TTR/LWT: They Shall Not Pass

"Ye good men of the Commons, with loving hearts and true,
Who stand by the bold Tribunes that still have stood by you..."

Izzy gently recovered consciousness. She was lying back in a comfortable
armchair, a cup of tea at her hand, and -- hang on! She should be looking
after the children! How had she nodded off in the middle of the afternoon?

"Come, make a circle round me, and mark my tale with care,
A tale of what Rome once hath borne, of what Rome yet may bear."

Staggering to her feet, Izzy sniffed at the dregs of the tea. She didn't
notice anything unusual, but she'd be prepared to bet money that tea had
contained a Mickey Finn.

"This is no Grecian fable, of fountains running wine,
Of maids with snaky tresses, or sailors turned to swine."

What were the children up to? It was quiet, suspiciously so. In fact, the
only sound that could be heard was a voice, which seemed to be reciting

"Here, in this very Forum, under the noonday sun,
In sight of all the people, the bloody deed was done."

Leaping to the right conclusion with a speed that would have impressed
Hercule Poirot, Izzy made for the door.

"Old men still creep among us who saw that fearful day,
Just seventy years and seven ago, when the wicked Ten bare sway."

Izzy burst through the door, to find herself standing on the outer
edges of a hushed circle of children. In the centre of the circle, the
Rani was pacing up and down, declaiming.

"Of all the wicked Ten still the names are held accursed,
And of all the wicked Ten Appius Claudius was the worst."

Story space opened before the enthralled audience with a flourish. The
Jacobi Master, dressed in a purple-edged toga, occupied centre stage.
"Now, that's just plain lazy casting!" he sneered.
"Shut up and play your part," the Rani snapped back at him. "Or I'll - ow!"
Izzy had taken advantage of her visitor's momentary distraction to grab
her firmly by the hair.
"This is the LIMIT!" she shouted. "Get out at once! If it's not one
self-proclaimed genius who thinks it'd be cool to meddle in story space it's
another! I'm not going to take any more of this!"
"Do you really think you, a mere human, can stop me?" the Rani asked.
She removed Izzy's hand from her hair, and pushed her contemptuously away.
"Note to self: Increase dose of sleeping draught next time," she muttered,
and returned to her recital.

"He stalked along the Forum like King Tarquin in his pride:
Twelve axes waited on him, six marching on a side;
The townsmen shrank to right and left, and eyed askance with fear
His lowering brow, his curling mouth which always seemed to sneer;
That brow of hate, that mouth of scorn, marks all the kindred still;
For never was there Claudius yet but wished the Commons ill;
Nor lacks he fit attendance; for close behind his heels - ugh!"

She toppled forward onto a bean bag. Izzy put down the plastic chair she'd
used as a club and nodded slowly.
"Right," she said, and looked around the children for someone sensible.
"Sarah and Alistair, here's the key for the store cupboard. Go and get some
handkerchiefs, the spare clothes line, and the scissors, and I'll show you
how to tie up and gag a burglar once you've subdued them. And remember not
to run."
She realised that the Jacobi Master was still watching them with an
amused look. Behind him Owen Harper was waiting for his cue.
"The End," she said. "And you two can shove off."

- * -

"It's getting impossible," Izzy said to Polly. "You can't turn your back
for a moment these days."
"I know how you feel."
"Today it was the Rani. The day before yesterday it was Adam Mitchell. Last
week Kassia almost got past me, and you know what would have happened if
she'd managed to get her bum on my chair. Any time no-one else feels like
irritating me, Harry Saxon decides to pay a call. I don't suppose you know
anyone in your line of work who could keep undesirables out for us?"
"If I did," Polly replied sadly, "I'd have handed over to them long since.
Talking of which - must dash."
She got up and headed for the door, where a couple dressed in unfamiliar
uniforms had just entered.
"Now, who might you be?" she asked.
"Captain Erena Roberts and Captain Vaughan Roberts of the Interstellar
Patrol," the woman replied.
Polly glanced at her clipboard.
"You're not on my list," she said. "Sorry, you can't come in."
"I told you we should have gone for the golden armour," the man said.
"That works every time."
"You just like dressing up and pretending to be a King. Honestly, Vaughan,
you're like a five-year-old sometimes."
"I didn't notice you complaining the last four times we did it."
"Yes, but I'm a Princess, I'm entitled to..."
Izzy's attention was distracted at this point by Davros, who glided up
beside her.
"Did I understand you correctly?" he said. "You require personnel to keep
unauthorised visitors out of your creche?"
"Yes," she replied, warily.
"I believe I can assist you. For moderate rates, you may hire a guard
detail of - say - three Daleks and the associated support staff, who will
guarantee to defend you from these nuisances."
"What's the catch?"
"You're *Davros*. Of course there's going to be a catch."
"Such distrust in one so young. Perhaps I should offer you a free trial
period of a week or so."
"No. You're up to something."
"As you have just said, I am Davros. I am always up to something. It just
so happens that my plans and yours coincide in this case."
Izzy looked around the bar. A copy of /Don Juan/ was protruding from
Captain Jack's pocket, while the Abzorbaloff was leafing through his
civilisation's greatest artistic achievement - a book entitled
"One Thousand And One Obscene Limericks." The Simm Master, leaning against
the wall, was annotating a large volume with a red biro; seeing her watching,
he winked at her.
"All right," she said. "I'll have to square it with the Supervisor, but
I think we have a deal."

Twelve days later, Izzy was beginning to wonder if she'd been too suspicious
of Davros. So far the three Imperial Daleks standing outside the nursery had
not caused any sort of disruption, except to would-be storytellers who
couldn't take a hint. They had merely stood there patiently in all weathers,
scanned approaching visitors, warned that attempts to tell the children
inappropriate stories would be met with deadly force, and - once or twice -
carried out that threat.
"Morning, boys," she called cheerily as she passed them.
"GOOD MOR-NING," they chorused. "HAVE A NICE DAY."

In a dimly-lit cellar in an unfashionable district of Nameless, Davros
sat waiting. From time to time he gently tapped the control panel of his
chair with one finger.

[ To be continued...?

* "Doctor Who" is the property of the BBC.

* Vaughan and Erena Roberts are from the Interstellar Patrol stories,
by Christopher Anvil.

* The poem "Virginia" is by Thomas Babington Macaulay. The full original
can be found at (among other places)
Feel free to speculate on whom the Rani might have wanted to cast as
Virginia and her dad.

* This Time Round was created by Tyler Dion.

* Look Who's Talking was created by Imran Inayat.

John Elliott