A Target Novelization by Charles Daniels

Beyond the door it was a bleak and rocky plain, not a McDonald's in sight. Rimmed by distant mountains one could hike forever across the snow capped peaks and never reach a ski resort. A broad sluggish river ran through the centre of the plain. The river was clear and completely free of beer cans and motorboats. In fact the river was fringed by an impenetrable forest. Someone from London may have recognised the forest was covered in an obscure type of plant named "trees", but probably not. There were caves in the foothills of the mountains, well mountains as far as England is concerned, and it was here that the Commune made their home. Best of all my cut 'n paste feature was working and I was getting paid by the word. The plain was scoured by winds which made a constant, low moaning sound, sort of like the audience of Kenny G concert. It was a grim and forbidding scene, which is in every way identical to a Kenny G concert. The Doctor sniffed something triumphantly and said, "I've got no more time to argue with you, loser boy. Susan, I'm going off to get wasted." He strode out into the plain as drunkenly and woozily as if it was the junk yard in Tossers Lane, and vanished behind the TARDIS. "Be careful, grandfather! Always know your dealer!" called Susan. "Let's stay inside and look at Susan," said Barbara. Susan turned red with embarrassment and ran outside. Barbara quickly stepped outside to follow her. Ian moved toward the door and winced. "Ouch!" Susan came back in to see him. "What is it, Mr Chesterton?" "Oh nothing, I just thought that if I screamed in pain and faked a head injury you might rush up to comfort me." "Come on, lean on me." Offered Susan. Ian put his hand on her shoulder, and walked stiffly through the door. It closed behind him. Coarse sand crunched beneath his feet, and he shivered against Susan's body in the wind. The air was cold, but Ian felt rather warm and he liked the effects the arctic gusts were having on Susan. The air was also incredibly clear, and in the distance, the forest, river, and mountains stood out in the distance in sharp-edged detail. Ian could have easily seen them had he just bothered to glance up. "Having fun?" Barbara asked mischieviously. Ian nodded his head in vast agreement. "There must be some rational explanation for all this - there MUST be!" In his heart, Ian knew that only one explanation was possible. Everything the Doctor, that old weirdo, had told him was the truth. With those first steps outside the TARDIS Ian began to blame everything he saw on the LSD coffee he'd enjoyed that day. The Doctor popped into sight from behind the TARDIS, looking distinctly peeved. "You're still clutching onto my nude granddaughter?! Why hasn't she changed?" Shaking his head the Doctor marched off, disappearing behind a strangely out of place Volkswagen Beetle. Ian gazing after him in astonishment. The Doctor walked on for some way, as he forgot that Volkswagens were actual vehicles, brooding over the erratic malfunctioning of the TARDIS. Recollecting who he was and what he was doing, he came to a sudden halt and started to hum Pink Floyd tunes as he found he was in a kind of sheltered enclosure between two great rocks. Deciding that this spot would be a good hide out, the Doctor fished out his long plastic pipe, a small leather bound notebook, a mirror, and a razor blade. Picking up a rock he began smoking it with great care. Soon he was quite absorbed in his hobby - and quite unaware of the savage, skin-clad figure, watching him from behind the wall of rocks like some deranged sociopath at a Frank Zappa concert. The Doctor's companions meanwhile didn't give a toss for the old coot. It was rather stupid and short sighted of them to let the only person who could possibly pilot the TARDIS out of their sight for even a moment but then the Doctor doesn't always associate with the brightest of individuals. Whilst preparing to play a rousing game of beach blanket bingo with Ian and Susan, Barbara came across the skull of some large animal half-buried in the sand, and she and Susan began digging it free with their hands. "What do you think it could be, Ian?"
Ian helped them to clear the sand from around the skull. "I don't know. No horns or antlers. Could be a horse or a deer - could be anything. I think The Doctor would like to study this, perhaps make a bong out of it." Ian looked back at the TARDIS, standing blue and square and incongruous, but undeniably THERE in the sandy plain. A second hand obsolete time vessel piloted by a weirdo and a naked time lady. "Incredible. A police box in the middle of nowhere, that can travel ANYWHERE in time and space! It just doesn't make sense!" Barbara snapped "For god's sake Ian! Stop reusing material from previous chapters!! It's so annoying! It's a time machine shaped like a police box. Get over it!" Susan glanced back at the TARDIS. "Ohh my! Trapped in the form of a POLICE BOX! How crypto-fascist! This is totally representative of the current state of affairs of the official oppression of the masses and the watchful eye of big brother amongst the youth and working classes! BASTARDS!" Ian looked shocked at her, "What's wrong?" "It's suppose to change shape." She said matter-of-factly. "I don't know why it hasn't done it this time." "It's suppose to WHAT?!" "Change it's shape! This isn't so hard to follow you know!? It's a Broken shape shifting time machine. It's been a mini, a food van, a bag of soggy crisps, and a Roman Emperor, just to name a few. It should be a boulder or probably something a bit strange and out of place like...well that Volkswagen over there would be a good example." "You mean the ship disguises itself wherever it goes?" said Barbara. "Well, it's suppose to, but the little chameleon circuit doohicky in time must be faultier than your grading system, Miss Wright." Susan stood up. "I wonder if this skull really will help grandfather...Where's he off to? I hate it when he wanders off. Last time he wandered off he spent three weeks insisting he was a little oriental woman named Xiong." She turned slowly in a circle, shading her eyes with her hand as her school teachers looked up and gasped at the momentous view. "Grandfather!" she called. "Where are you, Grandfather?" There was no reply. Barbara looked over at Ian. "You're very quiet." "Humbled is the word. I wish I would have remembered to bring the popcorn along from the car..." Ian said distantly. "I wish I understood what's going on, but I like it anyway." "I don't understand it any more than you do," said Barbara. "The inside of the ship, suddenly finding Susan naked...finding ourselves here... not to mention most the things Dr Foreman says." "That's not his name. Who is he? Doctor who? Perhaps if we could find out who he is, we'd have a clue to all this. And what about Fuzzy? Does he seem like sock royalty to you? I always figured the royal socks would be checkered or plaid." "You may have a point, but it's happened, Ian. We've just got to accept it. Now sit back and oggle Susan some more." "It's almost impossible to accept. I mean, I can see we're here, I can see all of Susan..yet this is like some psychedelic dream on the mystery machine." Ian shrugged helplessly. Susan said, "I can't see him!! I can't see grandfather anywhere." "He can't be far away, judging by the way he was staggering and see sawing around. He probably just passed out drunk in the sand." said Barbara trying to be reassuring. "I feel strange, just if we're being watched." Susan muttered. "Well YOU'RE being watched that's for sure!" Chuckled Ian. Susan raised her voice. "Grandfather? Where are you? Don't make me count to 100 again! This game you like to play can be so childish!" The Doctor sat cross legged on the ground surrounded by a litter of his possessions, examining a moss-covered peeble with absorbed attention as he chuckled and laughed wildly. Fishing in his pocket he produced a tiny little portable television set with built in VCR. Finding a tape labelled "Important BBC Junked Material" the Doctor absent mindedly tossed it in the machine and began to record some of his favorite soaps over it. From his hiding place in the rocks, Kevin watched the activities of the weirdo with fascination. He leaned forward curiously as the creature produced little black rectangles and circular canisters and threw them on a fire to warm himself. The weirdo fumbled with one of the objects - and Kevin saw a MIRACLE! Again! He knew that he really had to cut down on the mushrooms. Grasping his stone-headed axe, he rose and padded silently towards his prey.
"Grandfather!" called Susan again. "Biological Grandfather!" From somewhere in the distance there came a cry of pain, a yell of triumph, and then lots of silly cartoon noises like a 16 Ton weight being dropped on a coyote's head from three miles up and then a weird accordion sound as he walked away. "It came from over that way," said Ian. "Come on!" They ran toward the odd sounds of "Zoink!", "Ka-Pow!", and "Ker-Splat!". It didn't take long for them to find the rocky enclosure. In fact if any of them had gotten up and actually looked for the Doctor as soon as they noticed him missing they could have easily found this place and avoided the entire ordeal. It somehow didn't help that they seemed to have the combined intelligence of a seedless grape. The Doctor's old sock puppet lay on the ground. Beside it, was his special pipe, and his notebook. Of the Doctor himself there was no sign. "Grandfather!" Screamed Susan predictably. "What's happened?" "Don't Panic, Susan." said Ian sharply. It was the first useful or sensible thing anyone had said all day. Susan began scrambling up the side of the nearest boulder. It so happens that in Susan's culture the phrase 'Don't Panic, Susan' roughly translates as 'And Now you see we are those who are doomed to die, so lots of needless screaming and climbing up boulders is just the thing, of course twisting your ankle isn't a bad idea either.' It was for this reason that Susan continued to panic. "I must find him! Maybe I can see him from up here!"
"Look, Ian." whispered Barbara. She pointed at the sock puppet laying at their feet. Ian of course was too busy already looking at a nude Susan trying to climb a giant rock. Barbara had to tug at his shirt and slap him several times before he looked down and saw the sock puppet. Ian picked it up and examined it. "Well, at least he's not wearing this anymore." "Maybe he saw something interesting," suggest Barbara uneasily. "Perhaps he just rushed off to investigate." Ian lifted the sock to Barbara's face. "Dropping this?? No the Doctor wouldn't leave King Fuzzy behind." "What do you think happened, then?" "Well, I suppose he could have gotten into a fight with Fuzzy, got excited and just ran off." said Ian slowly. "On the other hand...maybe he put another sock puppet on and Fuzzy got jealous. Maybe someone saw him playing with sock puppets and took him away. The yell we heard didn't sound like one of excitement..but then, he IS a weirdo." Susan jumped down from her rock, Ian nearly fainted. "I can't see anything. There's not a sign of him anywhere." She looked at Ian and Barbara wondering why their eyes were bugging out and their jaws were open. "Something's happened to him, I know it has. We've got to find him." Her tone was close to hysteria, and Barbara said. "Calm down, Susan, it won't help to panic. Why not just lay down awhile with Ian and me?" Susan wasn't listening. She stooped down and picked up the notebook. "He left his notes!" "He seems to have left quite a few things lying about," said Ian "Sock, pipe, note book, mirror, razor blade..." "He may have just laid them all down and gone off somewhere," suggested Barbara, more to console Susan and try to get her to consent to going back to more fun and games than because she believed it herself. Susan shook her head vigorously, again Ian and Barbara froze. "No, no, no! Grandfather would have never left his notebook, it's vital to him. It's got the key codes to some of the martial aides aboard the ship, notes about the places we've been kicked out of, all his rejected letters to Penthouse. He simply wouldn't go off and leave it. Please, we must go and look for him. Something's happened, I know it has." "We'll find him," said Barbara soothingly. "He won't be far away. He couldn't walk more than three feet in a straight line judging by some of the stuff he left behind." "What did you see on the other side of the rocks, Susan?" asked Ian. "Just a line of trees. I think it was the beginning of a forest. There was a sort of gap between them, it looked like a path. I'm not sure if I want to follow it though. There could be lions, and tigers, and bears." "Oh my. Well, if there's danger, I'm SURE that's where he is. We'll try there first." Ian shoved the Doctor's possessions in his pockets. This stuff would be EXCELLENT black mail material. This was their ticket back home for sure. Ian straightened up, and led the way around the boulder. Inside the deluxe cave, six bedroom, three bath, with optional pantry, Hur watched anxiously as Dave laboured vainly with getting the TV to do anything at all. Beside him the burly, grey-bearded figure of Tim, Hur's father, watched Dave's efforts with a sceptical eye. "Kevin says that in the land he comes from, he was a chief, and often got the telly to tune in lots of illegal scrambled channels." "Kevin is a lying plonker!" "Kevin says that he drove far from his own lands in an Austin, and he has forgotten how to turn on the television. He says that soon, Radio Times Subscription Salesman, the man in cheap tie, will remind him how it is done, and he will give television to all of us." "All of Kevin's tribe were out of work Mimes with no talent and no brains!" said Dave furiously. "If he had not found us, he would have died of boredom from their act too!" "What else did Kevin say? Does Kevin have a free night this week?" asked Hur. "He says that the man in cheap tie will only tell the secret of the television to the leader." "I am leader," grunted Dave. "The man in cheap tie will tell me." He stared moodily at the blank black screen. "I am the son of the chief, the great programmer. Even though he did not show me how to turn on the boob tube, how to change it's many channels, I shall discover the secret for myself." Dave smote himself on the chest with one huge fist. "Kevin came here, I didn't mess with the guy, I let him forget the entire mime business, and now he's being a real bastard and taking advantage of the whole deal!" Dave's voice rose to an angry roar. "Must I spill blood to make the people bow to me? 'Cause hey, you know I'll do it." Excited shouts came from outside the cave. "It's Kevin! Kevin's coming!" "Kevin brings us kill and coca-cola!" (Ever since Coca-Cola invested in the first human time travel experiment the Cola Wars had gotten bloody and timeless. Entire worlds were altered and changed to rain Coke, or Pepsi, or other popular fizzy drinks since the moment of their creation. The infamously popular 22nd Century soft drink "SKUG" once destroyed an entire civilization just to corner the market in ancient Egypt. The command phrase "Drink SKUG!" was as popular in ancient Egypt as was the Book of The Dead. Indeed in many 21st century archaeological findings it was discovered that the jury of gods in the Egyptian afterlife asked, amongst other questions, what the best Cola in the Cosmos was. If they did not answer "SKUG" they would be fed to a pack of hungry wolf hounds. This is why it is ironic that a late 21st century archaeologist founded SKUG Cola Corp. with the foreknowledge that his company would ultimately be successful and take over ancient egypt. You can read more stories like this in "The Book Of Extremely Dubious Business Practices - YOU Could Be Assured A Pre-Destined Fortune!") Dave snatched up his giant deformed clay vase he made for his mother when he was eight and ran from the cave, Tim and Hur close behind him. Outside they saw Kevin, surrounded by a crowd of excited and loony Commune members. He bore some strange weirdo across his shoulders and, as they watched, he juggled him expertly much to the old weirdo's dismay. Juggling the old weirdo like a master performer he finally flung him up into the air and held his arms out wide on either side of his body so it would not be possible to catch him. The Commune laughed with merriment as the old weirdo fell down on a flat-topped rock outside the cave. Kevin took a bow. Curiously the Commune gathered around, jabbering with laughter and excitement. Dave shoved his way through the crowd and looked down at the unconscious figure on the stone. "This is a strange weirdo. Why do you bring it here Kevin? Is it good to eat? Are we to throw fruit at it and mock it and make it dance like the crazed buffalo we give our special herbs to for a laugh late on Saturday nights?" Kevin glared challengingly at him, his face alight with triumph "Is Dave, son the great programmer, afraid of an old weirdo?" "No, Dave fears nothing! NO FEAR! Fear? HA! I don't even know the MEANING of the WORD "Fear"." said Dave as he posed as macho as he could whilst hiding behind a rock and prodding the old man's body with a pointed stick. "When will Dave get that TV to work? I mean we're going to miss the whole season if you don't hurry up." "When the man in cheap tie decides it." Kevin laughed. "The Radio Times Subscription Salesman is for strong men! Men who can make the man in cheap tie obey their will." He pointed dramatically at the weirdo on the rock. "The man in cheap tie has sent this creature as a sign of his favour. This old one in silly clothes can make telly come out of his fingers and into any small box he touches." There was an awe stricken murmur from the Commune. "I have seen it!" shouted Kevin. "He is full of telly inside! I saw him watching Holly Oaks and Days Of Our Lives. His is a magical creature! Smoke comes from his mouth!" "As lies come out of yours," sneered Dave. He leaned forward and poked the body with his finger. "It is only an old man, wearing stupid clothes." The Doctor groaned suddenly, and Dave leaped back. Kevin was quick to seize the advantage. "Dave is scared shitless of the creature! Kevin was not afraid! A strange blue tree came, over the hills and far away, and the creature was in it. Dave would have run like a rabbit who was late for an appointment if he'd have seen it, but I am a good voyeur so I watched and followed!" With an angry roar Dave leaped for Kevin. Kevin dodged aside the leapt upon the rock doing an elaborate tap dance as he said, "Hear me!" "Let him speak!" shouted Tim, and Dave drew back. And so Kevin began to sing - "I saw this weirdo creature make telly come out of the air, So good he didn't even notice a strange young lady with no underwear. I remembered that the commune needed a set to tune and switch, So I picked up a rock, and decided to knock, out the son of bitch! You will all die of boredom with no telly if you wait for Dave, So, I, Kevin, should be your true leader and Dave should be a slave! And if you make me your chief today the fall season will blow you away, And remember that as your leader, I'll never strrraaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!" There was a roar of approval. "Why do you listen to Kevin's lies?" shouted Dave. Tim said, "Dave has many good skins. Perhaps he has forgotten what the cold is like! Perhaps he likes the cold! Perhaps he is like an American tourist always wanting extra ice in his coca-cola!" "Tomorrow I will kill many bears for the commune." Shouted Dave. "You shall all have warm skins. Then I shall go the the coca-cola company and trade for many lakes of coca-cola for the people to drink!" "I think tomorrow you will still be here, rubbing your hands on rubber buttons and holding them against the screen and asking the man in cheap tie to send you telly - and the bears will stay warm in their own skins!" There was a shout of mocking laughter. "What I say I will do, I will do! No bear will ever again steal a picnic basket from our Commune!" said Dave. "Hear me!" Screamed Kevin again. "I say that the great programmer is dead! I knew the telly repairman, I was friends with the telly repairman, and YOU, Dave, are no telly repairman! All you can do is stare at your reflection in the screen. Not even a test pattern! But, I, Kevin, will make the telly work - and I shall be leader!"
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