Somewhere on Titan Three, Sailor Gallifrey is dangerously angry...


Our Hostess took a moment to breathe deep. Either there was a drought in the action, or a downpour. She counted off in her mind the things she needed to do: Get the Master and his team to the laboratory, so they could work on finding a way of harnessing the cat energy, divide the remaining guests into two groups -- one to search for Sailor Gallifrey (and, even better, get to her to calm her down before she blew away this entire quadrant of the galaxy), and one to meet with the Valeyard to see what he thought was going on, and if he had any better ideas on how to set things right, make sure Gordon was aware of what was going on, so they wouldn't create any holes in the plot by accident. She took another deep breath. Not too much, considering.

Taking a giant silver whistle from her upper lefthand pocket, she put it to her lips and blew.

:::Twa-WEEEETTT!!!!:::

The guests stopped chattering and arguing with each other, and turned their eyes toward her. Gordon stopped shoving cake in Cameron's face.

"Okay, ears up, folks!" she called out. "Here's the plan: The Master, and, erm --" she thought on her feet, "Jim and Daibhid will go to my laboratory to work out a way to harness and control the cat static energy," she said. The snowgrouse pot-potted in a disappointed way, but the avocado troll worried that Jim's current horniness and the Master's current kinkiness would combine to form a big enough distraction as it was. "Deputy, you'd better go with them," she added. "Make sure they don't misuse any of my equipment in there," she whispered into the little troll's ears.

"The Eighth Doctor," she continued, "will lead the search party for Sailor Gallifrey, while I'll take another group to meet with the Valeyard." She thought a moment... What to do with the First Doctor? No matter which group he went with, he'd be sure to meet up with secrets from his own future. But, on second thought, that was probably true for every one of them -- herself included. She could only trust that their respective memories would block out any information they weren't ready for when the dimensions stabilized again. She sighed. There really was no easy way to figure this out.

She glanced at Gordon and Kid. These were the wildcards, fictionally speaking. One because he had been off chasing the Voord, and the other because he didn't belong there at all. Best to keep them away from the potential Boom! of Sailor Gallifrey. She nodded to each of them. "You will be on my team," she said to them. "And your muse, too, Gordon," she added. "Her energy might come in handy."

"Eight?" she asked. "Which of your selves do you want on your team? Once we get that figured out, it will be easier to decide which of the other guests should go where."


Eighth thought.

'Hmm... Fifth?'

Fifth nodded. 'You're remembering Manussa and Deva Loka. Help Alryssa search for her still point. I'll do it.'

'Third?'

'Of course, old chap. If things get out of hand...'

'Sixth.'

The Sixth turned round. 'What?!'

'It's either this... or we have you and the Valeyard go through another of your interminable shouting matches...'

'You have a point...' Sixth mused.

'Not you, Seven...' Eighth acidly commented,

Seventh grinned. 'Oh, don't worry. With him around...' He jerked a thumb at Sixth. '...it's no problem...'


'Aah... ah... ah...'

Allie?

Imran?

unstable

fusion's unstable

we're resonating

Creative impulse, that's me...

spirit of creativity's free...

resonating.

resonating...

'AH!!'

Vortex Winds.

The Vortex is free...


An energy ball arced across the landscape, glittering red, yellow, purple... ever changing, shifting, swirling...

...screaming with the voice of the Vortex Winds...

...heading for the cartTARDIS...

...Impact.


The figure's eyes flew open.

'Uurrrrggghhh...'

The hostess leaned over. 'Imran? Allie? Umm.... what should I call you?'

'Bookworm... Just call me...us... the Bookworm, for now...' the figure got out.

'Are you all right?'

'H...Hardly... Tapping into... energy... Sailor Gallifrey's... radiating... I should be able... to move... uggghhh...'

Slowly, the Bookworm picked her/himself off the floor. 'Big... trouble... Alryssa... Vortex Wind Scream...'

'What?'

'Alryssa... Alryssa ...transferred some of... her energy.... to us... the Vortex Wind Scream... imbuing the Vortex Winds with a little creativity....whoo...'

The Bookworm shook their head. 'Wooo... Recharge. Only a temporary fix, though. We need to take care of the source of the problem...'

'Yes... Before you collapsed, you said the Gods of Ragnarok had created the Land. I thought it was the alien entities who'd kidnapped the Master of the Land... that they were behind this.'

The Bookworm smiled ruefully. 'In a sense... The Gods of Ragnarok created the computer that maintains - maintained - the Land, and gave it a degree of self-autonomy... well, creates is the wrong word. Adapted is closer... and it had its own agenda. But it had no creativity, since the Gods of Ragnarok have no creativity, which meant it had to kidnap humans for inspiration... But the computer should have been destroyed along with the Land...'

'So are the Gods the same as the aliens?'

'Long answer...' The Bookworm half-smiled. '...Given that the Land's energies are turning up in normal space... I'm at least willing to bet that the Gods were working with the aliens... and the aliens wanted to take over the Earth.. Actually, I'd suspect that the aliens struck a... a deal of some kind with the Gods, to use the Land to imprison humanity.' They smiled. 'Whew. What we'll do for a retcon, huh?'

'So... who's using the Land? Who's sapping creativity? The aliens? Or the Gods?'

'Now that I don't know...' the Bookworm said. 'The Valeyard should have the... oh crap. I know who imprisoned Alryssa.'

'The Valeyard?' the hostess suggested, a sinking feeling in her stomach.

'No, not him... One of the Gods' servants. The epitome of repetition, boredom, dullness, nitpicking, stagnation... the antithesis of creativity.'

'...Captain Cook,' our hostess realised. 'But didn't he die when the Psychic Circus was destroyed?' The avocado troll shook her head in quiet admiration, as a new realization came to her. "So that's why my TARDIS chose a circus wagon for her real world interface --" she said quietly, under her breath, "it's the battle of the circusses: the circus of creativity versus the circus of stagnation!" And she chuckled quietly to herself.

The Bookworm shook their head. 'He fell into the well linking the Circus to the Gods' dimension. I'd suspect the Gods look after their own... even undead explorers...'

'We know who. We can guess why. But where?'

The Bookworm looked up. 'I know...'

They sketched out a map on a napkin, indicating where the cartTARDIS currently was, and where Alryssa would most likely be in relation to it.

'You're not going with him?' the hostess asked, indicating Eight.

The Bookworm shook their head. 'Staying here with your group. I think we'll need all the muses with you... and Alryssa's generating enough energy to keep her part of the story going, at least until her search team get there.'

Our hostess nodded, shuddering inside at the thought of the amount of energy Alryssa must have been using for the Bookworm to feel it here...

'All right. One team to find and help Sailor Gallifrey, one team here working on how to channel the cats' static electricity, and one with me to meet the Valeyard, and finally find out what these dimensional anomalies are... and who's really behind all of this...'

'So that's you, me, Gordon, Gordon's muse, the Kid, First, Second, Fourth and Seventh on your team...' the Bookworm said, 'the other Doctors on the team looking for Sailor Gallifrey, and Jim, Daibhid, the Master and your deputy researching the cats.'


Gordon grooves in, grinning inanely...

Another figure, wearing a furry purple top hat grooves in with him.

"This is my brother. He's currently calling himself Saville for reasons known only to the Mexican Border Patrol."

"Hi!"

"Our cat (well, I say our cat, he merely allows us to occupy his house) is hanging around somewhere, small, black, answers (well, I say answers, he'll usually ignore you) to the name of Jones. He may or may not be help on the cat research front. But be careful. He's daft."

The hostess nodded. 'Does anyone else want to join a team? Speak up now before we go...'

"I notice Barry's not saying much..."

'And speak up soon,' Eighth added. 'We've got to get to Alryssa fast, before she loses control...'

The hostess shuddered.


"I'm staying here with the cat team," Ninni said, and then added in a low voice "Someone ought to keep an eye on the Master. I don't trust him an inch. Not an inch."

She hurried off in the direction the cat herders had gone.

Auntie's ears pricked up in a way that would make parents cover their children's eyes on seeing them...

"Oooh, I'll keep an eye on him... every inch of him."

Licking her lips, she hoisted up her skirts...

"You know, I don't know whether to feel sorry for the Master or insanely jealous of him..." Gordon piped up as he grooved past.

Auntie waved happily to the grooving Gordon, for it is always a Good Thing to see someone grooving mightily, winked, and handed him a business card.

"Peepshow?" Gordon's eyes boggled. Throwing a mighty Moonwalk spin on the floor, he started grooving towards the black peepshow box, behind which Phi1ip and Zorak were hiding...;)


Cameron got up from his seat, stretched lazily, and yawned.

"Mewoooooooow!!!!!!"

Cameron looked around to see where everyone was going, and said

"I'll join the cat team."

He stalked lazily after them...


Nyctolops added "I'll join the cat/static electricity research team to see if I can help. I'm all furry myself this time around.

"Good," the hostess said. "Can you find your own way to the laboratory? There's a bit much going on right now for me to play tour guide. Just keep your ears perked for the Master's 'Bwa-ha-ha!"

"I think I can hear him now," said Nyctolops and scurried off down a corridor.


One of the guests says, "Has anybody seen Lord Gallifrijan? He was here a moment ago..."

"Here I am!" Lord Gallifrijan said, coming through the doorway that led to the pantry. "I was just checking on your supply of bananas; I thought I'd bring my speciality to the party."

"But we don't have time for that now!" Our Hostess said, exasperated.

Lord Gallifrijan looked crestfallen. "How about later," he asked, "after the good guys have won?"

The avocado troll didn't have the heart or the time to express her worry that the good guys might not win, this time. "Okay, fine," she said, "you stay here and prepare the celebration party." Of all the Gallefreyans she'd met over the years (including all 8 incarnations and the one inbetween incarnation of the Doctor), Lord Gallifrijan seemed the most flighty. Best to keep him out of danger, she thought.

Meanwhile, things were starting to get on top of Kid Curry.

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