I hoped to have a frontispiece in the published novel featuring the Jax symbol (below). However, BBC Books thought this was too expensive, and I agreed it wasn’t essential. I had thought this was a tremendously original idea, a sort of harking back to the helpful (if poorly drawn) illustrations in the original Target novelisations. Subsequently I discovered that Martin Day and Keith Topping had asked for line art in Devil Goblins from Neptune, and Jim Mortimore had requested it for Eye of Heaven, and they were turned down too. Imagine how I’d have sulked if they’d got it but I hadn’t.
Here it is anyway, meticulously hand-crafted by me in about ninety seconds in Lotus Freelance. (Is there no start to my talents?)
From the novel:
Cockaigne hefted it in his palm in the light of his torch, the sash hanging down between his fingers. On the face of the medallion he counted thirteen bright stones in a crescent shape, which bounced the light back like reflectors. They seemed to wink at him. He thought of how Amy winked at him when she was teasing him about something, telegraphing the obvious.
“Look, Claire,” he said, pushing his hand towards her. “This talisman. It’s the Jax symbol.”
And then suddenly, it was light.
Cockaigne and Johnson put down their torches and lanterns carefully, and stared around them. The cathedral was bigger than Cockaigne could have imagined, even after hearing Amy’s ardent portrayal of her discovery. He tried to think of religious temples he had seen on other worlds, palaces, sports arenas. None of them compared for size, or if they did they were not as stark and simple and beautiful in execution. The walls arched up in fluid curves, so that where he had thought before the walls were flat they were actually the starting point for gentle arcs which extended to a point hundreds of metres above him. Even the bricks in the corners knitted together seamlessly.
To either side, side alcoves remained dark and unlit. The nearest wall was crazed with cracks, and a dark split flashed across the corner join of the next. But the sight that stirred Cockaigne most was the mural on the wall. Tens of metres high, it showed the outline of a wolf-headed humanoid standing upright, the Jax symbol displayed in outline in the centre of its chest. Below this, dwarfed by the scale, was a slight, green-coated figure. “Well,” said the Doctor, “I seem to have found the light switch.”
“This is…” Cockaigne couldn’t find the words. He fumbled for the photorecorder, but could not stop staring slack-jawed all around himself. He glimpsed Johnson, and realised that her eyes too were filling with tears of joy and disbelief.
The Doctor laughed, his voice bouncing off the walls. He indicated the rows of hieroglyphs which stretched in wide columns from floor to ceiling. “Look at this wonderful visual history. And some of the symbols seem to be controls, too. Ah, this looks promising.” He placed his palm onto one of the shapes near to the base of a column next to him. A wide section of brickwork two metres above him melted and became translucent, like the viewscreen in the police transport. “A visual information system,” he breathed. “Not bad for a pack of dogs, eh?”
“But this indicates an astonishingly intelligent civilisation,” said Cockaigne. “One to rival our own. What can we learn from these records? Whatever happened to them thousands of years ago? What catastrophe drove them to extinction?
The Doctor nudged him, and pointed to the corner of the cathedral. The decaying husk leered at them in the bright new light. “Who said anything about extinction?”
© Peter Anghelides, 1997