"Die, hideous creature! DIE!"
Nyssa froze as she stared down the barrel of yet another
gun. This kind of thing was happening too often these days. She could see
the weapon's plastic edging begin to glow as it prepared to emit whatever
kind of superheated plasma it dealt in. Her dark friend removed something
from his ponytail.
"C'est un boulot pour l'Australien," he whispered with a
There was a blur.
"Oh, goodness gracious me!" the Doctor yelled, sounding most
put out. The stranger had hurled his... object at the Doctor's gun arm.
Nyssa could see a spinning shape in the air at the back of the bar. It
seemed to be getting closer, quickly.
The next moment, Nyssa found herself holding the blaster,
while her friend brandished a curved Swiss Army Knife. She waved aside her
brief puzzlement and flourished the blaster triumphantly at the Doctor.
She was most put out when the stranger knocked her to the
"I'll," she snarled at him as he dropped down under the
table beside her. She was interrupted by twin beams of energy vapourising a
good chunk of the wall behind her former seat. "Oh, I forgot about them,"
she concluded lamely.
Her friend ignored her, listening intently. Their assailants
were muttering directions to each other. He couldn't hear what they were
saying, but that didn't worry him. What was worrying him was that they were
With a sudden yell, he pushed up against the underside of
the table, turning it on its end. Nyssa saw what he was trying to do, and
charged the table with him. Together, they burst out of the booth, and felt
a couple of impacts as they smashed into the Doctor, John and Gillian.
They jogged backwards, allowing the heavy bench to fall on
top of the killers. Before anything else could happen, Nyssa fried the
untidy pile with a sustained burst of the Doctor's gun.
Nyssa tossed the blaster on to the burning wreckage of the
table. She was not happy. She reached into Sean and pulled out two
solid-looking handguns. She looked across at her new friend, now standing on
the bar and checking the empty pub for more attackers, and was surprised to
see that he had also produced two similar weapons from his guitar case.
"The weasel's here somewhere," they both started. There was
an embarrassed pause. "He's going to suffer for this!" they finished with
determined ferocity. They both smiled, sheepishly.
"Grandfather Who!" came a dismayed cry from behind them.
They turned to see John and Gillian picking through the blazing timbers.
The two children stood still, suddenly, aware of the
attention. Then they turned, and smiled. They were not nice smiles.
Gillian leapt for the stranger, while John charged straight
at Nyssa. She managed to fire one shot into his shoulder before he barged
into her midriff, knocking her straight back into the bar with a sickening
Nyssa gazed blearily at the small blurred figure sitting on
top of her, her head ringing. He'd taken her hand, was holding her hand,
She gave a choking scream of agony and rage as John pushed
long, impossibly sharp nails into the fresh scar tissue. She tried to lash
out at his face with her free hand, but it was pinned beneath his knee. Then
the light went out.
She looked up, and saw the dark eyes of the stranger staring
down. For one moment, his expression was utterly unreadable. He was holding
one of his handguns to the boy's head.
There was still a throbbing mattress of fog wrapped around
her head, but she thought she heard him say something like: "No women, no
kids," before the muffled boom sounded. The bar shook, and the weight on her
chest subsided as the boy was sent spinning across the room.
The stranger was wounded, Nyssa noticed as he helped her up.
One arm was dangling uselessly by his side, and he was breathing heavily.
Gillian seemed to have been reduced to a fizzing puddle - presumably he had
managed to get to one of the blasters.
He passed out. Nyssa never remembered exactly how she
managed to get him to the hotel, with both his guitar case and Sean slung
over the other shoulder. As soon as they reached the tiny room, she just had
time to drop him on to the bed before collapsing herself.
* * *
Tasha and Denzil were dismayed at the amount of progress
they were making.
"Adric's gone mad!" Tasha protested. "He's going to try and
take over the world!" The third Doctor merely patted her head and returned
his attention to the crossword. Nearby, the fourth Doctor was reclining on
one of the frilly chaises longues with his mid-morning pint of
"That little creep?" he snorted rudely. "He couldn't pull a
decent pint, let alone a world-conquering heist."
Denzil was trying his luck with the sixth Doctor, who was
doing his best to suffocate himself under a bag of ice.
"We can tell you exactly where his secret base is. You can
"Stop moving about so much," pleaded the sixth Doctor,
pulling his coat over his head as well. Denzil turned round to look for the
first Doctor, having heard that he was a stern but fair authority figure who
struck a chord of fear and respect into all the others. He was scooting
around on top of the pool table in the lower half of a Dalek casing, making
'brmm, brmm' noises and giggling.
A haggard Harry met Tasha's gaze with sympathy. "If I could
help, I would, old thing. They've had me chained to the bar non-stop since
Tasha looked tearful, a trick she had often found effective
around oddly-dressed men of a certain age.
"In a few hours, Adric's going to destroy the financial
records of this whole planet and make himself richer than Microsoft! Can't
you do anything?"
The seventh Doctor looked up from where he had been trying
to work out in which of three identical flasks he'd imprisoned some evil
from the dawn of time.
"He's going to make money?" he asked sharply. Tasha and
Denzil could only nod.
"This is serious," said the third Doctor, folding his
newspaper and draining his claret.
"If he gets his hands on any cash we'll never get him back
behind the bar where he belongs," agreed the fifth Doctor. "Is he armed?" he
Denzil nodded, and the fifth Doctor hefted his cricket bat.
"Come on, boys! Saddle up!"
Waving sonic screwdrivers, cricket bats, umbrellas and
pocket watches, the Doctors marched towards the exit. Denzil rushed after
Tasha was about to follow when she felt a hand on her
shoulder. A tall, dark-haired man was gazing intently at her. He shook his
floppy fringe out of his eyes.
"My regeneration is failing, young lady. I need you to help
me upstairs quickly. If my pulse rate isn't raised soon, it'll be the end,
even for a Time Lord." Tasha felt her eyes beginning to prickle as she
listened to the Doctor's plaintive request. She was about to take his
sagging shoulders, when...
"Brmm, brmm! Poetry, dear boy, sheer poetry!"
The twelfth Doctor whirled round to hurl an ashtray in the
general direction of the pool table, breaking the spell. When he turned back
to Tasha, there was only the front door, swinging gently closed. He leaned
on the bar as Harry wandered over with his drink.