The TARDIS lands on 2 Jan 1562, a couple of miles outside of Chesham (in the same location as the previous landing), in a wooded area with a trail leading about a half-mile down to a tiny house with a man chopping wood. The group approaches the man, who introduces himself as Will Scarlett. Will tells them that the Bishop is due to preach at St. Mary’s Church in Chesham on Sunday, so the group walks into town. They find that a number of carts are setting up for a market day.
Jodana Kelzor approaches a farmer selling beets and offers his Dalek eyestalk for one of the beets. Ian Fleming quickly pulls the eyestalk behind his back, as he doesn’t want to introduce the technology into this relatively primitive society, and offers one of his Chesterfields instead. They walk away with two beets, leaving the farmer coughing, and wondering if the farmer is being affected more by the nicotine or by light-headedness from coughing so much.
Al Capone visits St. Mary’s Church and meets the verger, Mark Anderson, who is scrubbing the floor of the sanctuary in preparation for the bishop’s visit. He discreetly inquires about the date, and the verger tells him it is “Friday, the second day of January, in the year of our Lord 1562.” So now the groups knows they have two days before the bishop’s visitation to the church.
Meanwhile, Sun Tzu realizes the need for local currency and picks a coin purse from one of the vendors. He then sees a boy a few carts down, doing the same thing, and chases him down. This draws the attention of Cali Armstrong, who inquires what is going on. Before too much of a scene is made, the group pulls the boy into the Sheep’s Head inn and pub. Sun retrieves the pouch the boy had stolen and gives most of those coins to Ian, who takes them out to their rightful owner, who had begun searching for his purse. Sun and the boy, Timothy, come to an arrangement: Timothy and his friends will keep an eye out for the unusual, and “the Capone organization” will take care of them. (Ian is particularly dismayed to find the name of Capone making waves in this era.)
Later that day, Jodana visits St. Mary’s Church and talks with the verger. The verger tells him that all the church’s books were confiscated by the royal library during the Reformation (in connection with the Dissolution of the Monasteries, under King Henry VIII). Jodana appeals to him as a kindred spirit in his role as Librarian, and the verger eventually reveals that two cases of books were secreted away in the basement, the closest thing in Chesham to a library. Jodana spends the rest of the day in this library, scanning all the books into his Datapad. He eventually finds a Bible with extensive margin notes (including one instance of “Bad Wolf”). In the Revelation to John, Jodana finds some interesting notes (specifically, in the margin next to Revelation 6:1) that talk of a falling star on Epiphany, and below that, “Where there is one, you’ll find others.”
3 Jan 1562
The group spends most of the next day wandering about town and waiting for something to happen, though they consider (and reject) the idea of walking up toward St. Albans, where the bishop was to preach that morning, and meeting him on the road to Chesham. Instead, they decide to wait in a familiar setting.
Later that day, the bishop’s carriage arrives, and Sun Tzu climbs up to the roof of the inn to get a better view. He and Cali notice that one of the mounted guards is trying to keep his distance (“riding casual”) from the carriage and is ready to take off. Cali scans and detects a 51st-century explosive device on the bottom of the bishop’s carriage, but she is able to disarm it easily with her Sonic. At the same time, Sun and Ian leap into action; Sun dismounts the roof quickly (without harm from the controlled drop, thanks to his natural toughness) and throws his sword at a nearby tree to spook the horse, which throws the rider, and Ian jumps on him. Sun and Ian knock the man out and drag him into a vacant room of the inn to interrogate him. Cali finds and confiscates the man’s Vortex Manipulator, and finds the last “origin” coordinates as Detroit, 30 July 1975.
During the interrogation, the man introduces himself as Michael O’Bannon, a Time Agent. He claims to be here to stop an invasion by killing the bishop (and most of the town), but is vague about the nature of the invasion and claims to know little about it himself aside from the fact that it will cause the destruction of humanity. He then seems to revel in his fate, attempting to goad the group into making a mistake that will allow him to escape, going so far as to taunt Jodana by telling him, “The Bounty Hunter from the Library said ‘Hello’.” The taunt throws Jodana off balance enough that Jodana strikes him, but Cali regains control of the situation and sees through the tactic.
After discussing what to do with O’Bannon, Cali and Jodana come up with an idea to use the Vortex Manipulator to call the Time Agency to see if they can pick him up. Cali connects the Vortex Manipulator with Jodana’s Datapad and contacts Time Agent Jonathan Klaus, who agrees to pick up O’Bannon and to grant Jodana access to the Time Agency’s library. Thirty seconds later, there is a knock at the door, and Klaus is there to pick up O’Bannon. Cali disconnects the Vortex Manipulator and implants a tracking program in it so she can track it with the TARDIS sensors, then gives O’Bannon and his Vortex Manipulator to Klaus. Klaus and O’Bannon then vanish in a flash of light.
Next time: The Bishop and the Prophecy.