This piece was inspired by a brief ADWC discussion concerning|
crossovers and their eligibility for use in This Time Round, it
follows on the heels of "Friendly Fire".
As always, comments, criticisms, and intelligent protests may be
sent to DeTroyes@EnterAct.Com; flamers will be tried, found
guilty, shot, and sent to the eastern front.
Copyright notice at end.
16 April, 1999
A This Time Round: To Die For fiction.
Polly walked up to the group at the bar, slate in hand and filled
with a determination to take her newly-assigned duty very
seriously. After all, they had been so adamant about the need to
keep such things in order, and she didn't want to disappoint them
in the performance of the task they'd entrusted her with.
There were several of Them in the pub at that time, all leaning
against the bar, watching as the Alzarian bartender meticulously
dropped brown food coloring from an eyedropper into a row of
filled shot glasses before him. They were talking quietly among
themselves for the most part, although there was some interaction
with the Pub's other denizens (especially with Mel, who was busy
feeding carrots to a delighted rabbit-like thing that mewed like
a cat, a pet which evidently belonged to one of the new faces).
Mostly, however, the group -- a boy in a dark-red uniform, an
aqua-haired girl in a skin-tight red-and-white body suit, and a
short woman with brown close-cut hair and business-like airs --
were busy trying to convince the bartender of something (a fourth
being, robed and holding an antiquated piece of farming
equipment, sat to the side and merely watched the others
intently). What they were talking about she wasn't quite sure,
but she reasoned that it was their business and none of hers.
"Adric," the short-haired woman was saying as she approached,
somewhat amused, "you can't deny it. A room full of witnesses
saw both of you. Hell, I've got signed affidavits from everyone
who was there!"
"And I'm telling you, it was a complete misunderstanding!" Adric
responded rather desperately, hoping against hope for a way, any
way, to change the subject at hand. "She was just relieved that
she didn't have to go through the trouble of finding..."
"Um, excuse me." Polly began as she walked up to the group. "Uh,
can I bother you all to ask some questions?"
The group turned as one to look at the blond-haired woman. Adric
breathed a visible sigh of relief.
Without waiting for a reply, she turned to the closest of the
group, which happened to be the young man in the red uniform.
She hefted her electronic slate, glanced at the display, and
looked at him uncertainly. "Umm, can you please tell me where
The young man looked at the woman, confused. "Uh, pardon me?
Where am I _from_?"
"Yes, where are you from? We've been getting complaints from
some of the regulars, you see. It seems that there's been a
sudden influx of crossovers into the pub, and there's been some
question as to whether or not they were eligible to be in our
From behind the bar, Adric rolled his eyes. "Oh, not that old
crossover rule again."
Polly nodded. "I'm afraid so. They've been lax in enforcing it
of late, so now they've decided to appoint someone as monitor to
make sure anyone new who comes in here has the proper
The aqua-haired girl looked Polly over carefully. "Let me guess.
You're the one they appointed."
Polly nodded proudly. "Yes, that's right!"
One of the newbies, the short-haired girl with the business-like
look to her, turned to the bar keep. "What's this crossover
rule?" she asked.
Adric smirked. "It's something that was thought up when this
whole place first opened. It says that no crossover character
can enter into the 'Round until they've first appeared in a non-
TTR story." He shook his head. "I don't know what the
reasoning behind it was, but it seems to be one of those rules
that they occasionally like to enforce."
"Jeez, what a bother." the aqua-haired girl remarked.
The Alzarian agreed. "Tell me about it."
Undaunted, Polly continued her interview of the red-uniformed
person. "So, I need to know where you're from and who you are,
so I can verify your authorization."
The young-man grimaced at the silliness of it all. "My name is
Wesley Crusher, and I'm from the Star Trek universe..."
"Don't worry about him, Polly." came a voice from one of the
tables. "I'll vouch for him." Both turned in the voice's
direction, to a man with a sheet of paper (creased into quartos,
unfolded) before him along with a number of sharpened pencils.
The man continued. "He has a cameo in my `Eight Doctors' and is
mentioned in `No Lesser Evil'."
Polly looked at the electronic display and found the appropriate
entries. "Thanks, Paul!"
Next she turned to the short-haired girl, who wasn't bothering to
hide what she thought of the whole line of questioning. "And
"Tendou Nabiki." she said, matter-of-factly. "I was here last a
couple of years ago. Look up `Ranma Who' by LordDoc."
Polly quickly found the entry. "Oh, I think I remember you. Got
it." She turned to the aqua-haired girl. "And you?" she asked.
Space Pirate Ryoko pointed to the other girl. "I'm her sister."
she said, with a completely straight face. "Tendou Kasumi."
"Ok, that's good." Polly examined her quizzically. "I'm sorry,
I should have recognized you. You look a little different..."
"I dyed my hair."
"Oh, ok then."
She turned to the next figure. "And you, uh, sir? Where are you
She looked at him, confused. That wasn't an answer she was
expecting. "Err, umm... are you here doing a crossover?"
The hooded figure looked at the bartender, as if considering.
"NOT AT THIS TIME." he finally concluded. Then he added,
helpfully, "BUT I AM USUALLY WELL KNOWN FOR IT."
"Just put him down as a fan." Adric stepped in, glancing at the
figure. "He watches everything."
"Errr, umm... ok, I suppose." Polly tried to repress the shiver
that rattled her spine; the less time spent with this particular
patron, she decided, the better.
At that moment, Chang Lee walked up to Adric from behind and
tapped him on the shoulder. The Alzarian had already ducked
behind the counter before he looked up to see who had startled
him. "Chang," he complained, "don't DO that!"
"Sorry, Adric. I just wanted to let you know that I was coming
on and that your shift was over."
Adric stood back up and looked up at the clock, confused. "It
can't be, it's only 11:01. My shift isn't over until midnight."
"Nope, it's 12:01 right now. Someone must have reset the clock
back an hour..."
To give the Alzarian credit, he managed to make it back to the
floor and to cover a split second before the bar's wall mirror
shattered (again) and the sound of machine gun fire echoed
through the 'Round.
At the crack of the first shot, the others too dove for cover:
Ryoko and Wes wound up underneath one table, Nabiki and a
slightly confused Polly underneath another. The robed figure,
though, remained where he sat and calmly nursed his tankard of
From underneath their table, Ryoko turned to Wesley.
"Persistent, isn't she?"
Wes nodded. "Bingo."
Ryoko peered in the direction the shots had been fired from.
Sure enough, from just outside the doorway stood a vaguely human
female-looking form in blue-and-white hardsuit armor, one arm
raised and smoke coming from the muzzle of a gun imbedded just
above an articulated wrist. The armor still bore signs of the
previous afternoon's "intervention"; dents, scorch marks, and
quick-fixed repairs were readily apparent.
A voice came from the helmet, so distorted by a malfunctioning
microphone as to be almost unrecognizable. "Adric!" it said,
"Your time is up! Quit hiding and come out to face me!"
The demand was punctuated by another rapid series of rounds that
tore into the bar's mahogany woodwork.
The mech stepped through the doorway and faced the bar, gun arm
"Adric, it's been a very long, unproductive day, and you've been
exceedingly uncooperative. Now, if you don't..."
"Hi, Priss. Long time no see. How's it going?" Ryoko said from
behind the armored figure.
Wes blinked, and glanced at the space beside him. Sure enough,
the space pirate girl was no longer there. He hadn't even
noticed she'd teleported.
The hardsuit spun around, knocking a table and a few chairs over
as it did so. "Who are..."
"Oh, come on, Priss..." said Ryoko, innocently. She put one hand
on the mech's shoulder, like she was greeting an old friend.
"You remember me, don't you? We used to go on Hentai hunts
together!" The girl's hand glowed briefly.
Adric and Chang carefully peeked over the bar top. Chang turned
to Adric, puzzlement apparent. He whispered. "Say, isn't that
suppose to be your..."
"Yes it is and no she isn't." Adric responded, acidly. "Keep
Meanwhile, the hardsuit brought its other mechanical hand up.
"You're one of Adric's friends, aren't you? You can't trick me!
You're trying to help --"
The speaker stopped in mid-sentence as the hardsuit suddenly
"Um, Priss?" Ryoko asked. "Is there something wrong?" She
started to pace around the hardsuit. "You know, this thing looks
pretty beat up. You should take much better care of your
Wes stood and approached the mech. "You know, Priss, this might
be a bad time to mention it, but there's a crossover rule in
Polly perked up. "She's a crossover?"
Nabiki nodded with a straight face. "_Bubblegum Crises_, an
anime OVA and TV series. Name of Priss."
Polly began to furiously do a search on her slate's database.
Ryoko gave a concerned look. "You know Priss, I hate to say it,
but I'm afraid Wesley may have a point. I don't think anyone's
ever done a Bubblegum Crises/Doctor Who crossover, which is what
you'd need to be allowed in here..."
From inside the hardsuit, an extremely irate but rather muffled
voice sounded. "My name is not Priss! It's N--" The voice was
cut short by another quick jolt from Ryoko's hand.
Polly jumped to her feet in triumph. At last!, she thought, A
chance to exercise her authority! "Priss of _Bubblegum Crises_,"
she said with as much authority as she could muster, "I'm afraid
I must ask you to leave. I can find no crossovers involving your
series and ours, and so by the rules of this establishment that
means you are not entitled to be here!"
The voice from inside was furious, but sounded a little
disoriented. "But that's nonsense! I _am_ entitled to be here!
I'm N--" Another touch, another surge. Ryoko thanked the miracle
"What did she say?" Polly asked.
"I think she said something like, 'That's nonsense, everyone's
entitled to be here.'" Nabiki opined.
Polly gave the hardsuited figure an indignant glare, not noticing
that some very peculiar and agonized groans were now coming from
inside. "Being difficult are we? Well, we'll soon fix that!"
She fished a whistle from her pockets and blew.
A group of helmet clad, billy-club wielding, neanderthal-looking
men suddenly streamed out of one of the room's side doors,
evidently (if the insignia on their uniforms were any indication)
having just gotten off duty from the Death Bowl stadium up the
Polly stood straight as an arrow, and pointed at the offending
"C'mon, boys!" the supervisor yelled, in a thick New York accent.
"Lets get this piece of garb... I mean, this troublesome patron
out of here!"
The hardsuit was tipped over backwards, its two arms still
extended like some weird techno-zombie. The men easily lifted it
and carried it toward the door, but accidentally dropped it when
they realized they had to turn it sideways and swing in order to
get it to fit through the doorway. A stream of invectives came
issuing from underneath the helmet at that point, amid other
words that sounded suspiciously like demands and a learned
discussion of a certain male Alzarian's probable ancestry.
A few of the pub's late-night denizens wilted at the spectacle,
but decided against saying anything. After all, there was only
one person who was likely to get into any trouble over it, and as
long as it wasn't them they were thankful for the opportunity of
some peace and quiet.
The party departed into the night. A few minutes later came
cries of "1, 2, 3...", and then a very dull thud. The death bowl
goon squad arrived back soon after, empty-handed.
"We threw it into the big pit in the parking lot; I hope you
don't mind." the leader of the group told Polly.
Since when had there been a pit in the parking lot? Polly
wondered, but shrugged and decided not to worry about it.
Instead, she shook the supervisor's hand. "Good job, good job."
The others gathered back at the bar. Chang Lee began to sweep up
the remains of the day.
"Dear gods." Adric mumbled under his breath. "Twice in one day.
Now she'll think she's behind schedule..." His head slowly shook
like a condemned man.
"Cheer up!" Nabiki said, as she regained her seat. "We've bought
you some time. Think about how you're going to ask her."
"No, no, a thousand times, NO! I will not ask, and there's
nothing you can do to..."
Nabiki tossed a video tape onto the counter.
Adric suddenly became apprehensive; Nabiki and photographic
equipment of any kind had a certain coercive affinity for each
"Security camera." she said simply, then pointed over her
shoulder to a small camera hanging from the ceiling. "It's aimed
right toward the center of the room."
Adric's face went white. "And the tape..."
"Is from the night you came back."
"It's very interesting, you know." Ryoko added. "For two people
who supposedly don't like each other..."
Adric gulped again.
"Quicktime-3 files could be arranged." Wes mentioned,
offhandedly. "You know, for easy download. Or would you prefer
Adric buried his head in his palms.
It was going to be a long week.
"Umm, is anyone there?"
"Umm... I don't seem to have any power, and the release appears
to be stuck."
"Could someone please, um, you know, help?"
Wind whistled, and then what sounded like a small avalanche of
"Is anyone there?"
1) The furry, rabbit-like creature that mews like a cat and loves
carrots is Ryo-ohki, a character from _Tenchi Muyo_. The
creature is practically a walking TARDIS (or, perhaps more
accurately, a walking SIDRAT), it can transform itself into a
very large spaceship.
2) Origin of other characters are as follows: Ryoko (Tenchi
Muyo); Tendou Nabiki (Ranma 1/2); Wesley Crusher (ST:TNG), Priss
(Bubblegum Crises -- referred to, but not shown); Death (Terry
3) Which reminds me. People have asked why I add "(Pratchett)"
to my cast lists at the end of each story in which Death is a
character. The reason is simply to differentiate between the
numerous Angels of Death that are out there in fiction. Offhand,
I can think of the one that TALKS LIKE THIS (Pratchett, the one I
use), the one who wears slinky black dresses (Gaimen), the one
who drives around in a Corvette (Piers Anthony), and the one who
really-is-just-a-nice-guy-but-its-a-job-ya'know ("Touched by an
Angel" GAG!!!). There are more out there. I know the first
three have appeared in other _Doctor Who_ crossovers.
4) The event on the video tape is covered in B.K.Willis' "Red
Tape Blues". You knew that was coming, didn't you?
5) Yes, I know. _BGC_ hardsuits are usually not this wimpy.
Grant me some artistic license, OK?
6) The Death Bowl and its goon squad are from MTV's _Celebrity
Deathmatch_. Yes, they are in crossover rule violation.
7) Insert usual feedback request here. Is anyone reading these?
If so, do you like them? Do you hate them? Do you wish we'd all
just go away? Or do you have a suggestion for something that
just has to be done? Let us know!
-- Douglas B. Killings
_Doctor Who_ characters and concepts copyright BBC and original
copyright holders; _Tenchi Muyo_ copyright Pioneer Entertainment;
_Ranma 1/2_ copyright a whole slew of companies but created by
the irreplaceable Takahashi Rumiko; ST: TNG copyright Paramount
"we have no shame" Pictures; the Pratchett Death is copyright
Terry Pratchett; _Celebrity Deathmatch_ is an MTV property (don't
know who makes it, though); and _Bubblegum Crises_ is owned by
somebody or other in Japan, but for the life of me I can't
remember and my tapes seem to be missing. Everything above used
Original story copyright Douglas B. Killings. The moral right of
the author is hereby asserted. Now, could someone please explain
to me what that means?