> * * *
> The Hand of Omega was filled with the blue particles.
MUTSUMI: Now Omega just needs something old, new, and
>finally began to overload the device and the Hand grew red-hot,
>the holographic display fading into darkness.
DOUG: Jiggle the mouse, the screensaver's cutting in.
> A wave of energy stuck out from the Hand, blasting a hole in
>one of the walls.
NYSSA: So, when a megaweapon that is capable of destroying entire
systems and burning stars to a cinder overloads, it... knocks down a
bit of masonry?
> * * *
> The Valeyard went down, a bullet through his shoulder.
HELEN: (pimp, as kung-fu actor) Heh heh! Your camp-fu is no match
for my mastery of ching-ching-pow!
>that moment, the building shook, bringing everybody to the floor.
>The Valeyard was the first to recover, driven by necessity.
HELEN: (Valeyard) A loo! A loo! My kingdom for a loo!
> "I'm coming Carrie," he gasped,
MUTSUMI: [wrinkles nose] Eww, at a time like this?
HELEN: Perhaps he's a masochist?
NYSSA: I wish I were. Then I'd be getting something out of this story.
>clutching his shoulder and
>running towards the thug holding her.
> The Doctor and Grace were the next ones up. Grace ran up to
>the pimp, kicking away the gun he had dropped when the building
ALL: [applaud] Yay! Woohoo! You go!
NYSSA: And Grace finally does something useful.
NUMBER ONE: Aside from giving me a look at her knockers.
NYSSA: [elbows NUMBER ONE in the ribs] Anyway, you all know
what this means, right?
DOUG: Right. Carrie now has _no_ competition for biggest load in this
>The pimp got up and lunged at Grace, only to run into the
>Doctor, who pushed him away towards the ledge.
HELEN: (Doctor, angrily) Get off of me! I don't want your pimp juice
staining my coat!
> The Valeyard reached the last thug, knocking him away from
>Carrie with a blast of fear that he was finally able to project.
>The thug ran past the Doctor and Grace, though the door and into
DOUG: ...and over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's
NUMBER ONE: He's going to get his check from TempThug before
Superfly there can demand his deposit back
> At that moment the Hand of Omega exploded, sending a huge
>shockwave through the building.
NYSSA: I've figured it out! I know why the Hand of Omega is so
weak when it overloads but so powerful otherwise!
HELEN: Do tell.
NYSSA: There's a Wussification Field operating in the area which
causes everything within its radius to become weak and ineffective.
That explains why the Doctor hasn't been able to do anything but
whine and why Carrie is such a pitiful, quivering load in spite of
having survived a forced-prostitution ring in the past. And now
even the Hand of Omega, a weapon that can annihilate galaxies,
can't muster the cojones to be anything more than a glorified firework.
DOUG: What about Grace?
NYSSA: She was a wimp already.
NUMBER ONE: So, what's the source of this Field?
NYSSA: Why, it should be obvious. Who is the only one who can
still accomplish anything in spite of the debilitating wussiness all
MUTSUMI: The Valeyard!
NYSSA: Precisely! I have to hand it to him, emanating a field that
renders everything around him pitiful and ineffective is one of the
cleverest schemes I've ever heard of. However, it has one fatal flaw:
the Field has affected the prose as well, weakening it to the point of
MUTSUMI: Ah. Like a naughty dentist, he's made his one fatal
>The pimp went over the ledge on
>one side, and the Valeyard and Carrie fell over the edge on the
>other, as the Doctor and Grace were thrown to the ground.
DOUG: How in the crispy crap does a ledge have two sides to fall off
HELEN: Warehouse designed by MC Escher...
NYSSA: (singing) Let the bodies hit the floor/Letthe bodies hit the
> The building shook again. The Doctor looked at Grace in
NUMBER ONE: (Doctor) Did you just fart?
>"The building's about to collapse," she said at the same
>time he did. In the centre of the roof the ground gave way,
>falling to the floor thirty feet below.
DOUG: So, the ground plunged to the... ground?
HELEN: It _is_ an Escher building!
> The Doctor ran to the ledge, barely keeping his balance as
>the building shook again. Looking over, he saw a drainpipe
>beside where Carrie lay on the Valeyard.
NYSSA: (Doctor) Hey! Get a room, you two!
>Carrie was stirring
MUTSUMI: ...a pot full of yummy turtle stew!
>slowly, but the Valeyard was still.
DOUG: ...a wanker.
> "We'll have to go down the drainpipe!" the Doctor declared.
HELEN: Is _that_ what they call it these days?
>"Have you ever done this?"
MUTSUMI: (Grace) Not with a vaulting horse and marmalade, no.
HELEN: (to MUTSUMI) Don't steal my lines, Watermelon Girl.
> "No!" Grace shouted.
NUMBER ONE: She then bopped the Doctor on the head with a
rolled-up newspaper. "Bad Doctor!" she said. "No biscuit!"
> "Then here's what we'll do," the Doctor said as Grace rushed
>to him, avoiding the rapidly disappearing centre.
DOUG: Now _that_ sounds like a metaphor for an American
Presidential election if I ever heard one.
NUMBER ONE: Now, if the left side of the building would flip-flop
>"I'll go right
>before you, and make sure you don't fall."
NYSSA: [arches eyebrow] How, pray tell?
>The Doctor climbed
>over the ledge and onto the drainpipe. "Come on!"
> * * *
> Carrie slowly regained consciousness.
NUMBER ONE: Not that consciousness was much use to her.
>Her clothes were torn
>and ragged, her pants were off,
HELEN: She was ready for Mardi Gras, in other words.
>but she didn't have anybody
NYSSA: ...for now. The story's not over yet.
>and it seemed she was safe. Looking up, she saw the
>Doctor and Grace trying to make their way down a drainpipe, the
>Doctor give encouraging instructions to Grace.
MUTSUMI: (Doctor) ...and if you _do_ fall, you can try flapping your
arms really fast on the way down. It won't stop you from falling, but
it would be really funny to see and I think we can all agree that humor
helps in a situation like that.
>Then she looked
>down and screamed.
NYSSA: (to OTHERS) How much do you want to bet she's crying
within another five sentences? [pause] Anyone?
MUTSUMI: (to NYSSA) Papa says it's not nice to get people to
take sucker bets. He says that's how he ended up with Mama.
NYSSA: I... think I believe that.
> The Valeyard was beneath her,
MUTSUMI: ...and her parents forbade them to marry.
NUMBER ONE: That's a question for the philosophers -- is a wuss
lower than a load, socially speaking?
>a pool of blood rapidly
>expanding beneath him, his breathing extremely thready.
HELEN: Fortunately, there was a Dragon Weyr nearby.
> * * *
> Luckily, the Doctor and Grace were close to the ground when
>the drainpipe fell over, the rest of the warehouse finally
DOUG: Unluckily, that meant they were also close to the wall. Squish.
NYSSA: (to DOUG) Welcome to the Dark Side.
>They got up and quickly brushed themselves off, only
>suffering a couple of bruises each.
MUTSUMI: They probably shouldn't brush themselves so hard, then.
>And then they ran to the
>Valeyard and Carrie.
NYSSA: ...who was weeping and/or sobbing.
HELEN: (to NYSSA) We don't know that yet.
NYSSA: (to HELEN) My offer of a bet still stands...
HELEN: (to NYSSA) Um... I'll pass.
> "He...he broke my fall," Carrie wept,
NYSSA: Told you. [shakes head] But it's times like these I wish I were
>clinging to the
>Valeyard. The Valeyard gave one final, thready breath.
MUTSUMI: That's a shame. A bit more thread and he'd have enough
to make some pants.
> "I suggest you step away for a minute," the Doctor said. "I
>think something wonderful is about to happen."
NUMBER ONE: The story's going to end?
>He slowly pulled
>Carrie away from the body of the Valeyard.
ALL: (singing) Take the load off, Doctor/Take the load for free/Take
the load off the Valeyard a-a-and/You put the load right on me!
> "How can something wonderful happen?" Carrie demanded,
>wiping tears from her eyes.
NYSSA: As opposed to wiping them from her ankles.
>"He's dead because of me." The
>Doctor gave a pleasant smile.
HELEN: (Doctor, gently) Well, yes, but that's not what we call a bad
> "Not quite, I don't think" the Time Lord stated.
DOUG: (Doctor) But we'll soon fix that.
> The Valeyard's body began to grow a bright white, obscuring
>his features. Carrie looked on in amazement.
NYSSA: ...then broke down in tears.
NUMBER ONE: (Carrie, crying) Waaah! I've been victimized again
and my evil pantless protector is dead! Boo-hoo! How will I ever--
Ooh, hey, shiny thing!
> "Is this regeneration?" Grace asked.
HELEN: "Nope. It's incineration," the Doctor replied, snapping his
>The Doctor nodded.
> The glow subsided, revealing a new man in the Valeyard's
>clothes. The hawk nose was gone,
MUTSUMI: ...replaced by a cute turtle nose.
HELEN: (to MUTSUMI) Do turtles _have_ noses?
MUTSUMI: (to HELEN) I mean he has a turtle _for_ a nose, not a
_turtle's_ nose. That would just be silly.
>and the hair was now a short-
>cropped curly red-brown rather than the slicked black of before.
>The man gasped for air, filling his lungs.
DOUG: (Lloyd Bridges) By this time, my lungs were aching for air.
> "Valeyard!" Carrie exclaimed, hugging the man vigorously.
> "Please don't call me that," the man said,
NUMBER ONE: (Valeyard) I prefer to go by 'Dame Vanessa' now.
>shaking his head
HELEN: ...of Carrie's breasts.
>"I prefer to be called 'the Doctor'"
NYSSA and HELEN: (singing) They call me... Doctor Love!
NUMBER ONE: [looks at HELEN and NYSSA and shakes head] I'm
sorry, but it's just not the same without the makeup.
> The Doctor turned to Grace and smiled, and then looked
>around. They could all hear police sirens in the distance.
DOUG: (police dispatcher) Calling all cars. Calling all cars. The
doughnut shop closes in five minutes. All units respond at once.
> "I suggest that we get shelter while the police investigate
>this," the Doctor suggested. The thirteenth Doctor nodded his
NYSSA: The rattling sound was audible for blocks.
> * * *
> "Well, I have to thank both you and Carrie," the thirteenth
>Doctor said, standing with Carrie outside of his TARDIS. "The
>Valeyard was not a pleasant person to be."
> "It is good to know there IS an end to the Valeyard," the
MUTSUMI: (ominously) But he isn't really gone, you see. The
essence of the Valeyard fled his regeneration before it could be
subsumed in a new persona, and in the fullness of time it grew for
itself a new form, a new identity, and a new name. And thus was
Simon Cowell unleashed upon the world. [shrugs] Or, that's one
theory, at least.
>"It is a shame that the effect of Rassilon
>will affect us soon. It is nice to meet our final incarnation."
> "Oh, I don't think this is our last persona," the other
HELEN: (13th Doctor) Not if you count our putting on a minidress
and calling ourselves 'Miss Zelda' while we hang out in bars.
MUTSUMI: Oh my. I had no idea the Doctor was a... a... What's the
DOUG: (to MUTSUMI) 'Transvestite'?
MUTSUMI: No... 'Lumberjack'! I had no idea he was a lumberjack!
>"When the Valeyard took over the Keeper of the
>Matrix's body the Keeper still had ten regenerations left."
NYSSA: He used up the first two fighting Morpheus and Neo.
>looked sad for a minute. "Yet another thing to atone for, I
>suppose, along with the rest of the Valeyard's damage."
> "How much did he do?" the Doctor asked.
NUMBER ONE: [snorts] How much _could_ he have done?
> "He was around for at least 50 years after the trial of our
>sixth life," the thirteenth Doctor replied. "He did a lot of
>things that require correction. It leaves me a lot of work to
DOUG: (13th Doctor) So I'm going to hire some cheap Mexican labor
to do it for me.
NUMBER ONE: Cheap Mexican labor is what made America great! (to
HELEN) That's why you Brits are a second-string power today -- no
>He hugged Carrie for a minute. "At least I won't be doing
HELEN: (13th Doctor) I have a scullery wench now!
NYSSA: Carrie immediately broke down sobbing and weeping.
> "You two should get along famously," Grace said.
NUMBER ONE: I certainly wouldn't wish either of them on anyone
> "Well," said the thirteenth Doctor. "We should be going.
>Carrie, I was thinking of a brief vacation before we start.
>There is this wonderful planet in the Eye of Orion..."
NYSSA: ...where Earthling tears sell for $1,000 an ounce. You're going
to make me rich, my little lacrimose cash cow!
>closed behind them and there was the signature grinding noise as
>the TARDIS dematerialized.
> "What is the effect of Rassilon?" Grace asked.
DOUG: It's where everything a person ever touched in his life gets
named after him.
NUMBER ONE: On Earth it's called the 'Robert W. Byrd Effect'.
> "Well, the effect of Rassilon is that when a Time Lord meets
>himself either in the past or future, he doesn't remember the
>event," the Doctor replied.
MUTSUMI: It sounds very similar to what we Okinawans call the 'Hit
In the Head By a Watermelon Effect'.
>"It prevents temporal paradoxes."
> "Well," Grace said. "We are never going to shimmy down
> "What is wrong with that?" the Doctor asked.
HELEN: (Doctor) How else will I get to look up your skirt?
>"I would have
>thought you were a bit of a tomboy in your youth."
HELEN: If she was, that was _so long ago_...
NYSSA: (to HELEN) If you get any cattier, I'll have to get you a flea
> "Well, I wasn't," Grace stated. She looked back towards
>where the other Doctor's TARDIS had once been.
NUMBER ONE: She could still hear the faint echoes of Carrie's whine
on the breeze.
>"Are you sure
>they'll be alright?"
DOUG: (Doctor) Nope. Now ask me if I care.
> "Absolutely," the Doctor replied, smiling. "After all, he
>IS the Doctor..."
> THE END
NYSSA: It's the end, but the moment has been prepared for. [blows
party horn] See?
[The screen fades, the lights come back on, and ALL get up and leave
[Door sequence: 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6...]
[SOL bridge interior]
[ALL enter from the right, chatting. As they enter, they notice the
console light is already flashing. ALL cluster around the console
as HELEN presses the light.]
[Interior back room at This Time Round]
[ADRIC stands behind the console, looking very grave.]
ADRIC: My distant acquaintances that I don't care much about, I
have some unfortunate news to report. It seems that two very dirty
and battered hippies were found alive after crashing through the roof
of a barn in the Florida panhandle. The news reports don't give any
names, but the news peopel are describing them as a 'total bitch' and
an 'uberwuss', so I think we can guess who they're talking about.
NYSSA: [snaps fingers] Shucky darn!
NUMBER ONE: [sighs] I hate being almost as infallible as Nyssa...
ADRIC: Still, my glass is half-full. The Tegan World Order may not
be destroyed, but it will be in need of some salve and a good bed rest.
And on that note, how was the 'fic?
DOUG: It was just... limp. That's really the only word for it. Every
person and event in it was just as tepid as tapwater. The Doctor's
big war crime was being tricked into signing some papers. The most
destructive weapon ever created is hidden in a basement anda safe-
deposit box. And the cleverest trick the Doctor can manage is
pointing and saying, "Look up there!"
NYSSA: Things happen with almost no explanation and little sense,
except when it comes to tedious minutiae like opening doors or
looking up a deed. Why was Jameson working for the Valeyard? How
and why did Carrie's past catch up to her? And how about a little
scene-setting? Why did Superfly the Pimp fire one bullet at the heroes,
then run off to commit a rape on a rooftop?
HELEN: I said it all through the 'fic, but I'll say it again. Every character
in this is a wuss. Granted, Grace was already a wimp. And I can okay
making the original characters wimps. But the Doctor is the ultimate
omnicompetent Good Guy and here he's reduced to running all over
town doing hideously obvious things and being outwitted at every
turn. That just isn't right.
NUMBER ONE: To all that, I can only add one word: Carrie. I was
bothered by just how much I came to dislike her. She's supposed to
be this heroic traumatized survivor who inspires the Valeyard, or
something, but she just comes off as a helpless weepy load who exists
only to be victimized. And I can't see Helen Hunt in a role like that,
either. Meredith Baxter-Birney, maybe, but not Helen Hunt.
MUTSUMI: There were too many people with no pants for my taste,
but I mainly had fun. [smiles]
ADRIC: (slyly) By your tone, it sounds like this one really hurt...
HELEN: I know _I'm_ sore.
ADRIC: Aha! I may be on to something, then! I'll have to see what
else I can dig up in this vein!
[FRANCOIS enters from the left, carrying an envelope]
FRANCOIS: More mail come in, boss-boy.
ADRIC: (hissing, to FRANCOIS) Ix-nay on the eep-shay!
FRANCOIS: Not such. Is letter for boss-boy.
[FRANCOIS hands ADRIC the letter and exits to the left. ADRIC tears
open the envelope and scans the letter.]
ADRIC: (muttering) If this is another 'How long to the next episode?'
letter, I'm going to-- (aloud) Oh. Oh! Ha! This is great news!
NYSSA: What, did you get free coupons to a fried-grease buffet?
ADRIC: (smugly) No. It just so happens that yours truly has been
invited to speak at a conference of business leaders. They're offering
ten thousand dollars for me to give a speech on succeeding in the
broadcast media! Oh, this will be sweet! They're having it at some
place in Nevada called White Sands...
[DOUG and NUMBER ONE look at each other. DOUG starts to say
something, but NUMBER ONE puts her hand over his mouth.]
NUMBER ONE: (to DOUG, quietly) Let's keep that info to ourselves,
ADRIC: ...and I'm supposed to coordinate all this with someone named
Egantay Ovankajay. Hmm, must be Indian... Where have I heard that
[ADRIC starts wandering toward the rear of the room, still reading the
ADRIC: (to self) It feels like I'm overlooking something here... Oh, I
know! How could I be so _stupid_?!
[ADRIC looks around and, seeing no one, trots back to the console]
ADRIC: Push the button, Adric!
[Adric presses a conspicuous button on the console and the scene
>The other thug began to drag Carrie, who was sobbing and weeping,
>towards the ledge.