PERI BROWN AND THE J.J. CHAMBERS OF SECRETS 1/1 TTR Peri arc IVv
by Paul Gadzikowski
Bits of this work may derive from properties of the BBC, Paramount, Fox, et
al.; but it's not-for-profit and doesn't infringe on their markets.
Includes a spoiler for anyone who's looking forward to 'Return of the King'
and hasn't read the book. By the way, shame on you.
THIS TIME ROUND by Tyler Dion, after Keille.
THEN DO THAT OVER/H.G. Wells Memorial School by me, after Imran, after Tyler,
KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE is mine.
Previously in the author's Peri arc: In This Time Round, the tavern Outside
Continuity, sixth Doctor companion Peri Brown married all eight Doctors. The
Doctor(s) took to wearing a Time Ring that constantly cycled his incarnations
for equal time with his wife for all of him. Peri and the Doctor(s) embarked
on a series of Outside Continuity quests to find Peri the best scenario for
discovering who her father is. Most recently, at H.G. Wells Memorial the
public school Outside Continuity, the adolescent version of Peri became
involved in the quest when the Valeyard and his analog from KING ARTHUR IN
TIME AND SPACE, Taliesin, plotted to acquire the philosopher-prisoner's
chamber goblet by sending adolescent Peri on a quest for her father. When
last we left them, Taliesin had seized the goblet, betrayed the Valeyard who
is attached to Taliesin in some disembodied way, and discovered that
adolescent Peri is immune to the power of the goblet.
"Obviously we're not still on the same side -" Adolescent Peri turned
and leapt for the chandelier hanging over the centre of the table. "- ever
since you came after me with a sword."
Taliesin charged after her. "I? You attacked me."
"After you knocked everyone but me unconscious with the power of the
goblet!" Peri grabbed the chandelier, swung herself away - and didn't let go.
"Why not me? Some trick of yours, probably, having to do with that bogus
story about my father being a wizard and me too."
Taliesin tried to raise his sword and dodge as Peri swung back at him,
but Peri's feet connected with his chest, incidentally crushing one of the
fasteners for her backpack he was wearing. "Don't worry, it's only a trap."
He fell seated in the chair at the head of the table.
Sliding after him on the finely waxed surface, Peri put her swordpoint
to the notch in his collarbone, flicking away a bit of fabric on the way.
"All you wanted all along was the goblet, wasn't it?"
"Well, I also wanted to check out these rumors about hot underage teens
I keep getting email about." Taliesin threw himself away from her in the
chair, knocking it onto its back and somersaulting backwards several times,
finally coming to his feet en garde just in time to parry Peri.
Peri wound up like Venus Williams and slashed again at Taliesin. He
reared back, grinning, and only just far enough to avoid her blade. Except
not quite - the last strand left of the straps holding Peri's backpack onto
Taliesin parted, and the plasticized hands-free bookbag containing the object
of all Taliesin's dreams fell from Taliesin's dorsal region.
Now, there are several sounds a villain might have expected from behind
himself in this scenario. A soft thump, certainly, as the fabric impacted on
the floor. A clink or a clatter, from the magical drinking vessel within.
Some extraneous tinntinnabulus from any surrounding matter, scattered to that
location on the floor by the fight. None of these would have occasioned any
greater concern about the development except the added facet to the fight
strategy of keeping one's opponent away from the stationary object until the
fight was won.
What Taliesin heard was adult Peri's voice crowing, "Got it!"
Taliesin shot a quick glance over his shoulder, getting a mental
snapshot of the tableau behind him: adult Peri on her back just behind his
feet, clutching the backpack with one hand while extending the other for help
to her feet to the Doctor, caught mid-timeringed-incarnation-switch between
Seven and Five. But as urgent as this new development was, that quick glance
was all he could afford it and he knew it was, spinning his eyes back forward
to parry adolescent Peri's next feint.
"Where are they taking it!" Taliesin demanded, flailing at adolescent
Peri with typical villainous loss of control upon being outsmarted, the
diminishing sound of retreating footsteps echoing in his ears from behind.
"I hope they're going to destroy it!" Peri parried, but was being
"Because it's too dangerous to be allowed to go on existing?" The
laconic voice of the Valeyard continued to have no visible means of support.
"No, cuz I hate the damned thing and I never want to hear about it
"They can't possibly do that," Taliesin grunted. One, two, three final
thrusts and his point was to Peri's throat with her back to the wall.
"First they'd have to know," drawled the Valeyard, "that the only way to
destroy the philosopher-prisoner's chamber goblet is to throw it into the
volcanic fires of Mount Unpleasant Future Events whence it was forged."
"Right!" Taliesin barked triumphantly, glaring wildly at Peri down the
length of his swordarm and of his armsword. "Wait a minute!" Taliesin snapped
angrily to the air, "you *are* the Doctor, sort of. If you know that,
*t/hey/* know/s it!"
"Oh, right," said the Valeyard with mock revelation. "Oh, bother."
By now Peri had taken advantage of Taliesin's distraction and knocked
his sword away from her throat. Taliesin stepped backward to resume the duel,
but he had neglected to incorporate into his strategy the new datum that it
was possible for him to be snuck up upon from behind during a sword duel. In
stepping backward Taliesin tripped over Space Pelleas, who was down on hands
and knees behind him precisely in order to occasion that turn of events; and
during Taliesin's short trip to supinity Space Nimue plucked the sword from
But you can't keep a villain of Taliesin's blood-sugar level down, at
least not without restraints. Taliesin was back on his feet in an instant,
grin and vocal volume restored, backing toward the tavern exit. "Very well!
Let's see who can get to the Mount fires fastest!" Then he spun to face the
door and, having misjudged the distance, knocked himself badly unconscious on
"This is unfair," adult Peri griped as she and the Doctor(s) wended
their way through narrow caverns. "This was supposed to be adolescent Peri's
story, and here I am literally running away with it."
"Nonsense," said Doctor One, climbing over an awkwardly waist-high
stalagtite (Those are the ones that go up from the floor?). "You're both the
same person," Doctor Four added.
"*You* wouldn't understand."
"Mmm, perhaps not," Doctor Eight allowed.
"We're almost there, I think. It's getting awfully warm." Her exposed
skin was shining with a sheen of sweat, though of course the Doctor(s)
evidenced no such human discomfort. "And I think I see light up ahead."
"Better not be an oncoming drain," said Doctor Seven.
They emerged into a finished chamber built around a crevasse in which
volcanic fire danced and glowing orange earth splashed. About five meters to
their left, as they exited their crack in the wall, waited everyone they'd
left behind at This Table Round the tavern Outside KAITAS Continuity - Space
Nimue, Space Pelleas, adolescent Peri, the eight Doctor brothers, and Space
Taliesin unconscious and borne (well, dragged) along by four of the Doctor
boys each ahold of a limb; at the top of a flight of carven stone steps.
"Took the long way, did you?" said Nimue.
"Why didn't you know those stairs were there?" Peri demanded of Doctor
"Couldn't say," said Doctor Two. "Bit obvious in hindsight, really,"
Doctor Six admitted. "Dark lords forge things here - that lot don't go in
much for stooping through tunnels."
"Would you just get rid of the thing?" adolescent Peri cried.
Leaving Doctor Four with the group, Peri approached the edge of the
crevasse, pulling the goblet out of the backpack which she dropped carelessly
on the ground. The goblet glowed in the light of the fires of its creation,
the words THIS SIDE DOWN DURING USE appearing on the bottom of its base. She
reached the edge and held the goblet over the fire. She paused, giving it one
"Pretty," she said. "No. Precious," she amended. "I think I'll keep it."
"NO!" rang out a cry.
It was one of those moments when everyone realizes suddenly what they've
overlooked, thirty seconds after the audience has realized. After all, the
Valeyard had been a disembodied voice somehow attached to Taliesin for some
five episodes now. It only stood to reason that, with Taliesin unconscious,
it would leave his body open to total control by the Valeyard who, at the
worst possible moment, would wrench himself free from the Doctor boys and
rush Peri so quickly no one could possibly catch him.
He bit off Peri's ring finger to gain possession from her of the magic
object, capered about in triumph until he lost his balance, and fell to his
death in the fires.
Adult Peri sat on the top step with her chin in her hands - her left
hand bandaged cumbersomely and inexpertly with Doctor Two's kerchief.
Adolescent Peri plopped down on the stone steps next to her.
"It's over," said adolescent Peri.
"Yeah," said adult Peri, holding out her left hand. "He got my ring
"Whu - uh," said adolescent Peri. "What do you mean?"
"Ring finger gone, wedding ring gone," said adult Peri.
Adolescent Peri gawped open-mouth for a moment. "You mean the whole TTR
Peri arc is *over*?"
"As far as this author is concerned," said adult Peri. "Though you never
know what Imran's going to do next."
"But - but - but you haven't found a father yet. You were going to find
us a father!" Adolescent Peri was on her feet and shouting.
Adult Peri snorted. "What would that really mean, when the whole premise
of the search is that, Outside Continuity, anything can happen because only
Inside Continuity counts?"
"'No DOCTOR WHO story is any more or less imaginary than any other',"
adolescent Peri paraphrased defiantly.
"Fine. You pick."
"I didn't like any of the ones you found! Even this subarc's misty and
"Then don't pick any of them!" adult Peri whined back. "Who do you want
our father to be?"
"I want our real, Inside father," said adolescent Peri stubbornly.
"What happened to everything being equally imaginary?"
"You asked me what I want."
Adult Peri sighed. "Well, the only way you're going to find him *now* is
to go Inside yourself."
Adolescent Peri blinked. "I can't do that! I'm an alternate version of
you! Only you can go Inside."
Adult Peri had pulled a portable PLOT Hole generator out of her jacket
pocket. "Aw, bull. You're getting to the age I was when I was introduced.
Say, wait -" She pointed the PLOT device at adolescent Peri, who suddenly
grew a few inches taller and not a few inches bustier. "Now you *are* my
original age." She pointed the PLOT device away from adolescent Peri
slightly, and a PLOT Hole appeared. "Go on. Live through your canon, then
once you're married to Yrcanos go hunt your Dad. Inside."
"Maybe our guy will actually write it one day. Might not be anyone
else's canon, but it'll be Inside."
"Why me?" asked adolescent Peri. "Why don't you do this yourself?"
Adult Peri thought a moment, and admitted, "Because you still care. It
doesn't matter to me any more. I've seen too many might-be's." She smiled.
"And I'm happy with who I am."
Adolescent Peri looked at the swirling plasma of unrealized potential in
the PLOT Hole, then back to adult Peri. "Thank you."
"Gwan. Beat it. Scram," said Peri to herself.
Doctor Six walked up just as adolescent Peri jumped through the PLOT
Hole and Peri turned it off. He was carrying his wedding ring and the
deactivated time ring in his right hand, and he threw them into the crack of
Unpleasant Upcoming Events with a cricket metaphor I can't write because I
don't know the game. He sat next to Peri in the spot her alter id had
vacated. "It was nice while it lasted, though, wasn't it?"
"Mm hmm," said Peri. "You know what the best part was?"
"All the sex was offstage."
Summary for Archvist:
Humor; TTR & TDTO - Peri arc conclusion
Adult and adolescent Peri, the adult and adolescent Doctor(s); the Valeyard;
Full circle (no marshmen).