Chapter 2

Adric's underground lair was a strange mix of the
traditional gleaming high-tech bolthole of the insane megalomaniac and the
trappings of an Irish theme pub.

Fingals had had a lot of spare furniture when the Alzarian
was looking to decorate the cavern, and so his henchmen were trying
desperately to sit comfortably on half-barrel chairs round the transparent
plastic table. They felt that the Oscar Wilde quotes scrawled over the banks
of monitor screens was a little excessive, however, and all harboured a
secret desire to shoot out the speakers that were trilling their way quietly
through an endless loop of Irish folk music.

Adric looked up as the sound of gunfire floated through the

"So much for Varsh," he observed dryly.

A few of his Outler henchmen looked a little crestfallen,
but hid their disappointment as his massive chair turned slowly and the
former Crime Lord of Alzarius faced them.

Although he was still wearing the same colours, Adric had
replaced the pyjama outfit with leather. He was sitting very still, so as
not to make squeaking noises which did tend to ruin the slightly sinister
effect. He had discarded his wig in the flight from This Time Round.
Strangely, his lack of hair had done little to alter his appearance.

He'd been lucky to find his old cronies so quickly. The
Outlers had been touring student unions across the country, trying to forge
a career as a Steps tribute band.

He spoke.

"It's been twenty years, but I'm back. Since I've been away,
you have all failed in your attempts to find a path to sneak back into
E-Space so we can resume our racket on the Starliners. This kind of thing
makes me very unhappy, ladies and gentlemen."

Tasha shifted uncomfortably and wished they'd stuck with
singing 'Tragedy' in empty bars. She looked at the riverfruit spider sitting
on Adric's lap. Privately, she was fairly sure it was plastic, but no one
dared ask the Crime Lord. They all shivered as he continued.

"And when I get unhappy, Leggy gets upset. And when Leggy
gets upset, people die!"

The spider bounced into the middle of the table, and sat
there, unmoving. Adric glowered at the plastic arachnid for a moment, and
looked as though he was going to cry. Denzil batted the toy back across the
table to him.

"Er, I decided to spare your lives because... I need your
help with a very special project. If we can't return to Alzarius, we're
going to have to take over this world. The Doctor won't try to stop us as
long as we remain discreet, but we are left with one problem. Nyssa of
Traken. Number two."

Wesley stepped forward, and bashed into the table. The
eyepatch was playing havoc with his depth vision. He brandished his data
tablet excitedly.

"I programmed a team of nanites to work in tandem on the
task of creating the ultimate warrior. It worked. We created a killer so
perfect that no one would even raise a gun to him, let alone defeat him." At
an impatient signal from Adric, Wes pressed a button. The door opened...

And in walked a scruffy little dark-haired man in a black
frock coat and bow-tie. He marched up to the table.

"Hello, I'm the Doctor. Dear me, this looks terribly
intense, doesn't it?" he observed, looking around the table of henchmen, all
shaking with fear at the expression of rage on Adric's face. "What's all
this about then?"

"A very good question," snarled Adric. Wesley smiled.

"Send in the clone," he called. The door opened again...

This time a young woman entered, so similar to Nyssa that
Adric began to whimper. The effect on the smiling second Doctor was instant.

"Die, hideous creature! Die!" he hollered, his face
contorting with hatred and disgust. Before the Nyssa clone had even finished
stepping through the doorway, he had whipped out a handgun and reduced her
to a sizzling puddle with searing laser blasts.

"The power is incredible!" he informed Adric and the
Outlers, before he leaped cross-legged on to the table and started trying to
accompany the background music on his recorder.

Even Adric was impressed. "Very good, number two. Send him
to find the Trakenite immediately."

Wesley shooed the nanite Doctor out of the cavern. They
could hear vague tooting noises for a few minutes, but they gradually faded
into the distance. Adric smiled deamily and regarded the Outlers.

"At last we are ready to begin."

* * *

A few hours later, Denzil sat and worried. He could see Tasha was worried
too. It was nice to be working for the Crime Lord again, but, well, seeing
as their biggest heist previously was a particularly large riverfruit, he
did wonder whether Adric was getting a little over-ambitious in his

Tasha sat and worried. She knew she wouldn't be asked for her opinion, as
people tended to be dismissive of anyone who looked even slightly like the
blonde from Steps, but she worried nevertheless. She was the only one of the
Outlers who knew that Adric's previous heist had actually failed, and that
he'd ended up just picking the fruit himself to save face.

Adric reclined in his inner sanctum, and smiled nastily. He had sensed the
doubts of Tasha and Denzil as he had outlined his plans (he forgot exactly
which James Bond film he got the idea from, although he was fairly sure the
word 'gold' was in the title somewhere). They would desert him soon, and
inform the others of the Crime Lord's intentions.

Just as planned.

His train of thought was broken by Wesley.

"Sorry to bother you, but the nanites have formed a trade union and insist
on talking to you."

Adric glanced curiously at the tupperware box in Wesley's hands, but of
course, could see nothing.

"I thought I told you to flush the bolshy bastards down the bog." He said
carelessly, before adding: "Are you sure their droid will do the job?"

"It should. It has help."

* * *

The doors crashed open, their hinges rattling. The figure between them was
in black, his face in shadow, a thick dark ponytail swinging over his
shoulders. His whole body seemed to radiate darkness. He carried a case with
him, also black. It was swinging in time to his steady steps as he advanced
towards the bar.

He sat on one of the high stools, his case occupying the seat next to him.
Nyssa studied him from the booth next to the door, where she was nursing a
Bacardi Breezer. There was something familiar about this stranger. Her
injured hand was starting to irritate her again. She glanced down in order
to give the scar a good scratch.

The barman here had heard about Fingals.

"I just want you to know," he said slowly, keeping his hands
in sight. "Whatever you've got in there is absolutely fine by me."

The dark man smiled lazily. He ordered a soda pop, and
wandered over to Nyssa's booth.

As he sat down opposite her, Nyssa got a good look at his
deep, dark eyes. She imagined drowning in them, before she remembered she'd
last seen that phrase in one of Tegan's Mills & Boon paperbacks.

"You don't see many mathematicians in these places," he
said, in a thick accent that she couldn't quite place. Nyssa looked confused
for a moment, until he indicated the star-shaped badge on her jacket. She

"I was shot through the hand and all I got was this lousy
badge," she quipped, without much humour.

Her new friend looked as though he was about to say
something else, but the doors crashed open again. There were three sets of
footsteps this time.

"What are we doing here?" a shrill voice asked.

"I don't know," came the distinct tones of the second
Doctor. "Perhaps one of our enemies is drawing us towards them for some sort
of revenge!"

There was a brief pause. "But surely none of our enemies has
ever survived to try and take revenge?" came a slightly less shrill voice.

Nyssa's hand clutched the strap of Sean rucksack
reflexively. She noticed the stranger's hand wandering towards his case.

There was no further discussion. The Doctor, John and
Gillian entered the bar. All three were carrying hand blasters. They marched
towards the bar.

"Er," said the barman, nervously. "Are you kids old enough
to be in here?"

"He seemed so bright," sighed Nyssa as John stuck his
blaster up the man's nose.

The Doctor had heard this and whirled round.

"Die, hideous creature! DIE!"

Prologue - Part One - Part Three - Part Four - Part Five

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