INTRODUCTION: Psycho Nyssa and Adric join the Third Doctor to investigate
a mysterious signal. Psycho Nyssa tries out archaeology and suspects the
Doctor of a plot. And just Who set up the problem of the Ziggurat of Doom?
The Ziggurat of Doom
By Tony Velasquez
The blond girl slipped and nearly fell down the sandy stone
stairs, but the strange little figure behind her caught her deftly.
"Professor, what are we doing here?"
"You're up to something, aren't you?"
"Sush." The strange little figure in a white hat and dark coat
stole quickly into the dark. All around were some strange alcoves with
what appeared to be stone casings. They were in the shape of people. The
strange figure went up to a small table in the center of the room and began
to work with some controls. A small light started flashing, indicating
the machine was beginning to function. Ace touched one of the casings and
was shocked to see it opening. She peered inside.
"Ugh! Doctor! Look!" The strange little figure quickly ran over
and shut the case.
"Ace! Didn't I tell you not to mess with anything?"
"Well, I am now. Lets go."
"Are they dead?"
"Far from it."
"Why are they here? What are they waiting for?"
"The journey from darkness into day to end. C'mon!" The strange
little figure answered no more of Ace's questions and led her away from the
room by the hand.
Adric stamped up to his apartment above the This Time Around. It
was sort of his home away from home in the TARDIS. He entered, kicking a
stack of old pizza boxes aside and walked over to the bathroom and opened
"Do You Mind?!?" growled a yeti that was sitting on his loo
reading a newspaper. Adric shut the door.
"Typical." He mumbled, depressed.
The Space Dreadnought surged in an ion storm. The decks were
pitching sickeningly below the feet of the crew. A balding portly man with
blazing eyes was watching a pretty young woman in a brown leather jacket
over a purple outfit and Stetson hat being led in by a squad of soldiers.
"Ah, Psycho Nyssa! We meet again! But I'm afraid for the last
time!" cried out the Evil Leader with an evil laugh. He walked up to her
and ripped a large medallion out of her jacket pocket.
"This is just the first time I've had to retrieve my property from
you and there won't be another occasion. I regret having to kill you,
Psycho Nyssa. If things were different, we could have been such friends."
"That is the Lodestone of Melmar! It should be taken home and
locked up!" cried out Nyssa.
"So should you!" bawled the Evil Leader, his eyes bugging out. He
turned and a line of guards leveled their weapons at Psycho Nyssa.
Suddenly, Nyssa swiveled into a kick, knocking down the Evil Leader. His
pistol flew out of his hand and Psycho Nyssa deftly caught it. She spun
around and fired from the hip. All the guards screamed and died under fire
from the psycho. Nyssa spun around, but the Evil Leader was gone. She
ran after him. A guard jumped out at her and she blew him away,
point-blank - and that's a terrible place to be wounded. Another guard
fired at her from behind but missed, she lobbed a stick of dynamite behind
her and brought down the whole hallway.
Up ahead, she saw an opening. Unfortunately, it was a dead end.
The hallway opened up onto a large open space, so it was a long way down.
She looked down; it was the Engine Room. Guards were running up from
behind her. She grabbed her whip and struck out with it, entangling it on
a rafter. Loud laser fire shot past her and she swung out over the engine
She made it across the open bay into an opening on the other
side where another hall joined. She spun around, watching as a number of
the guards pursuing her ran out of the opening and fell to their deaths.
The others stopped and fired at her. Nyssa rummaged in her backpack and
took out a huge firebomb she had nicked on a previous adventure. Laser
bolts whizzed past her head. She set the fuse and lobbed it down into the
engine machinery, all the time under fire. She spun around and ran.
Suddenly, there was the Evil Leader!
"Too late Nyssa! We shall continue on course to Melmar where
we shall bombard the planet until they surrender to our National Republic!"
"No, you're too late! I just dropped a firebomb with a minute
fuse into your engines." Laughed Nyssa hysterically. The Evil Leader
dropped his gun.
"Then it will be a pleasure to watch you die!" Nyssa shook
her head, shaking the long luxurious curls that came out from under her hat.
She held up the Time Ring and grabbed the medallion back from the Evil
"Nope. As a friend of mine likes to say, 'Sorry, must dash!'"
She vanished. The Evil Leader gaped in fear and astonishment, but only for
a moment. The white flash in front of him was far too brief to be
registered before his death.
The Governor of Melmar watched the strange explosion in the sky
with interest. Most the population had seen it. The scientists had just
identified it as a 'near orbit explosion' and left it at that. He was even
more surprised when his young daughter came out of her room holding up the
Lodestone of Melmar.
"Daddy, I just found this on my pillow. Can I keep it?"
Adric sat alone in his room, playing around with his ham radio
receiver. He was able to use it to keep up with his friends in all their
various crossovers. As he dialed toward the Robotech band, he started
receiving a faint signal in an area where nothing should have been. It was
a series of taps, regular and repeated. Adric quickly flipped the 'record'
switch and got a pad and paper.
He began to scribble down the pattern. One, three, five, seven,
nine, thirteen repeat. The sequence repeated for a few minutes then
stopped. Adric grabbed his recording and his notes and ran out of his
mangy little apartment.
Nyssa swept into the This Time Around, sweeping off her Stetson
hat and shaking out her hair.
"Hey Nyssa!" cried out everyone happily. Nyssa swaned up to the
bar where Harry was wiping some glasses. She sat next to Tegan who was
managing to limit herself to only one screwdriver at a time.
"Hello old girl," said Harry in his usual jolly manor.
"An Adric's Demise, and hurry up, I'm close to the point of death
Tegan turned to Nyssa, "So, how was the dig?"
"Great! Great! I can see why Bennie likes this archaeology so
much. A very rewarding intellectual experience." Said Nyssa thoughtfully.
"Dig anyone's mummy up?" laughed Harry.
"No Nyssa!" cried out Tegan, grabbing Nyssa's arm before she
bayoneted Harry. After Nyssa calmed down, she played with the knife and the
Adric ice cube in her drink.
"Tegan, have you heard of anything going on around here?" Tegan
took a shot of her screwdriver.
"Like what, lots of things going on around here, you know." Said
"Oh, nothing." Mumbled Nyssa.
Adric came flying in to the main hall and saw three of the Doctors
at a nearby table. The Third, Fourth and Sixth Doctors were lounging
around, talking about some adventure that they never had.
"Doctors! I heard something weird on the radio!"
"Oh, that's just me." Said the Third Doctor, "I sound pretty good
on radio, I know."
"No! A repeating modulated signal tapping out the first six prime
numbers over and over again!"
"Not that old party trick. I did that to this Earth scientist one
time. Sent her a picture of Adolph Hitler and the plans for a SIDRAT."
Grinned the Fourth Doctor.
"Yes! And I found that stunt in particularly poor taste!"
screamed the Sixth Doctor. The Fourth Doctor glanced up from under his
hat. "Look who's talking about poor taste."
"Doctor!" yelled Adric annoyingly, "This might not be a trick! It
could be a cry for help!"
"Yes, you're quite right, Adric. Well, actually, I am quite
right, as I invariably am. Now, why don't you show me your notes and
records there and we'll have a look." Puffed the Third Doctor, standing and
holding one hand limply in front of him, sweeping his blue velvet cape
around him with the other.
"Yes, you do that." Murmured the Fourth Doctor, leaning back and
putting his hat over his face.
The Sixth Doctor simply sat in a huff.
The Third Doctor and Adric walked into the dingy apartment. The
Doctor swept away a number of fruit flies and bugs that flew thick over the
piles of pizza boxes. Adric ran to his radio and switched it on. The
signal was repeating.
The Doctor fiddled with the controls for awhile.
"Do you know what it is and where it comes from?"
"It's coming from the planet Mellitosus." The Third Doctor
stroked his chin thoughtfully and stared at the radio.
"Well, do you know that planet, Doctor?"
"Oh, well, yes. It's a dead world, Adric. No one's ever lived
there. A vast desert world with sand and almost no life larger than a
"Well, someone's there now. Shouldn't we go take a look?"
The Doctor stood for a long time. "Yes, Yes, I really do think we
should." He smiled at Adric kindly, "Lets go take a look, Adric. And when
we get back, you can clean this disaster of a room up!"
The Third Doctor and Adric strode purposely into the main lounge
area toward the outside door. Very few regarded them as they past although
a few companions turned and exchanged pleasantries with the fancy dressed
Doctor as he passed. Adric was trying to get his portable radio working
and kept walking into the Doctor's back when he stopped to chat.
The Doctor stopped again right before they exited the hall.
"Excuse me again, Doctor." Said Adric as he once again walked
right into the Third Doctor's blue cape.
"Never mind." Said the Doctor kindly. He spun around and walked
over to where Tegan and Psycho Nyssa were sitting.
"I say. Adric and I are going to a dead desert world in a distant
galaxy. I could use the help of a fellow scientist and archaeology expert."
Said the Doctor standing behind Nyssa. Tegan laughed, expecting some
outraged response, but Nyssa merely scraped up her Stetson hat, snugged it
down tight over her head and turned around.
"All right, lets go"
The hunk of space junk that the crew called a space ship crawled
between the stars. Inside was a crew of about thirty small avian type
creatures. They scuttled about the hallways of their dilapidated spaceship
like small rats, scuttling, sniffing, taping, and gluing. How the
spacecraft ever few, gods only knew. In the control cabin, the captain of
the ship presided, dressed in a bright orange and red outfit and feathery
"Number One! Anymore on that signal!" His number one scuttled
up, a strange leather hat on his head complete with flying goggles.
"It comes and goes, but we managed to get a fix. It is only two
zworps away." Cackled the Number One with avian glee.
"Then, Mr. Helm, full speed ahead for that planet!" cried out the
"Aye, aye, Captain!" another bird cried out, tapping on an ancient
control board. It fizzed, cracked and popped, starting a small fire.
Three or four crew members ran forward with fire extinguishers but the
helmsman shooed them away. He took out a roll of black electrical tape,
bound some wires together, and they were ready to go. As the ship already
was traveling at its full speed, the only thing that was needed was to try
to turn it in the direction of the planet.
The Third Doctor was at the TARDIS controls, picking up the signal
on the internal receivers. Nyssa stood beside him, one dainty hand on her
whip, the other drumming impatiently on the TARDIS console. Adric was
dancing attendance on the console as well, still excited about his find.
He ran out of the control room to fetch a piece of equipment. Nyssa cleared
"Look, Doctor, I just wanted to say that this isn't going to
work." She barked in challenge.
"Of course it will, my dear. We've already aligned the scanners
with the signal." Said the Doctor, tickling her chin with one finger.
"That's not what I meant. I meant this continual attempt to get
Adric and me on an adventure so we'll become friends! Or something "
"I have no idea what you're talking about, my dear." Murmured the
"You don't? What about all this 'why not go on an adventure
today' and then I get to the TARDIS and that slugbait wormbrained swamprat
is here in the TARDIS and then "
"Nyssa, my dear, really. I just asked you along. If I had known
you felt this way I would have left you behind. As for Adric, well, he
found the signal after all."
"But Doctor, are you trying to tell me you don't have any other
"My dear Nyssa, really " moaned the Doctor, walking around the
TARDIS console. "I find these accusations quite tiring, and irksome."
"I'm sorry, Doctor, I just thought that there was some plan
"Well there isn't. At least not that I know about."
Psycho Nyssa was confused for the moment. Maybe all these
adventures had just been a huge coincidence! Adric swept back in the
control room with some readouts and equipment.
"Doctor! The signal is growing weaker!"
"Probably some battery supply dying." The Third Doctor scratched
his chin again, a perplexed look on his face. He murmured, more to himself
than the companions, "Why? Why's the signal so simple. And aimed right at
our This Time Around. I don't like this one bit."
The strange junky spaceship, looking more like a huge piece of
fused metal spacejunk, impacted on the surface of the planet in a way that
the crew called a 'landing.' Soon, after cuts and bruises had been seen
to, the strange avian crew disembarked from their vessel.
"Number One, I think the signal is coming from over behind that
"Um, no sir, you're holding it upside down. I think its coming
from that large building just opposite to us."
"That big granite monstrosity? I was hoping it wouldn't be in
"I'm afraid it is."
"All right then, crew! Come along. Keep your weapons handy. "
The TARDIS rematerilized on the surface of the desert world, not
far away from the large granite building was. It stood alone on the bleak
and sterile surface of the desert world. There was no other sign of
civilization around. The building was like a ziggurat, built in levels,
each getting smaller toward the top. It was much steeper though. No
windows, no external decorations. Just a great stone building.
"Well, this was built to last." Mumbled the Doctor, patting the
building as he got up to it, Nyssa and Adric in tow. Nyssa pulled her
Stetson hat down low over her eyes to keep out the hot glaring sun. Adric
had to make do with using his hand.
"Is there any way in, Doctor?" asked Adric.
"Probably that big door over there, Fool!" yelled Nyssa in his
ear, pointing down the side of the pyramid-like structure. The Third
Doctor, Nyssa and Adric began walking toward the door when they noticed a
very junky looking spaceship parked nearby.
"Hmm I wonder where that came from." Said the Third Doctor,
scratching his chin.
"Dunno. Maybe they got the signal too?" said Nyssa, standing
beside him. Adric was walking around in circles with his receiver.
"The signal is almost gone now, Doctor."
"Come along, lets get inside and find out what's going on here."
"What about this spacecraft?" said Nyssa.
"Oh, I'm sure that whoever was in it is inside as well."
The Doctor, Nyssa and Adric walked into the doorway. It was a
great large concrete tunnel, square in shape and continuing into darkness.
Psycho Nyssa drew her bayonet out of her sleeve and boldly strode forward.
Suddenly, a series of lights switched on, illuminating the inside of the
passageway. Quick as lightning, Psycho Nyssa drew her pistol and fired,
blowing away one of the lights.
"No, Nyssa! I should think its just an automatic lighting
system." Cried out the Doctor. Adric walked near to Nyssa.
"Even I knew that!" he snorted. The Doctor caught hold of Nyssa
as she lunged at Adric, ready to rip out his throat.
"No, Nyssa! Lets try to get along until this is over, Ok?" Nyssa
seethed through her clenched teeth. But soon calmed down to her usual
"He started it."
"Did so!" And so on as the three travelers walked farther and
farther down the long tunnel into the building.
There didn't seem to be any doorways or passageways leading off of
the main tunnel and the travelers could tell that it was sloping downwards
ever so slightly. They couldn't hear anything, or smell anything, but at
last they arrived at a very stout door. The Doctor reached out his hand
and grabbed the door handle. Suddenly, Psycho Nyssa struck out with her
whip and caught the Doctor's foot. She pulled back and the Doctor fell
with a cry.
"Nyssa! What do you think "
FFFT FFT FFFFT FFFT!
The Doctor looked up and saw the poison darts shooting across the
"It was booby trapped, Doctor. Look, the real door opener is that loose
brick on the opposite side slightly sticking out."
"Thank you, my dear." Said the Doctor, tickling Nyssa's chin.
"You really are an incredibly good adventurer, you know that?" Adric stood
and watched, green with envy as Nyssa turned around and stuck her tongue out
"I was right about the signal!" he hissed at her. And they began
their Did Not/Did Too fighting all over again.
The door opened onto the upper balcony of a large domelike room.
A snakelike stair descended to the floor. The room was brightly lit by
eerie yellow lighting. Some very tall bluish figures were walking around,
with a group of small avian type creatures being held in the center of the
room in a type of forcefield.
The blue creatures turned around and looked up toward the balcony
and saw the Doctor.
"Get out of here! Run!" cried out one of the small birdlike
creatures who was dressed in a garish red uniform-like costume. Suddenly,
the Doctor was enveloped in a blue force shield and screamed in agony.
Psycho Nyssa quickly jumped back, grabbing Adric and flinging him back down
the hall. She shoved him ahead of her and saw him suddenly fall into a pit.
The pit had opened up in the pathway they had just came down. Adric
screamed and she heard him hit the bottom with a dull thud.
"Cool " murmured Nyssa. Then she turned around. "Doctor!"
"Get get out of here Nyssa! Go!" Nyssa saw a couple of huge
tall blue figures walking up the stairs toward the Doctor. She drew her
weapon but she couldn't hit the monsters without shooting the Doctor. She
turned back around and went to the side of the pit. She thought she could
just make out Adric on the bottom, there seemed to be something else
scuttling about down there. Nyssa dangled herself over the edge and
dropped, hoping she would land on her feet.
Psycho Nyssa fell on her back with a thud. She landed on top of
Adric who seemed to be unconscious.
"What did you jump down here for?" said a strange little voice.
Nyssa rolled over rapidly, her gun drawn. She was face to face with one of
the little avian bird type creatures. He was dressed in some sort of
coveralls and had a leather cap on with flying goggles.
"My name is Zolanus. I am the Number One on the Starship
Endeavor, a great wonderful ship I'm sure you saw outside the door to this
pit of despair."
"You came in that piece of space junk?" asked Nyssa, sitting up
and beginning to look for a way out. There seemed to be a ledge halfway up
the pit. Zolanus looked downcast.
"Yeah, well, Ok, it's a bit of a piece of junk, but we like it."
Nyssa turned around and kicked Adric.
"C'mon Adric, we don't have time for you to fall about." Adric
just groaned. Nyssa noticed the sad looking little bird creature. She
sighed tiredly and looked at him.
"Look, um, Zolanus. I'm sorry about saying that. I'm sure your
ship is great, really. And you're most certainly worried about your friends
up there. They're still alive. I saw them being held prisoner by those
"Yeah, well, I should be there too. I was at the rear when they
surprised us going into the room. I ran for it when they started freezing
everyone. I didn't know they'd get caught so easily! I thought more would
be able to run like I did " Zolanus looked at his feathery hands. Nyssa
sighed again and sat next to him.
"Look, Adric and I did the same and we're not cowards. You just
thought you had a chance to escape. Maybe come up with something."
"Yeah, and fat lot of good it did. They had this pit set up and I
fell straight in. The trap got reset a while back and I had a lot of time
in the dark to think about it."
"What about that little niche up there."
"Up there? Oh yeah, some light did come in from there from time
to time but I can't reach it.
Adric was starting to come around, holding his head.
"About time you came too again, swamp rat! I think it would have
been faster to have killed you and had you reconstitute!"
"Oh my head what happened " moaned Adric
"Come on, Adric, we've got to get out of here. Oh yeah, and meet
Zolanus. He's the first officer with that ship we saw out there."
"That piece of spacejunk?" groaned Adric. Nyssa thumped him on
the head and smiled at Zolanus.
"Wonderful joking sense of humor, he hasn't got. But really, a
wonderful ship." Zolanus managed to smile back at Nyssa's smiling face.
The Doctor came around, sitting on the floor by the avian
"I am Captain Evanor of the Endeavor. And you?" said the leader
"I am the Doctor. What is going on around here?" said the
Doctor, shaking the bird-creature's winglike hand that was offered in
"Not much to tell. My crew responded to a signal and came to
investigate. Its what we do, you know. We're a pretty good crew, aren't
we maties?" He directed his comment to the rest of the birds present who
managed a snuffled cheer. The Doctor looked at the reaction and could tell
they were all very frightened.
"Yes, well, we came because of the signal too. I'm sure we'll be
able to get out of this situation."
"You will all be released." Said a deep monotone voice as one of
the blue giants turned and addressed the prisoners.
"Released? Why don't you let us go now. We mean you no harm."
Barked the Doctor.
"We cannot have you interfere with our plans."
"Why should we want to do that?" asked the Doctor, standing up and
facing the blue being who spoke.
"Yeah, what have you got to hide!" cried out Captain Evanor.
"We hide nothing. We fled here after the all of our world to war
and strife. Now our people have sent us a signal that it is safe to
return. We are needed."
"Adric, stand still!" screeched Nyssa as she tottered unsteadily
on his shoulders. She had reached the small niche and was pulling herself
up onto it. Zolanus was next, climbing up over Adric and squeezing in
beside the psycho.
"What about me?" cried out Adric.
"What about you?" laughed Psycho Nyssa. Zolanus looked
quizzically at Nyssa. "Oh, all right." She murmured, dropping her whip over
the side. Adric clambered up into the small shaft.
Nyssa, Zolanus and Adric edged their way down the dark passage.
It soon joined up with a larger hall very similar to the first one they came
down. Stone, square, tall but not as wide. They traveled a long time it
seemed, far outside the bounds of the ziggurat itself. Finally, they came
to a large domelike room. The roof seemed to be a large set of doors and
in the middle of the huge dome sat a sleek spaceship. It was white with
stubby wings. Its contours seemed to have been extruded from a single piece
of material. It was very sleek and looked very advanced. Nyssa
"This is a nice ship." Said Adric. Zolanus nodded. "It looks
"Well, at least we know how they got here, or at least how they
plan to leave. Lets go try and find the Doctor." Said Nyssa.
The Doctor sat with his back to the wall.
"What are you doing, Doctor?" said Evanor.
"Quiet, old chap." The Doctor had out his trusty sonic
screwdriver and was holding it behind his back. He fiddled with it and it
let out a high pitched whine. The blue monsters heard the commotion and
walked toward the group. Suddenly, the force shield seemed to wink out and
flip flop over the monsters.
"Resistance is No! This cannot be!" cried out the creatures,
caught up in their own force field.
Nyssa, Adric and Zolanus suddenly burst in on the chamber from a
side passage, weapons drawn and ready to fight.
"Doctor!" cried out Nyssa and Adric.
"What did you do, Doctor?" asked Evanor.
"I simply reversed the polarity of the neutron flow, old chap.
Now lets see what was going on here."
Evanor turned to Zolanus "Well done, Number One, we knew we could
count on you to escape and find help."
"Well, actually Captain "
"And a very good job he did too!" said Nyssa, "He's even found you
a new ship!" The small birdlike creatures turned to Nyssa.
"Its down this hallway. Probably just built by automatic systems
when these blue monsters awoke, but I doubt the Doctor will want them to
The Doctor came back to the group, chuckling under his breath.
"As I thought. Not refugees. Prisoners."
"Well, that was a bit obvious, wasn't it Doctor?" whined Adric.
Nyssa smacked him upside the head.
"Thank you, my Dear. Yes, these creatures were once the leaders
of a group called the Sorris, from the planet Avilla "
"But Doctor, that's where we come from!" cried out Captain Evanor.
"Well, these Sorris chaps have been here for a considerable number
of years. The way they did it was quite ingenious. They simply told these
politicians that they were being sent here for their own safety and that the
Sorris would recall them when things were better. Of course, the call never
came. That was, Oh, some ten million years ago."
"Ten million years!" said Adric.
"And hence why that ship is new. You couldn't have a ship like
that hanging around for ten million years."
The Doctor and the others put the creatures back in their casings.
"Now, to make sure no one can ever summon them again." Said the
Doctor as he destroyed the signaling device in the center of the room with
his sonic screwdriver.
"Doctor, how could you just let Nyssa give those birdmen that
ship? It wasn't theirs." He looked over at Nyssa and scowled. They were
back in the TARDIS and traveling back to the This Time Around.
"Well, it did belong to beings from their world. Just from a
different time. Anyway, their own ship looked quite unsafe."
"They took it anyway."
"Quite so, but I think they'll retire it to a nice monument once
they get the hang of that new ship."
"They did seem to be proud of it. I liked them." Said Nyssa
sweetly. The Doctor laughed.
"Did you know that in a few hundred years time, the Chenoi, those
birdcreatures, will be the most advanced and powerful creatures in this side
of the Galaxy? They even managed to give the Daleks a run for their money."
"Too bad they forget about us." Said Adric.
"Forget? My dear chap, how could anyone forget about me?" The
Doctor grinned mischievously.