The fire was burning hotly now, with the fumes from melting iron and steel starting to swirl into the sky. The Doctor noticed in a corner of his mind the faint red glow on the horizon - the sun was making its return, but for now the fire's glow eclipsed it.
The screwdriver was alerting him to the presence of over-excited atoms and their energy was spilling out in all directions. It was almost showtime.
"General..." He turned as Yuu approached from behind the pyre. "We're almost ready to begin, though by 'we' I mean 'me'. This will be dangerous, and you and your men should get as far away as you can."
"Would there truly be much point in fleeing?" The General's eyes held challenge.
The Doctor smiled. Yuu was perceptive. "No, not really. The entire planet will burn if this fails, but it might offer your men some comfort to get away from here."
"They are Samurai Doctor. They will not run, even from the face of evil itself."
"Courageous to the end. Very well, lets get this thing started."
The great and mysterious TARDIS hummed quietly with hidden power, and as ever Clara had to wonder if any of those hums were full of reproach for her. leaning against the guard rail by the doors, she wished she was at the Doctor's side, offering, if nothing else, the psychological support the Doctor sometimes needed.
The TARDIS though, would not yield to her fears. The Doctor was right now, bound to be in terrible danger, attempting something reckless, and his ship - his living ship - that apparently loathed her presence, sat in place.
"Oh come on." She muttered to herself as she stomped toward the central spire. "You know he needs us. What are you going to do, wait here until he's on the verge of death?"
Still the TARDIS hummed, un-moved by her plea.
"You're a stubborn old hag..." Clara whispered.
Up went the screwdriver, and with the press of a small button, it extended, little connectors popping out of it. It made that strange buzzing sound and the tip glowed green as the Doctor began to energize and excite the dense atoms within the now molten, red-hot metal that glowed under the location of the rift.
The unstable time vortex twisted at the Doctor's command, with bits and pieces of liquified metals wafting and transforming and vanishing from the visible spectrum as they attempted to strengthen the corrupted walls of the time vortex.
"It's a bit like putting a splint on a broken leg..." Explained the Doctor. "Only considerably more complicated."
The unstable rift flickered into life, with colours of blue and red entwining and changing into purples, greens and yellows. Yuu stood, transfixed, by the display of time energy.
He couldn't be sure (how could he be sure of anything), but it appeared to Yuu that the Doctor's plan was working. The mysterious Time Lord waved the screwdriver like it was a conductor's baton, orchestrating events masterfully.
That was at least, until the screwdriver's persistent buzzing abruptly took on an unpleasant squealing quality...
A sudden jolt nearly tipped Clara out of her seat and onto her backside.
"Alright, I didn't mean to call you a hag! You don't need to get stroppy about it..." The TARDIS lurched again, with symbols and numbers flashing up on display screens and several buttons flicking between different colours. Suddenly Clara felt very, very worried.
The light brightened without warning, and both the Doctor and Yuu squeezed their eyes shut. The Doctor was yelling something but a deep rumbling noise drowned out the words. Then the light dimmed to a bearable level and the noise ceased.
Yuu opened his eyes, and gasped.
Greseer floated overhead, the creature's long tail snaking about behind it. The Doctor looked up at the alien, mouth agape.
"I... have... returned."
"Yes I can see that!" Replied the Doctor haughtily. "Greseer, your timing is... ah, not good."
"I... have... persuaded my... people.... to stop... harvesting... minds."
"That's good news Greseer, that really is, but your little trip through time and space, just as I'm trying to fix the rift... well, it's made that just a little more difficult."
As to emphasise the Doctor's point, a bright flash of blue light ripped open the night sky. The Doctor looked up at the untempered time energy pouring into the sky, and sighed.
"Well, there is one more thing I can do. Greseer, could you give me a lift?"
Every indicator in the TARDIS seemed to be going berserk. Clara wasn't exactly fluent in Gallifreyan, but the Doctor had taken the trouble to install an English translation of what the monitors said - and though the time data was barely more than a jumble of numbers to her, Clara did recognise the words 'catastrophe', 'vortex', 'instability', and 'Doctor'.
"Look, you can obviously sense it, the Doctor is in danger, and we need to help him. So, instead of sitting here, waiting for him to die, how about we actually get going?" She sat herself down in front of the central spire, staring at it, willing the ship to do something.
Then, with a fierce jolt and the gorgeous sound of the TARDIS humming, Clara realised the ship had actually listened to her - and was starting to move...