Old Tricks

(On having a 'fresher's fair' [err.. what *is* a 'fresher's fair'? Not sure what they'd be in the UK...])

DBK wrote:

>Mags wrote:

>> Kroton the emotional cyberman might class as a "mature student" or a "return

>> to learn" type...

>So, probably, would Evelyn.

>> I'd offer but I don't follow any BF stuff so the only character I really

>> know is Anji....

>And I haven't even started on reading the increasingly large stack of 8DA's on

>my shelf, so I have almost no idea about the character except what others have

>written (of course, she hasn't actually debuted yet, so there really isn't much

>to talk about I suppose).

>Hmmm. This sounds like a job for Inayat...

Somebody call? :)


The Fourth Doctor scratched his head. 'All right. Explain this to me again.'

'I'm not too sure on it myself...' Adric confessed. 'Mags suggested it after this year's influx of companions. Basically, it seems to be a "welcome to the continuities" sort of thing, get them up to speed on what's going on, who's who, what's expected of them...'


Anji frowned. 'Do you ever get the feeling someone's watching you?'

'Yes. But then I _am_ a Cyberman...' Kroton said.

'Reminds me of when the faculty started planning my retirement...' Evelyn commented. 'Kept getting the _strangest_ looks...'

'This _is_ normal for This Time Round, isn't it?' Charley asked.

'Inasmuch as 'normal' can be said to apply in a pub which exists outside all continuities.' Compassion said.

Evelyn sighed. 'And that was another fine explanation from Miss Exposition...'

Thanks to circumstance, the five new companions had found themselves drawn together. Of course, when two of you haven't even been introduced, one is a living TARDIS, one is a Cyberman with a soul, and one is a history professor with an unstable temporal nexus in her past, it's not all that hard to work out what circumstances those would be.

Kroton's eyeholes whirred. 'You know, for a moment there, I could have sworn someone was going to say...'

At which point a hooded figure leapt into This Time Round, pointed a bazooka big enough to have Nyssa on the phone to her arms dealer at Kroton, and yelled 'Kill the Cyberman!!!'


The Fourth Doctor looked baffled. 'I *still* don't get it. They got the standard introduction and tour when they got the companion ID cards, they've been told the basics, or managed to work them out for themselves... why would they need a ...'fresher's fair'?'

'Can you remember the last time we _got_ five companions in one year?' Adric asked pointedly.

'1996.' the Doctor said. 'Izzy, Sam, Stacy, Ssard and Grace.'

'Okay... _before_ that.' Adric said.

The Doctor had to think about this one.


'Young man, would you please explain why you're pointing that at us?' Evelyn asked politely.

'The Cybermen must die. I'm gonna kill all of them. Every stinkin' Cyberman in the galaxy. I am... Si Berman, Cyberman Killer!' the figure announced.

Anji groaned. 'And I thought Daak was bad...'

Kroton raised a hand. 'Umm... would it be too much to point out that I'm a Cyberman *with a soul*?'

Charley giggled. '_Si Berman_?'

'Shutupshutupshutupshutup!' the figure shouted. '*Nobody* makes fun of my name. _Nobody!_ And when I'm finished, history will know the name Si Berman as the man who destroyed the Cybermen!'

'No it doesn't.' Compassion said calmly. 'There's no record of you in my database. Or in the Matrix...'

'*And*,' Anji pointed out, 'if you kill him here, he'll only come back...'

'Thank you *so* much, Anji...' Kroton groaned.


'I mean, look at them. In the audios we have a teenage girl from 1930 who teams up with my Eighth self after she stows away on an airship, and a divorcee history professor in her 50s who my Sixth self runs into in the present day while he tracks a temporal nexus. In the books, there's an Anglo-Asian City stockbroker who Eight's going to meet in 2001, and a woman who got turned into the first Type 102 TARDIS in 2012. And then there's the Cyberman with a soul Eight meets in the comics. You seriously believe they _don't_ know what's going on?' the Fourth Doctor ranted.

'Well... not many of the others have met them...' Adric pointed out.

'So? This is a *pub*, for Rassilon's sake!'


'Are anybody's ears burning?' Anji asked. 'Or is it just me?'

She looked around. 'Just me then, I see...'

Evelyn looked at the prone figure of the Cyber-Killer. 'Would someone mind getting the poor boy some chocolate brownies when he wakes up?'

'Charley... how did you manage to _do_ that?' Kroton asked.

Charley shrugged. 'Nothing, really. Just reversed the polarity of the neutron flow on his bazooka...'

Compassion blinked. 'That bazooka doesn't _have_ a neutron flow...'

Charley looked around at the others. 'All right, all right... While he wasn't looking, I sipped down and tied his shoelaces together. He fell over when he tried to lift the bazooka. Everybody _happy_ now?'


'Alright, alright, we'll go ahead with it...' the Fourth Doctor groaned.

'Great!' Adric beamed. 'I took the precaution of making the arrangements already... Oh, and I hired an outside consultant. Some Si Berman guy...'

The Doctor looked outside the booth at the sudden commotion, then drew his head back inside. 'Adric, I don't mean to alarm you, but: a) this Berman person appears to be an obsessive lunatic...'

'Not _another_ one...' Adric groaned.

'..and b),' the Doctor continued. 'his would-be clients seem to have laid him unconscious...'

Adric looked worried. 'Damn... Hope I can get my deposit back...'




Copyright 2001 Imran Inayat