If you wanted to be all unenlightened and chauvinistic and gender-
repressionist-crypto-fascist-uncool about it, you could say that it
was ironic that the best cook aboard the Satellite of Love was the
lone male. But irony or not, it was a fact, a fact that Doug found
himself pondering as he expertly flipped another pecan pancake off
They were supposed to take turns about handling the kitchen
chores, but that habit had fallen the way of most attempts at
egalitarianism. Doug was simply the only one who produced
meals that the others found consistently palatable and who would
do it without whining, so he got stuck with the job most times.
But then, it was probably for the best.
Nyssa had never had to cook a day in her life before, having had
servants to handle such chores. But mated to inexperience was a
distressing tendency to view cooking as a form of biochemical
experimentation and those who ate her fare as lab mice. Sometimes
this resulted in mere oddities (the barbecued ice cream kebabs had
been pretty tasty), but after a simple fruit salad ended up requiring
magnetic containment and an exorcism, Nyssa had been banished
from the kitchen altogether.
Mutsumi, on the other hand, approached cooking with the same
invincible good cheer that she approached everything else, and
wasn't bad at all. Unfortunately, she also had this fanatical belief
that every meal must have watermelon in it somewhere: watermelon
salads, watermelon omelettes, watermelon stew, duck a-la
watermelon, roast rack of watermelon in a watermelon wine
Helen was British. Nothing more need be said regarding her
Diane, a competent if unenthusiastic cook, was missing, still
trapped in the 'Love Hina' reality. Well, 'trapped' might be a bit
strong of a term for it. When they'd watched her disk to see how
she was doing in there, they had found her in a position with
Kentaro Sakata that had resulted in her status being upgraded from
'Missing' to 'Missing, Presumed Laid'.
And as for Number One, well... She was possessed of a large
number of recipes, a loner's skill at kitchen improvisation, and
plenty of experience. She also had a lazy streak wide enough to
drive through and bitched like... well... a lazy bitch when chivvied
into cooking for the crew. The food that resulted was seldom
worth the griping involved.
So Doug became Chef Doug of Chez SOL. But, lest anyone get the
wrong ideas, his apron _was_ camo-patterned and had grenade
loops sewn beside the spatula pocket. And his interest in
vinaigrettes was strictly platonic and manly. It wasn't as if he
_liked_ cooking and invested a lot of time and effort into it, or
anything; it was a job and nothing more.
The pancakes all well-flipped, he turned to the preparation of the
piece de resistance, his Special Flapjack Topping a-la Doug. That
new paring knife he'd special-ordered from Luxembourg had arrived
and he was anxious to try it out on the cognac-glazed peach
That was odd. He knew he'd put it right next to the cutting board,
but it wasn't there now. He hadn't used it for something else, had
he? No, no, he had been very particular about putting it right there,
so where could it have gotten off to? Knives didn't just crawl off of
their own accord.
There was a rattle of metal at the far end of the counter and Doug
glanced over just in time to see his brand new Luxembourgeois
paring knife disappear into a hole in the wall.
"Hey!" Maybe knives _did_ just crawl off on their own. As he
peered into the hole, there was no sign of the knife, just a quick
flicker of reflection off what might have been a cold, reptilian eye.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Satellite...
Number One tossed a handful of red chips into the pot. "I call,"
she snickered. "Show me what you got."
Mistress Helen put down her pint of Guinness and fanned her
cards on the table. "Two pair, darling. Jacks and sevens."
"Ha!" laughed the redhead, tossing down her own cards. "I got
three fives." Helen just shook her head, then both turned to look
"Um, I'm not very good at cards," the Japanese girl said, "so I don't
know if this hand is any good or not." She spread her cards out.
The others leaned over to peer at them. "Let's see," said Helen,
"you've got Death, the Hanged Man, the Tower... These are
"Is that bad?" Mutsumi asked nervously.
Number One poked at the Death card. "By the hand you've got,
you should be kicking the bucket before midnight."
"How the Hell did you get dealt _Tarot_ cards?!" Helen demanded.
Mutsumi patted her on the shoulder, laughing. "Relax, Helen. It
was just a joke. Here are my real cards, see?" She laid out another
"Hmmm," mused Number One. "Two Nolan Ryans, two Mark
McGwires, and an A-Rod. That's pretty good."
"Those are _baseball_ cards!" Helen roared. "If you can't play this
"Settle down, settle down," Mutsumi chuckled. "I'm just kidding.
I actually had two pair." She tossed out a set of real cards.
"Hah!" Number One reached out to rake in the chips.
"--and another pair of kings." She blinked in surprise as Number
One glumly shoved the pile of chips at her. "Do I win again? Oh,
that's right, I forgot -- four kings makes a full house!"
"No, Mutsumi." Helen was rubbing her temples now. "Four kings
does not make a full house."
"Oh, really?" Mutsumi shook a finger at her. "Well, you just try
putting four kings all in one house and see if it doesn't fill up!"
The loud thump of Helen's forehead banging repeatedly on the
table conveniently masked the sound of something slithering along
the steel wainscotting.
"It's just a game, Helen," Number One grunted as she slipped a
cigarette into her mouth. She groped beside her chair for her
lighter -- Helen had made her put it there after catching her using
the reflection off its casing to spy out the cards she dealt.
"It's not the game," moaned the Brit, "it's the fact that I can't tell
whether Watermelon Girl is a genius messing with my mind or an
idiot... being an idiot..."
The Watermelon Girl in question gave her a sympathetic pat on the
head. "There, there. You shouldn't worry about things like that.
After all, if the effect on you is the same either way, it really doesn't
matter which one I am, now does it?"
Helen gave her a sudden sharp look. "Mess with my mind if you
want, but if you're going to play footsie with me, warm your feet up
"Huh?" Mutsumi blinked.
"The toe you are rubbing on my ankle," Helen husked, "is really
cold. And kind of... scaly... come to that." She pulled away
Mutsumi shook her head. "I'm not playing footsie with you. See?"
She drummed both feet on the floor for emphasis.
"Then who's--" Helen looked under the table. "My anklet!
Where'd my bloody anklet get off to?" She noticed Number One
staring at her.
"All right," demanded the redhead, "which one of you snagged
"Oh my. Has that hole always been there?"
Mutsumi was pointing at a small hole near the bottom of the wall,
from which the faint jingle of metal and the the sound of awkward
crawling could just be made out.
Nyssa was supposed to be working on a device to undo Diane's
involuntary journey into a fictional reality. She was supposed to
be doing that, but since: A. Diane seemed to be having fun in the
'Love Hina' world; B. Mutsumi was much less abrasive to have
around than Diane; and C. Nyssa found the project dull, as it had
limited applications for inflicting mayhem; she had decided to work
on things that interested her more.
Her current project involved tracking the effects of certain
biomorphic compounds on various human physiologies.
Particularly interesting was the effect that they would have on a
technomagically-altered and -fixed human body (Number One's), an
anemic and low-condition human body (Mutsumi's), a healthy and
high-condition human body (Doug's), and a human body with large
amounts of alcohol in it (Helen's). The problem would be actually
keeping track of all her subjects once the biomorphic effects kicked
in, so the first elementary step was to build a biometric tracing
system. No big deal, though. Nyssa had won her Biochemical
Engineering merit badge in the Junior Keeper Scouts for building
a biometric tracing and data acquisition system when she was six.
Well, six-and-a-half, to be totally honest.
A flick of a switch brought the tracer's holographic interface up.
Yes, everything seemed to be working right. There were the four
humans, moving together there -- their telemetry showed a high
degree of agitation for some reason. There was her own signal, her
superior Traken bio-readings obvious to any and all. And there
was... something else? Yes, definitely a sixth body aboard. The
idea crossed her mind that it might be Diane, but no, the readings
indicated something different. Something small and... reptilian...
moving through the walls and bulkheads. Something alien.
Something unknown and dangerous. Something... interesting to
Doug's head appeared in the doorway. "Nyssa! Something has
boarded the Satellite!"
"Well, what do we do about it?"
Nyssa slipped on a set of goggles, a pair of rubber gloves, and an
evil grin, in that order. "Why, we _catch_ it..."
TO DIE FOR: MYSTERY PSYCHO THEATER 3000
[cue theme Song]
o/~ In the not-too-distant future
Not too far from This Time Round
There was a girl named Nyssa whose
Sanity was not-quite-sound.
She and some others used to fuss and fight
And destroy the pub almost every night.
So the staff and patrons of that place
Used Borusa's Time-Scoop to stick them up in spaaaaace...
"You'll regret this!!"
"We'll send them crappy fiction
The worst we can find. (la-la-laaa)
They'll have to sit and read them all
To drive the violence from their minds." (la-la-laaa)
Now keep in mind only Adric controls
When the session begins or is through
As he tries to force some sense into
This completely unhinged crew.
PSYCHO ROLL CALL!
NYSSA! ("If it isn't broke, I'll fix _that_!")
DOUG! ("I deny everything.")
HELEN! ("Busty, bad, and British!")
NUMBER ONE! ("More issues than 'Newsweek'.")
MUTSUMIIIII! ("I forgot what I was going to say!")
If you're wondering how they eat and breathe
And other science facts,
Just repeat to yourself, "It's just a 'fic.
I should really just relax."
'Cause it's Mystery Psycho Theater 3000!
[Interior bridge of the Satellite of Love]
[All the furniture on the bridge area has been piled into a circular
defensive laager, inside of which crouches DOUG (a tall, slim,
ponytailed man in combat fatigues), with a broom held samurai-
sword-fashion in both hands. HELEN (a tall, auburn-haired,
extremely well-endowed woman wearing a British redcoat's tunic
and a miniskirt) patrols the outside of the furniture-laager, a long
black bullwhip at the ready. In the background prowls NYSSA
(a petite young brunette in a white lab coat and rubber gloves), a
butterfly net in one hand and a small electronic device in the other.
On the far right of the scene stands NUMBER ONE (a short, curvy
redhead wearing camo pants, a headband, and a black sports bra),
driving nails into a baseball bat. MUTSUMI (a serenely beautiful
Japanese girl of about twenty, dressed in safari gear) sits perched
on the console, holding an empty sack that says 'Official Snipe
Bag' on the side, watching everyone else.]
NYSSA: I want it taken alive for study and vivisection and things
involving electrified spikes.
DOUG: (to NYSSA) _You_ take it alive. Me, if I see it, I'm bashing
it to pieces.
NUMBER ONE: No quarter, y'all. It's either _us_ or the Reds!
HELEN: (to NUMBER ONE) The Reds?
NUMBER ONE: Obviously, the infiltrator is just the spearhead of
an all-out alien Communist assault.
MUTSUMI: (to NUMBER ONE) Really? I thought most alien
societies in sci-fi were monarchies.
NUMBER ONE: The alien is _obviously_ pinko scum. Look at
what it stole: a knife, jewelry, and a lighter. It therefore hates for
other people to have weapons, wealth, or tobacco. That's
bolshevism all the way, baby.
MUTSUMI: Maybe it just likes shiny things?
NUMBER ONE: [snorts] Yeah. You keep telling yourself that
while the barbarous Red hordes batter down the gates. Me, I'm
gonna go by my Granddad's old saying: 'The only good alien
Commie is an alien Commie that's been whupped with a nail-
studded baseball bat.'
DOUG: Commie or not, no face-sucking alien monstrosity is gonna
hatch its young in _my_ viscera, nosiree!
HELEN: (to DOUG) Lucky bloke. Everybody knows that women
face a fate far _worse_ than death from alien invaders!
NUMBER ONE: (to HELEN, confused) They'll make us watch the
'Star Wars Christmas Special'?
HELEN: No, dummy. They... [whispers something inaudible in
NUMBER ONE's ear]
[NUMBER ONE turns slightly green and her knees lock together.]
NUMBER ONE: (angrily) Those alien Commie bastard PERVERTS!
NYSSA: Well, the main thing is that we must all stay together until
the creature is located.
MUTSUMI: So it doesn't pick us off one-by-one?
NYSSA: [evil grin] No. I just like all my bait in one place.
[A light begins to flash on the console.]
MUTSUMI: Uh-oh. Someone has lit the grail-shaped beacon!
[Interior, Tegan World Order Headquarter]
[The walls and furniture have been covered with sheets to prevent
possible identification. Behind a control console stands TEGAN
(a short-haired brunette in a black trenchcoat), looking smug, while
behind her NEGA-ONE (a short, dark man in bell-bottoms and a
'Lumumba University Athletic Dept.' t-shirt) is meditating.]
TEGAN: G'day, counter-revolutionary wreckers and revisionists!
DOUG: Speaking of the barbarous Red hordes...
TEGAN: I regret -- not really, though -- to inform you that your
regularly-scheduled tormentor will be unable to torture you today,
as his broadcast facilities are down. It seems that _someone_ sent
his address to the Society of Northern Irish Radical Islamic
Environmental Extremists with Rabies, along with a rather well-
Photoshopped picture of Adric beating a baby harp seal to death
with a can of pork fat wrapped in the Union Jack.
TEGAN: Oops. Forgot how distressing making that picture was to
him. I'll probably never be able to get him into another baby harp
seal costume again.
NYSSA: Can't this wait, Tegan? We're rather busy at the moment.
DOUG: Yeah. We've got some kind of brain-sucking alien death
beast on the loose up here.
TEGAN: [shrugs] So? Nyssa's been there all along, right?
NYSSA: Ha. Ha. Ha. I'll remember that comment when I get loose
from here and am trying to think of reasons why I _shouldn't_ beat
you with a shovel.
HELEN: (grimly) There's some kind of vicious lizardoid creature
aboard the Satellite, Tegan. We have to find it and kill it before it
has the chance to ravish our innocent, nubile bodies!
[The OTHERS stare at HELEN.]
HELEN: (to OTHERS) What? It _will_ ravish us!
NUMBER ONE: (to HELEN) It's not that, it's that you had the
nerve to call _your_ body 'nubile' and 'innocent'.
[NYSSA, MUTSUMI, and DOUG nod.]
TEGAN: What?! You're going to exterminate a rare and
endangered species? Or, would that be persecuting and
oppressing a minority? Well, whatever it is, the Tegan World
Order will not let you get away with it! I'd send the Society of
Northern Irish Radical Islamic Environmental Extremists with Rabies
after you, but Francois sort of got hold of them after they finished
with Adric and the group had to be disbanded due to lack of major
cardiopulmonary organs. [to NEGA-ONE] Hey! Cut the 'om mane
padmes' and get the UN on the phone! There's imperialist evil to be
NEGA-ONE: [stops meditating] At once, Commissar Tegan! I
have their 'Blame Israel Hotline' on speed dial. [exits to the left]
TEGAN: Well, until we can get the blue helmets in here, I have
just the thing to stop your genocidal rampage--
NUMBER ONE: [raises hand] Just to point out, the blue helmets
are 0-and-26 on stopping genocidal rampages.
TEGAN: As I was saying, I have just the thing to stop you in your
ALL: (monotone) You're going to send us a fanfic.
TEGAN: [evil sneer] Ah, but you're mistaken. I'm not going to
send you 'a fanfic'.
NYSSA: (warily) You aren't?
TEGAN: No. I'm going to send you _the_ Fanfic... of Death!
[NEGA-ONE runs back on-camera and presses the button on a tape
deck, which blasts out a dramatic pipe-organ sting -- dun-dun-
DUUUUN --- after TEGAN's words.]
NYSSA: Well, I'd say this certainly bodes.
DOUG: It can't be that bad. I mean, we've been through
'Redemption', 'Death of a Soldier', and enough 'Stories of Nyssa'
to choke a bulimic goat. And if that Keith Topping prequel
couldn't kill us, I don't know what could.
HELEN: Yeah, that's right! It _can't_ hurt worse than 'Devil
Goblins from Neptune: Year Zero'!
TEGAN: [grins and rubs hands together] Oh yes it can, my dear
class enemies. Oh yes, it certainly can! But why stand here jawing
about it when I could be inflicting it? It's a horror of a horror tale
by one David W. Green, called 'Wolves of London'. And let me go
ahead and caution you not to take any sharp objects in with you,
to avoid giving in to the temptation to cut your own eyeballs out.
Send them the fanfic, Comrade Nega-One!
NEGA-ONE: For the Revolution, Commissar Tegan! [presses a
large and conspicuous button on the console]
[Various alarms, lights, and sirens go off as general chaos ensues.]
ALL: Aaaaaah! We've got Fanfic of Death sign!
[ALL run off.]
DOUG: (off-screen) Hey! What's that thing?! Die alien scum!
[Several heavy blows are heard from off-screen.]
NUMBER ONE: (off-screen, sarcastically) Good one, starship
trooper. That sandal will never kill again.
[Door sequence: 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...]
[SOL, Theater interior]
[The five enter the theater from a door on the right, all carrying
popcorn and drinks, with MUTSUMI and NUMBER ONE also
carrying watermelon slices. NYSSA takes the aisle seat, with
NUMBER ONE to her left, then DOUG, then HELEN, with
MUTSUMI on the far left end.]
DOUG: (to NUMBER ONE) ...looked _just_ like xenomorph larva
in that light.
NUMBER ONE: (to DOUG) Uh-huh. [holds up foot] And I
suppose this combat boot could pass for a fendahl?
DOUG: (suspiciously) Maybe we should burn it, just to be sure...
NUMBER ONE: [sighs] Look, man, I'm all for massive and
disproportionate violence, but you have _got_ to focus. If we
run out of footwear, the Commies will have won.
MUTSUMI: [nods sagely] Ah. The Imelda Marcos theory of
[A screen in front of the five lights up and words begin to appear
HELEN: Battle stations! Fanfic at 12 o'clock! Prepare to release
MUTSUMI: [salutes HELEN] Obscure pop-culture references
manned and ready!
>THE WOLVES OF LONDON
DOUG: (terrible faux-British accent) Say, guv, d'you fancy a spot
o' tea whilst I rip your entrails out, wot?
HELEN: [whaps DOUG on the head] Work on the accent, darling.
You sound like a cross between Hugh Grant and a Percheron
choking on a dead vole.
MUTSUMI: I prefer the Turtles of Naha over the Wolves of
London. The Turtles of Naha _never_ rip anyone's entrails out.
Well... hardly ever.
NYSSA: (to NUMBER ONE) That reminds me, I saw a werewolf
with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of
SoHo in the rain.
NUMBER ONE: (to NYSSA) Well, I saw a werewolf drinking a
pina colada at Trader Vic's. His hair was perfect.
>by David W. Green (with anachronisms)
NUMBER ONE: Dave's right nipple is from the Twenty-Third
>The mist swallowed up everything and swirled with the air
>currents. The TARDIS shuddered into existence.
NYSSA: The snide comments and potty humor began.
>Inside, Romana, in her second incarnation, and the Doctor, in his
>fourth, watched the time rotor
MUTSUMI: ...in its sixth...
>come to a steady halt. Romana examined the instruments.
HELEN: (Romana, reading) 'Press any key to continue'... But I
can't find the 'any' key!
>"Nineteenth century," she said, quite loudly. "London."
NUMBER ONE: (loudly) Twenty-third century. Nipple.
DOUG: (to NUMBER ONE) You just like saying 'nipple', don't
NUMBER ONE: Yes. Yes, I do. Nipple nipple nipple.
>"One of my very favourite places," the Doctor remarked, and
>operated the scanner screen. The scanner slid open and,
>curiously, all that was visible was a heavy coating of fog.
MUTSUMI: My! That reminds me of home... except for the fog
and the part about it being nineteenth-century London.
HELEN: [shakes head] Apparently, the scanner is aimed inside
Watermelon Girl's noggin.
>"What was that?" Romana said.
NYSSA: "Something," the Doctor _asked_.
>The Doctor touched several controls and the scanner screen
>zoomed in on a black cat, licking its paws.
HELEN: Moist pussies are a sure sign of effective fiction!
NYSSA: (to HELEN) If only I had some way to punch you without
actually _touching_ you...
>The cat vanished quickly, rat hunting.
>"Time?" the Doctor said.
>"Twenty minutes after midnight."
NYSSA: ...Romana _asked_.
>"Time for a good walk."
>The main doors opened. Fog rushed in to the console room.
DOUG: K-9 immediately became bogged down in it.
>"Chilly, and quite late?" Romana said and took her coat from the
>"Never mind. Let's go."
NYSSA: ...the Doctor _asked_.
HELEN: (to NYSSA) Stop that.
NYSSA: (huffily) I'll stop when the author straightens out his
>The Time Travellers walked out of the TARDIS and into the
>chilling London air. Romana locked the TARDIS door and
>pocketed the key..
>"Doctor?" Romana asked.
MUTSUMI: (Romana) I was just wondering, why do they call her
Little Red _Riding_ Hood when in every version of the story, she's
>"Why did you land the TARDIS here?"
DOUG: (Doctor) Because here is where here is and if I'd landed
somewhere else, we'd be there instead, silly.
HELEN: Sadly, Doug's riff was more in-character for the Fourth
Doctor than any of the actual dialogue so far...
>The Doctor paused, briefly. "There is a disturbance in Time,
>Romana. A very grave matter indeed."
>"At this particular time?"
NUMBER ONE: (Doctor, sarcastically) No, in the year 2525. I just
stopped in 1800s London because there are still a few fecal-borne
illnesses I haven't caught yet.
>The Doctor and Romana vanished into the fog, leaving the
>TARDIS alone. Unknown to them, mysterious creatures
>approached the Time Machine soon after,
HELEN: Fecking Eloi! Shoo! Shoo! Go get jobs, you sodding
useless meta-Utopian Morlock buffets!
MUTSUMI: I always wondered what Morlock table manners were
like. For instance, is it considered proper to eat Eloi steaks with the
NYSSA: No. Etiquette-conscious Morlocks generally eat the
>razor sharp teeth ripping into the blue box, not even scratching
NYSSA: Then they didn't really do all that much 'ripping into', did
>Romana and the Doctor walked through a park, the fog thinning.
>In the distance, old buildings, slums, rotted.
>"What is it, Romana?"
>Romana pointed at a dark lump ahead of them, on the grass.
DOUG: (Romana) Dog doody at two o'clock.
>As they approached it was a dead body, face down.
NYSSA: [pulls out a slate and makes a chalk mark on it] We have
our first corpse! Body count stands at one. Repeat, for those
playing at home, the body count is now one.
>The Doctor reached down and turned the man over. His throat
>had been ripped open, right down to the sternum, his heart, what
>was left of it, visible.
MUTSUMI: Which apparently brings new meaning to 'having
your heart in your throat'.
HELEN: So did Helen, but for different reasons.
>"Who could have done this?"
DOUG: (Doctor) It's obviously self-inflicted. The poor bugger's
heart got stuck in his neck and he was trying to get it out...
>"Or this," the Doctor walked towards another corpse, a woman, so
>bloody he did not touch it.
NYSSA: [makes chalk mark] Body count: two. I can fault this
story for lots of things, but it is definitely delivering in the carnage
department thus far.
>"What's going on?"
>"It's too dangerous for us to be here, not at this time."
NUMBER ONE: (Doctor, as George Bush Sr.) Wouldn't be
prudent, not at this juncture.
>"You're quite right," Romana agreed. "The blood is still warm, still
NYSSA: Seriously, the prose might be clumsy and the dialogue dry
and wooden enough to be a fire hazard, but I find myself enjoying
a certain something about this story...
[DOUG, HELEN, and NUMBER ONE give NYSSA uneasy looks
and surreptitiously edge away from her.]
>"Jack the Ripper?"
>"More than likely," the Doctor said.
>"It doesn't seem right, Doctor." Then she looked around
>furiously, a thrill of fear all through her.
DOUG: Wow. From fury to fear in one sentence. That's a mood
swing to beat a Keith Topping character's.
NUMBER ONE: (to DOUG) That's because Time Ladies, in
addition to two hearts, have two 'times of the month'. And they
DOUG: [shivers] Ah. So, the reason Time _Lords_ invented time
travel was to avoid one week of every month.
HELEN: [whaps DOUG on the head] Male chauvinist!
NYSSA: [whaps NUMBER ONE on the head] I'd call you a male
chauvinist, too, but since you're a woman now, I guess you're just
>"Let's go. While we still can."
DOUG: (Doctor) I told you to do that before we left the TARDIS.
>"We'll find an inn and wait until morning."
NUMBER ONE: (Doctor) Hmmm... There's a disturbance in Time
and mutilated corpses all around. That can only mean one thing:
it's break time!
DOUG: (muttering) Damn union-shop TARDISes...
>The two walked briskly away, the Doctor wiping the blood from
>Minutes later they were in the filthy streets of London, searching
>for an inn. At last, they found one.
NUMBER ONE: It was kind of a redneck-looking joint called the
>It was a double story building, the upper part where the rooms
>were. A sign hung over the door: The Solitary Inn.
>The Doctor knocked, and an old man, aged and worn, opened the
>door and looked up at the tall stranger.
MUTSUMI: (old man, shouting) For the last time, I don't want a
copy of the sodding 'Watchtower'!
>"Good evening," the Doctor said amiably. "We were looking for a
HELEN: (old man, as Eric Idle) I'll bet you are! Nudge-nudge,
wink-wink, say no more!
DOUG: (old man, sarcastically) A room? Well, well. And here I
was, thinking you'd come to an _inn_ to buy sheet-metal screws!
>Romana managed a smile, despite what she had just seen.
>The old man let the two strangers in.
>There was a bar
DOUG: ...but Davy Crockett kilt it when he was only three.
>flanking an entire wall. An elderly woman appeared from a
>"Customers," the innkeeper said.
>"A meal?" the woman said.
NYSSA: "Certainly," the Doctor _asked_.
HELEN: (to NYSSA) I thought I said to stop that.
NYSSA: (to HELEN) I thought I told you to make me.
HELEN: (to NYSSA) No, you didn't.
NYSSA: (to HELEN) Oh. Well, I'm telling you now.
>Neither of them felt like it, but it was customary to be courteous in
>someone else's premises.
>"Yes please," Romana said, before the Doctor could speak..
>"Take a seat."
DOUG: (old woman) You can have spam, egg, and spam; spam,
baked beans, and spam; spam, spam, spam, sausage, and spam...
OTHERS: (chanting) Spam spam spam spam. Spam spam spam
>The Doctor and Romana sat at a nearby, old, unsteady
NYSSA: ...adjective collection.
>"You know," the Doctor said, "I'd think you'd have more
>customers at this time of year."
NUMBER ONE: (old man) We did have, before I had the bright
idea of turning this into a topless restaurant. I _told_ Mavis the
pasties looked better on _me_, but nooo...
>"Not at the moment," the innkeeper replied, and said nothing else.
>The unattractive old woman walked out from behind the bar,
>holding two plates with food on them.
MUTSUMI: Mmmm, my favorite kind of food -- the kind made from
>She put them in front of Romana and the Doctor, then produced
>two forks from her pocket and placed them beside each plate.
NUMBER ONE: (old woman) Fork you, you forking forkers!
>Romana looked at the meal, trying to hide her clear distaste. It
>was a slab of old, salty, tough meat,
NYSSA: Roast adjective, apparently.
>and a hunk of stale bread.
>"I'm famished, Doctor," Romana pretended. "How about you?"
HELEN: ...as you can tell by my emaciated dialogue.
>They sat there and ate the meal,
NUMBER ONE: ...as opposed to their usual habit of eating it while
doing handsprings off a naked midget's butt.
>which had one of the strongest tastes Romana had ever had:
>strong and vulgar.
NYSSA: (to HELEN) That sounds rather like how _your_ tastes
run, doesn't it?
HELEN: (to NYSSA, sultrily) Taste me and find out how they run!
NYSSA: [recoils] (to HELEN) Eww. We need Diane back to keep
you in line. Why don't you play with Watermelon Girl?
HELEN: (to NYSSA) Honestly? I'm afraid I'll break her.
MUTSUMI: (to HELEN) You're worried about me? That is _so_
sweet and thoughtful!
[MUTSUMI leans over and plants a lingering kiss on HELEN's
mouth. HELEN is too shocked to react, while NUMBER ONE starts
cheering and has to be forcibly restrained by NYSSA. DOUG
covers his eyes.]
MUTSUMI: Oh my! I did something stupid again, didn't I? I
really need to find a less socially-awkward way of showing people
I like them. (to NYSSA) And Helen tastes like tuna salad and beer,
by the way.
HELEN: [shakes head] (to MUTSUMI) A word of advice, kid:
don't rub the lamp unless you're sure you want the genie to pop
>"Please," the Doctor smiled. "What's your special?"
NUMBER ONE: (old woman) Well, we ran out of Chateau Cheval
Blanc and our shipment of aged Rousillon Pinot Noir won't be in
'til Friday, so it'll have to be rat urine. But it _is_ fresh.
>"Just ale," the woman replied, never smiling.
>"Two pints," the Doctor said.
>In another minute, in two disgusting old steins, there was liquid in
>front of them that looked like a combination of rat's urine and
NUMBER ONE: (old woman) The rat's got kidney stones, so I had
to improvise a bit to make enough...
DOUG: (to NUMBER ONE, ill) _Please_ stop being right.
>Without thinking about it, the travellers downed the drink.
MUTSUMI: (Romana) Here's pee in your eye!
>And all the while, oil lamps burned in the shadows.
HELEN: _In_ the shadows? (to NYSSA) Ha! Parse _that_ one,
NYSSA: Erm... ah... lamps... burning... making it... dark... around
them... [clutches head] Owww! (whining) It hurts _worse_ when
the grammar is right...
>"Come," the lady said,
HELEN: (Doctor) While looking at _your_ face? Not bloody
>"I'll show you to your room."
>They were led up creaky stairs, and into a small room with two
>appalling excuses for beds, ragged old hunks of hair
DOUG: They have to share a room with Guns-n-Roses, apparently.
>and two rotting sheets.
>"Goodnight then," the woman said, unkindly, and disappeared,
>closing the door.
NYSSA: ...taking her extraneous comma with her.
>"Romana," the Doctor immediately said.
>"Did you notice that there was a chimney against the wall, yet
>there was no fireplace?"
MUTSUMI: It's a Zen fireplace. The concepts of 'fireplace' and
'no fireplace' have become as one, so each is now the other.
NYSSA: It's a quantum fireplace and observing it collapses the
probability waveform, so you see no fireplace.
DOUG: It's a paradoxic construction that could only be built by
Block Transfer Computation!
HELEN: It's a metaphor: the inn with a chimney but no fireplace
represents the story with readers but no interest.
NUMBER ONE: (to OTHERS) It's just a clumsy plot point, y'all.
>"Yes, I did notice that," Romana replied. "I wonder where the
>fireplace could be?"
>"Interesting, isn't it."
NYSSA: Typo. Those last two words were in the wrong order.
>"Very," Romana replied. "In spite of it all, I'm quite tired, Doctor.
>I might just sleep for a little while, then when it's morning we can
>go to the police for help."
DOUG: (sarcastically) That's a fine idea, since crime scenes
_keep_ so well, and all. And it's not like crazed murderers
tearing people apart is a _pressing_ issue.
>"Good idea," the Doctor said.
HELEN: ...in the same sense that asking Jim Jones for a drink is a
>"What about K9?"
MUTSUMI: (Doctor) He doesn't have a fireplace in him, either.
>"This time is too rough for him, and he'd frighten off the natives.
DOUG: ...and he'd have gotten hopelessly stuck in that first puddle
>It's better to have left him in the TARDIS."
>"Won't he get lonely?"
NUMBER ONE: (Doctor) I doubt it. The toaster is in heat.
>"Not really, you see I gave him access to the TARDIS databanks.
HELEN: He's got to delete seven centuries' worth of accumulated
Nigerian-bank-scam and penis-enlargement e-mails.
>He'll have an interesting time studying Gallifreyan history."
>Romana lay down on the hard bed with a thin mattress and
>covered herself up with a nearby blanket, then fell fast asleep.
MUTSUMI: I've always envied people who could do that.
NYSSA: (to MUTSUMI) I'll probably regret asking, but do what?
MUTSUMI: Sleep fast. No matter how hard I try, it always takes
me a full third of the day to sleep eight hours, even when I improve
HELEN: I'm _not_ going to ask her...
NUMBER ONE: I will!
NYSSA: [twists NUMBER ONE's ear] No, you won't, either.
>The Doctor turned the oil lamp down that was in the room,
HELEN: ...as opposed to the one across town at the chemist's.
>so only a fraction of light was visible. Then, as quietly as he
DOUG: ...he let out the cabbage fart he'd been holding back all
MUTSUMI: [giggles] Ninja poots: silent but lethal.
>he stepped out of the room, closing the door silently. When he
>made his way down the stairs, the Doctor saw that the old couple
>were nowhere to be seen.
HELEN: Then he also heard the sound of them not making any
>He made his way out of the inn and moved back towards the park.
>The corpses were still there, but there were more than the Doctor
>had first seen or imagined.
NYSSA: All right! Now we're getting somewhere! [holds slate and
>There were at least ten.
NYSSA: [happily makes eight more chalk marks] Body count is
now ten-plus! Repeat, character body count now stands at a
minimum of ten!
>The Doctor examined each slaughtered body briefly, and found
>something interesting on the neck of one of them:
DOUG: ...a little tuft of leaves.
NUMBER ONE: [elbows DOUG] This ain't 'Pod People of London'.
It'll be fur. There's _always_ fur left at the scene in a werewolf
>great, long tufts of fur.
NUMBER ONE: Told ya. It's just one of those traditional things,
like Aesop's stories having a moral or Garrison Keillor's stories
being incredibly frickin' tedious.
>It reminded him of when he had been here with Leela so long ago,
HELEN: ...and she had neglected to shave her legs. Everyone
thought she was wearing goatskin chaps, for Pete's sake...
>before the Key to Time, and he had found fur from giant rats,
>which had mauled their victims to death. But Liesen Chang was
NYSSA: He was only sitting on his perch in the first place because
he'd been nailed there.
>as was Magnus Greel, unless the Doctor had come to London at a
>point in time that they were still alive.
NYSSA: So, they're definitely dead... unless they're alive. That's
the kind of logic you can't argue with...
MUTSUMI: ...unless you can.
>But no, this was something else. Something far more deadly and
>diabolical, if that was possible.
DOUG: It was clearly the work of... the Land Shark!
NUMBER ONE: (Land Shark) I'm only a dolphin, ma'am...
>The Doctor sniffed the fur in his hand.
>"Just as I thought," he said with enlightenment.
DOUG: (Doctor) Wet dog _does_ smell worse than cabbage farts!
>"Not of this planet... So there are alien forces at work here."
>The Doctor pocketed the fur into an inner coat pocket, then took
>from an outer coat pocket a device which could detect
MUTSUMI: ...pockets. Handy tool, that.
>time disturbances, as long as the TARDIS was around to act as a
>technology source. The readout pointed to a building in a
NYSSA: I'm glad of that. I hate it when buildings only exist as
unformed probability waveforms that occur simultaneously at all
loci around the point of observation.
HELEN: Uh... Yeah... That thing she said.
>and not too far away, maybe half an hour's steady walk,
NUMBER ONE: ...or four hours at his typical gin-sodden stagger.
>yet it was too dark and too misty to go there at this time of the
NYSSA: But he could still _see_ that there was a building a half-
hour's walk away?
DOUG: (to NYSSA) He's waiting so he can take K-9 without him
getting stuck in a puddle of shadow.
>At least it gave him a lead to follow when it was light.
MUTSUMI: Oh dear. He could benefit from one of my 'WWHPD?'
bracelets. Then he'd know how to behave in this situation.
HELEN: (to MUTSUMI) What's 'WWHPD' stand for?
MUTSUMI: (to HELEN) It's 'What Would Hercule Poirot Do?'
You can't imagine how often I resolve moral quandaries by asking
myself that question!
HELEN: (to MUTSUMI, flatly) You're right, I can't.
>The Doctor made his way quickly back to the inn, and entered,
>picking the lock with his sonic screwdriver.
DOUG: (announcer) The sonic screwdriver! For those who like
their Deus ex machinas pocket-sized!
>He made his way up the stairs and, to his utter astonishment, saw
>that Romana was
NUMBER ONE: (eagerly) ...wearing only an open trenchcoat, a
light coating of baby oil, and a smile?
NUMBER ONE: Oh.
>There was also a deep blood stain
DOUG: (to NUMBER ONE) Saaaaay... Were you right about that
'Time of the Month' thing? OWWW!
[DOUG is pummeled by HELEN, NYSSA, and MUTSUMI.]
>on her pillow. Furiously, the Doctor grabbed the oil lantern
NYSSA: (Doctor, furiously) Bastard lantern! Now you'll pay!
>and made it as bright as possible. He then raced down the stairs
>and, following his instincts, heaved himself over the bar
HELEN: TomDoc is following his instincts, all right. Right to the
>and into the room behind the bar, which the elderly woman had
>first come out of.
NUMBER ONE: ...then into a closet, which the old man had come
out of when he joined the Judy Garland Fan Club.
>To his frustration, all he could see was a filthy kitchen with
>various outdated ingredients on shelves.
>"Why did I ever leave her?" the Doctor muttered to himself.
MUTSUMI: (sagely) Because you don't have a 'WWHPD?'
bracelet to guide you.
>He walked out behind the bar, leaned back against the wall,
NUMBER ONE: ...turned around, and picked a bale of cotton.
>and noticed a trapdoor! He quickly opened it and there were more
>stairs leading down. The Doctor made his way down the stairs,
DOUG: Yeesh! Maybe Nyssa should drop the Body Count and
start keeping a tally of all the stairs in this story.
NYSSA: (to DOUG) Only if we start finding corpses on them.
>then, when there was some vestige of light showing, turned the
>oil lamp he was carrying down to a small flame, made his way to
>the bottom, and looked out, astonished at what he saw.
NYSSA: A sudden lack of comma-splices?
>Romana was strapped to a table, heavy leather straps over her
NUMBER ONE: Hey, now _I'm_ finding things to like in this story!
NYSSA: [elbows NUMBER ONE in the stomach] _Who_ is your
favorite 'Doctor Who' companion?
NUMBER ONE: (pained) You are, ma'am...
NYSSA: Right. So, it should be _me_ that you get excited about
seeing strapped to a table and-- Um. Aheh. Never mind.
HELEN: (to NYSSA) I could arrange that strapped-down thing for
>shoulders, and her mouth gagged, a dirty cloth stuffed into it.
NUMBER ONE: (to DOUG) Looks like we were wrong. The _rag_
is on _Romana_. OWWW!
[NUMBER ONE is pummeled by NYSSA, HELEN, and MUTSUMI.]
NYSSA: (to NUMBER ONE) If you keep that up, I'm going to hit
NUMBER ONE: (to NYSSA) It'd be nice if you'd say that _before_
you hit me... [rubs head]
>What was more horrifying was her stomach was exposed.
HELEN: [gasps] Oh my God! Cellulite!
>Behind the obscene table Romana was strapped to, was a
>fireplace burning away,
MUTSUMI: That's what happens when you build your fireplace
out of cardboard and old rags. As my uncle found out the hard
way. On the plus side, it heated _really_ well for about three
>the fireplace that was the one that had the chimney which went all
>the way up to the top of the inn.
NYSSA: You know, I once met a blind, alcoholic sumo wrestler
with only one leg, and even _he_ wasn't as clumsy as that
>On the fire was a huge pot, boiling away. It turned the Doctor's
>stomach to see human body parts inside it,
NYSSA: [holds slate] (confused) Er, should I count this as a
fraction, a whole body, or what? Decisions, decisions...
>bubbling up and down... eyes, ears, noses, tongues, pieces of
DOUG: Those are just Michael Jackson's hand-me-downs.
>even a heart bubbled up
MUTSUMI: Torn right from someone's _throat_, no doubt...
NYSSA: Ooh! I could use that heart for Adric's Valentine! I'll trim
it in black lace and inscribe "I hate you Swamprat" across it.
DOUG: (to NYSSA, slyly) You're warming up to him, aren't you?
NYSSA: (to DOUG, aghast) Why do you say that?!
DOUG: (to NYSSA) Because you normally use _his_ heart for
>and then down again in the sickly, revolting yellow coloured
MUTSUMI: [crosses legs] (nervously) Aheh. Sorry about that. I
was really sleepy and thought it was the bidet...
>It was then the Doctor realised that whoever they were they were
>about to cut Romana open, take out her internal organs and
>eventually eat them!
NUMBER ONE: (Anthony Hopkins) ...with a nice Chianti and
some fava beans.
DOUG: Heh. I always thought Romana was quite a dish.
HELEN: (Romana) Note to self: next time a stranger asks if you
like being eaten, make certain you understand the local idioms
before saying, 'Yes'.
MUTSUMI: Is the Doctor so sure about that cannibalism part? It
could just be an illicit back-alley liposuction clinic.
>It was obvious that the entire inn was simply a trap
HELEN: Well, I'm just about at the point of gnawing _my_ own leg
off to escape this.
>for customers, for those tired and foolish enough to come into
>such a bad inn, and then become victims of this torture chamber...
>it turned the Doctor's stomach even more to think that the sickly
>piece of meat he had eaten may have been human flesh!
MUTSUMI: (old woman) That's so unkind! I'll have you know I
put my _heart_ into preparing that meal for you! Well,
_someone's_ heart, anyway.
>The old man walked out of the shadows, brandishing some kind
>of blunt, crooked, rusty blade.
NYSSA: The legendary Sword of Adjectives.
MUTSUMI: He was a man after Romana's own heart...
>Romana's eyes were wild watching the man approach with the
>knife, unable to scream. The old woman stood back and watched,
>her eyes glistening with the thrill of murder and mutilation that
>was about to happen.
NUMBER ONE: (old woman) Mmm-mmmm. Nothing better for
dessert than a sliced tart!
>The Doctor had to act, and he had to act now.
HELEN: That explains the story's dialogue thus far; he hasn't
started acting yet.
>He threw the lantern across the room, into the fireplace, closed his
>eyes, and there was a sharp flash of flame, an explosion,
DOUG: ...because in 19th-century London, the lamps all used
aviation gasoline, apparently.
>and the old couple cried out, stumbling back, blinded.
NUMBER ONE: (sarcastically) Well, that's strategery for you.
Distract everyone by starting a fire in... the fireplace, where there's
already a fire burning. _Much_ more distracting than starting a fire
on something _not_ already combusting. Apparently, ADF tactical
manuals have found their way to Gallifrey.
DOUG: [whaps NUMBER ONE on the head] Oh, hush. You know
you're just jealous because we have snazzy uniforms and artillery
support and a pension plan, while your side has the WANKERs.
>The Doctor ran forward and ripped off the straps that sealed
>Romana to the torture and cannibalism table, picked her up,
>ripping the cloth from her mouth and throwing it in the fire.
>Romana mumbled something
HELEN: (Romana, sultry) Get rid of the codgers, then strap me
back down, big boy...
>but the Doctor led her quickly up the staircase.
>In the revolting basement, the old man pulled a lever.
ALL: (singing) Fifty ways to love your lever...
>Just as they were about to reach the top, the trapdoor slammed
>shut and, no matter how hard the Doctor bashed it, it wouldn't
>break open. There was only one solution, which was to go back
>down the stairs,
DOUG: [shakes head] There's so much stair-climbing in this story,
I've about decided that is actually a 'Slinky' fanfic with the word
'slinky' search-and-replaced with 'Doctor'.
HELEN: (singing) It's Doctor! It's Doctor!/A wonderful, wonderful
toy!/He's fun for a girl and a boy...
>and open the trapdoor from there, from where the murdering
>innkeeper had closed it.
MUTSUMI: Okay, let me see if I understand this right. This sonic
screwdriver of the Doctor's can manipulate the mechanical parts of
a lock to open it, but it _can't_ manipulate the mechanical parts of a
trapdoor latch to open _that_.
NYSSA: (to MUTSUMI) That's why you should carry an ion
bonder instead. Much more versatile and it doubles as a weapon,
albeit a sadly non-lethal one.
DOUG: (to NUMBER ONE, as Nyssa) My pocket Deus ex machina
can beat up your pocket Deus ex machina.
NUMBER ONE: (to DOUG) _My_ 'pocket Deus ex machina'
vanished when I gained permanent tits and ovaries, bud.
>The Doctor and Romana made their way down the stairs and into
NYSSA: The total blackness resulting from the 'exploding' blaze
in the fireplace?
HELEN: (to NYSSA) Sure, why not? The upstairs lamps were
giving off shadows, if you'll recall.
>hearing nothing but their own breathing. Somehow, Romana
>knew this could be the end for them, that they would be murdered
>there and then, and that would be it.
NUMBER ONE: Uh, yeah, being murdered tends to be pretty much
'it' for most folks. Certainly couldn't sneak that one past you.
>Then Romana screamed as something ran over her foot.
>The Doctor whipped out
HELEN: Yes! Yes!
>a small pen torch
HELEN: Oh. Never mind.
>from his pocket and pointed it to the ground. Running over and
>over their feet were an uncountable number of rats!
NUMBER ONE: In Arkansas, that would mean six rats.
>He shined the torch to the floor
NYSSA: As opposed to the ground he was looking at before?
>and saw that the meal for the old couple had been tipped all over
>the floor and the rats were feasting on the body parts. The stench
>was nauseating and unbearable.
MUTSUMI: [squirms] Aheh. Sorry. Still couldn't find that bidet.
>The Doctor pointed the torch at the fireplace and saw that the fire
>was no longer burning
NYSSA: And just think, if he hadn't aimed his light at it, it would
have been too dark for him to tell that there was no fire burning.
DOUG: I'm kind of wondering whether the author has ever actually
_seen_ a fire before.
MUTSUMI: (to DOUG) He might have missed it in the dark.
>and behind it was the opening to a passageway, which looked like
>a metal slide leading down into the unknown.
>"Doctor," Romana said. "Let's not go down there."
HELEN: (Doctor) Certainly. We'll go back to our room and you
can 'go down' there, instead.
NYSSA: Helen is so predictable. When I read that line, I _knew_
what was coming. Eek! Wait, I didn't mean that the way it
[OTHERS look at NYSSA and snicker]
>"Of course not," the Doctor said, walked over, stepping on God
>knew what, and pulled the lever.
HELEN: Silly bugger. Romana's talking about going down and
he'd rather work his lever himself!
>As quick as they could,
NYSSA: ...they even streamlined their adverbs for added speed...
>Romana and the Doctor were back at the meal and bar room of the
>Soitary Inn. They made their way to the door, but as they
>approached it, the actual door itself burst into flames!
DOUG: The part of the narrator will now be played by Jackie
NUMBER ONE: (quietly) Heh. That riff takes me back...
>The couple must have doused it with some highly flammable
>liquid and somehow set it off,
NUMBER ONE: ...such as by, I dunno, dousing it with some of
that exploding lamp oil from earlier and _lighting_ it, maybe?
MUTSUMI: (author) The ways of this 'fire' are yet mysterious to
me, but I shall record them as best I can...
>which meant they could be close by.
>"What are we going to do?" Romana shrieked. "We could be
NYSSA: Actually, you'll only be burned alive for a little while,
Sherlock. Then you'll be burned quite thoroughly dead.
MUTSUMI: Actually, Mr. and Mrs Cannibal are just wanting to
try out a new recipe for Pan-Blackened Interloper.
>The Doctor raced into the lavatory room
HELEN: As always, the Call of Doody compelled him...
NUMBER ONE: Nah, the Doctor's just a regular guy.
>and found a bucket filled with water and human waste.
DOUG: Gross encounters of the turd kind!
NUMBER ONE: (Doctor, as hillbilly) Hey, is this here water mine
NYSSA: [whaps NUMBER ONE on the head] That joke doesn't
work in print, and it isn't that funny even when spoken.
MUTSUMI: [glances around] What's that noise I hear?
HELEN: [sighs] (to MUTSUMI) That's the Fourth Wall crumbling
>Distastefully he picked it up, hurried back into the room and flung
>the disgusting mixture over the door.
MUTSUMI: He finally decided to give piss a chance.
HELEN: That's funny, it's usually the _Eighth_ Doctor who saves
the day with something pulled out of his arse...
>The majority of the flame in the centre of the door was doused,
>enough for the Doctor to give the door the heaviest kick.
NYSSA: Not just _his_ heaviest kick, mind you, but _the_
DOUG: (to NYSSA) Well, you know that kicks just keep getting
harder to find...
>Weakened around the edges, the door collapsed outwards.
>The Doctor and Romana ran out and saw that the flames had
>spread to other parts of the building and the whole place was
>destined to go up in flames!
HELEN: (old woman) Let's burn down our own home and business
and destroy everything we own! That'll show those pesky
DOUG: (to HELEN) In Los Angeles, that wouldn't be sarcasm at
NUMBER ONE, NYSSA, and MUTSUMI: (singing) The roof!/The
roof!/The roof is on fire!/We don't need no water!/Let the muthaf--
DOUG: (interrupting) Stop! We may be horrifically tasteless, but
the f-bomb is still off-limits!
MUTSUMI: (confused) Why? We say plenty of things that are
arguably worse than fuMMMPPH!
[DOUG lunges across HELEN and clamps a hand over MUTSUMI's
DOUG: (to MUTSUMI) It's because we have to have _some_
standards of decency, even if it's just _one_. Even if that one is
arbitrary and nonsensical, it's still a standard and we can lay claim
to it. Because if we had no standards at all, we'd be--
NUMBER ONE: --Paris Hilton.
>People were up in buildings around the inn, crying out in terror,
>looking up, and already the Doctor and Romana knew the fire
>services were on the way.
DOUG: ...or would have been, except that the Fire Brigade had
unionized and was no longer contractually obligated to work in
hazardous conditions... such as fires.
>"Come on," the Doctor said to Romana. "Let's get out of here.
>"I agree," Romana said,
HELEN: Such scintillating repartee! It's almost like they cloned
Wilde and Shaw and dressed them as the Doctor and Romana...
then had a wild orgy with them while two random morons were
playing the leads in this story.
MUTSUMI: (Romana, vacuously) It's fun to escape burning
>and the two hurried back to where they thought the TARDIS was.
>The blue box was waiting, and the Doctor unlocked the door
NYSSA: [shudders] I'm getting 'Redemption' flashbacks...
>and the two hurried inside.
>The Doctor looked directly at Romana, into her eyes.
HELEN: Suuure. Most men don't even know a woman _has_ eyes,
am I right?
NUMBER ONE: [staring at HELEN's chest] Huh? Did you say
>"Are you okay?"
>"I'm alright," Romana said, "but just a little shocked."
>"You must have been." A pause. "Come on, let's go for some
>cocoa, and wait until the morning."
MUTSUMI: Hmmm... Hercule Poirot _might_ do that.
DOUG: [raises hand] Teacher, I have a question.
NYSSA: (to DOUG) Yes, Doug?
DOUG: (to NYSSA) Why did the Doctor want to spend the night
in a strange inn earlier, when they could have done what they're
doing right now and spent the night in the TARDIS instead?
NYSSA: (to DOUG) You are a naughty boy for asking that. For
punishment, you must come up to the chalkboard and write, "I will
not expect logic in bad fanfics," until your cerebellum shrivels to
the size of a breath mint.
>From what Romana was about to go through, what happened to
>her at the Solitary Inn was virtually nothing.
NUMBER ONE: (musical sting) Dun-dun DUNNN!
HELEN: That type of foreshadowing is called a 'Palestine Special',
where the author basically inscribes it on a brick and heaves it at
the reader's head.
[The screen fades out and the lights come back on.]
TEGAN: (voice-over) The inevitable progression of the dialectic
dictates that you lot should get a break here, so take five.
HELEN: Great! Let's make like shepherds and get the flock out!
[ALL get up and leave the theater.]
[Door sequence: 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6...]
[SOL bridge interior]
[The furniture-laager is still in place, with DOUG once again
hunkering inside it. HELEN and MUTSUMI sit perched on the
top edge of it, talking.]
HELEN: (to MUTSUMI) So, you're saying that bag of yours has
been passed down through your family for _how_ long?
MUTSUMI: (to HELEN) Since before Okinawa was part of Japan.
We Otohimes have been the island's leading family of snipe
hunters for six generations.
HELEN: (flatly) I'll just bet you are.
[NYSSA and NUMBER ONE enter from the right. NYSSA is
checking the readings on a hand-held scanner.]
DOUG: (to NYSSA, nervously) Well, have you found it yet?
NYSSA: [shakes head] No. The biometric readings from the
creature are too weak to pinpoint right now. It's as if they're being
masked by our own readings, as if... [looks sharply at OTHERS]
It's as if the creature is in such close proximity to -- or joined to --
one of us, that its bio-readings are subsumed by its host...
DOUG: (panicky) Oh man, it's inside one of us! Game over, man!
Game over! Shoulda been a bug hunt, but now it's game over!
HELEN: [smacks DOUG with her whip handle] Hey! Don't make
me get all Ripley on you!
MUTSUMI: (to NYSSA) Oh my. Who is the creature joined to?
NYSSA: It could be any one of us. I don't think it's me, but then, I
would say that, wouldn't I?
[NUMBER ONE suddenly clutches at her chest, which begins to
heave and jerk alarmingly.]
DOUG: (yelling) Aha! The xenomorph has infected the hillbilly,
and now the larva's gonna hatch in her! Set her on fire! She's done
for, anyway! Our only chance is to burn it while it's small!
[NUMBER ONE opens her mouth and lets out a long and very loud
NUMBER ONE: Whew! Remind me not to suck down a whole
quart of root beer in one gulp again!
[DOUG gets a sheepish look and blows out the match he's just lit.]
NUMBER ONE: Anyway, it should become obvious who the
alien's host is. All we have to do is watch and see who starts to
display Communistic tendencies, then we whup that person with a
nail-studded baseball bat. And even if the person we whup _isn't_
the alien's host, they still deserve the whupping for being a filthy
Commie. That's what you call a 'win-win' scenario.
[A light on the console begins to flash.]
NUMBER ONE: Looks like it's time to see what Hardcastle and
McCormick want. [presses light]
[TEGAN is standing behind the console, with a speakerphone in
front of her.]
TEGAN: G'day again, Fascist Five, and boy are you lot in for it
now! I've just rung up the UN and they're gonna come down on
you like a ton of paperwork in triplicate!
[The sound of an automated OPERATOR's voice begins to come
from the phone.]
OPERATOR: Thank you for calling the United Nations. Your call
is very important to us, but all of our representatives are busy
condemning Israel at the moment. You may stay on the line to wait
for the first available representative, or press 1 to enter our
automated call processing menu.
TEGAN: I can see how they'd be busy, and we don't have all day,
so... [presses '1' on phone]
OPERATOR: Welcome to the United Nations automated call
processing menu. If you represent a ramshackle Third-World
dictatorship, press 1. If you represent a smug Euro-elite
bureaucracy, press 2. If you represent a demented Arab terrorist
group, press 3. If you represent a self-righteous non-government
organization, press 4. If you represent--
TEGAN: I think we count as an NGO. [presses '4' on phone]
OPERATOR: If you are calling to request a resolution condemning
the United States, press 1. If you are calling to request the
deployment of a peacekeeping force, press 2. If you--
TEGAN: That's just what we want! [presses '2' on phone]
OPERATOR: Please enter your credit card number, followed by the
pound key. If you do not wish to pay by credit card, cash or
money orders may be mailed directly to Kofi Annan or any duly
designated relative thereof. Salable refugee girls between the ages
of 10 and 17 may also be acceptable in jurisdictions with functional
black markets. Also, be sure to ask about our Frequent Briber
Program! Pay off ten UN officials and get a denunciation of the
Western democracy of your choice absolutely free!
TEGAN: Rabbits! This is going to take longer than I thought.
Back to the Fanfic of Death with you! [presses a large and
conpicuous button on the console]
[NEGA-ONE runs on from the left, too late to play the musical
sting on the tape deck as the scene switches.]
[Various alarms, lights, and sirens go off as general chaos ensues.]
ALL: Aaaaah! We've got back to the Fanfic of Death sign!
[ALL run off]