A Target Novelization by Charles Daniels

Enter The Weirdo
As Ian's pimpmobile turned slowly into Tosser's Lane, Barbara said, "Park just over there, Big Daddy. We'll have a good view of the gates, without being too close. We don't want her to see you pulling down my knickers." Ian couldn't help smiling at her unthinking bossiness. Obediently, he parked the car, switched off the lights and engine, and slipped his hand down her pants. "You'd better hope she doesn't! Sitting here in a parked car with our hands in each others clothing might be a little hard to explain." Barbara gave him a disapproving look. "She doesn't seem to have arrived yet." She said with disappointment. Secretly she hoped Susan would see everything and decide to join Ian and her for a bit of old fashioned park 'n play action. "Luckily we'll get a good look at her backside if she tries to enter through that gate." Noted Ian with interest. Barbara hiked up her long skirt higher around her waist, and said hesitantly, "I suppose we are doing the right thing - aren't we?" "You mean it's a bit hard to justify -- indulging our idle curiousity?" "But her...homework...yes...I mean that's a good cover, no...?" "Bit of an excuse really, isn't it? The truth is Barbara that we're both curious about Susan Foreman, and we won't be happy until we see her naked." "You can't just pass it off like that! If I thought I was just being a peeping Tom pervert, I'd go straight home and read my Danielle Steele novels. I thought you agreed there was something mysterious, a wonderful unruly sexy quality about her?" Ian yawned. He'd shared Barbara's concern and fascination earlier, but now he was feeling increasingly doubtful about the whole thing. He could be at home watching the match and drinking lager by now. "I suppose I did...Still, there's probably some boring straightforward explanation for it all." "Like what?" Demanded Barbara greedily. "Well..." Ian said rather feebly. "To begin with, Susan's obviously got a fantastically high IQ, near genius I imagine. So her sexual appeal and her great brains are in conflict." "Wait a minute IAN! Are you saying pretty women can't be intelligent?!" "Well..not as such no, I merely meant that.." Ian contorted his face trying to find a way out of this. "I mean you think I'm intelligent don't you?" "Oh of course Barbara you're brilliant. Yes. You are the exception. Sure." Ian said with comforting patronizing. "Anyway she's just a genius with normal teenage angst and confusion." "And the gaps? The things she doesn't know?" "Maybe she only concentrates on explosives, crime, and destruction and ignores everything else." "It just isn't good enough, Ian! How do you explain an exceptionally intelligent and sexy teenage girl who doesn't know how many shillings there are in a pound?"
(At this time, the early 60s, Britain was still sticking to her uniquely complicated LSD monetary system - four pigs, or two halfwalruses to the penny, twelve pints to the shilling, and twenty shillings to sixteen ounces. In fact at this rate it's amazing ANYBODY knew how many shillings there were in anything, including their own pockets.) Ian stared down Barbara's shirt and mumbled. "Really?" Barbara nodded, unaware, remembering. The hallucinations had been more and more frequent since drinking her coffee that morning. Barbara and Ian had no way to know that their beverages had been dosed with acid by Susan that morning as a practical joke. At the time Susan got the question wrong she hadn't even seemed particularly put out by her ridiculous mistake. "I'm sorry, Miss Wright, I thought you were on the decimal system by now. I didn't know you bastards were still using that old LSD system in this time..hmm..LSD system." Chirped the bikini-clad ghost image of Susan dancing awkwardly in Barbara's mind. "Don't be silly, Susan. The United States and most European countries have a decimal system, but you know perfectly well that we do not!" Barbara closed her eyes, loving putting Susan in her place. Susan frowned for a moment then said, "Of course, the decimal system hasn't started yet. You'll change over in a few years' time! I'll do anything to make up for my error Miss Wright. I feel so sorry about this sweetcheeks. Maybe we should talk about this all alone in your office after school.", at least in Barbara's whacked out imagination in the guise of her pupil. Ian joined in Barbara's high and continued it in astonishment. "Decimal system, in England? That'll be the day! I suppose she could be a foreigner. There's something odd about the ways she talks and her teeth are so amazingly straight..." "Oh come on Ian, admit it. It just doesn't make sense." "No it doesn't." Ian agreed. "Nothing about the girl makes sense. You know, the other day I was talking about mind altering chemicals and passing out tablets to show cause and effect." "I suppose she knew how to mix it in her bathtub before you even started?" "Yes, but more than that. The drugs simply didn't interest her." Ian could see Susan now, dancing in a Hawaiian grass skirt with coconut bra, looking impatiently up at him. "Yes, I can see that red turns to blue, Mr Chesterton, but that's because were dealing with two chemicals that just effect the visual centres of the brain. They only act to alter perception of color." "That's the whole point of the experiment, Susan!" "Yes, I know, Mr Chesterton. But...well, it's a bit fucking obvious isn't it? I mean, I'm not trying to be a downer here but couldn't we deal with two stronger more active chemicals that would make us hear light, smell sounds, and think we were all butterflies watching a gardening show on a rainbow colour television? The red could turn to blue all by itself, while we all got on with something far more surreal and worth the dosh." She sighed. "I'm sorry, it was just an idea." Returning to the present, Ian said. "She meant it, too, Barbara. These simple drugs are just child's play to her. It's maddening! DAMN IT! If I could only get into her trousers!!!" "I know how you feel. It's got to the point where I want to strip her deliberately!" Exclaimed Barbara. "Something else happened in maths the other day," Said Ian suddenly. "I'd set the class a problem, an equation using A, B, and C as the three dimensions..." Ian's mind went back to the scene in the classroom. He was taking sips off his coffee when he got a funny feeling. Susan had just handed the cup of coffee to him after she had collected it for him as a nice gesture when she turned to study the equation on the blackboard. "It's impossible to do it using only A, B, and C," she protested. "You have to use D, and E." "D and E? Whatever for? Do the problem as set, Susan!" There had been something like desperation in Susan's voice. Ian was amazed by how accurate his peaking memories were. Oddly in his memory this conversation was happening with Susan completely nude, something in the back of his mind sensed this was inaccurate but he didn't press the point and continued with the flowing images in his mind. "I can't, Mr Chesterton. You simply can't work using only three of the dimensions." "Three dimensions? Oh, the fourth one being Time, I suppose. What do you need E for? What do you make the Fifth Dimension?" "Sex." Said Susan simply. Actually Susan had replied with the word "Space" but this was his fantasy now and he didn't give a damn anymore. When he'd finished living out his own personal version of events, Ian looked despairly at Barbara. "Somehow I got the impression that she thinks of Time and Sex..I mean being much the same thing - as if you could travel in one just as well as in the other!" "Too many questions, Ian, and not enough candid photographs." "So," said Ian summing it up. "We have a fifteen-year-old girl who's absolutely brilliant at some things and excruciatingly bad at others... who looks sexy as hell." Barbara touched his leg. "And here she is!" Outside the junkyard, Susan came hurrying along the street in a leather jacket. She paused for a moment, looked around, pushed open the small entry-gate and disappeared inside, never noticing her two schoolteachers leaning in for a good look at her from inside the car. "Hadn't we better go in, Ian? I hate to think of her in that place alone. All alone and cold, needing me to hug her and keep her warm with my body." "If she IS alone!" "What do you mean?" "Look, she's fifteen, remember, I sure can't forget. She might be meeting a boyfriend. Didn't that occur to you?" Barbara laughed. "I almost hope she is, then we could sneak up and watch!" She looked uneasily across the junkyard. "I know it's silly, but I feel excited. As if we're about to interfere with a girl who's best left alone." Ian Chesterton fished a torch out of the glove compartment and opened the car door zipping himself up. "Come on Barbara, let's get it over with!" They got out of the pimpmobile and crossed the road to get to the otherside. Barbara sighed deeply. "Don't you FEEL something?" "I take things as they come," Said Ian cheerfully quoting his character description from chapter 1. He pushed open the little gate and they went inside, one of Ian's favorite activities. Even in the semi-darkness, they could see that the tiny yard was so cluttered in junked BBC film cans there was scarcely room to move. Ian shone his torch around them. He jumped as the torch beam picked out what seemed to be a human body, but was only a police officer with a shattered head. "What a mess!" muttered Ian. "I'm not turning over this lot to find her." Barbara searched all around for any stolen school property she felt Susan might have nicked for fun and hooliganism. Ian took a few paces forward and stepped on stack of slippery vandalized text books, he staggered to keep his balance, and the torch shot from his hand. It went out as it hit the ground and rolled away somewhere out of sight. Ian screamed in frustration, this was the third torch he'd lost this week whilst stalking someone in the dark. "Blast!" said Ian savagely, "I've dropped the wretched lighty stick!" "Use a match then." "Haven't got any matches. Oh, well, never mind. I'm good at doing this sort of thing in the dark." Slowly their eyes adjusted to the darkness, and they began moving cautiously around the little yard. "Susan?" called Barbara. "Susan, are you there my darling?" No Answer. "Susan, it's Mr Chesterton and Miss Wright, we're trying to sneak up and spy on you!" Shouted Ian. "Susan! Look help us out here!" There was still no reply. Ian peered around the gloom. "She can't have gone far, the place is too small and these junked film cans and videos are taking up most the place anyway. And she can't have left the yard or we'd have seen her." Barbara moved forward, and something square and solid loomed up out of the darkness in front of her. "Ian, look at this." "It's a police box! What's it doing here? They usually stand on street corners. Do you think Susan stole this for kicks?" He reached out and patted the police box. "Seems solid enough." He tried to kick the door and snatched his foot away. "What's the matter Ian?" "Kick it." Hesitantly, Barbara kicked the crap out of the police box door. She, too, pulled it hurriedly back. "There's a kind faint of vibration. Like a battery operated sex aide with multiple speeds in those catalogues I obviously don't get delivered to me monthly at home." Ian nodded. "It feels - kinky...." He walked all the way around the police box, caressing it thoroughly, before reappearing around the front. "Well it's not connected to anything - unless it's through the floor." Barbara hugged the police box tightly. For some reason the police box made her feel warm and gooey. After about ten minutes she stopped and said. "Look, I've had enough of this. Let's go and find a policeman, tell him we think Susan is missing. They can organize a proper search, they know what she looks like by now." "All right." Ian paused as he heard the gate creak open. There was the sound of coughing. "Someone's here!" Screamed Ian like a scared little girl. "Is it Susan?" Queried Barbara hopefully. Ian could just make out a cloaked figure advancing through the gloom. "No, it isn't, it's some weirdo. Quick, behind here." He dragged her behind a pile of old furniture, and they ducked down out of sight. Ian took advantage of the situation and groped Barbara copiously. The dark shape came nearer, and revealed itself as a white-haired old man wrapped in some kind of cloak. He wore an oddly shaped fur hat, a long striped scarf, and a 'Time Lords Do It In All Dimensions' T-shirt. The old man paused for a moment, struck up a joint, coughing as old people do, and patted himself on the chest. He seemed to be muttering about the torries...He went up to the police box, fished a key out of his pocket and opened the door. To the astonishment of the two watchers, a girl's voice came from inside the police box. "Grandfather! Don't come in yet, I'm naked!" "It's Susan!" yelped Barbara. "Ssh!" said Ian warningly, but it was too late. The old man had heard them. He slammed the door of the police box and whirled around. Barbara had blown their chance to make a mad rush for the door. Deciding he might as well make the best of it, Ian rose to his feet. "Excuse me." The old weirdo looked at him in mild digust. "What are you doing here?" "We're stalking a girl..." "We?" Barbara, too, emerged from her hiding place, rising like Count Dracula. "Good evening." The old man studied them for a moment. They seemed like totally incompetent bungling fools. Instantly he knew these people must be school teachers. His face was old and lined, yet somehow alert and vital at the same time. His eyes seemed to blaze with fierce perversity, and a commanding beak of a nose gave his features an arrogant, aristocratic air. "We're looking for one of our pupils," said Ian rather dully. "A girl called Susan, Foreman. She's tall for her age, with short dark hair framing a rather elfin face. Her breasts are pert and still growing but we don't oggle over school girls anymore, of course." Continued Ian as he again faithfully quoted character description from chapter 1. "We saw her come into this yard." I added at the end because it's an obvious detail and I get paid by the word. "Really? In here? Are you sure?" There was a sort of condescending scepticism in the old man's voice, like that of someone talking to an imaginative child or a person high off LSD tainted caffeinated drinks. "Yes, we're sure," said Barbara woozily. "We saw her - from across the street." "One of their pupils," muttered the old weirdo to himself. "Not the police then, yes, I was quite right, hmm." Ian was alarmed by the half-heard words. Why was this old man worried about the police? Was he talking about the rock band from the future Susan had been listening to in the classroom in chapter 1 or was there some more heinous motive behind his all gripping paranoia? "I beg your pardon?" "Why were you spying on her? Who are you?" Ian realised he was being put on the defensive. As a generally offensive person this was a massive shift from the norm. Somehow it was as if HE was the one who had to explain HIS actions. I mean he'd only fantasized about covering his pupil in whipped creme and helping her clean it up, how DARE anyone ask him to explain that! "We heard a young girl's voice call out to you-" "Your hearing must be very acute. I didn't hear anything, and I for one like young girls. Quite, indeed. No, if a young girl had called for my attentions I daresay we would not be having this conversation presently, would we? Hmm!?" Barbara pointed to the police box. "Well we heard it. And it came from in there!" "You imagined it! Dear me, other people are having to imagine young women calling out for me. How sad a day when I have to live vicariously through other people's fantasies about my sex life." Barbara could feel herself getting angry. "I most certainly did not imagine it!" Deciding that Barbara was a loony beyond reason, the old man turned to Ian. "Now, I ask you, young man," he said smoothly, "is it reasonable to suppose that anyone would be in a cupboard like that?" Ian's tone was equally calm. "Would it therefore be UNreasonable to ask you to let us have a look and take lots of photos of what's inside?" The old weirdo seemed astonished at the suggestion. He picked up an old painting of dogs playing poker, and studied it absorbedly. "I wonder why I've never see that before. Now, isn't that strange? It's very damp and dirty. You can't even see what cards the terrier is holding." "Won't you help us?" pleaded Barbara. "We're two of her teachers - she's at Hold Still School. We saw her come in and we still haven't seen her naked. Naturally, we're very disappointed." The old weirdo was still peering at the painting. "It really ought to be cleaned, at least wash all the spots off that wait that's a Dalmatian." He looked up at Barbara. "Oh, I'm afraid I don't give a damn my dear lady. This is none of my business. I suggest you leave." "Not until we're satisfied by Susan...I mean that she's not here." said Ian angrily. "Frankly, I just don't understand your attitude. If you are I.M. Pervert, the Porn Merchant, then surely the fate of a young girl who may be grateful to you for helping her would be of your highest interest." "Indeed? Well your attitude leaves a lot to be desired, young man." "WILL YOU OPEN THAT DOOR YOU IRRIATING OLD ECCENTRIC BASTARD?!?!?!?!!" The old weirdo turned away dimissively. "There's nothing in there." "Then why are you afraid to show us?" "Afraid!" said the old weirdo scornfully. "Oh - go away before I really start getting bizarre and have to twist your bodies into amusing pretzel shapes of my own design." He spoke like someone dismissing a child who's failed a history exam by answering every question with the answer 'World War 2: The Sequel'. "Come on Barbara, I think we better go and fetch a policeman." Barbara nodded, watching the old weirdo to see the effect of this threat. He shrugged and started to cut paper dolls. "Very well. Do as you please. You strange stalkers. See if I care." "And you're coming with us," said Ian feeling lonely and threathening. The old weirdo picked up a sock puppet, placed it on his hand, and mocked Ian playfully. "Oh, am I? Say Sock Puppet Hand, do you want to go to the police? Oh I don't think so. No, I can't go with sock puppet hand, he's a very dangerous fellow and we have to go everywhere together or nowhere together. He's rather limp and lifeless without me you see." The weirdo looked over the painting again with sock puppet hand, studying it thoughtfully. Stalemate.
Barbara looked helplessly at Ian. "We can't force him, not when he's got a sock puppet on his hand. It just doesn't seem right." "We can't leave him here, either. Isn't it obvious? He's got her locked up in there. He's going to go in there and have his way with her! I mean Barbara think about it - WE could be doing that!!" They moved closer to the police box. "Try the door," suggested Barbara. "Maybe you can force it." Ian examined the lock. He thumped the door, but it was stiff as all hell. "There's no proper handle - must be some kind of secret lock. I wish I had something like this back at my flat." "But that was Susan's voice, and she did say she was completely nude, didn't she?" "Of course." Ian rapped the door with his knuckles to the beat of the Popeye, the Sailor Man theme tune. "Susan, Susan, are you in there? It's Mr Chesteron and Miss Wright. We just want to lay down and talk." Ian's banging on the police box in such an annoying fashion got on the strange old weirdo's last bad nerve. Abandoning his attempt to bond with the sock puppet through classic paintings he rose and came towards them. "Aren't you being a bit of a wanker, young man? You THOUGHT you saw a young sexy girl enter the yard. You IMAGINE you heard her voice. You BELIEVE she might be hidden inside there? It's not very substantial, is it? Now stop eating the freaky fungus, the magic mushrooms you might say, and get out of my yard!" His words seemed to drain away Ian's confidence, leaving him wondering if he hadn't just imagined it all in a freaky voyage to trip out city. Barbara was not to be put off or turned off the idea of finally learning more about Susan. "But why don't you help us?" "I'm not hindering you. If you're both determined to make fools of yourself then go right ahead by all means indeed yes! Carry out your threat. Go and find a policeman. Find the whole lot of them! Bring the entire Metropolitan Police Force here for milk and cookies." Ian said sceptically, "While you nip off quitely in the other direction, I suppose?" "There's no need to be insulting you insulting bastard." the old weirdo said loftily. "There's only one way in and out of this yard. One of you can wait outside and watch the gates. I shall be here when you get back. I want to see your faces when you try to explain being high as a kite to a policeman!" "All right! That's what we'll do! We'll follow your idea to the letter, that's out smarting you!" said Ian defiantly. "Come on, Barbara, you can watch from the car, while I run off somewhere safe to pick up munchies." They were about to move away when the door to the police box opened from the inside. Susan's voice called. "What are you DOING out there? Playing with that damned sock puppet again? Anyway give me ten more minutes, I'm still naked Grandfather." The old weirdo sprang towards the police box with tigerish speed. "Close the door, people can see you!" he shouted. He grabbed the door obviously intending to rush in and slam the door, but Ian was too determined to see Susan with her kit off. Ian grabbed him by the arm, trying to pull him away. Despite his age, the old weirdo was amazingly strong, and he almost succeeded in punching Ian in the crotch and laughing at him. Like some feverish fantasy Barbara came and joined in, and somehow, struggling wildly, Ian and Barbara forced themselves into the police box - and straight into sheer wackiness.
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