It's a cold, wet and windy night.
In the woods outside This Time Round, the pub outside continuity, a tired, irritated, and understandably aggrieved group is making its way-
'Excuse me.' says a metallic voice.
-Yes? What is it? I'm trying to set the scene here...-
'At the moment, I'm carrying an excess charge sufficient to electrocute most humans. Unless it missed your attention, water conducts electricity. Water as in _rain_.'
[others move slowly away from him] _Okay, okay, I'll correct it... Jeez, some characters don't know when they're well off-
A female voice mutters 'We _knew_ when we were well off, and it was before we met *you*. Even _Mortimore_ wasn't this painful.'
-Hey! I liked Mortimore-
The female voice again. 'Explains a lot...'
The Doctor's voice echoes through the woods. 'If we could get on with the story, please?'
-I'm not telling this one. All *I* got for this one was 'environmental control', 'cause _someone_ argued that *you* lot should decide what happens...-
'Well, we saw what happened when _you_ decided things...'
-Alright, who said that?-
The Doctor sighs. 'The story, if you'd be so kind?'
It's a warm, dry summer night.
In the woods outside This Time Round, the pub outside continuity, a tired, irritated and understandably aggrieved group is making slow and careful progress.
Were there anyone else in the wood, they would have overheard the following conversation quite clearly. However, the ADF members on post here were either in their tents, or having a quick pee. So the only living things to overhear it were two owls sitting on a fallen tree branch.
'Thank you.' said the Doctor.
Izzy and Sam raised their eyebrows simultaneously. They absolutely _were not_ going to ask what that was about.
'Fitz has just told Stacy he can see the 'Round from here. Given his current altitude, that means we're about a hundred metres away.'
'Finally...' muttered Fey. 'And I seem to recall someone mentioning they had an infallible sense of direction...'
The Doctor looked embarrassed. 'Ah. Well, that'd be because I've never gone this way before. Usually just popped in in the TARDIS...'
Ssard had the presence of mind to slap a hand over Compassion's mouth before she launched into the 'Well, it's *your* fault...' tirade. Her outraged mumbling could still be heard. Unfortunately.
Sam halted in midstep. 'Hold on. Do you seriously think they're going to let us in looking like _this_?'
'We do have our official companion ID cards...' Kroton reminded her.
'Yeah. But do you seriously think we're gonna get within more than 20 metres _without_ having anvils thrown at us?'
'Someone left Zoe on door duty. And she's _still_ trying for that "popularity contest" thing.'
A titanic smirk threatened to break out across Izzy's face. 'Let me handle this. It's gonna be absolutely _mad_...'
The Doctor puts on his 'irritated by surrounding idiots' look. 'Anvils? Do you think anyone will take *anvils* being thrown around seriously?'
-Well, given what _has_ been thrown around in there, anvils don't sound _that_ implausible...-
'Important Lesson No. #1: You are *not* a good comedian. Got that?'
-Hey, it seemed like a nice bit of continuity at the time...-
The anvil went zooming past Izzy.
'Zoe, it's me. Izzy. You remember me, right?'
There was a pause. Then another anvil went past.
'You know, _Izzy_? The DWM companion?'
There was another, slightly longer pause. Then a kitchen sink went flying past.
Izzy muttered under her breath. 'Okay, someone's got a _very_ odd sense of humour...'
-[Roberts Master] Thank you. [/Roberts Master]-
'I should have guessed... Okay, you leave me no alternative...'
There came a loud, prolonged scream. Followed by incredibly noisy crashing and clattering sounds, as of someone backing into a homemade catapault and inadvertantly smashing it.
'Izzy made it, then.'
Adric's jaw dropped. And it'd been a long time since he'd seen anything (bar Nyssa) that caused that.
Izzy stepped through the door. Literally. As in 'right through the thing, without even opening it' literally.
Then she slapped herself on the head. 'Oh, pants... Umm, Adric?'
Adric managed to get his jaw back into place. 'Y-yes?'
'You couldn't open this door for me? It's just that...' She waved her hand through the door handle '...I seem to have a little trouble opening it.'
'Y-yes, of co-course....' For some reason, Adric appeared to have developed a sudden stutter.
He tottered over to the door and opened it.
Izzy grinned. 'Great. Now, close your eyes.'
Adric did so. He opened his mouth to ask 'Why?', when there came a burst of light so intense that he could see through his eyelids.
He decided to keep his eyes closed.
The door to the 'Round opened. A figure surrounded by a dazzling white light stood in the doorway.
'Is that... IZZY?!?!'
The Doctor muttered something under his breath about 'bloody X-Files videos'.
The light snapped off.
And the Doctor blinked as certain trains of thought in his mind came to a sudden halt.
'How do you intend to get Fitz down?'
-Ah. Um. Well... I hadn't thought about that, to be honest....-
'Why does that not surprise me?'
-Ah. Wait a minute, I've got it. Switch on your sonic screwdriver, and direct it straight _up_-
'Yes, yes... that would _work_. Setting... volume... frequency... direction... Everybody GET INSIDE. NOW!'
Izzy saw them coming, and managed to sidestep just in time. Adric, however, wasn't so fortunate.
As they burst in, Fey yelled 'EVERYBODY DOWN! FIRE IN THE HOLE!!'
Then there was.
And then there was a solid *thump*.
Adric crawled out from underneath the pile of people who'd landed on top of him and shook his head to clear it of the odd ringing sound. 'So... what was _that_ about? The ADF?'
Stacy shook her head.
The Doctor burst in, carrying Fitz in his arms. And he was *angry*.
'Do you have _any_ _idea_ what you have done? Do you?'
-Y-yes. Yes. I do-
'Look at them. *Look at them*, and _then_ tell me you knew what you were doing!' the Doctor raged.
'Umm... if it's not too much trouble... who are you talking to?'
The Doctor searched for a direction to point his finger in. Eventually, he gave up and stuck his finger into the 'fourth wall.' Several people's eyes twisted trying to follow it. '_Him!_. That *author*, there. The one who wrote _this!_'
-Hey! I'm not writing this. Like I said-
'Does it MATTER?! You were the one who set all this up!'
Very few people had ever seen Adric freak out before. Largely because they didn't believe he could. But when the reality is right in your face, it's hard to believe that.
'Everybody. Shut. Up. And. Let. Me. Get. A. Handle. On. What's. Happening.'
A few Star Trek fans started applauding at the Shatner impersonation, but quickly shut up when Adric turned his gaze on them.
Izzy walking through the door. Producing her own light-source. Check.
The Doctor getting angry at the... the -voice- that seemed to be floating around. Check.
Weird sound that seemed to stop you from thinking emitted a few minutes ago. Check.
Right. That was the past. Now, the present.
Izzy. Still apparently unchanged, but standing in the middle of a partition. Check.
Sam. Now with pointy ears, slitted eyes, and a 'dismember the body' look he found all too familiar from Nyssa. Still wearing a Greenpeace T-shirt, though. Check
Kroton. Looked the same, but... there was an odd feeling in the air around him. Like you sometimes got before a thunderstorm- Oh no....
Fey. Ah. The 'Feyde' version. Except... little tendrils of shadow were being thrown out and retracted by her body, giving her the appearance of a humanoid, shadowy blob. Check.
Prepare bucket to throw up in.
Fitz. Currently unconscious in the Doctor's arms. With a wet blanket across his face. Where'd _that_ come from? Check.
Ssard. Holding what appeared to be the Martian version of a broadsword at arm's length, and looking ever-so-slightly horrified. Check.
Stacy. Well, at least _she_ still looked normal.
_Don't you believe it_ whispered a female voice in his head.
Oh s***. Check.
Compassion... Where _was_ Compassion? Adric mentally counted them off. And blinked. Redhead. Wearing combat jacket. Female. The girl fit all of Compassion's characteristics, bar one.
She appeared to be five years old.
Bloody hell. WTF was going on?
To Be Continued...
Copyright 2001 Imran Inayat