LA FEMME PERPEGILLIAM 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.
KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE is mine.
"What?!" shouted Guenevere, Lancelot, and Merlin.
"The Krontep have invaded the planet Camelot," repeated the stanger on
the bridge of the starcruiser Excalibur, removing his sunglasses to a jeans
pocket. "However," he added, "Mordred has stalled them by telling them the
regent isn't legally empowered to surrender."
"Clever boy," said Arthur.
"It's not true?" Nimue asked.
"Yes," said Arthur. "But only because Mordred thought of it and got the
"But that's not the good part," the stranger grinned. He was a
good-looking man, except for the black-hole eyes. He spoke to Merlin and
Nimue. "Leading the invasion at Yrcanos' side were the Doctor and Peri, on
account of the insults you exchanged at the 'Round."
"Told you he hasn't got any self control," Merlin sniffed to Nimue.
"But that's still not the good part." The stranger grinned so wide the
top half of his head wobbled in the breeze from the ship's air circulators.
"Yrcanos is playing both sides. He was already primed to go after Camelot
because *you*," he pointed at Arthur, "ticked the Valeyard off the other day
and, through an intermediary, brought Yrcanos and his Krontep into the plot."
"All this couldn't go into an expository foreward?" Guenever grumbled.
"It's stuff *we* haven't been told," Lancelot rebutted.
"What's your interest?" Arthur asked the stranger, as always more
interested in plot advancement.
"That 'intermediary'? He's a traitor to my Brethren." The stranger was
suddenly snarling. Everyone but Arthur and Merlin backed off. "I want him and
"I see," said Arthur. "So what'll they do now?"
From out of sight of the Doctor(s) and Peri, hidden among the milling
lot of Krontep warriors, the Valeyard and Number One watched them plot with
Yrcanos in the throne room of Camelot.
"We promise there'll be a good fight," said Peri, patting Yrcanos' hand.
"It's no good pitting an invasion force against one ship," Yrcanos
moped. "Excalibur will fall too quickly, just like this planet."
"So sorry to disappoint," said Mordred, under guard nearby with Kay,
with apparent sincerity. Kay snorted.
"We'll take only one ship," said Doctor Two.
"A small one," Peri said. "Outgunned and outweighed."
"And then: we'll be clever," said Doctor Six slyly.
"Clever?" repeated Yrcanos. The Valeyard suspected he was asking what it
meant. If so it would never be revealed to the Valeyard, for from this point
Doctor Three and Peri spoke to him in whispers.
(Uninformed - i.e., those who missed the previous installment in this
arc - but perceptive readers may be wondering at this point which and how
many of the Doctor's incarnations were present. In fact, all eight were,
serially; as, since marrying Peri previously in this arc, the Doctor had
taken to wearing a time ring to afford each of his selves equal time
accompanying his wife.)
"What are they saying?" the Valeyard hissed to Number One in their dark
"The bearded blowhard will tell us in time," said Number One
"How can you be so calm?" the Valeyard snapped.
"This is what it's like out in the real fictional universe, boy,"
said Number One. "You're not on Time Lord territory with the High Council
backing you up any more. Wake up and smell the tranya."
Since the implication that his evilness in the screen canon is sheltered
and second-rate was true, or at least he was afraid it was true, the Valeyard
naturally took offense. "I'm a great character. I was created by Robert
"Yeah, and your origin by Pip and Jane Baker."
"At least they're all professional writers," the Valeyard snobbed.
Number One grinned complacently. "Right, right. You were constructed and
developed so professionally on your initial appearance that subsequent screen
writers couldn't make enough use of you, whereas no newsgroup fanfiction
writer but my creator will touch me."
"Ha! Because your curse is always good for laughs," the Valeyard
rebutted (ignoring that Number One has not appeared female in this arc). "You
know, you have to wonder about a guy whose Mary Sue is a villain."
Number One quietly drew a pistol, cocked it, and placed the muzzle to
the Valeyard's temple.
"I am not a Mary Sue or a villain," he said softly. "I'm a dynamic
character who learns as he goes along, and is persecuted by my arc's true
villains as much or more than the screen canon heroes. You may recall that
that's the inducement you used to make me join your conspiracy and then form
it for you."
"Uh huh," squeaked the Valeyard.
"If you'd said this at the 'Round, I'da sent you to Mortality Deferment.
Next time I won't care whether we're someplace that your mortality'd get
"Speaking of other newsgroup fanfiction writers," said Number One,
checking his watch as he stashed his piece, "I need to be back at the 'Round
in two hours to check in. Killings wants me for an LWT piece, 'Emberella'
or something like that." Under the circumstances the Valeyard passed up the
chance to rub home his earlier comment about Number One's curse. "Let's bop
back to Yrcanos' ship so we're not left behind when they finish their
conference and charge off to attack the Excalibur."
"Excalibur sighted!" came Yrcanos' voice over the intercom. Well, one
says "intercom", but the Krontep retain only enough spacegoing technology for
their purposes, i.e. getting themselves from one battle to the next quickly
and having the best weapons when they get there. The intercom between
Yrcanos' bridge and his transmat chamber was a pair of tin cans connected by
"Are their shields up?" Doctor Seven asked. He and Peri were standing in
the transmat alcove. None of the Krontep were interested in manning the
controls when a battle was in the offing, so Peri held a long string attached
to the activation control.
"Perfect!" said Doctor One.
"I thought you can't beam through shields," Peri said nervously.
"You watch too much STAR TREK," said Doctor Eight. "In KING ARTHUR IN
TIME AND SPACE, they have 'aser' weaponry, energy weaponry. Ship shielding
consists entirely of mirror surfacing to deflect beams of amplified visible
light, and they don't guard against teleport technology because they don't
have it. Transmat beams will go right through their shields."
"I thought KAITAS *was* STAR TREK," Peri objected. "The whole rationale
for these characters' real stories appearing on this newsgroup is that the
stories are old WHO/TREK crossovers with the franchises' proper nouns
globally replaced by proper nouns from the King Arthur legends."
"Yes," said Doctor Five pedantically, "but the author creates original
works for the characters too, such as the comic strips on his website
[http://members.iglou.com/scarfman/kartst.htm#week]. In original,
non-crossover-adaptation KAITAS," Doctor Four explained, "ship shielding is
anti-aser shielding - and TTR stories *arent'* crossover adaptations. Sir
Pelleas wears mirror armor when he visits the 'Round, remember?"
"I guess," said Peri.
"Push the button, Max!" Doctor Eight cried.
Despite Peri's misgivings, she and Doctor Two found themselves on the
Excalibur instantly she had yanked on the string. Doctor Five looked up and
down the corridor they'd arrived in, got his bearings, and started off
tossing a "This way" over his shoulder.
Doctor Six came to a sharp stop in front of one door. "Engine room," he
said. Peri nodded, and cocked the two large hand weapons she was carrying.
She nodded to Doctor Seven, and Doctor One went through the door
(nonadaptation or not, it swished aside with a sound familiar to any FUTURAMA
There were two mirror-armored knights at the control console. One turned
as the Doctor entered. "Gawaine!" he shouted.
"What, Blamour?" Gawaine asked, but turned and saw Doctor Three as he
spoke. "Here now, who are you?" Like his STAR TREK analog and himself in
T.H. White, Gawaine spoke with a Scottish accent.
"I'm here to seize control of this ship," said Doctor Four, grinning. "I
hope you don't mind."
"That's nae funny," said Gawaine. He and Blamour began advancing on
Doctor Eight, but as soon as they were clear of the console Doctor One
Peri jumped into the engine room from the corridor, firing at each
knight with one of the guns in her hands. Each gun emitted a steady stream of
BB's which each struck one of the knights in the chest and bounced off,
scattering BB's all over the engine room. Each knight came to a frozen halt
under the assault.
"It's working!" Peri cried, surprised.
"Told you," said Doctor Six, moving to the control console. "The reason
there are no projectile weapons in KAITAS space is that personal armor is
what's called in Niven space 'impact armor'. It freezes stasis-field-like
under impact of sufficient force.
"The mirror properties," Doctor Seven continued to lecture as he hacked
into the Excalibur's main computer, "were added after people abandoned
projectile weapons for energy weapons, and nowadays they're not used to
seeing projectile weapons at all. These ideas even leaked momentarily into
chapter three of the KING ARTHUR adaptation of 'Reach Out and Kill Someone'
"Your rapid fire," Doctor One concluded, "is faster than the impact
function's recovery time, freezing these knights where they stand. Giving me
sufficient time to take control of all Excalibur's systems." Doctor Five
typed in his last command as Peri's ammunition ran out, placed his hand on
the console's ID plate, and ordered, "Computer, transfer all command
protocols to this user."
"Unauthorized access. Pendragon bioprint required," the computer
Doctor Three's face fell. He typed in a few more commands while the two
knight-engineers drew their aser blades on him and Peri.
"Unauthorized access. Pendragon bioprint required," the computer
"Come on, you," said Gawaine. He and Blamour, loose now that Peri's guns
were out of BB's, advanced on Doctor Four and Peri as well as they were able
on a floor covered in BB's. They marched the time-travelers to the Excalibur
bridge - where Yrcanos and several Krontep were already taking the Excalibur
crew and the Avalonian time-travelers prisoner.
"Losers," Doctor Eight huffed at Merlin and Nimue while Gwaine and
Blamour surrendered their blades. The Avalonians did not respond, though in
Merlin's case it was not for lack of trying - he just couldn't get anything
articulate out past the sputtering.
"Then why can't I run this ship?" Yrcanos bellowed at Doctor Two. "Your
boffing was supposed to make it obey me!"
"The noun 'boffin' and the verb 'boff' are not related," Doctor Seven
"We don't know why," Peri told Yrcanos. "It keeps saying something about
a bioscan -"
"That's my doing, I'm afraid," Arthur admitted.
"What have you done?" Doctor Six demanded.
"When I realized you were taking over the ship's computer," Arthur
explained, "I reactivated the dedicated program Uther built into the
Excalibur in order to insure no one but I could use her after he died. The
program overrides every other system and shuts down the whole ship, even life
support. Nothing comes back on until a ship's ID plate recognizes the
palmprint of someone with exactly 50% of Uther's DNA."
"Put his hand to the plate!" Yrcanos bellowed to the guards.
"I've updated the program," Arthur explained. "It won't react to
*my* palmprint any more, only my voice." The Krontep guarding him resheathed
Yrcanos raised a seized aser blade hilt and activated it. An energy
blade extended from the hilt with a noise almost, but not quite, exactly
unlike that of a lightsabre. Yrcanos held it to Guenevere's throat. "Tell the
ship it's mine or your queen dies!"
"That's no good you know. You're bluffing," said Merlin. He nodded
toward Doctor Five. "He wouldn't stand for any killing. I know."
"Aaaaarrrggg," Yrcanos bellowed. "Take them to our ship!" he told the
guards. In a moment only he, Peri and Doctor One were left on the Excalibur
"He'll never surrender, you know," said Doctor Three. "Not while the
Excalibur is kept from our hands."
"Didn't he say life support's out too?" Peri said, raising a hand to her
forehead. "I'm feeling a little woozy."
"Yes, of course," said Doctor Four, waving her and Yrcanos to the
bridge exit. But both Krontep and Time Lords have hardier respiratory systems
than humans, apparently, because although the two men were not yet feeling
any effect, Peri stumbled just as she reached the door. Hands flying forward
to catch herself, one palm landed square on an ID plate in the wall next to
"Pendragon recognized," the computer said. "Full access granted."
"There was someone here looking for you," said Harry behind the bar when
Number One walked in. "Grinning chap in jeans and sunglasses. Didn't say
"Sunglasses," said the Valeyard. He'd come with Number One to the 'Round
for a drink before getting down to his interrogation of the Excalibur staff.
"Jeans. The crow outside." Number One wouldn't have thought he'd have noticed
that. "The Brethren are catching up to you. That's Lucas Buck."
"Nope," said Number One. "Can't be. This author doesn't watch AMERICAN
"So he doesn't know Lucas Buck to write him. Didn't recognize Buck when
he first showed up in 'The Feminine Mistake'. Thought he was -" Suddenly
Number One went quite pale.
"Who?" asked the Valeyard.
"I'm in a $#!+load of trouble," said Number One.
"Who did he think Buck was?" repeated the Valeyard.
"Ever read - or seen the movie of - Stephen King's THE STAND?"
TO BE CONTINUED