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The first thing that happens after they land in Washington D.C. is that Peri drags Erimem away.

"Hey," she says, "we're nearly home. Nice work, Doctor. Come on, Erimem, I'll show you Baltimore!"

They disappear into the bizarre crisscross of streets before the Doctor can point out that it's not as if they'll be able to simply take the commuter rail out of town. In point of fact, he probably doesn't have to correct them. Peri's clever enough to realize that they're not in the DC of her era - but she's also brash enough to commandeer a carriage or a pair of horses. The Doctor sighs and walks off toward the Capitol building, looking around. He'll get the girls later, but he can't imagine abandoning mid-nineteenth century DC for Baltimore.

He doesn't really have any reason to go visit the Senate or the House, so the Doctor dawdles, evincing interest in everything. There's a mob of men laying cobbles into the road and another gang pulling them up again. The Doctor can't imagine why, but there it is. There are men and women selling things out of quite possibly illegal booths set up right on the road. The Doctor stops and looks in at each one before moving on. The booths start to peter out as he gets closer to the Capitol, and he moves a little more quickly. It's partly the lack of the street-market, but more the increasing presence of political ralliers. It's election season, and the Doctor has no interest in getting caught up in a useless debate. Especially when it's entirely impossible for him to vote. Well, he could probably work out a way to vote, but he's not hanging around for the primary and then the general election, and he knows who wins anyway, and it's by a sizable enough margin that he hardly thinks his vote would actually matter.

The Doctor is trying to decide if that is a defeatist attitude when he catches someone very pointedly looking away from him. This is intriguing, especially when everyone else in a five-block radius is trying to shout in the Doctor's ear.

When the Doctor comes closer the man seems to mutter something, and then he looks up sharply and thrusts a paper out into the street, missing the Doctor's already outreached hand completely. The Doctor catches it in the air anyway, tipping his hat so as to get the sun out of his eyes so he can read.

CLAY IS OUR MAN

it says, in heavily-lettered bold type. It goes on to describe the merits of Henry Clay, frequent and always defeated candidate for President. William Henry Harrison, Clay's major rival, is decried in terms so strong that the Doctor suspects the reverse of the paper will have a cartoon of the man eating a baby. Instead it has an artist's depiction of Harrison shaking hands with Andrew Jackson, which is probably worse.

"Whig caucus coming up," growls the campaigner, roughly. "Come, if you can."

"I'm afraid I shall be out of town," says the Doctor. That should be his cue to leave, but he hesitates. Something about the man is familiar, very familiar. Not his face perhaps, but his bearing or the way his voice rasps in his throat.

"Fine, get going then," says the man, and pushes the Doctor away.

The contact is unexpected and a little unnerving, but the Doctor already knew Americans had a tendency toward overfamiliarity. He shakes his head and walks away, determined to put off going to Baltimore for as long as possible. Perhaps, if he's lucky, Peri and Erimem will find their way back to him instead. Erimem, at least, seems possessed of a adequately developed homing instinct.

---

The Master watches the Doctor go and then tears his eyes away. Normally he'd be delighted to taunt and play with his rival, but today is hardly a testament to his abilities. It would have been much too embarrassing.

He shoves another Clay flier into the hand of a passer-by. A normal human reading the whole thing should be convinced of Clay's fitness immediately. If he can keep this up for another hour, Harrison will be doomed.

If this doesn't work, he will simply have to find another way. Harrison as President is unthinkable, especially when he's actually Kamelion mark II, escaped and somehow interested in politics.