It was almost dawn. Tony and
Tan-Lin were standing on a
hill overlooking the sea. They were near Southampton.
‘Why have we come here?’ Tony asked.
‘Shandor’s factory is on the other side of this hill. Every morning at dawn, a helicopter flies from the factory to Shandor’s yacht. I don’t know exactly where it is. But we’re going to find out soon.’ Tony didn’t really understand but he had another question.
‘Where are you from? If you’re a visitor, where did you come from in the first place?’
Tan-Lin smiled and pointed up to the dark sky. She pointed
up to a group of stars in the east. It took Tony a few moments to understand.
‘Are you trying to tell me you come from another planet?’
‘Yes, Mr Redford. And so does
Shandor. From the same planet, far far away. And on our planet, we use highly developed robots for certain kinds of jobs. These robots look almost like us. Shandor was trained to make those robots. And five years ago he was sent here to find out more about how robots are used here, on your planet.’ Tony stared at her with a surprised look on his face, ‘Yes, that is right, Mr Redford. We sometimes send people here to find out what you are doing. You are far behind us
in many ways. But not in all. For example, you now have terrible weapons which not even we have. Or rather, it is
forbidden for us to make
‘And why have you come here, Tan-Lin?’
‘Shandor has broken our laws. It is forbidden for us to kill. It is forbidden for us to interfere in
the affairs of another planet. Shandor is very dangerous. He
has stolen Government secrets. These are secret plans. Plans to make more terrible weapons. Perhaps Shandor is planning to make those weapons himself. Or perhaps he wants to sell the information to other governments. We do not know. But he has broken our law and I must find him and take him back. I have known
for a long time that he is here. But not exactly where. Now I can find out. Listen!’
Tony heard the sound of a helicopter. Then he saw it. It rose into the sky in front of them and flew out over the sea to the west. Then Tony heard another sound. It was different. It was a low, humming noise.
He looked behind him and saw a round ball of light moving towards them. It was flying
very low. The ball of light landed in front of them. Tony saw it was some kind of spaceship, a flying saucer.
A small door opened in the metal skin of the spaceship. Tan-Lin walked towards it. Then Tony saw another figure. It was standing in the door, waiting. The figure looked something like a man. But it
had a square head and only one large eye. Tan-Lin spoke
to it in a strange language.
Tony saw it was a robot. It turned and went back into the spaceship. Tan-Lin looked back at Tony. ‘If you come with me, Mr Redford, you will see things which nobody will believe.’ Tony followed her through the door and into the spaceship. It rose into the sky and followed the helicopter out to sea. The sun was slowly rising behind them, a bright red ball in the still dark sky.
1 Explain why Tan-Lin has come to this planet.
2 What do you think is going to happen now?
Now think of some more questions you would like answers to, but which you can't find in this episode.