|Doctor Who Internet Adventure #01 - "DeathRace"
"What Chance of a Hotel in Mayfair?" or "Something Nasty In The Community Chest"
by Vicky Jewitt
In Which the Doctor and Grace take a trip round a Demarian Monopoly board and it is finally proved that greed does not pay.
* * *
He stopped Bessie and looked up to see the Toymaker standing to the side of the track, smiling at him.
"What do you want now?" he demanded.
The Toymaker appeared hurt. "Really Doctor, anyone would imagine you weren't pleased to see me."
"How very odd," put in Grace sarcastically, who had woken up after the Doctor had had to swerve suddenly a few minutes earlier. "And what do you want?"
He sighed. "I suppose you don't realize how very boring it is for an audience to have to watch you three travelling along?"
"Fancy that not occurring to us," Grace said. "Doctor, why didn't you tell me that a moment ago? I'm sure I could have jumped out the car — or even better, pushed this snorer out!" With that, she motioned at Jadi Morok, the bounty hunter who had been sleeping for some hours now.
The Doctor looked at the Toymaker. "I thought we were racing? You did say you had several assassins on our tail."
"Yes, I did," agreed the Toymaker, "but my consideration for the viewers has won me over. Besides, Doctor, running away is what you do best. I thought you might like to try your hand at something a little more difficult. After all, you escaped my last game, didn't you? You always were one for creating distractions, Doctor," he went on.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Oh, I see what you mean. I'm so sorry I deserted the cards to go and have that party with the Daleks."
"Well, Doctor, the fun is over. You now have to face the final game before you reach your destination. Forgive me if I add that, in view of things, it seems a little unlikely that you could actually win it. Being imprisoned for millennia does give one such an odd desire to gloat."
The Doctor smiled charmingly. "Oh, Toymaker, I'm sure I could say with honesty that the millennia you keep referring to have hardly altered you. You took great delight in gloating the first time I met you. I think all this talk is a facade. Personally, I don't think you can change. That's why you need all this amusement."
"Interesting, Doctor, interesting." The Toymaker was not put out. "And amusement you afford me in plenty. Continue and face the final game — which I think you may just lose."
He vanished. Grace stuck out her tongue at where the figure had been.
"Childish behaviour, Grace," admonished the Doctor and then copied the action, with the addition of sticking his thumbs in his ears and waggling his fingers about.
She poked Jadi Morok. "Wake up. We're just driving into another one of the Toymaker's little traps."
"What we doing that for?" he murmured sleepily.
The Doctor smiled brightly. "Oh, for fun, you know! We might as well enjoy ourselves, Morok!"
"Doctor..." Grace suddenly recognized their surroundings. "I hate to tell you this, but we're going to be stuck here for an eternity, whether we win or lose!"
He turned to her. "Why, Grace?"
"This is a Monopoly board," she informed him flatly.
He wrinkled his nose. "Monopoly?"
"Yes. We've stopped on a square marked "Go."
Jadi looked from one to the other. "What's Monopoly?"
"That's a good question," the Doctor said, leaning forward. "I'm fond of the English version myself; always rather liked trying to win with Old Kent Road. Trouble is, I find myself in jail most of the time! But what is the Toymaker's idea of Monopoly?"
Grace grimaced. "I don't think we want to know!"
"And who are the other players? Six? Let me see; the Rani, the Monk is out of it, Davros. Hope he hasn't any more Daleks with him. I don't think they'd follow the rules, do you? Who else is there? Now, it depends on whether you and I, Grace, are playing together, or apart."
She coughed. "Doctor, there's a big sign over there. It says: 'Roll the dice and stop talking'. I think someone's trying to give you a hint."
"Oh, does it?" He glanced from one to the other. "That's not very polite! Well, if you two don't mind, I think I'd like another chat with our host." With that, he stood and started shouting.
A moment later, the Toymaker appeared. "Yes, Doctor, I know what you want! You and Grace may play together. Which means, you do exactly that and no cheating. But, this is Demarian Monopoly, you must remember."
"Ah," the Doctor met his gaze. "I had a feeling it might be something like that. But, really, that is quite absurd, you know. There's no such game!"
The Toymaker became insulted once more. "But, Doctor, I've spent so much time perfecting it!"
"Oh, that's.. er nice," the Doctor returned politely.
The Toymaker smiled graciously. "Let me explain. In essentials the game remains unchanged. I have merely added several elements. Each player has his or her own bounty hunter, who will rob the bank at the beginning. The players use the money and conform to the rules of the game, as always. However, the bounty hunters — or hired assassins, whichever you prefer — may roam about and shoot any player. The property of that player then passes to the player who owns the bounty hunter, to do with as he pleases. And just to add a little excitement, the board is realized - with streets and stations - and a cosy little jail with its own officer to keep order, and the bank is, er, staffed." There was a look of amusement in his eye that boded no good for the Doctor, as he said the last. "Ah, here come your fellow contestants. Doctor, I think Davros and the Rani you have already met with. Sadly, the Monk cannot be with us. I'm sure you recognize the fifth contestant -"
"Looking better than when I saw him last," the Doctor commented, as the Master arrived.
He continued. "He and the Rani have their own Demarian bounty hunters — as you do, while of course Davros has been allowed two Daleks."
"Two?" Jadi had been intending to keep very quiet in any further conversations with the Toymaker, but forgot his resolve in indignation.
"Yes, the poor things are so terribly awkward. The sixth player will arrive soon, Doctor. You are to throw second. Remember to get your money from the bank or there will be no game at all and the ratings will drop accordingly — most notably because no one will be left to watch," he added with sudden menace, before disappearing.
"Jadi, did you hear that?" Grace addressed him. "Go and rob the bank before the Daleks do it first!"
He pulled out his gun. "I'll take great pleasure in repeating my earlier performance if they do."
"Wait, wait, wait," the Doctor interrupted. "We are not going to rob the bank. I shall go and draw my money out myself."
He wandered over to the centre of the square, entered the rather shaky building which had been erected from cardboard, and moved across to the counter. "I'd like my money, please. If you don't hand it over, I'll have to let Jadi Morok rob you, after all."
"There you go, Doctor:" said a familiar voice in a bored tone. "Two five hundreds, four--"
He broke in, his disbelief clear, although with the Toymaker's penchant for rummaging around in his memories, it should hardly have been so. "Tegan, what are you doing here?"
"Well, you lost me my original job, you know," she told him, keeping to the role of the bored bank assistant. Then, abruptly, she leant forward with a grin. "Brave heart, Doctor. You'll do it." After that, she sat back down again and started examining her fingernails.
He shrugged to himself and pocketed the money.
* * *
"Doctor, I've rolled the dice and got a double one," Grace told him.
He sat back in Bessie, "Oh good! Isn't that Whitechapel road? Nearly as good as Old Kent! Or is it the tax? Not so good!"
"The Rani went first. She landed on Chance and got an 'Advance to Mayfair'," Grace went on. "Jadi's gone to start shooting the other players."
The Doctor frowned. "Well, I don't want him to."
"Well, I said that, and he added that he'd try to keep to the other bounty hunters. And Doctor, you can't buy things or do anything when you've got doubles."
The Doctor waved his hand in the air. "Oh, everyone has their own rules for Monopoly!"
"Yes," Grace agreed neutrally, "but Davros tried to go before us and he got zapped. He's recovering now. I think we ought not to risk things like that, don't you?" The Doctor looked ahead. "Ah, well! Throw again, Grace!"
"Chance!" she said, as Bessie brought them there. The Doctor leapt out to collect his card from what appeared to be some kind of octopus. There was no understanding the mind of the Toymaker at times. He studied the orange card and returned to Grace somewhat sheepishly. "Grace, do you mind if we pay the jail a little visit?"
* * *
The Doctor peered through the window. "Oh, look at this! The Rani has landed on Vine Street and she's hoping that Davros won't notice. Oh, he has! She's refusing to pay. Oh dear." Then he turned away, wincing. "Not a pretty sight."
"Has the last player turned up yet?" queried Grace. "If they're as insanely evil as the rest of our competitors, we'll win. None of them seem to have a clue about rules."
The Doctor nodded. "Long practice of breaking them. Even though they're not even really here, the Toymaker can't change their essential natures. Oh..." He stopped, lapsing into troubled silence.
"What is it?" Grace was alarmed. Throughout this whole terrible race, the Doctor had managed to remain cheerful at most points.
He made a face. "Romana's the sixth player. And she'll win. That's why the Toymaker was so confident. I'd forgotten about her. She was in the murder game, you know."
"When can we get out of jail?" Grace sighed. "We've only got the Water works and if this doesn't improve, I'll do my best impression of them!"
The Doctor sat down beside her gloomily, "Well, I'm sorry."
"I'll throw the dice next time," Grace informed him. "So far we have been straight to jail, then you threw a double and got us out — and then you had to throw two more and get us back in! And then you landed straight on the Go to Jail square!"
"You picked up that community chest card," he pointed out. Grace was not impressed. "Doctor, if I ever get back home, I'm going to take great pleasure in burning my copy of this game!"
Their conversation was interrupted as Davros entered, scowling.
"Oh, dear," the Doctor professed his sympathy rather insincerely. "Are you here, too?"
Davros looked at him. "You are the Doctor. You tricked me!"
"Well, you wanted to kill me," the Doctor said defensively. "Still, how have you been getting on?"
Davros considered this. "It is a foolish game," he pronounced. "I was not allowed to blast my way through the hotel in Mayfair to reach Whitehall. Still, Doctor, my Daleks will soon exterminate you and this indignity will have been worthwhile."
"Really, Davros," said the Doctor. "I do pity you sometimes. You can be very narrow-minded."
Grace threw the dice. "No luck. I hope you've got fifty-- er-- pounds, Doctor."
"Davros?" the Doctor prompted.
Davros did not smile, but he produced a pink 'Get out of jail free card' and sailed on past.
"Why is even that mutilated monster having better luck than we are?" Grace wanted to know.
He gave her a distracted smile. "Oh, brave heart, Grace."
So now he was talking about films. She shrugged. "Well, I suppose there's one consolation. At least while we're in here, we're not getting shot at."
They both looked at each other as bullet flew through the window and embedded itself in the wall opposite, right on cue.
"Grace," the Doctor picked himself up. "If you have any more comforting thoughts like that, you couldn't possibly keep them to yourself, could you?"
At the barred window, Jadi Morok's face appeared, "Sorry, Doc. I couldn't resist it."
"You're nor supposed to be shooting us," Grace reminded him, "and how's it going?"
He grinned. "Got one Dalek. Oh, and Berin Talar. Beautiful shot, that was. Sent his gun spinning out of his hands and then, well--"
"Yes, yes," interrupted the Doctor. "Who's winning?"
Jadi thought for a moment. "That Rani woman was, until she got herself zapped. Now her stuff's up on the market. The little blonde's doing well and she's not had to be zapped even lightly. D'you want me to get her?"
"No!" The Doctor replied in alarm, "Don't! Morok, she happens to be a very good friend of mine! I mean, she was once... is still... I don't know, but..."
He nodded. "Keep your cool, Doc. I won't shoot her."
There was a loud report and Jadi vanished from sight with a crash. Grace paled visibly and the Doctor moved to the window. "Morok?"
The man sat below the window firing angrily at a black-clad figure that was hastily speeding away.
"She hit me!" Jadi complained in shock. "She got me!"
The Doctor strained to see properly. "Where?"
"Oh, just my arm. Jerrah was always the worst shot I ever knew. She's better at close quarters with a knife — or martial arts. Still, that hurt, Doc, that hurt!"
The Doctor was sympathetic. "I'm sure it did."
"How'm I supposed to look anyone in the face when they know I've been hit by Jerrah Calless?" He shook his head. "Well, I'm not hanging round here, Doctor. You'd better hurry up and get yourself out of there or we've got no chance."
Grace shouted from across the room. "We will. Next go, we pay the money and get out."
"Out of interest," the Doctor had one last question, "Romana. Has she got a bounty hunter? Oh, all right, Morok, the blonde one!"
Jadi shook his head. "No. She's got a tin dog. It's still arguing with a Dalek at the moment."
* * *
"Free at last!" exclaimed the Doctor, stepping out and climbing back into Bessie. "Where are we?"
Grace looked for the road sign. It was painted in orange and white. "Marlborough something or other."
"I believe you owe me fourteen pounds, Doctor," said the Master smoothly.
The Doctor put his hands in his pocket. "Have you got change for a five hundred?"
The Master took the note from him. "I'm afraid not," he said with a smile as he put it away.
"Grace! Stand back!" The Doctor jumped away suddenly, as an electric bolt struck the Master and he vanished. The Doctor shook his head. "I've told him time and again that that sort of behaviour just doesn't pay. Rather satisfying to have a point proved so promptly."
She waited for him to turn back to her. "Doctor, I hate to tell you this, but our last five hundred has been zapped along with him!"
"Ah," said the Doctor slowly, "that was unfortunate, wasn't it?"
* * *
"So this is Mayfair," Grace announced helpfully, as they arrived.
Davros took a short-cut across the board. "Ah. There you are, Doc-tor. I want this square! Prepare to be exterminated!"
One Dalek glided across. The Doctor wondered idly which assassin the other had fallen prey to. He hoped it was Jadi Morok, as the satisfaction might keep him from murdering anyone else — just possibly.
"Doctor," Grace tugged at his arm. "Why isn't he being got for not keeping to the rules."
He turned to her grimly. "Evidently, an all out battle for Mayfair is in the rules... I suppose the Dalek has every right to kill us now as at any other time."
"Where's Morok?" muttered Grace as they prepared to be shot down.
Suddenly the Dalek exploded. Unnoticed by any of them, a small shape had entered the square.
"K9!" exclaimed the Doctor with pleasure, "Thank you so much!"
The metal dog simply ignored him and the Doctor hid his hurt, turning back to Davros. "This is back on the market, isn't it?"
"I thought property got mortgaged?" objected Grace.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Oh, no. The Toymaker has allowed for his contestants, a little. How much money do we have?"
"Two hundred and fifty-eight pounds," she informed him.
He nodded. "Right; well, I was here first, Davros and I'm buying this square and you can pay me fifty pounds for landing on it!"
"Oh, good," whispered Grace, "that'll be handy for next time we go to jail."
Davros raised a blaster. "I shall exterminate you and claim your property."
"Bang," said Grace moments before it happened. The Dalek was allowed to attempt to kill them. Davros, as another contestant, was not. She opened her eyes as Davros vanished. "They are hopeless, aren't they?"
* * *
"I'm a bit short of cash," the Doctor confessed some time later. "When do we get to pass Go?"
Grace gave him a suspicious glance. "How much money do we have?"
"Six pounds?" he offered.
She coughed. "Well, in that case we'd better hope this Romana doesn't notice that we're sat in her station and we owe her two hundred."
"Doctor?" said Romana, coming around the corner.
He smiled brightly. "Ah, well, I think I'd better sell a few things." In an aside to Grace, he added, "I thought I'd told you not to make remarks like that!"
"Doctor, you only have Mayfair left. I'll buy it from you for two hundred," Romana offered generously, "then you'll still be in, and, well... who knows what might happen?"
Grace waited. "Doctor, we're going to lose."
"That's very kind of you, Romana," the Doctor managed, and handed over the deeds.
She shook her head. "It isn't, I know. But no-one can win if we don't keep to the rules."
"Yes," agreed the Doctor, as she walked off.
There was a sudden cry from Trafalgar Square. The Doctor raced onward in alarm. In the red square, Romana lay unmoving as Jadi came into view.
"Morok!" the Doctor shouted.
The bounty hunter put his blaster away guiltily.
"She wasn't real, you said that. You said that none of them were really here." Grace put a hand on the Doctor's arm.
Jadi shrugged apologetically. "You win. And now we go on to the end of this race and you can pay me."
"Mistress." K9 approached them . At the sight, he fell silent.
The Doctor looked around him. "I've won?"
"Indeed you have," the Toymaker said, as the Monopoly board disappeared. "This game, at least. Your friend has more sense than I anticipated, Doctor."
Grace glared at him. "Well, if we've won -"
"The game, my dear, the game. The race is still on. The Doctor has not yet reached his final destination." He smiled. "And I think he will find it so entertaining! And of course, the Legion, Bonnie and Clyde... They are still on the loose somewhere."
The Doctor looked up. "Bonnie and Clyde are both dead, Toymaker. As is the Legion. They're figments of my imagination! As were the Daleks and almost everything else you've thrown at me so far!"
"I thought the bats were real," Grace put in, "and do most figments of your imagination try to kill you?"
The Doctor glanced at her. "Grace, please. And mine do tend to."
"On with the race, Doctor." The Toymaker motioned at the waiting Bessie.
The Doctor shook his head. "No. I refuse to play any more of your little games, Toymaker!"
"Doctor," Grace interrupted in alarm, "what about all those people watching? If you give up, they're going to belong to him!"
The Toymaker was amused. "A dilemma for the Doctor, I think. And while we stand here talking, I fear that the ratings will drop-"
"Oh come, now," said the Doctor fiercely, "don't be so modest! I'm sure they all tune in to see your appearance. Especially wearing that ridiculous get-up!"
The strange being shrugged. "At least I am consistent, Doctor; unlike you. On with the race, Doctor. I said I would set no time limit, but my patience wears thin."
"I said no, Toymaker," the Doctor repeated firmly. "Deremar isn't real. It's just another of your little worlds. So there aren't billions of people watching — in fact no-one is! These ratings you're so obsessed with must be terrible! Therefore, no-one is going to belong to you. And I'm going to stand here until you tell me what you really hope to gain by this charade!"
Grace turned to him. "Doctor, you can't--" she began, but her shout became a scream, as the ground dissolved beneath them and they fell into the darkness....
To be concluded...
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