ANTICIPATION 1/1 TTR, the author's Peri arc by Paul Gadzikowski
Bits of this work may derive from properties of the BBC, Fox,
Paramount, et al., but it's non-profit and in no way intrudes on
THIS TIME ROUND concept by Tyler Dion, after Kielle.
Number One created by BKWillis. Jusenkyo Curse created by Rumiko Takahashi.
BKWillis created by BKWillis from an original idea by Mr. & Mrs. Willis.
KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE is mine.
Number One arrived at the residence of his greatest enemy. Before going
in he smoked a cigarette to get his nerve up. Then he charged through the
door, finding his enemy at his typewriter.
"You gotta help me," he demanded. "I don't care what *you've* got in
store for me, it can't be as bad as what Gadzikowski's doing."
"Re-hang my front door and we'll talk," said B. K. Willis.
King Arthur and Merlin sat bound to a pair of stark metal chairs in a
featureless white room.
"Where do you suppose we are?" Arthur asked Merlin eventually.
"Torture chamber, I suspect," said Merlin.
"Really. Seems a little underfurnished for that."
"Well, that's the psychological softening-up, you see," said Merlin
knowingly. "They let your imagination work on you, calling up all sorts of
horrible things they *could* be planning."
"Hadn't thought of that," Arthur said. "Thanks," he added.
After a while Arthur went on, "Of course it would be more effective if
you knew who it was who was going to do the torturing. Or rather, if you knew
how imaginative *that* person was."
Merlin shook his head. "That's exactly backwards. If you don't know who
it'll be or how imaginative that person is, then your own imagination is
unhindered by any knowledge that that person is less imaginative than
yourself, and yet is horribly tantalized by the possibility that that person
is *more* imaginative."
"Thanks," said Arthur again.
Just at that moment the Valeyard entered the room.
"Oh that's all right then," said Arthur.
"I know you," said Merlin. "You're that self-righteous, egocentric,
pompous, pedantic, contrary, sophistic old windbag of a villain who thinks
'modem' means an explosive device."
"His hands are empty," said Arthur. "Still no hint."
"We are experiencing technical difficulties," said the Valeyard with
unabashedly false conviviality. "We apologize for the delay."
"Can't find your arse with both hands, I wager," snorted Merlin. "Or
"Ours?" said Arthur. "What have *you* been imagining?"
"You know Gadzikowski's looser with crossovers than a ten-dollar hooker
working a Hilton," Number One said. "Now he's got a Stephen King villain
after me in his TTR arc!"
"And this is my problem - why?" said Willis. "It's all Outside
Continuity. *You've* never been *inside* Continuity. Gadzikowski could *kill*
you and it'd be irrelevant to anything I mean to do. Actually, that oughta be
"Kill me - ha!" Number One sank into a chair, wondering why he'd thought
he'd've got any joy here. Because he was desperate, that's why. "I'll be
lucky if killing's the worst Flagg will do to me."
"Or if flagging's the worst Killings'll do to you. ...Flagg?" asked
Willis, sitting up. "Gadzikowski's set someone named Flagg on your ass?"
"I told you it was a Stephen King villain."
"Yeah, you did." Willis laughed. "You'll do all right. Now make like the
first half of an egg breakfast and scram."
"Thanks for the intervention, creator," Number One sneered. He slammed
the front door on the way out, hoping to break it again, but he'd done too
good a job.
"You see, I've had a bit of a puzzle to work out," said the Valeyard.
"Who is the author avatar in KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE? Is it the global
replacement of the so-called most versatile adventure hero in fanfiction, or
is it the King of Very Little Brain?"
Arthur and Merlin embarked upon a debate, each nobly trying to convince
the Valeyard that the KAITAS author avatar was himself so that the other
would be spared. This debate is omitted in the interests of the sudden
recollection that this story arc isn't supposed to be about its author.
Something it *is* supposed to be about, at least to the Valeyard's way
of thinking, is the Valeyard. For the villain of the arc, he'd to this point
successfully practiced very little villainy - his one actual planned tactic
having in essence gone off without him - and had now had his very
villainosity impugned by an enemy and, earlier, an ally. Number One had
intimated - well, no, rubbed his nose in - that his villainy in "Trial of a
Time Lord" was badly written and sheltered; and now Merlin had brought up the
modem thing again.
The Valeyard had not left Arthur and Merlin be for so long on account of
the psychological effect. He had been watching "The Wrath of Khan", "Return
of the Jedi" and "Die Hard" to learn how good villains behave. It had worked
at least well enough that he now realized after the fact the psychological
effect of having left Arthur and Merlin be for so long. So now, instead of
interrupting their debate impatiently, as a funny villain would do, he waited
for them to wind down and start wondering what he was waiting for, as a
villain played by Alan Rickman would do.
"Hold it there, brother," came a voice dry as sandpaper as a hand landed
on Number One's shoulder.
Number One had taken a cold shower before coming to the 'Round for
check-in with the Valeyard and Yrcanos. All day he'd kept away from places
where continuity held no sway, and now that it was unavoidable she was
attempting some modicum of disguise. She'd taken the corner seat of their
usual corner booth. Somehow Flagg had snuck up on her anyhow.
She shuddered as the grinning man in the sunglasses slid into the other
side of the booth. But she didn't see how trying to bluff her way out could
make things any worse. "'Brother'? Shouldn't wear dark glasses indoors, boy."
"Look who's talking."
"Ah, you're in the wrong building! The day care is down the road."
"I know who you are." Flagg dipped his fingers into the cup he was
carrying. He had ordered tea but with no intention of drinking it, for the
teabag was dry on the saucer. He flicked a few drops of hot water on Number
Exposed, he temporized, "Do I know you?"
Flagg took off his sunglasses. Then he took off his wig, and took out
the false teeth that made him grin, and wiped off the disguise cream making
him look young.
Number One grinned in relief. Willis had known. Willis too was a fan of
the property that made the first rank of Gadzikowski's crossover pantheon
into a game of one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others.
Flagg squinted at him. "What do you think is funny?"
"You're not Randall Flagg. You're Colonel Flagg!"
"... But he likes cheese, and Arthur doesn't," Merlin concluded. "I'm
The wizard seemed finally to have worn the king down. "It's true, I
don't like cheese," said Arthur.
"Well, it doesn't matter," the Valeyard sighed with false regret.
"Because I already decided that the only way to make sure KING ARTHUR IN TIME
AND SPACE is quit of the newsgroup is to kill both of you." He gave them a
sad smile. "Eventually." He reached into a pocket.
"Stop!" Just as the Valeyard was about to proceed with whatever horrid
thing he was going to do to Arthur, the characters which this arc is supposed
to be about showed up. Peri burst in with the Doctor(s), and Guenevere and
Lancelot behind her. "Don't touch him!"
"Why not?" snarled the Valeyard.
"He's my half-brother!"
"Oh no," said Arthur, "not another one."
TO BE CONCLUDED