Thoth Agog's Dream.
A TTR/TDF story
by Clive May (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr Who is copyright BBC.
Thanks to D B Killings for his illuminating commentary on the original
posting which picked so many holes in the plot I decided to revise
fairly drastically. Thanks Doug!
Nyssa's groping hand found the scalpel. Absently, she lifted it and
dipped the razor sharp blade into the noxious bubbling brew in the
beaker. Holding the scalpel before her eyes, she examine the stains on
the blade. A restrained, lady-like smile, toyed with her lips.
"It's perfect!" she breathed. "Now! Adric..."
Clutching the scalpel carefully in one hand, she went in search of the
The minute hand on the old grandfather clock moved onto the hour. In a
blur of speed, Adric was out from behind the bar and zig zagging for the
door. Quick as he was, Nyssa was quicker. She came up in a smooth
motion; her arm lashed out; and the javelin flashed through the air.
Under the various tables, the patrons winced. Hands were thrown hastily
Adric swayed left. The javelin buried its razor sharp blade in the door
He was going to make it! His heart gave a little skip of pure delight -
he was home free for the evening. He paused in the doorway to look back,
and to stick his tongue out at the enraged Traken. This act of petty
contempt proved the boy's undoing.
Catching his foot on the top step, he went sprawling down the steps, and
into the dust of the TARDIS parking lot. For long seconds, Adric lay
still, gritting his teeth, waiting for the agony in his back.
It never came.
The tension grew unbearable; it was killing him! Well? Nyssa surely
wasn't! Slowly, he rolled over onto his back...
Only to meet Nyssa's over-bright gaze. Her lips were set in a feral
half smile. Unhurried, she plucked the javelin from the door jamb. Her
eyes went all gooey. Lovingly, she stroked a hand down the shaft.
"Die! Swamp Rat!" she crooned fondly. With great tenderness, the girl
thrust the spear into the boy's heart.
Adric sat bolt upright in bed. For long seconds, he sat staring,
wide-eyed, around the dimly illuminated bedroom. He was sweating. His
legs were entangled in the bed-sheets.
The things he could see, the roundelled walls, the abacus on the desk,
his favourite yellow and green suit strewn across the floor,
intermingled inextricably with the frightful impressions jerking through
his brain. Slowly the "real" things he could see began to edge out the
internal imagery in the scramble for "most real". The story playing in
his head, still hung on gamely to a shred of credibility; but the word
"dream" was diluting its power to terrify.
A dream! Yes - it was all a dream!
Adric grinned at his foolishness. Of course it had been a dream - he
could even see how it had come about. All true dreams, of course, are
just the jumbled up memories and impressions of the things one sees and
feels during the day.
Ghastly and strange as the images had been, Adric, felt certain that
with a little thought, he would be able to track them all down to an
Tegan! It was all her fault!
Adric scowled. She'd been on a nostalgia jag. She'd spent the day
bending the ear of anyone who'd listen, whining on about the pubs and
bars she'd known; and in particular, the joys of having a quiet drink in
a little out-of-the-way pub. Obviously, that accounted for the This
Adric grinned at his own cleverness.
That this fictitious pub seemed to be located in a place outside
reality, was not difficult either. Cocking an ear, he listened to the
hum of the engines - they were in flight - which meant that at this
moment he was outside of reality. The two things had obviously got
mixed together - the way they do sometimes in dreams.
Smugness, an old friend, beckoned to the Alzarian in the certain
knowledge of a warm welcome. Encouraged by his own cleverness, and the
solid feeling that the indisputable fact of one's own sanity brings, he
felt confident in tackling one of the more difficult concepts. - that
his real life was a story drawn from a tv series put out on earth!
Well. Tegan was to blame there too.
She'd been going on about watching television - a system for
broadcasting pictures and sound through the medium of the
electromagnetic spectrum. The idea did not appeal to him, but to hear
the way Tegan had been whining on about it...You'd think it must be
something really special? Either that or Tegan was a little simple, or
easily amused - which he thought was most likely the proper explanation.
The most puzzling aspect of his dream, that his life was being written
as a series of "out of cannon stories" by the people who watched the
programs, The blame for that, too, he found no difficulty in laying
squarely on Tegan. Apparently, some Earth people actually did this?
Tegan was most disparaging of their efforts at literature. What was the
term she had use din such a contemptuous tone? "Trekkies?" Yes. That
was it. "Trekkies and, what was it? Duffel Coats? Eh? No. Anoraks?
Well, some sort of coat anyway."
Why they should want to do this, he could not fathom. For once, though,
Adric found himself in total agreement with Tegan's opinion. There was
some hope for the woman yet.
His personal devil of smug self-satisfaction patted him affectionately
on the back. To find out such sad people existed gave him a feeling of
Now, he felt ready to tackle the most puzzling thing of all: what
appeared to be the central theme of these stories: that he was
continually being killed by a homicidal Nyssa.
Smugness looked the other way, not wishing to be associated with Adric's
sudden doubts. His grin lost some of it complacent assurance. Now,
where HAD that idea come from? The thought of the kind, serene young
woman as a psychotic killer? it was so utterly preposterous he couldn't
fit that in anywhere.
Smugness shook its head sadly and left in a hurry. A tiny frisson of
fear ran down Adric's spine. For a second he doubted his own reality.
But it was only a tiny doubt, soon pushed aside as he brushed a finger
over his badge for mathematical excellence.
Of course he was real!
He hopped off the bed. A nasty thought had just struck him. Perhaps
all this madness was some kind of elegant and insidious psychological
attack on him, intended to destroy the Doctor in some way.
He quickly pulled on his clothes and set out in search of the Doctor. If
it was an attack, the sooner he told the Doctor the better.
As he hurried down the corridor, he did not see the shadow move from a
dark corner, nor the glint of light from the upraised blade. Nor did he
hear the swish of silken robes.
His first, and last intimation of danger was a shout from close behind.
Then an icy cold kissed the back of his neck.
At a corner table in the TTR, Nyssa mouthed dire oaths into a gag, while
she worried unsuccessfully at the ropesbinding her wrists. It was a
waste of effort. Francoise had tied her with a special knot, used by
his people to subdue the deadly thousand tentacled Strangler Beast of
his home planet. He had taken this drastic step because he was
determined that Adric would survive this evening.
He had not done this out of any inate sens of altruism; but because, due
to a lapse of concentration whilst serving two difficult customers, he
had accidentally lent Adric some money, forgetting that on the death of
a debtor, all his debts are considered void. He was hoping to keep the
Alzarian alive long enough to collect.
That she had to lean further and further sideways, to peer around the
sixth and sevent Doctors to keep Adric in sight, was doing nothing to
improve Nyssa's mood . The pair were in a red hot, nose to nose,
confrontation right across the table before her.
"Poppycock?" snarled the sixth, glaring at his seventh self.
The air between them sizzled.
"Yes! POPPYCOCK!" the seventh assured him. "That one was a chestnut
with long whiskers when he was a young man!" he affirmed, pointing to
where the first Doctor sat in a quiet corner sipping chocolate and
flirting outrageously with Cameca. "And," he added, "You still haven't
answered the riddle...What did he die of?"
The sixth Doctor sat back, his expression ugly. "It's not a proper
philosophical postulation. I mean to say, if this putative fellow goes
to a play about the French revolution, falls asleep and dreams that he
is being guillotined, and just at that moment a woman touches his neck
with a fan?...AAAAGGGGHHHRRRRRGGGG!!!"
Nyssa lifted her booted foot from the Doctor's crushd toes. She ignored
his baleful look, Now, she had an uninterrupted view.
Adric sat at a table with the fourth Doctor. The Time Lord was
regailing a few of his companions, among them Romana, with an
outrageously embellished tale of one of his adventures. Adric, who had
heard it a dozen times before, was having trouble keeping his eyes open.
The tale was the one where the Doctor had stumbled upon the cult of
Thoth Agog, a rather unpleasant amphibian who had acquired some
unwholesome delusions of Godhood from a copy of Conan the Barbarian he
had chanced upon. The cult's practices had involved something extremely
imaginative with naked, nubile young virgins.
"His name was Afrog Agog," Romana corrected helpfully.
The Doctor stopped in mid-flow to glare at her. "Yes, yes", he snapped.
"Thoth Agog - now do stop interrupting! Who's telling this story
anyway? Now as I was saying..."
"But you never remember it properly," Romana persisted.
The Doctor fixed her with his best fifty mega watt glare. "If you don't
stop interrupting, I might just forget not to include the idea you had
for distracting old Thoth..."
Romana looked a trifel uncertain. "Eh? I don't remember that?" she
said, anote of warning inher voice.
"oh. You *must* remember? When you joined in the dance of the nine
virgins an dhad to take all?......"
"Doctor!" Romana cried, her cheeks turning a delicate pink.
"Or the ah - imaginative business with the cucumber that had old Thoth
"DOCTOR! Please!" Romana pleaded, her cheeks afire with embarrassment,
her voice rising to a mortified squeak. The Doctor regarded her with
his most innocent look. He waited patiently.
"Alright, alright, Doctor. Tell it your way if you must," Romana
The Doctor leaned back in his chair and went on with his tale. But he
had lost the male half of his audience. They were all casting
speculative glances at Romana, smirking, and imagining like crazy.
Unaware that he was losing his audience, the Doctor swept grandly on.
"Well. As I was saying, I simply could not let that sort of nonsense
go on. Once I had rigged the power supply, and switched on, old Thoth
Agog was out of the maiden sacrificing business for good. When my
brilliantly improvised ambiguous reality perception referencing loop
kicked in, poor old Thoth was no longer certain whether he was a frog,
or a man who had fallen asleep and was dreaming that he was a God
dreaming that he was a frog, dreaming that he was a man who had fallen
asleep, and was dream...."
The terrible scream stopped the Doctor dead in his tracks.
At the corner table, Nyssa stopped mouthing oaths into the gag. She
ceased struggling against the ropes. A warm glow began deep in the
centre of her being; and her insides went all wobbly. Her eyes misted
with fondness, touched with just the tiniest hint of jealousy. But the
Traken suppressed that ruthlessly; she was not one of those clinging,
obsessive, homicidal psychotics who demanded that their victims only be
killed by them and by no one else. No, she would not become one of
those jealous types. If Adric felt the need to be killed by another,
well, of course it made her a little sad, that he could consider
spurning her attentions for another, but she would forgive him his
Adric was slumped in his chair, his mouth a rictus of horror, dead eyes
staring at the ceiling.
Behind him stood Turlough, his mouth agape, clutched in his hand a half
melted Adric's demise. He had just touched it to the Alzarian's neck.
"TURLOUGH!" bellowed the fifth Doctor.
Turlough started guiltily. The ice cube fell from nerveless fingers to
shatter on the floor. Haunted eyes went around the group at the table.
He half shook his head.
"I didn't mean it!" he whined. "Honest! I didn't mean it. I just
wanted to make him jump. I didn't mean to kill him. Please you've got
to believe..." Turlough trailed off into a guilty silence.
A cloaked figure at the bar set down an empty mug. It gathered up a
sythe. Turning from the bar, it strode over to the table. Turlough took
a hasty step back. Although the figure was *not there*, it was *not
there* in a most unsettling manner.
"Nyssa!" Tegan cried as she pounded down the TARDIS corridor.
The Traken girl looked up from her inspection of the prone form of
Adric. In her right hand, she clutched a scalpel with a stained blade.
Her face was pale, emphasising the fear in her eyes.
Tegan skidded to a halt. "What happened? What's going on?" she asked,
Nyssa half shook her head. "I don't know? Oh, Tegan! I just wanted to
show him the results of our experiment - he did the calculations for me.
I...I called out to him; but he didn't seem to hear; so I touched him
on the shoulder and...And he screamed and collapsed!" Nyssa shot Tegan a
look of desperate appeal.
"Tegan? What *IS* going on here?"