SCHLOCK VALUE 1/1 TTR, the author's Peri arc
by Paul Gadzikowski
DOCTOR WHO series characters and concepts copyright BBC tv
"If the Doctor is a particular fanfiction author's author-avatar,"
cackled the Valeyard, "then I must be that fanfiction author's
"Pitiful," said his assistant Lisa Ryder. "You're parodying a parody of
"Gadzikowski's fanfiction hasn't got enough violence and mayhem," the
Valeyard exposited evilly. "What little there is derives from TDF -"
"He creates derivative works? Say it ain't so!"
"- But he's been pulling back from that because he wants *his* arc to be
*light* and *happy*." The Valeyard sneered like David Warner in "Time
Bandits" which he had just watched again. "Well, I'll show him! And get
revenge on the Doctor at the same time! Since they're the same person, sort
"So what's the master plan?" Lisa Ryder asked. "Pardon me, the valeyard
"I'm going to take away the Doctor's moose!"
Tegan was waiting tables at the 'Round when the Valeyard came in, with a
girl on his arm. "Looks like the love bug doesn't care what kind of Doctor
it's roped in," she said to Leela behind the bar.
"The more the merrier," said Leela.
It was true. The evening before, after several months of understated
courting, Peri and Doctor Six had departed the 'Round early and not returned.
This evening all eight Doctors were in silly good spirits - laughing, dancing
with all the female companions and some of the male ones, and getting twice
as tipsy on half their usual intake while waiting for Peri to arrive tonight.
The mood through the entire tavern was much cheerier than usual.
"Nooo," said Leela after a moment of observing the woman, "that's
"Oh, well," Tegan said, then, "My ball," when the Valeyard and the girl
took a table, near the Doctors' usual table where those of him who weren't
circulating thorugh the room giddily were plopped down and just smiling
stupidly. As Tegan approached, the woman seated herself while the Valeyard
continued on toward the restrooms. Tegan realized she looked familiar.
"Hi, I'm Tegan, supporting screams and arguments," she introduced
herself. Anyone who arrived at the 'Round with one of the regulars would know
what she meant.
"Lisa Ryder," the woman responded.
"Lisa Ryder the actress? Of 'Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda' and 'Forever
Knight'?" The 'Round didn't get a lot of actors, just the characters they
"Well, my father's name was Ryder, and -"
"I didn't mean that."
"Well, an actress takes the parts that come to her, and anyway I
"No, no! Why are you the Valeyard's assistant?"
"Because the Bradleyard's assistant looks like Winona Ryder, but Winona
Ryder wouldn't take *this* gig. Afraid her boobs and legs wouldn't measure
"But why actually an actress? Why not a character who looks like an
Lisa Ryder snorted. "What - this guy create an original character?"
("Don't you love the way the fourth wall just *vanishes* around here,"
("Not during the winter months," grumbled Charley, turning her collar
up. "Why must it be the *north* wall?")
Just then Peri and Yrcanos arrived. Yrcanos advanced with his usual
jovial volume on the bar for his usual initial gallon of ale, while Peri went
directly to the Doctor(s)' table. All of him managed to beat her to it,
without appearing to rush; that is, until the very last moments, when each
tried to jockey so that the empty ninth chair was next to him. It ended up
between Doctor Four and Doctor Seven, but Peri just walked up to Doctor One
and draped her arms over his shoulders from behind. "Hi guys."
"Hi," said Doctor Six, matching her tomcat-who-got-the-canary tone.
Actually they were all regarding her with the same badly-hidden satisfaction.
Despite the competitiveness over her between himselves when she wasn't
present, when Peri was with the Doctor(s) she brought out the best in hims.
"Having a good day?"
"What else, after that night?" Peri purred, stroking Doctor One's hair.
"Well then, what is your pleasure this evening?" asked Doctor Three. "A
tour of the Draconian capitol?"
"The Eye of Orion?" suggested Doctor Five.
"The Wonka chocolate factory?" said Doctor Two.
"Oh, well done," said several others to him.
"Actually, I got a couple of promotional free passes to this new place
that sounds interesting," Peri said, drawing two neon green slips of paper
from her shorts pocket. "If we leave now we'll just catch the PLOT hole."
"Your wish is my command." Doctor One rose, as Peri had obviously made
her night's choice, and walked her out of the tavern. Of course, as soon as
they'd left, the Doctors' rivalry reasserted itself.
"Oh, dearie me," cried Doctor Two.
"What's the matter with *you*?" Doctor Seven wanted to know.
"Obviously, she's decided to go through us in reverse order of
"Obviously," said Doctor Five, equally morose. "So?"
"So that means I'm going to be last!" Doctor Two pouted. The resulting
argument could ordinarily have kept them all entertained until closing, but
they were in too good a mood.
"You see? You see?" the Valeyard chortled at the next table.
"What?" said Lisa Ryder. "Your evil plan came to fruition and I missed
"Those passes were from me!" the Valeyard giggled. "They're fake!"
"There's no such place?"
"Yes, but they don't take free passes there," laughed the Valeyard,
grossly overplaying his amusement, unless he just couldn't hold his liquor
(he'd had half a margarita so far). "And it's a tavern in Willis' Badlands -
so you can imagine how they'll react to someone who wants something for
"You're getting them beaten up? That's not evil, that's petty."
"You don't understand," said the Valeyard, suddenly cross. "No one
understands me," he said, suddenly sulking.
"Then why don't you explain it to me."
"Well," said the Valeyard as if reluctantly persuaded, "it will be so
traumatic to that Grecian urn with an accent to get a beating in the Doctor's
company - particularly since she's got a mindless but effective warlord at
home - that she'll drop him like a hot potato and never leave Yrcanos' side
"I dunno," said Lisa Ryder. "Shared adversity can make for strong bonds.
That's why most of these girls hang out here."
The Valeyard's lower lip trembled.
"Maybe it'll work," Lisa Ryder said, knowing better, "but you said you
were going to take away the Doctor's moose. I didn't know he *has* a moose.
Though I suppose, if the TARDIS is big enough to lose a Cyberman in, -"
The Valeyard rolled his eyes *duh* at her. "How can you be in such a big
M*A*S*H fan's WHO fanfiction and not know that 'moose' is Korean for 'girl'?"
"You're right. My bad."
Grunk was bored. Skeezel had put him on door duty, which meant he
wouldn't get to join in a fight tonight unless a really big fight broke out,
which it wouldn't because there weren't any strangers in town. "Stranger" of
course being defined as anyone too new in town to know what kind of fun the
regulars in this tavern liked to have with newbies - someone who'd been in
town less than, say, twelve hours. It was the town's only tavern.
Wait a second - strangers! Two of 'em. An old geezer and a big set of
honkers. The geezer had a couple of paper bits in his hand he was reading
(Hey, someone who could read!). They walked right up to the tavern.
"The Cornered Rat," said the geezer. "This is the place."
The honkers frowned. "Doesn't look so hot."
"Book by its cover, my dear." The geezer walked up to Grunk - he came up
to Grunk's solar plexus - and handed him the two bits of irritatingly bright
paper. "Here you are, my good man."
Grunk didn't even look at the paper bits. "Whazzem 'sposed to say?"
"Those passes entitle us to one evening of complimentary drinks and
entertainment in your fine establishment."
Grunk's immediate impulse was to pound them into the ground. And
simultaneously; after all, he had two hands (and one was wood!). But Grunk
wasn't very smart, and knew he wasn't, and had learned that taking a little
time before acting on an impulse allowed for better ones to come along. And
glowering at people while he took that time often made them more receptive
to his input, whatever it came to be.
Glowering at these two, he noticed that the old guy had pretty fancy
clothes. Skeezel liked fancy clothes. If the old guy went inside, Skeezel
would get *these* fancy clothes.
The girl's clothes weren't as fancy. But Skeezel liked girls. If the
girl went inside, Skeezel would get *this* girl. First, that is; he always
shared. Grunk would probably get her last, but when he did someone else'd be
put on door duty for the rest of the night.
Grunk handed the paper bits back. "You ask for da manager, an' you show
'im dese," he said, "an' dere'll be entertainment all righty."
Yrcanos was bored. Francois was off duty tonight. The little girl who'd
seemed such a promising fellow wreaker of havoc actually had a very narrow
range of interest in victims, and wouldn't share - and in any case *he* was
off duty tonight. Leela was *on* duty, and had somehow arrived at the notion
that violence while tending bar was only to be initiated in self-defense, and
Yrcanos had had to stop attacking her when she threatened to cut him off (he
was only pretty sure she meant, "at the bar"). The boy in the plaid skirt was
a fair scrapper but was more interested in looking for, of all things, sex.
And no one else here was *any* fun.
Someone jostled him as he sat at the bar. "Who jostles the great warlord
Yrcanos?" he roared, turning, and dropping to his feet off the barstool less
by design than by dint of the four gallons of ale he'd consumed.
He beheld a man dressed all in black (including a Conehead hat) yet
strangely beardless. Apparently he was weak-livered, because in his attempt
to walk he was being assisted by the girl on his arm, or rather under it.
"'Scuse us," said the girl as they continued their movement toward the
"This drunken sod has impugned my honor!"
"My good fellow," said the man in black, turning back to Yrcanos and
thereby nearly escaping the girl's support, "I assure you that I am neither
drunk nor -"
"Wait a moment!" Yrcanos snapped. "I know you!"
"Never met you before in my life."
"But where have I seen you?" Yrcanos thought aloud. (He always thought
aloud. That is, when he thought, he did it aloud. Then, Yrcanos did
everything aloud.) "That box, with the moving pictures on it, that my queen
showed me ... *You* are the man who tried to allow the Boring Thetans to
destroy me and my queen!!"
"That is a gross oversimplification of a complex -" The man's sentence
remained unfinished, as Yrcanos assisted him in falling to the floor of the
tavern, with a great deal more speed and force than he could have managed by
himself in his present condition.
Tkork could tell without looking up from the taps that the two people
entering the Cornered Rat were not regulars. From their footfalls they were
lightweights, probably from dessication in one case and from estrogen in the
"Ahem," came a voice once they'd arrived at the bar. Looking up, Tkork
saw his deductions vindicated. Being smart enough for vocabulary such as
"estrogen" and "vindicated", he even knew why Grunk had passed them. It was
the old man who'd spoken.
"Wut?" said Tkork, trying - he thought successfully - not to growl.
"We're to present these to the manager, for our complimentary evening's
At first Tkork thought he'd misheard. Then he grinned, unknowingly
putting his new patrons in mind of the Cartoon Network logo.
"Oy'll just take'ese to'im," said Tkork, plucking the slips of paper
from the old guy's hand.
As he lumbered toward the office door, he heard the old guy say to the
honkers, "Have you noticed that the customers here are all rather large,
and/or rather scarred, men?"
Having knocked on and passed through the door, he didn't hear the reply:
"Are they? I didn't notice. All my courtiers look like that..."
"But you *wanted* there to be more violence in this guy's fanfiction!"
said Lisa Ryder.
"Not against *me*!!" cried the Valeyard, and Harry and Grace tried
feverishly to stop the bleeding. "Not twenty minutes of bouncing off walls
and being pounded against floors! And certainly not offstage!!"
"Maybe things will go your way in the Badlands," said Lisa Ryder
encouragingly, finally realizing why this position had required an actress.
Then she turned around and got the hell out of this story.
Skeezel came out of the office, Tkork resuming his place behind the bar.
Skeezel had his oiliest smile on. "These are yours?" he oozed, holding up the
"passes". His uncharacteristic manners alerted the other employees and the
regular customers that victims were on hand, and all began unobtrusively
converging on them.
"Please, sir." Doctor One handed the passes over the bar.
"They were in a plastic bag on my doorknob this morning," said Peri
"Krontep palaces have doorknobs?" asked Doctor One.
"Well, everything seems to be in order," Skeezel slimed.
"Magnificent! If you would just show us to a table, hm?"
"Ah ... there's just one thing," Skeezel smarmed. "This ...
entertainment that's mentioned? It's whaddyacall audience-participation kinda
"Karaoke?" said Peri. "Is this story a BKWillis parody?"
Of the employees and regulars of the Cornered Rat, Ccennheigh was
consistently voted Shortest Attention Span at the annual Willard Awards. This
was partly because he looked so stupid every year crying because he'd never
won anything before. Now Skeezel had allowed each of the victims to say at
least two things before the pounding started, and Ccenneigh just lost it. He
was already in the front ranks of the circle of muscle and gristle
constricting on Doctor One and Peri, so he just reached out for Doctor One's
collar. He hadn't any firm idea what he'd do with it once he'd got it, which
was all right, he thought - or would have thought if he were given to thought
(but if he were given to thought he'd've planned at least that far ahead in
the first place) - because something always came to him when he'd got that
far. His lack of forward planning stood him in good stead this time, however,
for the different reason that he *didn't* get so far as to grab Doctor One's
collar. He discovered his hands clutching the old man's cane instead. Above
that in his field of vision was the old man's face. Where previously it had
held an expression of amiablilty and good cheer, it now held a look of
determination Ccenneigh was accustomed to seeing only across a Cornered Rat
table on Saturday night.
Ccenneigh was had both hands wrapped around the center of the cane, and
the old man was holding it horizontally at either end. Now the old man
started twirling it like a baton. Through some magic the old man was working
... no. Only because Ccenneigh wasn't smart enough to let go, the spinning
motion of the cane twisted his arms around each other not unlike as in a
Looney Tunes cartoon. Finally, deeming the tension sufficient, Doctor One
ceased turning the cane, but maintained his hold.
After an exquisite moment of comic timing, Ccenneigh began spinning on
the axis of his arms gripping the cane. The tension to which his arms had
been twisted was sufficient to create momentum that, once his arms had
untwisted, he continued spinning so that his arms twisted around the other
How long this would have gone on, Ccenneigh spinning this way and that
till he wound down, was not to be known. As he began his second return spin,
Peri suddenly kicked out. Ccenneigh's grip on the cane was broken. His
fellows were treated to the sight of one of their number pinwheeling across
the tavern and coming to rest only upon meeting the opposite wall. This was
the wall with the coathooks on it. When Ccenneigh hit it, he stuck to it,
wriggling for only a few moments before becoming quite still.
"Nice move," said Doctor One to Peri.
"Back at ya," said Peri. "Teach me the cane thing and I can repay
Yrcanos' guys for the training they've been giving me."
"Oh my god -" said someone in the crowd. "They killed Ccenneigh!"
Tkork vaulted over the bar certain that, after the time it would take
going around, there wouldn't be big enough pieces left of the two weirdos to
beat on. About halfway through his trajectory he discovered the head of the
cane in his solar plexus, driving the air out of him and propelling him into
Wrnik, Glarge, Kfah, and Parch.
Yargh and Skeezel reached for the girl. Skeezel found Yargh's fingers
driven into the pressure points at the base of his neck, and dropped to the
floor gasping for breath. Yargh was able to observe clinically that his
fingers were sticking into Skeezel's throat for several seconds before the
fact that his hand was nowhere near Skeezel made him scream in pain and fall
to his knees.
Pog, Mornt and Wugu climbed over the pile of the first wave of attackers
toward Doctor One and Peri. There were some loud cracks and pops and screams,
and a moment later Pog, Mornt and Wugu fell on top of the pile.
There were still about twice as many toughs standing as on the floor.
But those who were standing were forced to regard Doctor One and Peri from
across a barrier made up of those on the floor. After a few more moments of
doing so, they quietly went back to where they'd left their drinks,
displaying an intelligence uncommon in real Badlands stories.
"Well, that was bracing," said Doctor One, slightly short of breath,
"but I think it means we shan't after all have our dinner and a show in
*this* place. There appear to be no staffmembers left standing."
"Yeah. You know," said Peri, likewise panting, "having dinner isn't the
first thing thing on my mind right now."
Doctor One smiled. "Indeed. Your place or mine, hm?"