PERI BROWN AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETION 1/1 Peri arc IVi
by Paul Gadzikowski
Bits of this work may derive from properties owned by the BBC, Paramount,
Fox, etc.; but it's not-for-profit and doesn't intrude on their markets.
THIS TIME ROUND created by Tyler Dion, after Kielle.
THEN DO THAT OVER (H.G. Wells Memorial High School) created by Paul
Gadzikowski, after Imran, after Tyler, after Kielle.
KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE is mine.
Previously in the author's THIS TIME ROUND and related
Outside-Continuity: Peri dated and married all eight Doctors. Their quest to
plumb all alternate realities for Peri's father so she can pick the scenario
she likes best is known to have taken them, so far, into KING ARTHUR IN TIME
AND SPACE space and into SOUTH PARK parody. The Valeyard has succeeded in
efforts to be the villain behind the scenes in all such scenarios to date.
Meanwhile, next door to This Time Round, there is now a high school where
attend adolescent versions of DOCTOR WHO screen, tie-in and fanfiction
characters just as the Look Who's Talking day care center is inhabited by
Having written in the first THEN DO THAT OVER piece that there are eight
"class[es] or class section[s]" at Wells implying two sections to each of
four years (since the youngest section president was old enough to have
Farrah Fawcett on his wall), and then having rediscovered that Gray responded
to an earlier inquiry of mine with the information that public or "state"
schools in Britain are seven-year-schools like Hogwarts which I seem to have
read and forgotten or ignored (no measure of my respect for Gray's works), I
am now retconning Wells to an eight-year-school. (Eight because of course
there must be exactly enough divisions for each Doctor brother to be a
president of one.) I mention this not because I mean to demand other TDTO
authors conform to my OC continuity; Outside Continuity *does* mean outside
any continuity, even its own, as I have taken advantage of in the past
[http://members.iglou.com/scarfman/round19.htm]. I only make the point
because pride demands I don't allow for any possibility of your spotting the
inconsistency without knowing that I did it on purpose.
The Valeyard sat at the bar at This Time Round, the tavern Outside
Continuity, moping into his beer. He sat at the end of the bar nearest the
tavern's front window, because the tavern tended to be least populated near
the front. The Valeyard believed that this was because its patrons didn't
wish to be identified as its patrons by friends and acquaintences happening
past the window (actually it was a well-intentioned but doomed attempt not to
trouble the surrounding neighborhood with their noise), and he sarcastically
reveled silently in the thought that no one passing by said window would have
the faintest idea who he was. Hardly anyone *inside* knew who he was.
Look, here were Space Arthur and Space Morgan le Fey entering the
tavern. It was an encounter with them that had led to the anti-Doctor's
crusade against all of KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE; but did they
acknowledge him as they went past?
"Some sort of dark carnival," le Fey was saying.
"You go if you like," responded Arthur, "but after the Hoedown I'm
partied out for awhile."
There it was in a nutshell, the Valeyard mused. Launch a campaign to
banish a whole fictional universe from a .creative newsgroup - lead a
successful attack on its capital planet (Well, *arrange* an attack; the
Valeyard had actually hung behind in the ranks during the invasion itself) -
and a year later no one even stops and says hello.
Someone sat next to him and said, "Hello."
Villain or not, the Valeyard was a British character and could not
forsake his manners without being given cause. Reluctantly he looked to see
who it was and manufacture cause. It was a young man with fair hair and
beard, in translucent gray robes. "Fairy," the Valeyard growled, turning back
to his beer.
"Not quite," said the interloper cheerily. "I'm Taliesin."
The Valeyard tried not to respond, but he'd been bored for too long.
"You don't look a thing like Eric Stolz."
"Not Fayle's Taliesin, Gadzikowski's Taliesin," the young man explained.
"An amalgamation of Merlin's dark side, promised the powers Nimue inherited
from Merlin if I framed and successfully prosecuted her in a cover-up plot by
a corrupt Avalonian High Council." He took a sip of his drink, something
bright green and translucent, like cough syrup or unset lime gelatin. "What's
"Hah! None," said the Valeyard. "I thought I'd finally sown up the
regular villain spot in the Peri arc - and there hasn't *been* any Peri arc
"I can help you," said Taliesin.
"Hah!" said the Valeyard again. "The *last* thing I need thrown into the
mix is a character from the identical ecological niche in a fannish alternate
"Ah, but I'm not just an evil amalgam," said Taliesin. "Being a
reflection of the classical Taliesin, I'm also a supernaturally gifted bard.
I know what's gone wrong with your arc and how to fix it."
Playing for time to think, the Valeyard asked, "So who was 'the
"Legends differ," said Taliesin, grinning. The Valeyard took this as an
admission of minimal author research. "I'm the preeminent bard of the time
of King Arthur, or the century before, or the century after. I turn into
Merlin, and/or Gwion turns into me (after the salmon confuses him for Finn
McCool); and there's someone named Lailoken in it too. Arthur and I in a
company of seven go to the Fairie otherworld Annfwn to steal a cauldron of
plenty in a precursor to the Grail myths. There are still works extant
attributed to me."
"And how does any of this help me?"
Taliesin leaned closer and winked. One of those irrepressively cheerful
villains, the Valeyard had deduced by now; he hated Taliesin already. "I know
storytelling," Taliesin confided. "I know what's got the Peri arc
"The author faked himself out by having the most recent three-part
sub-arc come to him all at once, all plotted out, before writing any of it.
He's been waiting for a new sub-arc plot to come to him, forgetting that the
Peri arc is *supposed* to be plotted like a one-writer round robin, no more
at a time than up to the next cliffhanger."
"All right," said the Valeyard, "so what? What does knowing this get
"It gets us into a new Peri arc story."
Taliesin grinned, impossibly, wider. "We plot."
After a moment the Valeyard grinned too.
"What are you whinging about now?" said her boyfriend.
"I hate my life!" exclaimed thirteen-year-old Peri Brown as she and
Colin Doctor mounted the steps of H.G. Wells Memorial High School.
"And this is news today because -?"
"My barely-older-than-me stepfather yells at me -"
"'Than I'," corrected Colin Doctor as they entered the building.
"- about homework and housework in front of the whole neighborhood till
I'm out of sight around the corner. Then on the walk here, not only do I get
passed by by adult Peri as she and one of her husbands go all lovey-dovey
into the tavern for a hot breakfast, which I never get, but there's Baby Peri
being dropped off at Look Who's Talking by her real dad!"
"You really must stop defining yourself in terms of the men in your
life. I won't permit it," said Colin as they took seats in their first class
of the day.
The bell rang and their Future History teacher, Professor Chronitis,
called the class to order; even Borad settled down when Chronitis offered him
one lump or two. But instead of getting right into embarrassing students in
front of the class by demanding details of lessons he'd forgotten to assign,
Chronitis picked up a note from his desk and held it toward Peri. "Miss
Brown, you're to see the headmaster."
"Peri's in trouble, Peri's in trouble," chanted Charas Jek sotto voce.
"What've you done?" Colin hissed as she passed by on her way to get the
pass from Chronitis.
"Nothing!" Peri had no idea what it was about. The pass secured, she
picked up her books and headed to the headmaster's office where, after some
three tests for forgery on the pass, Mr. Popplewick reluctantly admitted
her to the headmaster's office.
"Who are you?" Peri asked, once inside.
"I'm the new interim headmaster."
"'Who is Number One?'" Peri murmured to herself. The headmaster turnover
at Wells was legendary - as if unseen authorial forces were free to insert
whoever they liked or needed in the chair from one chain of events to the
next. She paid absolutely no attention as he came around his desk to
introduce himself, having no belief that she'd ever need the knowledge again.
"What did you want to see me for, sir?" she asked when he was done.
"I just wanted to meet my old friend's daughter."
Peri took several minutes to string the concepts embodied in the
headmaster's individual words into the single complete thought which the
sentence was intended to represent, never having been faced with that thought
before. "You knew my father?"
"He was one of the greatest wizards I ever knew."
"Wizard?" The alien thoughts were coming hard and fast.
"Yes." The headmaster frowned a little. "You're a wizard too, Peri.
Hasn't your mother told you?"
"No!" Peri's mind was awhirl. "Mom never talks about Dad. All I know is
he died when I was little."
This seemed to startle the headmaster. "Never? ... Did she then never
mention the name Lord Val de Yard?"
"Does the phrase 'philosopher-prisoner's chamber goblet' mean anything
"No! What's that? What do you mean, my father was a wizard? And I'm one?
And what do you mean by 'wizard'?" Over the initial shock, Peri was jumping
up and down with excitement.
"Calm down!" the headmaster said gently. "I didn't mean to excite you.
And now's not the time for this - I only meant to pull you out of class for a
minute. Come see me after school and I'll explain everything."
"After school," he insisted. "It's waited this long ..."
"Yes, sir," Peri mumbled, and allowed him to walk her to the door. But
before she was even back in the hall there was a spring to Peri's step that
hadn't been there when she'd arrived.
Taliesin closed the office door behind Peri, and addressed the seemingly
otherwise unoccupied headmaster's office. "There. Good for a series of a
total of seven installments, unless I miss my guess."
Viewers of 'Trial of a Time Lord' would have no difficulty recognizing
the evil laughter which now echoed magically in the headmaster's office.
Summary for archivist:
Humor; TTTR, TDTO, Peri arc IVi
teenage Peri, the Valeyard, teenage Doctor Six, the Valeyard's KAITAS analog
Peri goes to Hogwarts - or does she?