screamed as he was brought to the ground.

“Fynur,” The Doctor yelled. “Don’t kill him. You’re a man, not an animal. Hold him, but don’t kill him. Especially don’t bite him.”

Humans, The Doctor noted, could be even more vicious than animals when the urge for revenge was in them. It wasn’t the wolf in Fynur Isthen junior he had to appeal to. That he could control the same way as he urged the two wolves to take out the guards without killing them. But he had no control over the Human that was quickly gaining ground over the animal. He had to hope reason would overrule revenge before he actually throttled Bethar Isthen.

“You’re not worth it,” Fynur Isthen junior said as he stood up and backed off. The Doctor gave a soft whistle and the two wolves also backed off, sitting either side of Susan and Fynur as The Doctor stepped forward and again told the two guards to cuff themselves, this time to their boss as well as to the nearest immovable object.

“Let’s go and sit out in the fresh air while we wait for the police to arrive,” The Doctor said. “Fynur looks like he needs it. And I think its time Rasson and Romana went back to their pen anyway.

Things happened quickly after that. By the time the sun came up on a bright morning on Te-Fot Quartus both of the senior Isthen men had been taken into custody. The research facility had those yellow tapes around the door saying ‘crime scene’ that were the same anywhere in the universe and the zoo was closed pending the arrival of a temporary director to take over its legitimate operations.

Fynur Isthen junior was hopeful that the new administration might still have a job for him. But mostly he was happy to be alive.

“I can’t thank you enough, Doctor,” he said as they stood by the wolf enclosure and watched the two biggest and strongest split from the pack and come towards where The Doctor stood, lying down in deference to him as their alpha male.

“No thanks are needed,” he said. “But do one thing for me. Sam Watson… and the others. Your uncle must have kept some records somewhere. Find a way of telling their relatives that they ARE dead, give them the closure they need. But let them know their deaths came as a relief from pain. Let them have that much comfort at least.”

“I’ll do that,” he promised.

“Right then,” The Doctor said brightly. “I’m just going to say goodbye to the wolves and then we’re off. Susan still needs a proper stretch of r&r and I think we WILL try the zero gravity swimming next. And if she still has an urge to visit zoos there is a perfectly good one in Blackpool with no mad scientists running around it other than yours truly.”

He winked at Susan and she smiled back at him as he vaulted over the gate and bounded down to the wolf pen.

“What did he say his name was?” Fynur Isthen asked. “Doctor…. Who?”

“Doolittle,” Susan said with a giggle as she saw the wolves all gather around him. “Doctor Doolittle.”