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


Chapter 13
"Is That A Mysterious Entity From The Dawn Of Time In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Pleased To See Me?"
by William Howells


---


Ganos Burok, President of the High Council of the Time Lords of Gallifrey, Trustee of the Eye of Harmony, and all round bad antagonist plotwise was still watching the action from the Land of Fiction. After all, he reasoned, real life drama was that much more interesting than endless soaps, and the only other channel that offered anything close to it, "Galaxy Wide 5", was, despite its name, impossible to receive in the constellation of Kasterborus.


       Burok's plan had worked fairly well. With the Lady Romana overthrown and banished to the Land of Fiction, he had seized power with ease. In fact, it had almost been too easy.


       He shrugged the feeling off: it was a something all megalomaniacs felt. They certainly did on TV. Just a cliche; nothing to worry about.


       He sat back in the Comfy Chair of Rassilon and continued to watch...


* * *


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 Calumnibods!" He frowned. "I've never heard of Calumnibods."


       The six-eyed beings protruded yellow-white bones from orifices at the front of their heads in what seemed to be grins. "Nearly forgotten by Gallifrey and the" — they hissed the name — "Time Lords we were, but some remember us. You have been well educated, Doctor."


       "K'Anpo, my mentor, must have mentioned you to me. All-powerful entities from the Dawn Of Time." He frowned. "I don't remember it though..."


* * *


Chang Lee worked his way along the tiring chorus line to where Romana was high-kicking.


       "What are those creatures with the Doctor?" he asked.


       She looked up to where the Doctor was engaging the Most Ancient Gallifreyans in conversation. "Calumnibods..." She frowned. "Uh-oh."


       "What is it?"


       "The Doctor must have plugged the reverse polarity neutrino bonder in back to front."


       "Is that bad?"


       "It could be cataclysmic. No-one has overall creative input here any longer. Small pockets of influence, yes, but now the Land will descend into an infinite loop of recycled concepts."


       "You mean...?"


       "Yes," she said gravely, "a Land of Cliché."


* * *


"Gugugee-Calumnibod, what are we going to do tonight?"


       "Same thing we do every night, Krima-Calumnibod."


       "But we have manipulated Ganos Burok enough."


       "Hmm, you have a point, Krima Calumnibod. It is time for Burok to join us."


       And an irate-looking Ganos Burok materialised between the Calumnibods.


       "Presumably," the Doctor said to Burok, "it was you who set up the Alliance. It would need plenty of power to assemble these beings." He waved at his old enemies who were pelting the chorus line with rotten fruit.


       Burok forced a smile. "With the power of the Eye of Harmony directed through my friends...my masters the Calumnibods, yes."


       "And do you realise what havoc," the Doctor continued angrily, "such lifeforms as Fenric and Sutekh could wreak on the universe if they escape from the Land?"


       The Calumnibod who had been Krima slurped. "They cannot escape. They are the new Masters of the Land of Fiction. Unless they find a replacement, they will remain here forever."


       The Doctor looked at the creature vacantly. "What...?" He spun round and looked down at the dancing characters below. "Lee!" he shouted. "Don't take control!"


       Chang Lee moonwalked forward. "Don't worry, Doctor, Romana says the Land doesn't need a Master anymore."


       The Doctor thought for a moment, his gaze resting on the wrongly-placed reverse polarity neutrino bonder. "Oh no." He frowned.


       Chang Lee frowned.


       Romana frowned.


       A frown formed in Fenric's lupine head.


       The Calumnibods shifted part of the upper reaches of their bodies in what must have been a frown.


       Ganos Burok, Keeper of the Secret Perpetual Rice Pudding Generator of Omega, furrowed his brow into the Frown of Rassilon.


       The Doctor frowned. "Oh yes."


       He jumped from the gallery, redirected his flight via a passing chandelier, and landed with a thump on the stage.


       "Come on, Lee, Romana, Wendy, it's time to go!"


       His friends' clothes returning to normal, the Doctor led them into the wings.


       The scene changed.


* * *


A straight, paved path stood between the good guys and the TARDIS. On one side of the path stood the Chen gang, automatic guns raised. Opposite them stood the Chang Ho's cohorts, weapons equally ready. Everything else was blackness.


       "Doctor," Romana said, a pang of anxiety in here voice, "we have to get the TARDIS."


       "I know, I know. I can't say I like the idea of being caught in a hail of bullets. It's the sort of thing I have nightmares about. Like waking up on an operating table, or falling from a great height..."


       "But, Doctor," Romana continued, "if we don't leave soon..."


       "I know, I know."


       Chang Lee piped up, "Let's make a run for it."


       "We'll be shot for sure," Wendy insisted.


       "I know, I know," the Doctor reiterated.


       "Hmph," said Chang Lee and began to sprint away.


       Wendy stifled a scream. The Doctor and Romana looked on in horror. The American-Chinese youths began to fire. Not at each other, directly at Chang Lee.


       The Doctor began to smile. Every bullet was missing Lee. As the boy ran on, the projectiles embedded themselves harmlessly in the paving.


       When Lee reached the door, he turned, a broad grin on his face. "Hell," he shouted, "if it isn't one of the biggest cliches in the book."


       "Come on," the Doctor said, "as fast as you can," and ran, leading Romana and Wendy safely through the torrent of bullets. He produced the TARDIS key and piled inside. Moments later, it demat--


       --ERIALISED WITH A WHEEZING GROANING


       WHEEZING GROANING


       WHEEZING GROANING SOUND AND TH--


       --ey broke away from the Land.


* * *


"I expect that's the last we'll hear of the Land of Fiction," the Doctor said confidently.


       "How can you be so sure?" Lee asked.


       "Well," the Doctor said, "deprived of originality and with no new plot directions, everything will collapse into hackneyed concepts and tired formulas. And, when the final piece of imagination falls away, all you have is..."


       The TARDIS shuddered as the *BOOM* of a loud explosion filled the air.


       "...cliche."


       "Doctor," Wendy said suddenly, her voice shaking almost imperceptibly, "can I go home now?"


       Chang Lee took her hand. "Now there's a cliché I like the sound of."


       "Setting the co-ordinates for San Francisco."


       Lee raised a finger and grinned. "Engage."


---
Fin.



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