Doctor Who: The Internet Adventures - #9
Chapter 9 - 'The Vindicated Guidebook'
by Jennifer Pinyan


Still glaring at each other, the Doctor and Bea each took one step
into the cave--
   "Um, guys--"  Wil's voice broke off, a peculiar retching noise
coming from where he'd just spoken.
   The two Time Lord's heads snapped around.  Wil was nowhere
to be seen.  Instead, a darkly-shrouded figure was standing in front
of them.  As they gawped, it raised its arms...

...and the Doctor grabbed both its hands with his own. "How do
you do? I'm the Doctor. And this is... my assistant," he said,
indicating the young girl clad in a forest green T-shirt and lavender
Osh-Kosh overalls. She wore a sensible pair of sneakers and blue
socks covered with yellow smiley-faces named Bob.
   "Oh, um," the figure replied wittily. "I'm... I'm," it assumed a
menacing stance, "your worst nightmare!"
   "Well, if that's all, then," said the Doctor, "we'll be on our way.
We'll see you at the ball later, though, won't we?" he asked as he
grabbed Beatrice's hand and bowled past the darkly-shrouded figure.
   "I don't know... I don't think I got an invitation..."
   "Here, you can have mine," offered the Doctor, handing the
mysterious alien a folded slip of paper. The being gratefully accepted
it and opened it to find out what the R. S. V. P. date was. When it
looked up, the Doctor and Beatrice were gone.


The Doctor and the young girl followed the corridors hastily,
occasionally turning when prompted by the life-form-tracking gizmo
in the Doctor's hands. Beatrice skipped ahead of the Doctor, singing,
"This is the way we find the Ferris, find the Ferris, find the Ferris.
This is the way we find the Ferris, all day long!"
   The Doctor caught Beatrice by the arm. "Come on," he said, "try
to keep in mind where and who you are."
   Beatrice turned tired, cloudy eyes up to the Doctor, and, for
a short while, they cleared. "It's hard to stay focused, you know.
Even if I weren't a clone, this isn't the most agreeable time for
post-regenerative stabilization."
   "There are few hours in life more agreeable--"
   "-- than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as Afternoon Tea.
Henry James," completed Beatrice. "But joking aside, Doctor, you're
not making things any easier for me; you're broadcasting too much."
   "I am not. No one should be picking up on my thoughts...but I guess
since you're me..." He sighed. "And I've never gotten along well with
   "Stop saying things like that, Doctor," Beatrice demanded, placing her
small hands on her hips, her eyes full of fire now. "I am not *my*
fault! It's hard enough for me to stay centered without your
thinly-veiled recriminations. I'm fading away. And I'm so confused.
It's hard to tell what I'm thinking, what I'm remembering. What *you*
are remembering."
   He couldn't help recalling, when he looked at his clone, the last time
he had seen Beatrice. Suddenly, he remembered what he'd told the young
girl about clones in the hospital that day:  "It would look like you,
it would walk like you, for a short time it would even think like you.
But it wouldn't be you." She'd been made from his DNA, yes, and she'd
even resembled his third body for a while. But she wasn't him. With a
mental shake, the Doctor pushed the death of Mike's daughter to the
back of his mind. "Come on, now. We have to keep moving," he said
briskly, grabbing her hand and continuing down the corridor.
   Beatrice stumbled. "Carry me, uncle," the little girl requested.
   The Doctor bent down and scooped Beatrice up in his arms. She
rested her head against his shoulder, and they moved on through
the tunnels.
   "I'm sorry, Bea," he whispered.


"Well?" demanded the Rutan not currently plugged into the console.
   "Patience..." muttered Angela, as she continued to twist and turn
through the system. She was actually making a bit of progress. Now,
if there were only no more distractions...


"We're here," said the Doctor, gently putting Beatrice down.
   "Thanks," she replied, lucid once more.
   They were at the entrance to another cavern, this one containing
several computer consoles. The Doctor's scanner indicated a human
female and two Rutans, but as far as he could see, only Ferris and one
blob (which he presumed to be a Rutan) were in the room.
   "It's time to find out what this is all about," announced the Doctor.
"You might want to stay here..."
   "We discussed this before leaving the TARDIS, Doctor. I'm coming
with you."
   Together, hand in hand, they stepped into the cavern. "Um, excuse
me, I'm the Doctor, and I was just wondering if you could--"
   "The Subject!" exclaimed the blob.
   Angela spun around and, through the haze of data streams, saw the
Rutan begin to glow with an eerie, but now familiar, green light. *No,
not again!* she silently cried. The Doctor barely had enough time to
shove Beatrice away from him before the lightning engulfed him.


Slowly, Jadi opened his eyes. The room was too bright at first, but
once his pupils had contracted he was able to see again. There were
several exciting things for him to notice, and his brain registered
them in order of importance. First, the bunch of robed figures were
gathered on one side of the room, conversing. Second, he was not the
only bound and stunned human lying on the ground of the control
   Wil sat up slowly and put a manacled hand to his head. He started
to groan, but quickly stopped upon seeing Jadi make a rather
threatening gesture. "Shut up," the bounty hunter hissed at Wil.
   Considering his current predicament, Wil decided to sulk quietly
rather than publicly denounce the combined ill effects of getting
drunk, swallowing Rutan, and being transported by a... well, by
whatever had transported him. He shot Jadi a look that he hoped
would be read as an inquiry about their plans of escape.
   Jadi nodded his head toward the plotting figures as he slowly eased
into a crouch. Nevermind that his hands were bound; he'd think of
   "...Besides, Ferris is in the core, where she'd survive."
   "Yeah. And she's working on the security system."
   "Don't worry about that," the figure took a swig of oxygenated fluid,
"two agents are down there now."
   "So can we fry the planet, then? Oh, come on, can we? Can we?"
   Jadi glanced at his watch; there were still two hours until time zero.
He glanced over at Wil and was surprised to see that the young jester
was extending a blaster to him, hands unbound. Perhaps the kid did
have his uses, after all. But wait, that wasn't just any blaster, it
was one of his! Jadi grabbed the gun with a scowl, wondering what
else of his Wil still had.
   "Oh, I guess so."
   "Could you say, 'Fire away!' or something like that?"
   And just at the moment when the leader gave the requested order,
Jadi obeyed. The robed figures in the control room were plowed
down by the streams of death coming from Jadi's weapon. A shimmer
of light surrounded two of the figures, and then they vanished. In their
place, a thin cable and a shapeless blob lay on the ground. Jadi stepped
over the bodies to join Wil at the giant view screen. Alternately, he
stared outside and at his watch in disbelief.
   Wil had watched everything with a certain detachment. One can only
take in so much in a twenty-four hour period. Carnage surrounded him,
but he found he couldn't even focus his eyes on the bodies. It was
horrible. All of it. *If this is *vacationing* with the Doctor...* But
then, Wil already knew what not vacationing with the Doctor was like.
When in doubt...
   "So," he asked the bounty hunter, "what do the J and D stand for?"
   "There were still two hours. Cruk!" was the only reply.


If one had been sitting somewhere out in space and observing the fleet
of mysterious-robed-guy ships, one would have seen the same thing that
an unfortunate group of Sontarans had witnessed only about ten hours
earlier. That is, a bunch of bright, not-so-friendly looking lights
gathered at the crown of the out-stretched portions of the largest
ship. A stream of light so white that it was almost blue shot towards
Paradise. It was soon joined by other, smaller beams from the lesser
ships of the fleet. Plasma engulfed the former vacation planet.
   The result of the attack was wondrously (if a tad inaccurately)
described a few years later by the eminent vacation guide author Kekx
Kondick: "[StarHols] folded after its star attraction, 'Paradise,' was
reduced to a lump of lifeless radioactive ash."


It was hot.
   And painful.
   The Doctor had never really smelled burnt frock coat before, and
so a certain portion of his brain filed away the new smell for future
reference. Then, just as suddenly as it had all started, the searing
light was gone, and the Doctor found himself on the ground. It was
very tempting to just shut down his senses and enter that peaceful,
quiet, painless meditative state... But there was no way he could do
that now. He struggled to push himself up and noticed that his hands
were bright red. One would have thought that he, not Wil, had just
spent weeks sitting on the beach.
   Beatrice was quickly at the Doctor's side, helping him up. His face
was scarlet, just like his hands, and he was mumbling about wishing he
hadn't changed from the safari jacket to the frock coat when they'd
left Tim. She noticed that where the blob had once been, now stood a
figure like the one who had accosted them in the other cavern. Also,
Angela was now looking around, dazed, a loose cable dangling from her
cranial port. Inelegantly spread across the console was another robed
   The mysterious stranger on the computer terminal straightened itself
and addressed Angela, "You have all failed! Your friends may *be* on
my ship, but that hardly means they *control* it. Besides, there's a
whole fleet still under our power up there, and I'm now in control of
what's really important." It paused dramatically, as if gathering its
strength for maniacal laughter.
   "What, do you expect us to beg for mercy?" asked the Doctor, now
standing and approaching Angela and the mysterious figures.
   The black-robed figure laughed evilly. "BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA! 
Mercy is something one only grants to the defeated--  Oh, wait, that
would be you!"

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