The Temple of Evil
The TARDIS dematerializes from Marinus and shortly arrives inside a dark and silent tomb. Its heavily-ornamented resident has been dead for some time. Barbara and Susan leave the TARDIS to explore. Barbara immediately recognizes an Aztec mask on the corpse and is very excited. The dead man was a priest. They are on Earth, in Mexico. Barbara surmises the priest died around 1430, saying the artefacts in the tomb are from the Aztec's early period.
As she tires on a coiled snake bracelet, she explains to Susan that Aztec history was one of her specialities. Susan looks at a stone knife and says she knows only of the human sacrifice they practiced. Barbara chides her, saying that there was both a beautiful and an evil side to them, both destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors without regard to the value. That was the tragedy of the Aztecs.
Susan wanders over to a wall to look at the drawings on it and she succeeds in finding a hidden doorway on an upward pivot. Barbara quickly goes outside, finding no one about. Susan decides to go and get the others. Barbara is captivated at the opportunity to see the Aztec culture up close and contemporary, not even noticing the door she came through has closed, but that enjoyment is short lived when a man's voice accosts her. This tomb is sacred to the High Priest Yetaxa and trespassers must be punished. She is captured by warriors, but she gets an entirely different reaction when they see the snake bracelet she wears.
Susan leads the Doctor and Ian out of the TARDIS, the Doctor irritated at Barbara for going off on her own. Susan hesitates when she finds the tomb door closed, but Ian soon opens it and they go outside. Again the area is deserted. Ian looks around, discovering that they are at the top of a pyramid, looking down on a very large and beautiful city. The Doctor is more absorbed by a stone of sacrifice nearby, commenting on "some very gruesome habits" practiced by the Aztecs.
Ian sees the tomb door sliding shut behind them, but does not reach it in time. It is sealed and cannot be reopened from the outside. The Doctor tells them it was designed to deter grave robbers and has now left them cut off from the TARDIS.
The travellers are greeted by the man who first found Barbara. He is Autloc, High Priest of Knowledge. He pays respect to "the servants of Yetaxa", meaning the Doctor, Ian, and Susan. They ask after Barbara. Autloc says they will be taken to her, but proper courtesy must be paid. The Doctor impatiently asks if there is a way into the tomb from this side and Autloc says there is not. He sends them off to meet with "the woman who wears the bracelet of Yetaxa." As they go off, they pass by another man - crippled and bent with fearsome face paint and an evil glint. Ian and the Doctor recognize him immediately as "the local butcher": the High Priest of Sacrifice.
The two high priests confer as the travellers depart about the reincarnation of Yetaxa. The priest of sacrifice plans to present her to the people at sunset today and the time when it is supposed to rain.
In supplication to the rain god, he will offer human blood in sacrifice and the rains will come. The drought will cease and the gods will be on their side again. The Aztecs will be powerful again. Autloc reasons that it will rain whether there is sacrifice or not, but his counterpart disagrees. Honour to the gods demands sacrifice, and it shall be given. In another room nearby, the travellers wait. Susan thinks they have been treated well so far, but the Doctor says the Aztecs always treated their intended victims with the utmost kindness. Finally, they are taken to Barbara, who awaits them seated on a throne and dressed regally in robes and headdress. Once the guards are gone, they can talk.
Barbara explains that they think she is the reincarnation of the priest in the tomb as she was wearing his bracelet when she was found. Susan wonders why she can be the reincarnation of a male priest, but Barbara explains that it doesn't matter what form the spirit inhabits. Only the presence of the bracelet is important. To them, she is Yetaxa. Ian is amused at the thought that he and the others are believed to be her servants, but the Doctor seems more serious.
Barbara thinks that her position will allow them to get inside the tomb and away whenever they wants. She has the run of the community. But the Doctor is quick to point out that while reincarnations can come out, human beings cannot get into the tomb. Also, Barbara cannot ask about the temple as she as Yetaxa will be expected to know everything. If she shows a weakness and the Aztecs decide she is not who she's supposed to be, all of them will die.
They are interrupted by the arrival of the High Priests. Autloc's counterpart introduces himself as Tlotoxl, High Priest of Sacrifice. Autloc and Tlotoxl tell Barbara that there is a great drought in the land, and that the rain god will be honoured at sunset in order to bring the rains again. They wish to introduce her to the people at that time, to which she agrees. Autloc also suggests that her servants be allowed to walk freely among the people, which the Doctor agrees is a good idea for all of their interests. Barbara agrees to let Ian and the Doctor move freely, but Susan her "handmaiden" stays with her.
As the high priests leave, the Doctor and company are pleased with their position. The women are safe in the temple and Ian and the Doctor can find out information on the tomb and how to get inside. Barbara has done well. They must, however, remain wary of discovery by the two priests.
Outside, Tlotoxl suggests that one of Yetaxa's servants should command the Aztec army as a warrior favoured of the gods is powerful indeed. When Autloc reasons that they already have a commander, Tlotoxl is content that he must prove himself better than Yetaxa's servant. Ian and the Doctor approach and Tlotoxl presents the idea to them. Ian will command the Aztec army. The Doctor tries to protest, but Ian quickly accepts, noting that "Yetaxa" would not refuse so great an honour. Autloc takes the Doctor to "the garden" while Tlotoxl takes Ian to meet Ixta, his rival to command.
At the warriors' barracks, Ixta trains with his weapons. He is young, strong, and determined. Tlotoxl presents Ian to him as the servant of Yetaxa. Ixta, not understanding why Ian is here, offers to show his strength to the servant of the gods and calls for an opponent. The opponent arrives and Ixta fights him with vigour, quickly disarming and driving him off. Pleased, Ixta returns to Tlotoxl and Ian. However, when he realizes why Ian is here, his mood changes. He warns Ian that he has destroyed 5 other rivals and he welcomes the opportunity to add such an illustrious person to his list of conquests. Tlotoxl orders Ian clothed according to his rank, and Ixta lets him know his first duty: to assist at the ceremony of the rain god. He shall help deliver the human sacrifice to Tlotoxl!
The Doctor has been taken to the Garden of Peace at the foot of the temple of Yetaxa, where dwell all citizens who have reached the age of 52. Here they may pass the rest of their days free from responsibility. All of them have their own areas of knowledge and their counsel is sought by others in the community. The Doctor is captivated by a woman whom Autloc identifies as Cameca. He tells the Doctor that her wisdom is most sought after and that she is a person of wit and intellect.
When Autloc departs, the Doctor approaches Cameca and engages her in conversation about the flowers and the beauty of the Garden. She tells him it was named the Garden of Peace by its creator, who also created the temple. The Doctor expresses appreciation for the temple and asks further about its builder. He learns that the man, a friend of Cameca's, has been dead for some time. However, his son is alive - a warrior and not a builder - but he may have some knowledge of his father's work. Cameca agrees to arrange a meeting.
Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Ian, dressed in an elaborate eagle costume. Cameca excuses herself so that they may talk freely. The Doctor tells Ian what he has learned, but Ian is more concerned about the impending human sacrifice and the fact that he is to hold the victim down while the sacrifice is performed. The Doctor forcefully reminds Ian that they cannot change history and that he must do what is asked of him, no matter what. Ian reluctantly agrees and the Doctor heads off to warn Barbara.
In the temple, Susan and Barbara while away their time before the ceremony. Neither can understand the dichotomy of Aztec society - beauty and horror existing hand in hand. How can a society have someone sensitive and intelligent like Autloc and someone so bloodthirsty as Tlotoxl? They are interrupted by the Doctor, who bullies his way in and sends Susan out to keep everyone else out. He tells Barbara what is to happen and that she must not interfere. Horrified, she knows she cannot just sit there, especially when she has the power to act. The Doctor tells her Ian's gruesome role and that he has agreed not to interfere, but she will not listen. She will forbid the sacrifice and show the Aztecs that the rain will come either way. If she can start the destruction of all that is evil here, only the good will remain when Cortez lands. The Doctor angrily reminds her that they cannot rewrite one line of history, but her mind is set. She is not Barbara, but Yetaxa, and she has spoken.
Barbara exits the temple to begin the ceremony. The Doctor brings Susan inside with him where she cannot see what is happening. The sacrificial victim is already lying upon the stone, ready to be killed. Barbara waits for her moment, torn as to what to do.
Autloc begins the ceremony and looks down upon the gathered people. He tells them that Yetaxa has returned to guide them. The warriors kneel and Barbara is brought forward. When she peers over the edge of the temple, the people cheer loudly.
Tlotoxl gestures to Ian and Ixta, who take up their positions in holding down the victim. He turns his gaze upward as the clouds darken and beseeches the heavens to bring rain. He raises his stone knife to strike at the victim's heart. Realizing what is happening, Susan screams and runs into the midst of the gathering. Barbara then commands that there be no more blood spilt in sacrifice.
The victim leaps off of the stone and addresses Tlotoxl, saying that he has been denied honour because of Yetaxa. Tlotoxl urges him to bring honour to himself through his death. Realizing what he means, the young man throws himself from the top of the pyramid and dies.
As predicted, the rains begin to fall. Tlotoxl is triumphant: with death came rain. Barbara insists that it would have rained even without that man's death. Tlotoxl turns on Susan, saying that as she cried out and desecrated holy ground, breaking the law, she should be punished. Barbara forbids the punishment, saying that she was ignorant of the law and that she should be educated so as to respect them. Autloc offers to take Susan to the seminary, to which Barbara must agree. Susan is taken away according to Yetaxa's order. But Tlotoxl realizes that this is a false goddess, and he vows to himself to destroy her...
The Warriors of Death
Tlotoxl leaves and the Doctor turns angrily on Barbara. Even though she couldn't stand by and watch that man being sacrificed, her actions have put all their lives in danger and separated Susan from then. Sacrifice is their custom - their religion - and there is nothing that they can do about it. She protests that she only wanted to show them that the rain would come without death, but the Doctor tells her that that young man wanted to be offered to the gods. She didn't think it through and has endangered them all. Barbara breaks down and sobs, realizing what she has done, and the Doctor is quick to apologize for his harshness. He tells her that their safety is in her hands - she has to hold Tlotoxl off and he suggests playing the two high priests off against one another as Autloc is convinced of her divinity. Meanwhile, he will try to find out more about the tomb and how to get inside.
Tlotoxl returns to the chamber unannounced and the Doctor excuses himself. Tlotoxl insolently questions "Yetaxa's" divinity and tosses a knowledge test at her. She only partially answers and then tells him that if there is to be a test of her knowledge, it should be administered by the High Priest of Knowledge. Tlotoxl assures her that Autloc will come and they will challenge her, just as Ixta now challenges Ian for command.
In the barracks, Ixta finishes an impressive display of skill with a lance. He taunts Ian, saying he has no fear, but Ian taunts right back. Autloc is in attendance and asks Ian his method of attacking an enemy. Ian says he would use more cunning and the element of surprise. Ixta rounds on him quickly with a knife, saying he too can surprise. But Ian says smugly that all he needs to use is his thumb. Knowing an enemy's weakness is just common sense. Ixta is sceptical, but Ian shows him, seizing the man's neck and pinching a vital nerve with his thumb. Ixta is quickly unconscious.
Tlotoxl enters the barracks to see Ixta apparently dead, but Autloc assures him that the warrior only sleeps. He tells him that Ian did this with only his thumb. Ian heads out for a walk and Autloc also leaves. Tlotoxl helps Ixta back to his feet as he wakes. Both are sure that Ian has used some sort of "magic" to win this victory. Ixta is afraid he cannot fight it, but Tlotoxl has other ideas.
When Autloc's assistant Tonila enters with "the Perfect Victim", Tlotoxl's ideas solidify. He welcomes the Perfect Victim, a future sacrifice victim whose virtues are pure and whose every wish must be granted until his glorious death. Tlotoxl introduces the "mighty Ixta", but then intimates that he may lose command of the army due to a stronger rival. Both Ixta and the Perfect Victim protest this, saying that no one can defeat Ixta. Tlotoxl knows that there is someone who can beat him, but suggests that it might have been a fluke. A second contest would make certain one way or the other, but he cannot order such a contest. The Perfect Victim, who must be obeyed in all things, takes the bait and orders the contest. Then he leaves with Tonila. Tlotoxl promises Ixta before he goes that all honour and glory will be his if he destroys Ian.
In the Garden, the Doctor again converses with Cameca. They discuss plants and flowers, including a sleep-inducing herb they have come across. The Doctor tells her that he is a scientist and a builder and inquires again about the tomb. Cameca is sure the builder's son could answer his questions and promises she will set up a meeting for later in the day. The Doctor thanks her, compliments her, and flirts with her in response. And she is not oblivious to the attention...
Tlotoxl again bursts in on Barbara, dismissing her guard so that he might speak alone. He tells her that Autloc has agreed to question her. If she passes the test, he promises to beg forgiveness of "the gods". However, until her divinity has been proven, she must remain only in the company of loyal servants of the temple. Her servants will not be allowed in, as they may conspire against the community. Reluctantly, Barbara agrees to this.
Ixta, still smarting from his loss, welcomes Cameca to the barracks. She is responding to a summons from him. He asks if she knows anything about magic. She says she does not, but that she knows one who does: the Doctor. Ixta retreats - obviously he will not help him fight Ian. However, Cameca says, he may be of help to the Doctor. The old man is interested in the work of Ixta's father regarding the design of the tomb. Ixta brightens, realizing that as the Doctor does not know who he is, he can use Yetaxa's servants to destroy themselves. He tells Cameca he will meet with the Doctor in the Garden.
At the seminary school, Susan recites the Code of the Good Housewife with Autloc, doing so nearly perfectly. Tonila, watching from a doorway, is quite impressed. Susan goes to greet the newcomer with a handshake and both men are appalled at the lack of courtesy. Autloc tells her she must be humble meeting an elder, and even more so if she would be meeting her future husband for the first time. Susan reacts angrily to the idea that someone would choose her husband for her, saying that will never happen to her. Both men are appalled.
As the Doctor examines plants in the Garden, Ixta arrives for their meeting, dressed impressively in a leopard costume and mask. He introduces himself as the son of the temple builder and the Doctor is quick to get to his point. Ixta says he knows nothing of the work, but his father left drawings and will be glad to show them to him tonight...if the gods are willing. He tells the Doctor that he is to face another warrior in hand-to-hand combat at sunset today. It is not to the death, but if he loses, he shall be ostracized and no one will be able to speak to him for days. He knows his opponent and fears defeat. The Doctor offers to help him defeat his opponent in exchange for access to the drawings. Ixta goes off and the Doctor picks another of the plants nearby. He pierces it with a pin and tells himself that a little horticulture might go a long way!
In the barracks, Ian trains with a club. Tlotoxl belittles him as he watches, but Ian coolly brushes him off. Ixta enters, swaggering with confidence. He formally challenges Ian, who accepts. When Ian leaves, Tlotoxl inquires as to the source of this new-found confidence. He does not tell just yet, but tells Tlotoxl that if he wishes it, Ian will die this day. Tlotoxl will be happy to let him die.
Barbara confides to Autloc that Tlotoxl is determined to destroy her, but Autloc pledges to uphold her. The questioning he puts to her is his duty as High Priest of Knowledge. Barbara asks why her denouncing of human sacrifice did not make him angry as well, and he says that he simply accepted it as a message from the gods, and he will not oppose their will. Barbara muses aloud about the future of the Aztecs if sacrifices are not stopped. As disasters strike, more and more will be sacrificed to appease the gods - as many as 10,000 in one day - and yet the disasters will not stop. Autloc listens in horror as Barbara foretells the end of the Aztec civilization, and then must go off to think upon her words. Wearily, Barbara awaits her next challenge.
Ixta returns to the Garden, only to greet the Doctor's "horticulture" with scepticism. Is it poison which will kill? The Doctor tells him that the juice of the plant will slowly sap away the strength of an opponent and he instructs Ixta to scratch his opponent on the wrist. As Ixta goes off, the Doctor reminds him not to forget the drawings. Tlotoxl reacts in anger when Autloc relays Barbara's "prophesy" and denounces her again. Autloc is still convinced she is truly Yetaxa, and yet hides with Tlotoxl when he hears someone coming. It is the Doctor, who sneaks into Barbara's chamber.
Barbara tries to get him to leave, telling him that he has been forbidden to enter, but he has not heard of this before. He tells her quickly that he should know more about the entrance to the tomb by this evening. All he had to do was make sure "some warrior" won a fight. Barbara recognizes the description of Ixta and that the Doctor has given him the power to defeat Ian. The Doctor heads out immediately to warn Ian.
However, Tlotoxl summons guards and arrests the Doctor for transgressing the law, hauling him away quickly, kicking and screaming. Barbara accosts Autloc immediately, telling him that Tlotoxl did not tell the Doctor he was forbidden to enter. Autloc promises he will have the Doctor released immediately. Before he goes, she gives orders to stop the fight, but Autloc can see no reason to, even if he could do it. Ian will gain honour from the victory, and should be able to win easily as he has already defeated Ixta once using only his thumb. Besides, he reasons, the fight is not to the death. Barbara warns him that it should remain that way.
The contest commences amid much ceremony and with many in attendance. The fight goes quickly in Ian's favour, even as Ixta tries to keep his back away from Ian. His knowledge of modern hand-to-hand combat gives Ian a strong advantage. In the midst of the fight, the newly-released Doctor arrives and tries immediately to warn Ian about the pin, but Ixta uses the distraction to scratch his opponent's wrist deeply. Ian still has the upper hand and works to defeat Ixta. Tlotoxl angrily cries for a battle to the death, but Autloc rejects this. Soon, Ian begins to weaken and Ixta gains control of the match. Tired and bruised, Ian is brought to the ground by Ixta, who stands up on his throat and attempts to crush his windpipe.
Tlotoxl again calls for Ian's death. Autloc says that Yetaxa forbids it. But Tlotoxl says that a false goddess forbids it and urges Tlotoxl to destroy Ian.
Barbara enters the barracks and calls a halt to the contest. Tlotoxl challenges her to use her divine powers to stop the contest...
The Bride of Sacrifice
Instead, she grabs Tlotoxl's own knife and holds it to his throat, telling Ixta that Tlotoxl will die if any harm comes to Ian. Ixta releases Ian. Barbara forces Tlotoxl to agree that her servants won't be harmed before she releases him.
The Perfect Victim declares the contest over, but says that Ixta may not claim victory. Autloc sees to the Doctor and Ian while Tlotoxl draws Ixta aside. He learns of the pin and the juice from the plant and knows that this is not "magic" as Ixta had claimed. Ixta tells him the Doctor was tricked into helping by the promise of information on how the tomb may be opened. Tlotoxl heads off to talk to the Doctor, promising Ixta the death of Ian at their next contest.
Autloc warns Barbara that she has humiliated Tlotoxl and that he will not forget that. They talk of Barbara's prophecy and he says that to disobey the gods is the beginning of the end of their civilization. But Barbara tells him that it is human sacrifice which will truly lead to destruction. She learns that the next sacrifice is planned in 3 days time, when an eclipse will occur at noon. Human blood will be shed to make the sun shine again, even though Autloc knows the sun will shine again anyway. She asks for his support in opposing it. He will, but realizes that there will be no way back for him if he does so.
In the Garden, Tlotoxl tries to draw out the Doctor, but he refuses to be baited. Tlotoxl then lets the Doctor know that he is aware he is trying to get into the tomb. Irritated, the Doctor asks what Tlotoxl wants. When he says he wants proof "Yetaxa" is a fake, the Doctor tells him to open the tomb for him to get that proof. The Doctor tells him of Ixta's drawings and promises that Tlotoxl will find the truth if he helps open the tomb.
Ian awakes with a dim memory of the end of the fight, but he does remember being scratched. Ixta is proud of the "stealth and cunning" he used to gain the victory, just as Ian suggested, even down to tricking Ian's friend to get help. He promises that the two of them are friends now until the next contest, when Ian will surely die. Tlotoxl enters and asks Ixta about the drawings, but Ixta admits he made that up and that the secrets of the tomb died with his father. Tlotoxl then turns to Tonila, who is also in the barracks. Ian and Ixta start to leave; however, Ian stops outside the doorway to listen. He hears a plot being hatched to test "Yetaxa" and that her failure will mean her death, but he cannot hear the details and must leave when Ixta fetches him.
In the Garden, Autloc notices a newfound happiness in Cameca and comments on it. She says it is because of the Doctor, about whom she waxes poetic. Autloc notices the cocoa beans she carries. It is the Aztecs' currency, but it also has another special meaning - one of romance - which Autloc realizes is what Cameca intends it to mean. She joins the Doctor, who tries to engage her attention to a stone in the tomb wall which bears Yetaxa's sign, but she is more interested in the beans. The Doctor notices them and offers to make them both a cup of cocoa. The Doctor says he knows their customs, but really does not. Cameca, her eyes filled with love, accepts his offer of cocoa with all her heart!
Ian sneaks into Barbara's chambers to warn her of Tlotoxl and Tonila's plot against her, even though it is against the rules for him to be here. She is upset to hear that Tonila is now on Tlotoxl's side, saying that he is a dangerous enemy. But Ian is quick to turn on her, saying that Tlotoxl isn't turning people to his side, they are already on his side. She swears that Tlotoxl is evil, but Ian says he's not. He's just following the dictates of his society. Autloc, the man of reason, is the odd one out, but he's only one man and cannot change the civilization. Barbara realizes that she has made a mistake and now they are all in danger. They must get into the tomb and escape.
They are interrupted by the arrival of Tlotoxl and Tonila. Ian only barely manages to hide in time. Tlotoxl displays much humility in his words and manner, as does Tonila. Tlotoxl says he wants to end the conflict between them and to obey her in all things. Tonila is his witness to the reconciliation. He proposes that they drink from a ceremonial cup to cement the new bond. Behind their backs, Ian gestures to Barbara not to drink it as he believes there is poison in it. Barbara asks Tlotoxl to drink first. He backs away quickly, as does Tonila when pressed to drink. She smashes the cup to the floor, yelling in rage. Tonila scurries quickly away.
Tlotoxl tells her he only meant to test her divinity. The gods are immortal and if she truly is Yetaxa, she would have lived. Barbara, frustrated and angry, tells him that she would have died as she is not a god. Tlotoxl is beside himself with joy and is prepared to gloat, but Barbara angrily points out that he has no proof and no one will believe him. If he speaks against her, she will have the people destroy him. Tlotoxl slinks away, more determined than ever. Barbara goes to Ian for comfort, overwhelmed by the predicament in which she has placed herself. Ian assures her they will escape.
Meanwhile, in the Garden the Doctor and Cameca drink their cocoa. The Doctor provides a beautiful toast and Cameca responds in kind. She tells him that he has declared his love for her and that she accepts his proposal of marriage. The Doctor's next sip sticks in his throat!
Some time later, Autloc talks to Tonila about the progress of the students in the seminary, Susan in particular. She excels at the curriculum. Tlotoxl overhears this and speaks out harshly against the false "Yetaxa" and her servants. She has come to destroy this civilization. But Autloc does not believe him. Tonila is not sure either way, although he has his suspicions. Tlotoxl draws Tonila aside and vows to prove her false. But how? He asks Tonila to tell him more about Susan. Tonila relates her meeting with the Perfect Victim and how she said she would only marry a man of her own choosing. This gives Tlotoxl an idea: they shall find a husband for Susan and see what happens. "Yetaxa's" weakness lies with her servants.
Later, at the seminary, Autloc tests Susan in regard to the five suns of heaven. She does very well. Tonila and the Perfect Victim enter the chamber, as the Perfect Victim wishes to "look upon" Susan. Autloc tells her that he will be sacrificed at the time of the upcoming eclipse. Susan is horrified by this, but the Perfect Victim tells her it is a great honour for him. He tells Tonila that he will take her for his bride. Susan is horrified again, but for another reason. She refuses, calling him mad. Tonila tells her that all the Perfect Victim's desires must be granted, and again she refuses in no uncertain terms. Even Autloc invoking the law will not get her to listen. The Perfect Victim stalks off, followed by Tonila. She will be severely punished for her disobedience. Autloc tries to reassure her that he will do everything he can to spare her the punishment, but she is frightened and angry, denouncing them all as "monsters".
The Doctor again examines the stone in the Garden. Cameca joins him shortly and presents him with a token of her love. It is a small medallion, also with Yetaxa's sign, which she says came from inside the tomb. The Doctor is interested in this, but gets sidetracked with her words of love and plans for their future.
Barbara is attended by Tlotoxl, Tonila, and a phalanx of guards. There is a matter they wish to place before her. Barbara will barely listen to Tlotoxl, but offers free forgiveness to Tonila for his "sins" against her. The two men barrage her with the facts of a case of a person who spoke out publicly against Aztec law. Even Autloc heard it, and this makes Barbara pause. The offender must be publicly scourged and ridiculed - to have their tongue and ears pierced with thorns. Barbara tries to mitigate the punishment, but she knows that there must be discipline or chaos will follow. She instead asks when the punishment will take place. It will be on the Day of Darkness, the day of the next sacrifice. Barbara, who hopes to be gone from here by then, tacitly agrees to this for now, saying only that she wants all three of her servants to be at the ceremony, especially her handmaiden. Tlotoxl assures her that Susan will be there.
The Doctor shows Ian the medallion Cameca gave him and tells him that it came out of the tomb. He also tells him about the stone in the Garden with the same seal. They believe there is a tunnel behind that stone which leads into the tomb. The Doctor mentions in passing that his fiance gave him the medallion and Ian laughs heartily. The Doctor has accidentally gotten engaged! But the Doctor tries to pull him back to the matter at hand. They will rendezvous in the Garden tonight.
Barbara talks with Autloc about the upcoming sacrifice, which she still intends to stop. Autloc says he will stand by her. He also gives his condolences about Susan and her upcoming punishment. Barbara realizes that Tlotoxl has tricked her and reacts angrily. She will stop the punishment at the same time as the sacrifice. But Autloc tells her the punishment is to come before the sacrifice and she cannot defy both Aztec traditions and hope to have the people obey her. She now faces a true dilemma.
That night, after Ixta has fallen asleep, Ian gets up carefully from his mat and leaves the barracks. However, Ixta is aware that he has left and awakes. He grabs a knife and follows shortly. Ian reaches the Garden as the Doctor struggles in vain to move the massive stone. Ian puts all his strength into it and manages to shift it aside. Behind it is a pitch black tunnel, as they suspected. Ian tells the Doctor to stay behind and keep watch. He grabs a torch and disappears into the tunnel.
The Doctor, absorbed in watching Ian's distant progress, does not see Ixta come up behind him. When he does, the Doctor tries to bluff the warrior, trying small talk. Ixta joins right in...while replacing the stone. He tells the Doctor pleasantly that the tunnel is for delivering water to the Garden from a lake stream in the mountains. The water gate there is opened and closed often and will flood the Garden if the stone is left open. He closes the tunnel mouth completely as a trickle of water emerges.
Ian sees the distant light behind him go out, and hears the stone close. He is trapped in the tunnel as water begins to flow around his feet. He is trapped...
The Day of Darkness
With no other choice, Ian continues forward, climbing upward at every possible opportunity. Eventually, he ends up pressed against the top of the tunnel as the water rises. There, he finds a section of tunnel top with Yetaxa's sign carved into it. He presses against it and the stone gives way. It slides away to reveal a shaft leading upward, which he quickly takes.
Meanwhile, the Doctor has abandoned all pretense and struggles with the stone, begging Ixta to help him move it. Ian is in there and will drown. Ixta gloats over Ian's certain death and departs, leaving the Doctor struggling in vain with the stone.
Ian follows the shaft upward until it exits...in the tomb! He quickly checks out the door, seeing how he might be able to rig it to open from the outside. He takes a length of linen bandages from the mummy and fashions a rope, which he secures to a stone sconce above the door. He opens the door and takes the linen out with him. He is greeted first by a surprised Barbara and then by an amazed Doctor, who had come to tell Barbara of Ian's death.
The Doctor tells Ian that it was Ixta who replaced the stone and trapped him, but all that doesn't matter now. They just need to get Susan and they can leave. Barbara quickly informs them of Susan's transgression of the law and upcoming punishment. She is no longer in the seminary, but Ian thinks he can find her. He sets off to immediately.
Tlotoxl praises Ixta for the death of Ian. He has Susan brought in to the barracks under guard and places her in Ixta's care. She must not get away, and not released into Autloc's care. Susan speaks out defiantly, demanding to be taken to Yetaxa. Tlotoxl assures her that she will be...soon enough. Then he leaves. Ixta, alone with Susan, takes great delight in forming her of Ian's death and watching her reaction. Ixta's reaction is even stronger when Ian sneaks up behind him, very much alive, and then knocks the warrior unconscious. Ian and Susan head off to the TARDIS.
Meanwhile, the Doctor is preparing the makeshift rope to open the tomb door. He realizes that due to the design of the door, it will not be easy. Barbara is anxious to get away and leave history unchanged. She has learned that she cannot rewrite it, no matter how hard she tries. The Doctor struggles with the rope, saying they need a pulley. Barbara reminds him that the Aztecs did not have the wheel, but she is interrupted by the joyous arrival of Susan and Ian. The Doctor angles the rope and they pull on it, but the angle is not enough and it breaks. They are still trapped here.
Tlotoxl is furious at discovering that Ian is still alive and that he has engineered Susan's escape. He will find her. He gives the recovering Ixta another task: he is to attack Autloc with Ian's club and knock him out. Tlotoxl fears that Ian's "return" will further cement Autloc's belief in "Yetaxa's" divinity and he must destroy the High Priest's faith before he can act. They will frame Ian for the attack. Ixta initially balks at this, but Tlotoxl convinces him that they must do it. Autloc walks alone in the Garden every morning in meditation. Now is the time!
Ian knows that he must go back to the Garden and come through the tunnel again to open the door from the inside. He and Susan go there quickly. Barbara feels hopeless as they leave. The Doctor tries to reassure her, but she is very frightened.
In the Garden, Ian starts to open the stone, but Susan, keeping watch from the bushes, finds Autloc's body and calls out to Ian. As Autloc starts to wake, Ian finds his club lying nearby. He realizes this is a trap and they start to leave, but soldiers led by Ixta grab them both. Ixta accuses Ian of the crime, even though a slip of the tongue almost gives him away. As Ian and Susan are led away, they hear Autloc denounce Barbara as a false goddess.
Tlotoxl hears of this and is triumphant. Still, he knows he cannot destroy "Yetaxa" outright as it will be too jarring to the people. On the Day of Darkness she will go the way of the Perfect Victim. He plans to "arrange" a miracle to remove her from their presence. In reality, she will be sealed into a room and left to die, as in a vision he has had.
Later, in the Garden, the Doctor works on whittling a pulley wheel from a piece of wood. Cameca joins him, distressed over the attack on Autloc. The Doctor assures her that Ian didn't do it, despite the circumstantial evidence. Cameca feels the Doctor's distress over this and offers to postpone their wedding. She also offers to intercede with Autloc on Ian's behalf. The Doctor is amenable to this, but he also worries about the civilization in general and how sacrifice will destroy it all some day. He tells her Yetaxa wants to ban sacrifice and Cameca is aghast, but when she learns that Autloc agrees with this, she offers to convince him to go to the temple and speak with Barbara.
Some time later, Autloc does go to the temple. Barbara thanks him and Cameca for this. She tries to convince him that Ian did not strike him, but the High Priest is not convinced. Barbara tells him that the only person who could benefit by turning him against her is Tlotoxl. Autloc agrees that Tlotoxl and Ixta have been working together, but he has trusted them in the past. He does not understand what is happening. He no longer knows who to believe in. Barbara takes the opportunity for one last favour, asking him to help save her servants. Autloc says he may be able to help Susan, but not Ian.
The Doctor shows his nearly-completed wheel to Cameca, but she is sad as she knows that whatever it is, it will take him away from her. Tomorrow will truly be a Day of Darkness. On top of that, the High Priests have turned against their "god" and sacrifice will mean the end of their civilization. She wanders off, sad indeed.
Shortly, Autloc finds her in the Garden and shares his sadness with her. He has lost his faith and now must leave the community to regain some semblance of belief. He asks her to help him one last time. He gives her an ornament which is the title to his home and all his wealth. She is to give it to Susan's guard in order to buy her release. Cameca agrees and watches sadly as Autloc departs forever.
The next day, the Perfect Victim is readied for sacrifice. Susan will be punished first, Ixta and Ian will meet in combat for the last time, and then the sacrifice will occur. Ixta gloats over his impending victory.
The Doctor brings his completed pulley up to the temple and begins to set it up. But he must hide as Tlotoxl enters to inform Barbara that the procession has begun. Barbara asks where Autloc is and Tlotoxl tells gleefully tells her the news. He will never return.
Cameca is admitted to the place where Ian and Susan are under guard, awaiting their respective punishments. She uses the ornament to get the sole guard inside to dismiss the warriors outside. Then she asks him to release the girl to her. However, the guard hesitates. Ian uses the moment of indecision to knock him out. Ian thanks Cameca and sends Susan off with her to the temple. Ian dons the fallen guard's mask and cloak.
Tonila fetches Tlotoxl for the start of the ceremony, and Tlotoxl lays out the order of events. Ian and Susan will be despatched first, then when the darkness comes Barbara will be taken away as if returned to heaven. Then the sacrifice will be performed. In his glee, Tlotoxl appoints Tonila the new High Priest of Knowledge.
Cameca brings Susan to Barbara, then addresses the Doctor. She asks if she can go with him, but really knows that she cannot. She leaves sadly, imploring the Doctor to think of her wherever he goes. He knows that he will...always.
Ixta and Tlotoxl come to fetch Ian and Susan and find that they have again escaped. They find Autloc's ornament and believe that the guard was bribed. Tlotoxl, in a fury, orders Ixta to kill him before they go.
At the temple, the ceremony begins and "Yetaxa" is escorted to the altar by Tonila. They await only those who are to be punished. However, Tlotoxl bursts in in a flurry of anger. He calls her false and pulls out a knife to kill her outright. Ian, disguised as a guard, is right behind him and stops him. He sends Tlotoxl reeling, but not before the high priest can call for Ixta's assistance. Barbara runs into the temple to help the Doctor and Susan open the tomb as Ixta arrives.
Ixta and Ian engage in a fierce battle at the temple's edge. Ixta fights with a fury determined to destroy his rival, but Ian uses his skill to manoeuvre the warrior off the pyramid, where he falls to his death below. The door to the tomb opens and the travellers hurry inside, taking their pulley and rope with them. The door closes and they are safe.
Tlotoxl and the guards try to get into the tomb, but when the darkness comes, they stop. Tlotoxl leads them to the altar where the Perfect Victim waits. Tlotoxl praises the gods in thanksgiving for his victory, then sacrifices the Perfect Victim.
In the tomb, Barbara returns all of Yetaxa's clothing and artefacts, saying she has failed. The Doctor tells her that she had to fail. History cannot be changed and Tlotoxl had to win. On top of that, she says, she deceived Autloc and caused him to lose his faith. But the Doctor tells her that he will gain a different sort of faith, a better one, and that is the good she has done here.
Barbara puts the snake bracelet back onto the bier next to the body of the true Yetaxa. Sadly, she joins Ian and Susan in the TARDIS. The Doctor drops off Cameca's medallion on the bier and starts to enter the ship, but stops and turns back, placing the expression of her love and devotion into his pocket. He will never forget her.
Later, the TARDIS is landing, the Doctor at the controls. When the others join him, he expresses concern about the instruments. Even though they have definitely landed, the instruments show the ship is still moving...
|Source: Jeff Murray