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Doctor Who Companion Internet Adventure #03 - "Revenge of the Alliance"


Chapter 12
"The Show's Not Over Til The Time Lady Sings"
by Susannah Tiller


---


There was a shimmering in the air, like someone pushing aside a transparent curtain.


       Four new figures stood in the room. An emaciated, jackal headed figure. A grey stone statue that radiated evil. A man with the head of a wolf. A pan-like figure with goat-like legs, and two stumpy horns on his forehead.


       "Who are you?" asked Chang Lee, pushing Wendy and Romana behind him.


       "I'd guess at Sutekh, a God of Ragnarok, Fenric and a Daemon, but I could be wrong," whispered Romana.


       A voice that seemed to come from the statue and yet from everywhere boomed out.


       "We are the Alliance, Chang Lee."The Master of the Land of Fiction frowned. "But the alliance was supposed to refer to Chang Ho's gang, and their ongoing feud with Vinnie Chen's gang."


       "Nope," said the Daemon. "We felt that particular plot thread was being under-used. So we disintegrated it."


       For the Master, things were suddenly beginning to make sense. "You're the ones who have been creating havoc in the land?"


       Four heads solemnly nodded.


       "Why?"


       "Revenge," hissed Sutekh. "The Revenge of the Alliance."


       The Master sighed. "Yes, I should have seen that one coming."


       "Ummm," Wendy Chen spoke up. "Who do you want revenge on?"


       "The Doctor," Fenric howled. "He trapped us all, he ruined all our schemes. And now he will die!"


* * *


The Doctor looked around for a few seconds, before realising that he was back in the TARDIS. Someone had written him out of the scenario, and by a lucky coincidence, he'd been brought back to the TARDIS.


       "Time to put all the pieces together," he muttered to himself. "Chang Lee was trapped here by Ganos Burok, who also trapped Romana so that he could become President of Gallifrey. Wendy Chen wanted revenge for her brother, who she thinks Chang Lee killed, but he didn't."


       He paused, and looked down at the console. "Following this, are you?" An affirming whine sounded from deep within the TARDIS. "Good," he said.


       "Now, Chang Lee will become a great hero and destroy the Land of Fiction - unless it destroys him first. Thus, the Master and Ganos Burok are trying to fictionalize him, I'm trying to rescue him and Romana, and the whole thing is being controlled by an outside force. If I can find a reverse-polarity neutrino bonder, or failing that, a good imagination, everything will be solved," he concluded, beaming. "Simple."


       The TARDIS gave a despairing pinging sound.


       "I think that's everything, isn't it?" he said to himself.


       "Um, not quite," said a voice behind him. The Doctor turned around.


* * *


"What do we do now?" Wendy whispered. "Can't you write us out of here?" she said, glaring at the Master.


       The Master of the Land of Fiction concentrated, muttering to himself. A giant custard pie appeared above his head, and dropped with a *splat* onto him.


       The Alliance laughed. "We control the Land now," the God of Ragnarok boomed. "We write the plots that make the whole land wince. We make things happen."


       Chang Lee stepped up to face them, his heart pounding. "Well, you're not doing a very good job, are you?" he said.


       "What?" Wendy grabbed his arm, and tried to drag him back. Romana stopped her. "He's trying to divert their attention," she said.


       "What use is that?" Wendy asked.


       "The Doctor?" the Master suggested. Romana nodded. "If Chang Lee can keep them occupied, the Doctor can escape."


       "Deserting?"


       "Getting help!" Romana insisted. They turned back to face the Alliance.


       "What do you mean, we're not doing a good job?" the Daemon bellowed indignantly. .


       Chang Lee smiled his most winning smile. "It's all a bit of a cliche', isn't it?" he asked. "I mean, there was Monty Python, Jabba the Hutt... Can't you think of anything original?"


* * *


"Who are you?" the Doctor said, looking at the two Time Lords who had suddenly appeared in his TARDIS. "I'm Krima, and he's Gugugee," said the older one.


       The Doctor peered at them closely. "Didn't we attend the Academy together?"


       Gugugee peered closely at him. "Theta Sigma?"


       "At your service," the Doctor said, bowing slightly. "How did you come to be in the Land of Fiction?"


       "Ganos Burok, that double-crossing rat!" Krima scowled. "We helped him imprison Romana, and then he turns around and dumps us here himself."


       "Another piece in the puzzle," the Doctor muttered.


       "The Land is out of the Master's control now," Gugugee said.


       The Doctor flicked a few switched on the TARDIS console. Nothing happened. He concentrated slightly. Nothing happened. "They're not letting us do anything," he said. He stamped his foot in annoyance, and kicked something that had accidentally fallen out of Gugugee's pocket.


       The Doctor picked it up. "A reverse-polarity neutrino bonder," he gasped. "Just what I was looking for!"


       "I stole it from Burok," Gugugee admitted.


       The Doctor beamed. "If we can get a little bit of control over things, this will solve all our problems."


       "But we're stuck."


* * *


An iron cage appeared over Chang Lee, and crashed down. The front of the cage missed him by half an inch. Lee just sneered. "Oh please, a bit of creativity."


       "Um, are you sure you know what you're doing?" Romana whispered. He gave her a thumbs-up sign, and flashed a smile at them. "Piece of cake."


       A giant sponge cake appeared, and flung itself at Chang Lee. He wiped cream out of his eyes, and began humming. "La, la, not very impressive. No wonder the Doctor could defeat you."


       The Alliance rumbled. A lightning bolt struck the cake and fried it.


       Yowch! Chang Lee thought. Time to play the trump card. "Kid's tricks," he said. "Bet you we could do something more interesting."


       The God of Ragnarok leaned forward. "You challenge us?"


       "Yup," Chang Lee said. "I bet we can put on a better show than you."


       The Alliance conferred among themselves. Wendy, Romana, and the Master of the Land of Fiction exchanged worried glances. Chang Lee crossed his fingers.


       "We accept," Fenric said. "We will allow you to write the action for a limited time. But we shall retain ultimate creative input. If you bore us, or attempt to destroy us, we will destroy you."


       The cage disappeared. Chang Lee walked back to Romana and the others. "It's showtime!" he grinned.


       He whispered in the Master's ear. The Master grimaced, and concentrated.


       The scenery changed. They had left the control room of the Land of Fiction, and were now on the stage of an elegant theatre. High above, in the dress circle, the Alliance watched through opera glasses.


       Suddenly, they were all wearing what seemed to be leopard skins. Wendy had a bone stuck in her hair, and Romana carried a club. The Alliance looked on with detached interest as Chang Lee whispered final instructions to everyone. He grinned up at them. "And a-one, and a-two, and a-one-two-three-four." They exploded into their first number, a bouncy song with high kicks, grins, and spectacular choreographed routines.


       "Fiction! Land of Fiction! It's the modern stone age place to be. From the planet Gallifrey, we come up with each new sto-o-ry. Let's meet the cast of this place as they try to save the human race. When you're in the Land, have a yabba-dabba-do time, a dabba-do time, we'll have a gay old time!"


* * *


The Doctor looked up. "He's done it. By George, he's done it!" The TARDIS began its familiar dematerialisation sound. The Doctor beamed at Krima and Gugugee. "Now we're in with a fighting chance," he said.


       The TARDIS materialised in the control room of the Land of Fiction. The Doctor grabbed a handful of wires from the console, and headed for the Master's computer. "If I can just attach the reverse-polarity neutrino bonder...." he muttered to himself. He prised a panel off the front of the computer, and peered at the exposed wiring. He reached out and touched a wire. Instantly, he dragged his hand back. "Shocking," he muttered.


       He started, and looked up at Krima and Gugugee. "The Master has been trying to force me to become the new Master for years," he said. "That's why he was pleased when I returned here of my own free will. Will? I don't know any Will." To the amazement of Krima and Gugugee, he slapped himself on the face.


       "Come on, the joke wasn't that bad," Gugugee said.


       The Doctor concentrated. "The-Master-has-set-traps-to-force-me-into-accepting-control," he said with clenched teeth. "The-bad-jokes-are-a-part-of-it," One foot began uncontrollably stamping. "If-I-lose-control-we're-all-doomed." His last sentence came out in a rush.


       "Don'tletithappentome.KILLMEFIRST!"


* * *


A thought drifted across the Master's mind. Something about a trap --


       Oh well, it was gone now. And he had a song to sing. He was dressed in a silver lame suit, with black cloak. Wendy, Romana and Chang Lee were all dressed in black. The Master of the Land of Fiction strolled to the centre of the stage and began to sing.


       I'm the Master and I'm okay, I write all night and I write all day!


       [ He's the master, and he's okay. He writes all night and he writes all day ]


       I write and write, I write and write, cos I control the land.


       Nobody can stop me, I've got the upper hand--


       A rotten tomato thundered won onto the stage and exploded. Clearly the Alliance was displeased by this verse. The Master glanced back at his backup vocalists. "Erm, back to the chorus, I think."


       I'm the Master and I'm okay, I write all night and I write all day...


* * *


The Doctor worked frantically at the computer, connecting the reverse-polarity neutrino bonder to the CPU. His right foot shuffled frantically, and now his left foot was beginning to shuffle a little, too.


       Gugugee and Krima watched him from a distance. "Should we kill him yet?" Krima wondered.


       "Not yet," said Gugugee. "Let him get a little bit further first. After all, we've got plenty of time."


       The Doctor looked up triumphantly. "That's it! I've connected the bonder to the CPU that controls the land of Fiction!!!"


       "Meaning?" Krima raised an eyebrow at him.


       "This means that Chang Lee can write the action. He's in control now."


* * *


Back in the theatre, the cast was building up to a triumphant show-stopping climax. Romana, Wendy and the Master were in a chorus line, along with Barbie, the Smurfs, the crew of Babylon 5, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Spanish Inquisition, Boba Fett, the Animaniacs, Jadi Morok, Rick, Vyvyan, Mike, Neil and the evil Doctor. They were all dressed in glittery red dresses that sparkled with hundreds of sequins. They linked arms, and kicked high-kicks in time with the music.


       Start spreading the news, here's something to see. He's the hero of this story, Chang Lee, Chang Lee.


       Chang Lee appeared in the edge of the stage, dressed in a black dinnersuit, complete with top-hat, tails, and cane. As the cast sang and danced, he did a little shoe-shuffle, tap dancing elegantly across the stage until he was in the middle. The chorus finished triumphantly.


       It's up to you, Chang Lee, Chang Lee.


       It was time for Lee's big dance number. He stepped up into the spotlight, and opened his mouth.


       He closed it again, confused. He had forgotten the words. He looked around helplessly.


       "Sing something, stupid," Wendy hissed from behind him.


       He opened his mouth and sang. As he heard the chorus joining in, and realised what he was singing, he felt his stomach start to sink. He was singing something stupid, all right.


       "This is the song that doesn't end. It just goes on and on, my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was. They will be singing it forever just because this is the song that doesn't end."


       The Alliance scowled.


* * *


"I'm an idiot," the Doctor exclaimed. "It's a reverse-polarity bonder. I've connected it the wrong way around. Instead of allowing Chang Lee to control the action, I've deprived him of any creative input. D'oh."


       Krima and Gugugee nodded to each other. Gugugee pulled out the TransBlast Laser Rifle, and pointed it at the Doctor.


       "What's the meaning of this?" the Doctor asked. "The Master's influence isn't affecting me yet."


       Krima laughed. "Doctor, we are not who you think we are."


       They reached up to their foreheads. As they pulled off their masks, revealing their true identities, the Doctor's face formed a look of absolute horror. "I remember you," the Doctor said, aghast. "You're--"


---
To be concluded...



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