K9 Mark III is in Sarah Jane Smith's lounge with limited functionality, efficiency rating of only 11%. His universal-charging, extra powerful, high-energy battery cells are old and desperately need replacing. Like Sarah, K9 is beginning to show signs of age. Frequently shutting down to conserve his remaining battery life, K9 periodically awakes to update images of Sarah. His self-repair systems have failed and cannot be repaired. K9 spends more time in power saving mode. He feels he is failing and Sarah grows sadder. Before long K9 is boxed up, but still close to hand in the lounge, albeit hidden behind the television....
K9 is alerted by movement and awakes. Voices of two unknown human males are detected. Audio sensors pick up the strangers' conversation as they move around, unauthorised, in search of money and jewellery in Mistress Sarah's absence. Intruders are identified as burglars and K9 powers up and makes a call to the police for assistance with two intruders. K9 warns the intruders before setting his blaster to stun and immobilises them just as Sarah arrives home, closely followed by the police, who believe Sarah alone had managed to overpower the intruders (without leaving a mark!). She is asked whether she has a dog, which she denies but reflects fondly on one she "used to have. A very good dog, a girl's best friend..." The K9 unit is now exhausted and shuts down.
Once more woken by sensory movement and with less than five minutes energy remaining before he enters permanent shut down, K9 struggles to identify the young male humanoid examining and tinkering with him in a location he is unable to identify. Too weak to defend himself or speak, K9 is able to detect the eyes of a man, older and more experienced than his apparent age. Visual data detects eyes showing a man displaying kindness, care and concern, audio data is able to identify the humanoid's double heartbeat.
Analysis of situation confirms humanoid's identity is the Doctor Master.
Analysis of situation confirms self-repair systems functioning.
Analysis confirms K9 will be restored to 100% efficiency!
- This record relates K9's declining years as his power systems began to fail and K9 is consigned to a cardboard box and held in storage until the Doctor re-appears in the life of Sarah Jane Smith and effects full repairs. (As seen in TV: School Reunion)
- The original short prose fiction featured in the Doctor Who Files series of hardbacks from BBC Children's Books was officially sanctioned by the Doctor Who production office.
- K9's power supply depletes at the end of the story and leads into the events of School Reunion when he is fixed by the Tenth Doctor.