**TIME AND THE CAMPIONS**
*Episode Six: More Work for the Undertaker*
>Albert and Lady Amanda Campion embraced in the misty rain; and
>Carrie slipped her arm through the Trader's, and led him firmly
>back towards the Hoedown TARDIS. "But..." the author-avatar
>protested in weak bewilderment. "Carrie, the *timelines*..!"
>She stopped, bent his head down, and whispered a few words in his
>ear. And when he took her arm again, his expression was much like
>hers, and his step was jaunty as they marched up to the TARDIS door
>in the happy knowledge of a transaction well settled.
>"I'll be expropriated!" Trader Grey swore admiringly. "So *that's*
>how they managed it..."
and, outside the Hoedown (in Episode 2):
>"Wait!" Seventh snapped, looking up. "I'm not finished! What have
>you done to me --?!"
>But of Doctors and TARDISes, the cul-de-sac was already suffering
>an acute haemorrhage. In a trice, there was only one.
>Who, perforce, hurried to his own TARDIS to catch up with them at
>the Boozer Beyond Continuity.
>And then there were none.
A complete practice of Doctors bustled through the doors of TTR, led
by a harrowed-looking Fifth. Francois took one look at that sharp,
set face, and instantly engaged in urgent discussions with Mr Moggie
as to the likely logistics of supplying such a guy with sufficient
juice, formaldehyde, and panther piss to attain his desiderated state
of being. The Doctors were further accompanied by an ethereally
beautiful thirtysomething blonde in a celestial-blue dress, and a
dashing space-piratical type packing a Doc Smith blaster and a
wicked-looking shortsword at his side.
Polly, spotting persons clearly belonging to no well-recognised
continuity, immediately breezed over for an officious spokesmodelly
greeting. The strangers greeted her with what, at some distance,
passed for cool cordiality; but it was generally observed in the Bar
Beyond Continuity that its reigning fashion-queen grew fetchingly
pale thereat, and retreated in disorder apropos of some sympathetic
comment of the Second Doctor's. Ben, by similarly common consent
TTR's established top-gallant, immediately guided the stricken Polly
upstairs, to show her some running hitches he kept for such social
 A shocked world scribbled disgusted letters to its MP. The MPs
were unable for immediate comment, being busily engaged in snorting
psychoactive chemicals from the privy parts of sundry professional
companions of both sexes and several of the other ones, whilst
floating in baths of ruthlessly-extorted tax-money -- as cruel fate
dictated they must, in order to maintain parity of respect with
their corporate counterparts. They will get back to the world in
due course, probably with a form letter explaining the urgent need
to invade the Central African Republic.
 Namely that every other bugger has, and it would make a mockery
of our diplomacy should we be seen to be behindhand. And have you
heard about all those diamonds still reputed to be cached in ex-
Imperial cellars in Bangui, eh?
The invading phalanx falanged forward for the bar. During this
movement the newcomers were propelled towards the spearhead, or as
it were the paypoint, of the formation. Bibulous demands from the
Doctors, and relaying attempts by the pirate and his moll, were the
order of the day.
The Seventh Doctor was now seen bringing up the rear, sharing with
Fifth that certain indefinable air of one who come Karaoke Nite is
apt to be found singing along to Meatloaf's seminal existential
complaint yclept _Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back_.
"Cheerful Charlie's back," observed Professor Bernice Summerfield
and the Kazakh Rocket Fuel of Doom, who had personally seen him once
or _N_ce in no very dissimiliar humour.
"Well, hell-*o* there!" Fitz observed to Anji, anent the stunning
blonde on the Fancy Dan space-pirate's arm. He lowered his voice
confidentially. "If that bloke isn't a villain, I've never seen
one. Can you smell the fear on her, or what?" He eyeballed the
Eighth Doctor sideways and shiftily. "If you distract the pirate, I
reckon I can get her upst--- out of here..."
"Fitz, you're disgusting," said Anji, with automatic non-listening
weariness. "Pay attention! If that girl isn't a Femme Fatale, I've
never seen one. He's so pupped up, I can smell it, innit?" She
eyeballed the dashing leather-clad merchant-adventurer with
abstract, public-house longing. "If you distract her attention a
moment, I ought to -- *oh my God!*"
"Yeah, I was thinking she looked familiar myself," Fitz leered. "I
think she's from _Demontage_. Told you that bird had a thing for
me -- "
"*Carrie?!*" Anji cried, trotting over to give the surprised Muse a
good sound girly hug, and thereby confirming the ridiculous mirage
of Carrie's embodiment for certain sure. "I can't believe it,
you're real! What did you *do* to Prince Charming here -- make him
kiss Edith Cresson????"
Carrie registered polite confusion. "Think Simone Saône," her
Author advised fondly. Anji noticed for the first time what her
eyes had been telling her for some while: that the Dynamic Duopoly's
hands were not only clasped tight, but had their fingers so tightly
and actively intertwined as to suggest their owners would not be
seeking disentanglement any time soon. The prospect of Prince
Charming in the discreet penthouse was receding faster than a
bureaucrat from a boatload of blame, alas, by Mammon!
 Carrie's first public appearance, during her residence in Swevyn
the City of Dreams, occurred in my non-Who story _The Simone Saône
Affair_ (http://www.quilpole.demon.co.uk/upriver/simone.htm). Whilst a
quick download of this opus will surely pique your tastes, provoke your
mind, and pervasively enrich your life, the Management feels obliged to
warn you that it is unlikely to shed much light upon the meaning of
Anji's charming _bon mot_. Ribbit ribbit!
"The possibilities of Artificial Intelligence Embodiment raise many
important questions, Doctor Master!" K-9 noted, and he ought to
"Hot bi-curious interracial action," supplemented the Bradleyard
optimistically, "and if the delectable Psycho Nyssa cannot wefwain
fwom nokhing all my deedh ouhh, ill is showah to befaww her!"
"Woooargh! He said befaww her!" came the cry from the united
chorus-boys of WANKER, who might not know what it meant but knew
their duty when it came up. (Woooargh!) "Let us all naff off and
lie down until the Special Feeling passes away..."
But no-one was disposed to pay them great attention, this commodity
being cornered for the duration by the myth-making triple marvel
even then progressing at the bar. Not just a radical and
ideologically incorrect change in author-avatars; not merely the
miraculous incarnation of everybody's favourite cyber-Muse; but even
this, that the former Grey Steward stood in broad barlight and with
his bare face hanging out, buying drinks for his whole party! It
was all too clear that the Pro-Fun Troll Hoedown had, yet again,
indeed shaken the stablish'd foundations of Being itself!
Let it not be said that the gentle regulars of TTR stooped to
earwigging on the conversation that shortly thereafter took place
among the new arrivals, congregated as they were around a block of
four tables hastily brought together for the purpose before
disappearing as *they* did under a forest of glasses great and
small. The tables, not the new arrivals, that is. Well, so far at
any rate! Anyway, the abovementioned slur on the manners of the
clientele shall in no case be made, since it would be kind of
redundant and this author is, in all manners and in every way really
feasibly achievable, utterly and unswervably committed to the
laconic extreme of the eschewing of surplus verbiage! 
 Oooh, you *story*!
But toasts having been drunk and whistles having been wetted, this
is how it was:
"*Are we here?*" Seventh demanded of his younger self, swigging
heartily at his Scottish Tea . "If you've paradoxed us, I'd
appreciate some time to salvage the situation!"
 Like ordinary tea, but with White Horse whisky instead of milk.
Blends with less of the Islay in them are not acceptable. (Nor is
Scottish Tea, really, but we digress.) If you have the sensory
acuity of a deaf bat, and the taste of Mr & Mrs David Beckham on a
bad day after they have just exterminated all their gustatory
papillae with a triple-phal curry, you may also see fit to prove
your superior discrimination by insisting on an appropriate single
malt instead, such as the Laphroaig. At this point you will,
according to ancient clan legend, be unexpectedly run through a
humorous part of your anatomy by the great big dirk of the Phantom
Piper of the McCrimmons, and serve you bloody well right too!
 We'll shut up now.
"The timelines are safe," Fifth told Seventh shortly. He inhaled a
passing double Boodles without blinking, and continued, "I *am* from
your line, and it *was* the original me who got coshed at the
Talbots and ended up as Albert Campion.
"It was my post-Campion self who finished the adventure of the Black
Orchid, by which time he'd forgotten Amanda and all that went with
her -- for good and sufficient reason."
He inhaled deeply, smiled lopsidedly at the assembled company, and
concluded, "Actually, on the strength of that little adventure, I
think it's time to rekindle my old acquaintance with this fine
establishment's cellars. I may be gone some time. Toodle-pip!"
With a satirical (and inherently self-mocking, given the nature of
his audience) bow, he drained the cocktailly mess nearest him;
strode off to flaunt his Nobelium American Express Card before the
Proprietor's astonished eyes; and set about his lonely spirituous,
er, -al quest, within two shakes of a donkey's wotsit.
"WELL?" Sixth demanded explosively, into the sudden vacancy.
"I thought the amnesia was rather self-explanatory, didn't you?"
Fourth shook his head and leered sympathetically. "Having to desert
a little charmer like that for Fairy Princess, Dingo Bitch, and
Bananas in Pyjamas isn't anything *I'd* want to keep dwelling on.
Hardly fair to the children, either."
Seventh scowled meaningfully at Eighth. "Twenty-odd years is a bit
much for voluntary conditioning. That level of suppression sounds
more like grand trauma to me." He rounded on Carrie and the
Trader. "You were there! I can smell the Spam on the very air
you exhale! What -- did -- you -- do -- to -- us -- ALL?"
"No need for umbrellas at dawn," the Trader assured the grimly
rising Time Lord. "We did, ah, nothing of any real importance
"It wasn't twenty-anything years," said Carrie. "It was more like
"He never left her."
"Have. You. Any. Idea. What. This. Means. For.
*History*???" The terrible little man stalked menacingly around the
table, dreadful cosmic gambits in his darkly-glittering eyes, and
conveyed the ultimate gravity of the situation in his usual fashion.
"Keep your brolly to yourself!" The Trader smashed its accusing
point away from his Muse indignantly. "It means everything, and it
changes a jot of a percent of a fraction of a thought less than bog-
all. He lost *everything* from Campion when he went back to the
Talbots'. He couldn't have remembered it for the best of reasons,
until I jogged him with the one phrase that would *always* bring
that life back to him. Not that I had any way of knowing that, at
"Stop blathering, man," snapped Third. "If it wasn't grand trauma,
what was it?"
"It *was* grand trauma," said Carrie, exasperated at this seemingly
wilful denseness. "*He never left her.* Why can't you remember
Elissa, Doctor? Why don't you remember Patience?"
"Liz Shaw? Alice Who? Ellis Island? Whose patients? Elicit
*what* with patience?" and so on, the assorted Time Lordly
incarnations proceeded to babble excitedly, in a manner much
proving of Carrie's point but scarcely enlightening to themselves.
Realising that little good purpose could be served by prolonging
such a discussion, or by picking up any future extensions of its bar
tab, Muse and Trader took advantage of the brief confusion
discreetly to slip away.
"So," said Sixth complacently. "That's settled, then!"
"Though I can't quite put my finger on *how*..." Second fretted
briefly, before shaking his head.
"Happily," Seventh asserted, affecting his most inscrutable
expression. "All's well that ends obscurely well. Best not to
prrry too curiously into Time's darrker corners." He brightened.
"There's a humorous little ditty I composed for voice and spoons
upon this very subject. Let me see now: how did it go...?"
Of Seventh Doctors, the Boozer Beyond Continuity suffered an acute
haemorrhage, as a frenzied tide of idolatrous fans bore him
shoulder-high at express speed to the saloon doors, and projected
him with a mighty heave in the direction of his TARDIS across the
car-park, evidently under the curious impression that their idol's
mighty instruments of musical ecstasy resided there rather than
anywhere about his person. Ah, unhappy victims of Life's tragic
Seventh picked himself up, one of his more saturnine smiles
spreading unreassuringly across his face. He tossed his umbrella
gaily in the air and strolled back to his own box, singing softly.
The advertised spoons remained mercifully absent; and the crooning
sounded more nostalgically sentimental, and -- could this thing be?
"_Amanda... the light of my life..._
_Fate should have made you a gentleman's wife --_"
The closing of Old Blue's welcoming door behind him, and the arising
of her trademark Wheezing 'N' Groaning sound-effects, cut him off.
Somewhere there was danger, somewhere there was injustice, somewhere
there was egregiously bad plotting and an ill-chosen celebrity
guest-star. And it was to these grave matters of the living that
Time's Champion now turned his face, for how could he ever do other?
Somewhere else, the tea was getting cold.
" -- *Albert!*" The low, rapturous voice barely made it downstairs
into the recently-deserted sitting-room, where lurked the half-
drained mugs. Upstairs, a door snicked shut.
And the Campions' time began again.
Doctor Who and his motley crew are, of course, the property of the BBC.
The Pro-Fun Troll Hoedown is the invention of, and is hosted by,
Eloise's Author Ann Magill.
Albert and Amanda Campion are taken from the long-running series of
detective stories by the late Margery Allingham. All the episode
titles are lifted therefrom.
The Bradleyard, the WANKERs, and Francois the Ogron bartender belong
to BK Willis.
This Time Round, the Pub Outside Continuity, was invented by Tyler Dion.
Trader Grey sometimes seems incapable of taking two breaths without
ripping off the late E E 'Doc' Smith, author of the seminal _Lensman_
series. The Trader himself and Carrie, however, are mine, all mine!
Nyarlathotep the Crawling Chaos belongs to Abdul Alhazred, author
of the unspeakable _Necronomicon_, who is more than welcome to him.
We must also acknowledge our debt to Mr Alhazred's modern translators
and continuators, chief among them the late H P Lovecraft in his
tales of the Cthul---
_My God! *The shadow at the door!! IT IS AAAAAAAAAARGGHfft---*_
[No further copyright information is available at this time. -- Ed.'s
Probably doesn't make much sense to archive without at least a link to
its parent Hoedown (see Part 0/6, upthread, for details); or at all,
for that matter, without the Part 0 recap. The salient details are:
Doctors: All of them.
Companions: Nyssa, Adric, Tegan, Benny, Fitz, Anji (bit parts, all).
Other Recurring Characters and Creatures: Francois the Ogron bartender;
Trader Grey; Carrie; Spamites (just about).
Category: Pro-Fun; spinoff from the Third Hoedown, _Goodnight,
Crossovers: Campion and the Cthulhu Mythos, explicitly. If we are also
counting the crossovers that occurred in the larger Hoedown, then pretty
much everything else and the kitchen sink...