Saturday, December 5, 2009

8th Doctor - Human Resources (ii)


Wasting no time, the Cybermen line up the extras against the wall and begin assessing which of them will prove suitable for conversion and which they can simply use as target practice right now. As Hulbert’s oh-so-formidable security force are roggered into submission, the Cyber Leader takes a fancy to the Doctor’s Time Bling and collects it in the mistaken belief it’s costume jewelry.

The Cyber Leader informs the other units, "This is the turning point in our battle! We may have been losing utterly but no more! We’ve got control of this puny observation platform and that old fart Hulbert, and I have ridiculously high hopes that this success will win us the war! We will survive!"

The Doctor rolls his eyes. "I’m never going to live this down, am I?"

Parte the Third

Lucie, Karen and Malcolm are hiding in the ruins of an underground Cyberman bachelor pad as the battle between the Cybermen and the angry office blocks continues directly overhead. Lucie uses all her experiences in time and space, drawing on all her new knowledge and wisdom... and concludes they are completely fucked.

Suddenly there is a wheezing, groaning noise and a black minicab with freakishly huge monster truck wheels materializes beside the front door. Before anyone can make sense of this development, the driver side door opens and the Headhunter emerges with a Mellanby clip gun! She threatens to kill Karen unless Lucie gives herself up. Karen, being such a nice person, isn’t fussed when Lucie refuses and indeed dares the Headhunter to "ventilate the bitch’s lungs!"

Just when things can’t get any more tense the author remembers about the character of Malcolm who pops back into existence and beats the Headhunter unconscious with a convenient blunt object. "Who is she?" he asks Lucie as they tie the Headhunter up.

"Just one of my many stalkers," says Lucie in complete denial. "Won’t leave me alone. It happens to lots of people. It’s just this power I have that makes them attracted to me. I can’t help it."

The Headhunter starts to recover and tells Lucie to shut up and stop lying to herself, before critiquing the wallpaper of her captors’ rented accommodation. Lucie demands to know why the Headhunter was sent after her in the first place.

"There’s no big secret about that," the Headhunter retorts, confused. "Hulbert interviewed you for a job, but when he sent you into the supply cupboard, you never reappeared on the side. He had a paranoid fit and became convinced that the lizard dude was back from the dead and wanting revenge. He hired me to find you and more importantly work out if you’d been nabbed by a competitor. Talk about overreaction."

"So there was never anything special about me after all?" gasps Lucie. "NO! NO, I WON’T BELIEVE IT! WE’RE ALL SPECIAL IN OUR OWN WAY! AND THAT GOES TRIPLE FOR ME!" she shrieks before letting out a peal of insane laughter... much to the confusion of the others.

"Is she always like this?" asks Malcolm.

"Pretty much," Karen sighs.

At the observation tower, the Cyber Leader starts marching up and down in front of the prisoners and tries to guilt trip them by demanding to know why they’ve been picking on the Cybermen and trying to wipe them off the face of their new home world. The Doctor breaks the fourth wall at this moment to remind the audience that this story is clearly set between destruction of Monday in The Tense Planet and the Cybermen taking over the planet Telos in Room of the Cybermen and that Planet Sigma Gamma 14 is obviously just one of their home worlds they were considering. He then goes on to note that these are the embarrassing 1969 version of the Cybermen who were rendered completely impotent in the classic Patrick Troughton story The Evasion.

"They’ve lost their home planet, their civilization, most of their military but above all their mojo!"

With that bit of continuity sorted out, Hulbert explains the whole office-block-giant-robot-mercenary business for the benefit of those idiots who haven’t been paying attention. Priding himself on his sexual flexibility, Hulbert immediately tries to flirt with the Cyber Leader and suggests that they team up and use the office robots to conquer the whole universe, and even allowing them a way to invade Cardiff in 2007!

The Cyber Leader has no interest in Hulbert and refuses to demean the Cyber Race by trying to conquer Cardiff of all places. Instead they shall assimilate the technology into their own and finally reclaim the badass image that was so effortlessly stolen by the Borg in Star Trek. To prove its point, the Cyber Leader snatches up a phone and rings up Jerry at the main office.

"I will speak to the operator of the machine. We have seized your base of operations and your controller is our captive! You will return here with your weapons lowered, your hands up and your trousers down!"

"Is this a Dead Ringers stunt or something? Piss off you unfunny bastards!" Jerry snaps and hangs up.

Frightfully embarrassed and humiliated, the Cyber Leader turns on Hulbert and demands to know if the HR Manager is shitting with them. Hulbert explains that Jerry is a complete moron who, worst of all, is Welsh and shuts down his mind from everything that threatens his world view. So Hulbert rings Jerry to check if everything is ship-shape and asks him to make some north-westerly progress towards the head office so they can arrange a tête-à-tête.

"This sounds incredibly suss," observes the Cyber Lieutenant.

With all hostilities ended, the Cybermen want to know which one of these cringing alien bitches hired Hulbert out to invade Planet 14. Hulbert starts to list all sorts of client confidentiality rules before shrugging and instantly blaming the Boord – a rival race of sex-obsessed cyborgs who are putting rumors that they are in fact super-evolved versions of the Cybermen.

"Bullshit," the Cyber Lieutenant declares and has all the Boord stripped of their gimp masks to reveal their shameful true countenances... before the Cybermen open fire and blast their heads off their shoulders in the kind of total slaughter that got Eric Saward out of bed in the mornings.

With the war over, Lucie – brimming with confidence that isn’t hers by right – orders the Headhunter to take them to the Cardiff branch robot so they can meet up with the Doctor and hopefully get the plot under way again. Of course, the Doctor isn’t there, but Lucie doesn’t know that and is so stupid she probably wouldn’t change her plans even if she did. The Headhunter invites them inside her transport, which turns out to – get this – be bigger on the inside than it is on the out.

Inside the red-and-burgundy console room with its smooth, cone-like console with touch sensitive controls, the Headhunter operates the scanner and sees the situation outside. "The Cybermen have got control!" she exclaims. "This is just not my week!"

"The Cyberwho?" asks Lucie in her usual annoying manner.

"Cybermen! They’re from Earth’s twin planet and although they were human once, they’re now cyborgs. They’re more machine than man... like Darth Vader! They’ll turn all the humans in the offices into more Cybermen and then invade the Earth! This is just TYPICAL! I’ll NEVER get my bonus now! Well, that bald twat Hulbert isn’t going to get away with this..."

The Headhunter activates the TARDIS and the minicab dematerializes just as the armed tin bastards retake their underground bachelor pad.

At the platform, Hulbert bitches about the Doctor being so damned righteous he had to go and let the Cybermen in through the front door. The Cybermen finally twig and recall that before Monday was destroyed, their advance party on Earth had a truly incredible sexual encounter with someone called the Doctor, who travels in time and alters his appearance to avoid alimony payments.

"Am I listed as your arch enemy on your facebook page?" the Doctor asks hopefully.

"If you ARE the Doctor, we might have mentioned you in the past relationships thread."

"Well, I may not be your arch enemies, but you’re the most arch enemies I’ve got, you camp cyborg gits..."

"You ARE the Doctor!" gasps the Cyber Leader and immediately decides he is too much of a tease and orders him to be destroyed, so the Doctor suddenly offers them access to his time machine and they can drain his mind of all knowledge later when the mothership arrives. Which is traditional in these sorts of situations.

The Cyber Leader, realizing that maybe there STILL is a spark between them, asks the Doctor why he helped them capture the viewing platform. Is there still a chance for their relationship?

"Not really," the Doctor shrugs. "I always try to help the oppressed and that sort of bag. But I had no idea it was you. The mighty Cybermen, beaten down and scurrying for cover on a mudball like this by the Boord of all things!"

"Why do you offer your help to other creatures but not us?" the Cyber Leader demands. "Is it something we said?"

"Maybe it’s everything you say. If I do help you, if your existence isn’t threatened, what are you going to do then? Buy a farm? Settle down? Of course not, you’ll just go on conquering planets and killing people and oppressing everyone to preserve yourself. No creativity, no achievement, not even meaningful sex. You finally get to find out what it’s like for a change to be oppressed and do you learn anything? Any humility? Any empathy? You DESERVE to be oppressed you metal bastards!"

At the Cardiff branch, the Headhunter’s TARDIS materializes in mid air... and drops on top of the bored Boord loitering by the coffee machine. Lucie and the others emerge from the time machine and immediately thrown Jerry down some stairs in what he assumes to be an unusually violent Red Nose Day prank. Luckily, since none of the staff have any real idea of what they’re doing and the high staff turnover, it’s piss-easy to seize control once you’re inside.

"I love the smell of irony in the afternoon," the Headhunter sighs.

With time running out before they arrive at the viewing platform, Malcolm logs into the computer systems like something that is very easy to pick up again after not doing it for a long while and soon has control of the the heavy artillery.

The Doctor tries to convince Hulbert to risk his miserable life snatching back the Time Bling, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, Hulbert decides to take his chances as a double-dealing ally of the Cybermen. The Doctor points out that such people tend to die before the end credits of a story, but Hulbert ignores him.

With the office about to arrive, the Cybermen prepare to storm it with all the enthusiasm of a Disney ride version of "Pirates of the Caribbean" when the giant robot opens fire on the platform and reduces the invaders to crumpled tinfoil. Realizing that its brilliant and painstaking plan is completely stuffed, the Cyber Leader rounds on Hulbert and demands to know what the hell is going on.

Hulbert frantically rings up the office and Malcolm and Lucie laugh at Hulbert’s despair when he realizes they have control. Karen doesn’t laugh because she’s a really nice person and doesn’t take pleasure in the misery of others. Hulbert demands to know how in the name of Boord fellatio did they get past the defenses, and Lucie immediately betrays the Headhunter for the simple reason she was asked not to.

"That’s why no one like you, bitch," the Headhunter tells Lucie.

Lucie demands the Cybermen surrender or they’ll continue firing. Showing his amazing human relationship skills, Hulbert has a temper tantrum, screams very loudly and hangs up.

The Cybermen are gripped with paranoia and convinced that Hulbert is setting them up and so... decide to bring in reinforcements to this obvious trap and have them blown up. This moment of complete stupidity reinforces Hulbert’s belief he can completely screw the Cybermen over without them even noticing, let alone killing him in revenge.

The office open fire again and despite all the odds manage to hit the platform in just the right place to completely shut down all the force fields and leaving the whole shebang completely vulnerable. When several Cyber Strike Ships fly into view to open fire at the single blind spot of the office block. Realizing they are completely stuffed, the Headhunter suggests they escape in her TARDIS.

Suddenly, Lucie has a very strange feeling again, just as she did earlier when she threw up over Karen’s computer, and similarly retches all over the desk and falls over. Her noxious bile eats through the table top and reveals a strange device that no one knows what it is or is brave enough to touch it now it is covered in vomit.

The Headhunter considers using her TARDIS to abandon Planet 14 altogether but the incredibly nauseous Lucie demands they find her chauffeur and demands they head straight to the platform on the off chance that the most dangerous and heavily-defended part of the story will be the one place that he might be.

As the Cyber ships open fire on the office, Malcolm fires back and despite all the laws of probability manages to shoot one of the ships causing a chain reaction which wipes out the entire battle fleet. The Doctor decides this might be a good time to snatch the Time Bling and run for his life when suddenly a TARDIS in the shape of a black minicab with monster truck wheels materializes in front of him.

The Headhunter emerges and opens fire with a cheese-powered machine gun, wiping out the Cybermen chasing the Doctor. Lucie bitches that it was HER who killed all the Cybermen, despite the fact she wasn’t armed or indeed doing anything but swaying in the doorway shouting abuse at the Headhunter.

The trio retreat inside the minicab and it dematerializes before the Cybermen can successfully exposit what the hell is happening in this action-packed scene. Inside the minicab TARDIS, the Doctor stares at the Headhunter in shock. "Ace?!" he gasps.

The Headhunter smiles feebly. "Hey, Professor..."

Parte the Fourth

As Lucie listens on in shock, her kidnapper and the sinister figure that has been chasing her across time and space is actually a great mate of the Doctor! "I regenerated after blowing up that giant flea with Nitro-9. Don’t you remember, Professor, I got left at Notting Hill while you dropped off that loud American bimbo and Sarah Jane Smith? You were supposed to come back for me?"

"Oh yeah!" the Doctor muses, smacking his forehead. "I dropped off your original self with the original me at Coal Hill School and I guess I must have muddled you up. Multi-Doctor stories are hard enough but multi-companion? So, what have you been doing?"

Ace shrugs. "Well, once the regeneration fuzz wore off and it was clear you weren’t turning up, I managed to join the Order of Headhunters. When the Temporal Difference of Opinion started, I managed to find the Bastard’s TARDIS abandoned in Baltimore and I’ve been a gun for hire ever since."

"You know, this is REALLY making sense a lot of things," the Doctor whispers, awestruck. "Talk about tying up loose threads! So, er, seen anything of Hex lately?"

Back at the platform, Hulbert is thoroughly bewildered when the office stops pounding the crap out of the Cyberman and turns to run for the hills. The Cyber Leader swears mightily, knowing that it is just their luck to be attacked by the one machine with a perfect record of success in combat, never sustains damage, is never forced into retreat and frankly the Cybermen are starting to get a tad suspicious about something so statistically improbable.

Hulbert acknowledges that the Cardiff branch is his company’s top performer, but always assumed it was down to the lucky horseshoe above the front door. The Cyber Leader determines to gather all their remaining forces once the mothership arrives and take the office by force to collect this mighty horseshoe talisman!

The Headhunter’s TARDIS rematerializes in the Cardiff office while the Doctor and Ace reminisce about the run-ins they’ve had with the TARDIS and about their previous wacky adventures with Oliver Cromwell in Ireland. Deciding to leave his former companion to sort out with mess with the Cybermen, the Doctor and Lucie hold on to the Time Bling and vanish in a trippy, blurred, slow-mo circular dance thing.

The Doctor and Lucie reappear inside the TARDIS, and discover the controls are in perfect working order – but the Magician, who probably knows all the answers to this baffling plot, is conspicuous by his absence. "He’s probably gone back to the front line of the Temporal Difference of Opinion with the Dustbins," the Doctor deduces.

"Honestly!" Lucie bitches. "Your bleeding Temporal Difference of Opinion! Do you EVER shut up about it? Ooh, my people watched over the whole of creation for ages and never did a damn thing till we saw some motorized litter bins on our patch! You’re making this up!"

"Making it up?!" the Doctor exclaims. "The Third and Last Great Temporal Difference of Opinion?! The Time Lords taking the battle across space and time, claiming planets and peoples as their own, using them to influence the time line in our favor without any care for the consequences? Whole civilizations ablaze, trillions of species not just extinct but unborn?! Carnage invisible to any but the highest of beings sensitive to devastating shifts in the vortex? AND YOU THINK I’M MAKING IT UP?!"

"Well go on then, show us what it’s like then? Let’s see it for real!"

"Trust me, Lucie, you really don’t want to know what it’s like on the front line," the Doctor says darkly, practicing his brooding stare for upcoming cover photos. "It’s not just spaceships and soldiers. Ever since the Second Battle of the Cruciform, time itself has been split wide open, right at the seams. It’s a disgusting, horrific, temporal hell of such scale and ferocity that’s ABSOLUTELY untransmittable on primetime BBC1! Or anywhere else, come to think of it. So, we’re not going to see what the Temporal Difference of Opinion is like. Ever. End. Of. Story. OK?"

"Whatever," Lucie sneers and instantly activates the Time Bling!

They reappear on the planet of Abydoss as yet another battle in the endless Temporal Difference of Opinion begins. A Dustbin battle fleet composed of disturbingly Freudian space craft, flies overhead and the booming voice of the Storm-Blaster Dustbin can be heard screaming, "LAUNCH TIME-ONIC MISSILES!"

"What a crap name," Lucie muses as the Task Leader Solus Combat Cleaver Cloud Cruiser fires a stainless steel drum at the assembled Time Battalions below. She’s proved right when the 'missile' explodes, showing the Time Rangers with digital watches.

Beside them, the Leader of the Rangers Verne the Not-Quite-As-Beautiful-As-That-Other-Guy-Called-Verne is hit by a stray minute hand off an exploding alarm clock -- and as the Doctor, Lucie and the Magician watch on, is horrified to see the past coming out of his ear!

As all of his previous incarnations (curiously all resembling Nicholas Briggs) stride out of his earhole, asking what the hell is going on and, more hopefully, where the fridge is, Verne shouts with glee that he has a fob watch in his underpants, before pulling it out and winding the hands backwards which magically fixes everything. And when a lethal Fargo Flirter comes into land and Verne throws an hourglass at the Dustbin spacecraft, which immediately flees in terror.

"You see?" the Doctor shouts at Lucie. "THIS is why I didn’t want to see a time war. It’s ridiculous!"

The Doctor, Lucie and the Magician decide to discuss the story arc in more civilized surroundings as the Stephen King Squadron of flying Dustbins amass over the Time Lord ready to tidy their enemies to death, back again and to death again and then leave it that way. "ALL POWER TO THE DUSTBIN! ALL POWER TO THE DUSTBIN DREAM OF UNIVERSAL SANITATION!"

"Well," sneers Verne, "are we gonna sit round here crying into our time rotors are we gonna DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?!" he demands before he is exterminated thirteen times, disintegrating into a heap of empty clothes and fine grey dust.

Meanwhile, the Doctor, Lucie and the Magician quickly return to the safety of the TARDIS – still at that awful garden party with all the corpses – and immediate start talking story arcs. The Doctor tells the Magician to explain why the hell the Time Lords have been forcing him to travel with an irritating Northern tart for the last month. The Magician suggests it might be better if Lucie doesn’t hear what he has to say, but the Doctor insists he doesn’t give a rat’s arse and she probably isn’t listening anyway.

The Magician reveals in his usual tedious manner that the earth girl is part of the Time Lord’s sleeper projects to help win the Temporal Difference of Opinion – for in the extremely turbulent political climate of the 21st Century, a Nazi Supremacist will establish an oppressive right-wing regime in Europe and lots of other nasty stuff you can find out by watching "V for Vendetta".

The Doctor is amazed to think that his companion could EVER be so proactive as to turn off her iPod during sex, let alone aggressively influence the early stages of humanity’s interplanetary expansion. The Magician shrugs and explains they’ve been pulling some hardcore voodoo Faction Paradox on her timelines so she won’t conquer the world which will domino effect throughout reality and ultimately blow the fuck out of the Dustbin Umpire right when it’s not expecting anything.

"We have removed certain negative, formative, life-changing, character-building experiences involving a bike shed, some cinnamon-flavored chewing gum and an inflatable shark. Believe it or not, Karen Nicegirl is actually a saint now, a Princess Di, a veritable Mother Teresa, compared to how she would have been without our influence..."

"Hang on!" the Doctor interrupts. "Karen Nicegirl?! This isn’t Karen Nicegirl, this Lucie bloody Miller who may or may not have a middle name! If you’ve been plotting out KAREN’S future destiny, why the hell is this silly bint clogging up my control room?"

"Oh dear, oh woe, oh calamity," the Magician whimpers, biting his fist in shame. "Those stupid, ignorant, illegitimate bastards in the Celestial Intervention Agency must have got the wrong memo, the incorrect chitty! No wonder we’re losing the Temporal Difference of Opinion! The devil is in the detail, the dues ex small print!"

"So why did they pick me?" asks Lucie, with arguably the most intelligent question she has ever asked in her entire life.

"Oh, how should I know?" the Time Lord snaps, flipping through his filofax. "Right. Miller. Miller. Martha, Mickey, Midge, Miller. Yes. Right, well, you’ve been another one of the projects, interfering with your timeline too. Yes, I see. You were supposed to go to a safe house in 1982 with Gene Hunt, and Karen was supposed to be put with the Doctor. They must have sent the wrong one... again..."

"What’s my destiny then?" asks Lucie.

"Oh, you’re protected because you’re pregnant with offspring who will become superheroes at the end of the century, Cyber Samurai Vigilantes defending the Earth as the greenhouse crisis floods the world. Without them, Earth would be devastated! It’s a very obvious method of retro-temporal manipulation... haven’t you ever watched a Terminator film?!"

Lucie asks the Doctor if everything she’s just heard is true and he shrugs, not particularly caring either way, but it WOULD explain why her breasts have been getting larger, as well as her psychotic mood swings and habit of randomly throwing up on people.

Speaking of which, Lucie vomits on the Magician and then screams abuse that she’s a made-up person whose swinging bachelorette lifestyle has been ruined by a one-night stand in Cardiff she oddly enough can’t quite remember. She then pulls out a gun she got from somewhere and tells the Time Lords to stop flapping about and pilot the TARDIS back to Planet 14.

The Magician laughs and points out the TARDIS exists in a state of temporal grace and technically they don’t exist while within its wall, so they can’t actually be harmed. The Doctor coughs loudly and explains that that particular quirk of TARDIS technology is just an urban myth put about by insurance companies so they never have to pay up.

With another childhood illusion shattered, the TARDIS FINALLY leaves that bloody garden party and hurtles through time and space through a relatively inexpensive CGI vortex tunnel towards where the rest of the plot has been patiently waiting to start up again.

Back in the office, Ace the Headhunter marvels at the strange device and quickly twigs that it is a quantum crystallizer. "It’s like an Infinite Improbability Drive and a Gambleject Motor combined! It rewrites timelines to create the possibility we want, like choosing the best options in a Choose Your Own Adventure novel! This is why this office never loses, the crystallizer is causing constant and incredible good luck!"

"What’s it doing here?" asks Malcolm dumbfounded.

"Well, given that it’s Time Lord technology and that once-mighty race is fighting the war to end all wars against the Dustbins, they’ve probably left it here deliberately to test it out by eradicating the Cybermen once and for all. And now it’s mine!" she explains, snatching the crystal-shaped novelty lamp gizmo. "Wicked!"

Meanwhile, the Cybermen march off the platform and into their mothership, dragging Hulbert with them intending to turn him into another Cyberman once this mess is over. "If you’re going to ally yourself with us, there’s no reason NOT to submit to the process is there?" asks the Cyber Leader. "And if there IS a reason, we’ll just destroy you."

Malcolm warns the others that ALL of the Cybermen are coming after the office this time as the Doctor’s TARDIS materializes by the water cooler and Lucie runs out, screaming abuse and running off in a temper tantrum. The Doctor and the Magician have absolutely no inclination to find out what’s happened to her, and Malcolm is more worried about the thousands of Cybermen marching up the fire escapes towards them, killing all the Boord mime artists they meat on the way.

Lucie is intent on smashing up Jerry’s office, but she’s surprised
to find Ace the Headhunter is already there, already wrecked the place, and is busy trying to get the quantum crystallizer to work to deal with the invading Cybermen. Lucie screams for attention and reveals that the Time Lords have been messing with her life and she’s just discovered she was supposed to grow up evil and instead ended up an unwed teenage mum in Cardiff and, unsurprisingly, has no idea what to do.

"Try shutting up for once in your life," Ace suggests.

The Cybermen start to take over the building, keeping as many of the
humans alive as possible so they can narrate being taken for conversion so the audience know what’s happening. Led by Karen, the office staff fight back using the Cybermen’s own weapons, but the Cybermen are still utterly convinced they can still succeed and continue to march up to the top floor in scenes that are completely original and not nicked from a certain RTD episode at all, no sir, no way.

With the Cybermen in control of the HR Dept, they now have access to the supply cupboard and can get to Earth. The Magician is shocked at how quickly the situation has deteriorated, as the last he heard was that the Cybermen were all but beaten.

"Yeah, funny you should say that," the Doctor says awkwardly, rubbing his neck and laughing unconvincingly.

Quickly realizing what a monumental fuckup the Doctor has made of everything, the Magician remembers about the whole CIA weapon-testing-undercover shenanigans at Hulbert Logistics and suggests they use the quantum crystallizer to dues ex machina them all to safety... but the special device is missing and where it was is a puddle of Lucie’s sick!

"Oh, I can’t wait for her to explain THIS one," the Doctor sighs.

Crossing to Jerry’s office he finds Lucie clutching the crystallizer and screaming her vengeance on the Time Lords shall know now bounds in this universe. The Doctor knocks gently on the door and asks if this is a private hormone-fueled suicide party or can anyone join? She refuses to accept his conditions and demands that he tells her, but that’s no real change from how she normally treats him.

Meanwhile, the Magician decides to lead Karen to the safety of the TARDIS as she has her fascist destiny to avoid and also record a number one hit with the Electrodes in 2016, but are split up when the air is filled with the sound of gunfire and marching feet and the Time Lord and earth girl are separated in the confusion and poor clarification, and suddenly Hulbert can be heard screaming "I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT! DIE, CYBERMEN, DIE!" for no apparent reason.

Lucie has never let the Doctor tell her what to do or even listened to a single word he’s said, and she isn’t about to start now. He tries to convince her that she can’t use the crystalliser to do whatever she wants, but thankfully this tedious "be a better person and don’t pull the trigger" moralizing is cut short as the Cybermen smash their way in and demand absolutely everyone surrender or else, in the Cyber Leader’s words, "someone could get vicious!"

Just as insanely confident as the Cyber Leader, Lucie cheerfully reveals the novelty table lamp she has in her hand can destroy them all! Unfortunately, it finally twigs that she has absolutely no idea how to work it and, noticing all the Cyber-gun barrels aimed at her head, meekly hands it over to the metal giants.

"AHAHAH!" shrieks the Cyber Leader. "MY DREAMS... OF CONQUEST!!"

The Cybermen immediately raise their weapons and open fire on the Doctor, Lucie and Ace – but all their rifles backfire and kill them all in a gruesome tornado of death you really wish was on TV.

"Fancy that," the Doctor muses, snatching the crystallizer from the gobsmacked Cyber Leader. "The Time Lords didn’t program this to make the user WIN, but the Cybermen to LOSE. That way, even if it fell into their steel hands, they’d still get wiped out. Very Bhuddist, isn’t it? Letting your enemies destroy themselves... really rather lazy when you think about it."

At that moment the next wave of reinforcements arrive, but even as they enter the room they all suffer an abrupt systems failure which, while not impossible, is very, very IMPROBABLE. The Cyber Leader realizes just how completely, immensely screwed they are a split second before the Doctor turns the crystallizer up to "11".

Instantly, the mothership explodes and sends out an EMP on the exact frequency to fry the brains of every Cyberman on the planet but leaving the speaking cast completely unharmed. That stretch of luck is so utterly ludicrous the crystallizer burns out, which is why the Doctor lets Lucie have the useless trinket after she orders him to hand it over or be shot down where he stands.

Leaving Lucie to slowly realize her ultimate weapon is now nothing more than a rather silly-looking paperweight, the Doctor and Ace head back to their respective TARDISes. On the way they pass the exhausted and shaken Magician and gleefully remind him that the Time Lords will have to come here, destroy all the robotic offices, return all the remaining humans home as well as doing all the MIB-mind-wiping stuff to ensure the sanctity of the time lines.

"That’ll teach you to volunteer me for anything," the Doctor laughs cruelly and kicks the Magician in the ribs. "Remember me to Gallifrey!"

The Doctor and Ace find the battered Karen Nicegirl hiding behind Ace’s TARDIS and Ace offers the shaken would-be-Nazi-supremacist job as Assistant Headhunter traveling through time and space.

"Yeah, why the hell not?" the dazed Karen agrees and follows Ace into the TARDIS. The Doctor waves off his amoral, murdering, bounty hunting regenerated granddaughter and then decides to head off and enjoy his newfound freedom from the Temporal Difference of Opinion, the Time Lords and above all, Lucie Miller.

Depressed, the Magician stumbles away as Jerry finally gets up the stairs and demands to know what the hell has happened to his office! The Magician sighs and shoves him back down the stairs, before activating his Time Bling and dispersing into the ether.

The Doctor runs inside his beloved police box, slams the doors, skips up the ramp to the console and full of energy starts stabbing buttons and slams down the handbrake. The whole room shakes violently and the Doctor holds onto the console for dear life.

"So where are we off to now?" asks Lucie, who has been sitting in the pilot chair, still trying to get the crystallizer to work.

"Oh no not AGAIN!" the Doctor wails and starts slamming switches, throwing levers and changing course desperately.

The TARDIS rematerializes in Roald Dahl Plass on January 1st 2008, the time and place the Doctor and Lucie first bumped into each other and have been hurling abuse at each other ever since. The Doctor cheerfully shoves Lucie outside into the sunshine, saying "Well, the TARDIS works without you now, so there’s no need for you to stay with me any more and I’m sure you want to get off home and make life miserable for that poor sucker who impregnated you..."

"Not necessarily," Lucie retorts. "You want me to stay!"

"What?! No I don’t!"

"HAH! You so do! You admitted it! You’re never going to hear the end of this! I WIN so THANKS FOR PLAYING!!" Lucie crows and, cackling insanely, starts to run off.

"Where are you going?" the Doctor calls after her, baffled.

"Shopping! But you’ll wait for me because you think I’m good company!" she shouts over her shoulder before disappearing into the crowd.

"Whatever," the Doctor sneers and is about to storm back into the TARDIS when he is stopped by three hulking Cro-Magnon Welsh police officers blocking his way – the 1960s police box is parked on a double yellow line in a No Standing Zone!

The Doctor protests that he was just about to move it, but the Welsh cops point out that it’s been on a double yellow line since The Girl Who Never Was A Virgin at the other end of the season. The Time Lord is dragged off by the copers, his shouts for Lucie to earn her keep as his companion and rescue him from a fascist regime ignored...

Coming Soon in the Past-And-Possibly-Never Tense...
"Woo-hoo? This Lamaze breathing is a piece of piss."
"Take my hand! No, that’s not my hand, now, is it?"
"Blummin’ eck! They’re kicking!"
"According to my readings we’re travelling at exactly 87 miles per hour! One more and we’ll be travelling in time!"
"You train-spotting loser. I bet you’ve got a little notebook and everything. And I bet you lick your pencil before you write with it."
"Piss off, you Northern slag!"
"I understand your confusion. It’s smaller on the inside than it is on the outside."
"How did you get in here? Is there a door?"
"I understand you have something to sell."
"Darn, must have got the wrong house."
"Hello, Lucie. Fancy meeting you here. And I do."
"Is this your first journey on the domestic railroad?"
"Elizabeth of Bohemian Rhapsody, a terribly self-aware aristocrat."
"Time was, there were NO ridiculous comebacks from the Tom Baker era, now we have Leonard Nimoy, Autons, Bygones, Moby..."
"Nonsense, not with a top speed of 88 miles per hour! It’ll take about fifteen minutes to wring a plot out of THAT!"
"Golly. That looks like it might sting a tad."
"You have to admit, this is the way to Cardiff?"
...Season 34...

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