|Doctor Who Companion Internet Adventure #03 - "Revenge of the Alliance"
"The Grey Man And The Big Bad Guy"
by William Howells
The Being stood alone in the darkness. Its mind alone was all it required to follow the events in the Land of Fiction and control them as it wished.
"I write the plots that make the whole Land wince..." it sang to itself in a deep, unmelodic voice.
* * *
Chang Lee opened his eyes groggily to find his field of view dominated by the face of a bearded old man.
"Feeling better?" the man asked. His face was wrinkled but his voice demonstrated none of the fragilities of age.
"Hi." Lee pulled himself to his feet.
"That was a big fall, Chang Lee."
"Your telling me, Gramps. No-one survives a fall like that."
The man's grey beard lifted slightly as he smiled. "No, nobody." He looked Lee in the eyes, his pupil's blazing. "And my name is Gandalf."
Lee shrugged, trying to ignore the disturbing feeling he suddenly had. "Bye then." He began to walk off.
"You're going the wrong way," Gandalf pointed out.
Lee turned round but carried on walking away. "You don't even know where I'm going."
"I know what it is you seek. That is not the way." He waved his wooden staff towards Lee. "You'd think a lad would trust the person who just saved his life."
Lee paused in his steps, then began walking back. "How? Can you rewrite the action?"
Gandalf smiled broadly and threw his grey cloak back over his shoulders. A spark of energy appeared briefly at the end of his staff. "No, boy, I use magic.
That's it, Lee, listen to the old man. He knows what he's talking about." The Being chuckled; its laugh echoed around the nothingness, the sound getting softer and softer as eternity approached. "But if only he knew as much as he thinks he knows...
So you're a wizard, yeah?"
"That's right. Not magnificently powerful, but I know the ways of the Power."
More Obi-Wan Kenobi than Bewitched, Lee figured. He thought for a moment as they walked, then asked: "Can you get me home?" Or Dungeon Master even.
"Me? No, I'm afraid not."
Definitely Dungeon Master.
"You will find the way back when you have found what you seek."
"The Doctor? Do you know where he is?"
Gandalf stopped walking. They'd reached the start of a small, rocky plain leading to a clump of mountains. The old wizard rested himself atop a small boulder.
"What you seek and what you are looking for are not necessarily one and the same," he told Chang Lee cryptically. "I suggest you search for the one thing that will defeat the Dark Forces of this realm."
Gandalf jumped to his feet, his wizened form straightening. "This is not a joke!" he shouted. Lee inadvertently stepped back in surprise. "The writer is no longer the dominant force in this Land. The control has shifted to another. Continuity is forsaken; characterisation is beyond belief. Fiction has usurped reality." He was almost whispering by the time he finished.
"So you're saying the Big Bad Guy here is just another character?"
"Not any old Big Bad Guy off the street, oh no. We're talking immense power."
"So why doesn't he make you shut up? Surely he doesn't want me to know all this?
Good point, Lee," the Being muttered in the darkness. It concentrated and Gandalf suddenly buckled in pain. "He was created at the same time as I was, by the same hand. He can create, destroy, and control other characters, but not those of his own world. His power is not strong enough.
Damn!" The Being was angry. Ganos Burok tutted. "Up the power transfer rate."
Krima frowned. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"Don't argue, just do it."
The Being felt it. The energy welled over it, refreshing it. It directed its mind once more.
Gandalf suddenly buckled in pain. Lee ran to help him.
"Are you OK?" he asked, helping the old man to the ground.
"Time is running out," Gandalf croaked. "You must..."
Oh great, Lee thought, the "I know who the murderer is, it's " death scene.
"Rings of power. One more powerful. Get you...home."
Lee briefly considered clicking his heels together. He decided his sneakers wouldn't make the desired sound.
"Where is this ring?" he asked, his brow creasing as he watched the old man grow rapidly weaker.
"Onwards and upwards, Lee." Gandalf's eyes closed. "Say 'Hi' to the Dark One for me."
Gandalf's body slowly faded away, leaving only his cloak and staff. Lee picked them up and turned to the mountains. "Onwards and upwards it is.
You can reduce the power again, Krima."
"Yes, Lord President."
"Oh, I told you so."
"Yes, Lord President," Krima replied with a sigh. The Being felt Chang Lee's actions. Deciding he need a cliffhanger, he quickly wrote in a pterodactyl to keep the boy occupied.
To be continued...
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