A Target Novelization by Charles Daniels

The Knave of Skills
There was a moment of tense silence. It was really quiet. Ever been at family reunion and had you're Uncle Harrold finally come out of the closet? That's how silent it was. Dave saw that his leadership was really getting shot to hell. He was not a very bright fellow and couldn't use words cunnlingly as Kevin could. Dave couldn't even use the WORD cunningly. Kevin used his words to cloud the minds of the Commune. Much like the guy who always promises free beer "next Saturday" but that mythical "next Saturday" never seems to come. Dave had one advantage. Dave was a kill crazy maniac. Grasping his axe Dave poised himself to spring. He'd lop off their heads while kicking them in the groin and screaming "Hallelujah". Suddenly Hur shouted, "The creature has opened his trousers!"
The Doctor sat up, groaning, one hand on his head the other hand zipping himself back up embarrassed. "Susan?" He shouted. "Susan??" Susan, Barbara and Ian were hurrying down the forest path, when suddenly Susan stopped. Ian cheaply pretended to be surprised, ran into and groped Susan for a moment before she stopped him and made him pay attention to what she wanted to say. "Listen!" "What is it?" Asked Barbara, jealous of Ian. "I heard grandfather's voice. It was very faint, but I heard it. You heard it, didn't you, Mr Chesteron?" "I heard might have been a bird or an animal..but if it makes you happy, sure Susan! Of course! No question. It was you're dear old weirdo grandad." "It was grandfather," Said Susan positively. "Come on, we've got to find him! I could never forgive myself if something horrible were to happen to him. I wanted to be the one to do him in after I torture him enough." She ran off down the path. Ian and Barbara stood their a moment lost in fantasy and amazement. "Susan, wait for us!" shouted Ian. "Come on, Barbara! You look like a deer caught in the headlights!" By now Susan was almost out of sight, they couldn't have that! They hurried after her. As the Doctor came to his senses, his panic died down. These people weren't hippies, he could breathe normally now. He studied the savage skin-clad creatures crowding around him, saw the heavy, brutal features, the skin garments, the stone-headed axes and spears, and the various heavy metal tattoos. He saw Kevin and rubbed his head gingerly, remembering how this guy had just beaten him senseless and juggled him for cheap laughs. 'Must have wanted me alive,' thought the Doctor. 'He could juggle very well, he's definitely not a knave of skills' He thought further, loyally dropping the chapter title. The Doctor looked at the burly biker-like figure nearest him. He was the dumbest and most bulky, presumably he was the leader. "Where's Susan - strange girl with explo-" he began, and then broke off. There was no point in making these savages aware of the existence of his nude granddaughter and her perverted school teachers from the distant future. The Doctor fell silent, glancing woozily around him, trying to remember who he was and how he got into a commune filled with roadie rejects. The smug savage who had captured him seemed to be making some kind of speech and occasionally breaking out into full chorus dance numbers. Even in the stone age, no wait the rock age if he recalled correctly, there were still politicians to deal with, thought the Doctor. He watched and waited. If this was like the politics he'd seen on earth in the 20th century lots of people would rant and rave, do a little song and dance, and then nothing would happen. "Do you want telly?" Kevin shouted. "Or do you want to die reading trashy romance novels?" "Telly!" shouted the men of the Commune. "Give us the freakin' telly, Kevin!" Kevin raised his hand for silence and cheap dramatic effect. "Soon the cold comes again, and now you have lost the secret of television, the peddlers of Watchtower Magazine will come again to the Commune at night. Dave will give you to the Watchtower Magazine, will let him in, and will give you to the boredom, while he paces and waits for the man in the bad tie to remember him!" He pointed to the Doctor. "This sad, pathetic, strange creature can make telly come out of his fingers, you don't have to trust him or touch him, but he can bring telly. Kevin brought him here. He is Kevin's weirdo!" Dave shouldered his way forward rudely. "He is only a man in silly clothes. There is no telly in his body. No telly in his tubby. The thing is not possible." He brandished his axe. "I say that Kevin has been with us too long. It is time he died for our amusement!"
As Dave advanced on Kevin, Tim stepped between them. "I say this is just one strange situation indeed. Dave is right that telly can not live in men, for he has no sacred socket or plug...and Kevin speaks the truth that Dave is a complete tosser. If this weirdo can make telly, we must have it for the Commune! Before prime time if possible." Darlingly, Hur thrust herself forward. "Will my father listen to the words of a woman?" "Of course not! I'm a cave man, not JFK god damn it!" Replied Tim. "It is easy to see where truth lies," continued Hur. "If the old man can make telly come from his fingers, let him do it now, before all the Commune." There was a shout of approval from the crowd. Tim was upset to be so easily embarrassed by not thinking of the most obvious possible resolution. Dave glared angrily at Hur as well. He knew that she was trying to help him, that she believed Kevin's claim was just plain wacky. But Dave knew that Kevin was cunning. Hence his nickname Cunning Kevin. Wacky as it seemed he would not have risked such a claim before the Commune unless he was confident he could back it up or weasel out of it in some ingenious way involving lager and tickets to a Stones concert. This was after all the Rolling Stones Age. If Kevin's creature succeeded in making telly, Dave's own claim to leadership would be as stable as homeless ex-mental patient in New York city. "I am the one who decides what is done here." said Dave. "Not old men and women - or strangers, or cute woodland animals who have their own highly rated children's shows." Kevin was quick to seize his advantage, he always was, I don't even know why I have to explain this to you, the reader, anymore. I mean can't you just take it upon YOURSELF to know that whenever an advantage is opened to Kevin he's going to take it? I mean he's bound to! It's not like he's just going to ignore the chance, it's not good drama. Kevin is an ambitious bastard, just remember that okay? I'm not telling you again. Anyway, Kevin said, "Perhaps Dave does not wish to watch telly. Perhaps he is frightened that he will see too many feminine hygiene advertisements. I, Kevin, am not afraid of feminine hygiene products! I will make my creature create telly for the Commune. I know this creature is no knave of skills, he will teach me his secret!" Hurriedly, the Doctor jumped up. "I can make telly for you," he shouted. "Let me go and I will make all the telly you want! Coronation Street, Z-Cars, Batman & Robin, The Addams Family, anything you wish!" Impressed the crowd drew back. "You don't have to be afraid of me," said the Doctor. "See for yourselves, I'm an old man, bereft of even a sock puppet for protection, how could I possibly harm you?" "What does he say?" growled Dave. Dave never paid attention to breaking news and was always horribly behind the times. "Telly!!" Screamed Tim in awe-stuck tones. "He says he can make telly for us!" Suddenly, Kevin saw his advantage slipping away. (Obviously he notices this advantage is a two way street, smart guy.) "For ME!" he shouted. "He will make telly for me, and I will program the VCR of Archive, and I will give it to you. I will be telly maker!" Just as suddenly, Dave saw how he could turn Kevin's discovery to his own advantage. (See this advantage thing keeps getting trickier and trickier, better keep up on this one! Who knows what will happen next!) "If the creature makes telly, he will make it for me, and for all the Commune. A big telly marathon packed with celebrities and wash outs like Alan Partridge!" The Doctor meanwhile was searching frantically through his pockets. "Where is my remote control? I must find my remote control! I can't walk across the cave to change it manually! How will that look?" He knew he had it earlier because he could remember recording over that old BBC junked material no one cared about. Had he left it behind when he was attacked? Or had the remote dropped from his pocket when he was unceremoniously carted and juggled over here by the savage? Whichever was the case, the Doctor was screwed. Dave watched bemused, as the Doctor padded his pockets and searched his shoes. "What does he do now?" "See, he IS Kevin's creature," said Kevin. "He will only make Telly for Kevin. I have such a wonderful name, Kevin, I say it in every sentence." The Doctor abandoned his search in despair. "Take me back to my ship and I'll get you some really cool videos of these two girls from Thailand!", he said hopfully, hoping that he would be able to flee without having the actually hand over these prized possessions. Dave turned to Kevin in annoyance. "This is totally bogus, Kevin. Why the hell are you wasting our time with this half assed promise of illegal porn from some old guy in a clown suit? This old bastard is useless." "There was this totally fucked up blue tree!" Kevin said desperately. "It came out of nowhere, like that recent hot pants fad that disappeared as soon as it happened! The old man left this blue tree thing and there was telly in his fingers. Smoke came out of his mouth. It was totally cool!" The men of the commune didn't believe a word of this shit. With the Doctor's total failure to perform the promised miracle, even as they watched under influence of mushrooms which should really help miracles along, opinion began to swing. Maybe Kevin was a dweeb after all. Dave seized the moment, he had always dreamed of the magic moment where all the commune recognised just how truly and totally kick ass he was. Pushing Kevin aside, he sprang onto the rock himself. "Kevin wants to be this great guy who controls weirdos who promise us telly. He wants to be as strong as Dave," said Dave finally catching onto the complexities of using third person in a public address "son of the great programmer, last of the television leaders, and incredibly handsome fellow! Yet all Kevin can do is lie. You heard him say that we would have telly - and still we have no Big Breakfast. Dave doesn't tell you lies, you know this television thing has overpowered his pathetic cromagnum brain. He does not say "Read my lips," and then say "No New Taxes". He does not say "I will finish off this curry with a can of Tiger," and then decide to just drink a Budweiser instead. Do you want a liar running this commune? I mean come on people, Kevin isn't that great! He's kinda cool to party with from time to time but it's like giving the key to your car to that friend of yours who smokes blunts between shots of vodka. It's just plain stupid." There were shouts of nothing really intelligible and then the next thing anyone knew the men began to throw empty beer cans at Kevin. Cheap natural lite beer cans which really didn't hurt but simply dented on contact. Kevin brandished his axe above the Doctor's head "Make 15 to 1 you silly old bastard!" The Doctor looked up helplessly. "I would my dear boy, but you see, I can't be bothered."
"You are trapped in your own lies, Kevin," said Hur in French, Sadly no one in the commune spoke French so this went over their heads. Technically I should have typed that sentence out in French for accuracy, but I don't know French either. So either translate it yourself, or if you can't, just be glad I wrote it in a language you do understand. Dave gave a great roar of laughter, mostly because the sound of the French language amused him. "Look at the great programmer Kevin who can not even beat television out of old men! Oh great Kevin, save us from the segments with old ladies re-planting their garden dreams! Save us from advertisements involving nude Scotsmen and their pet dogs!" Kevin saw his dreams of leadership totally screwed over and shot to hell now. Much like the dreams of WHAM to develop a long term fan base were all crashed on the rocky shores of disappointment. An obvious and unavoidable tragedy that nevertheless they never saw coming. Kevin grabbed the Doctor by his shoulder, lifting him off his feet and twisting him like silly puddy. "Make Scrapheap Challenge! Make Not The Nine O'Clock News come from your fingers!" "No." Shouted the Doctor, obviously unaware that bits of his internal organs were being stretched into disgusting and yet morbidly amusing prehistoric balloon animals. Dave was almost helpless with laughter. "Let the old bastard die. Let us all watch the great Kevin dispose of the weirdo!" Kevin drew a stone knife from beneath a very suspicious and actually incredibly disgusting location. I don't EVEN want to know how he kept a knife there. "Make telly!" He screamed to the surprise of no one. "Make telly, or I will kill you now!" "We will keep the great Kevin to talent hunt for us!" Bellowed Dave. "It's good to have someone to laugh at! Keeps the stress down. It's the best medicine you know?" As a leader he took this moment to look incredibly foresightful and educated. He'd heard all this from a fortune cookie once. Kevin raised his knife. "NO! GRANDFATHER!" Screamed a voice. I'll give you three guesses who's voice it was. The young nude girl ran into the centre of the circle of the astonished Commune members. She stumbled and fell provocatively at Kevin's feet. The appearance of the naked young lady was a strange surprise, but the unspoken agreement of the crowd was that it was not an unwelcomed one.
Sadly, close behind her ran up Ian and Barbara, and the commune felt these people were total squares and most possibly narcs. Ian leaped forward and grappled with Kevin for no reason but to fulfill at least one scene of vaguely homoerotic content. For a moment they struggled furiously with lots of heavy breathing and frequent ripping of cloth. Another commune member raised a leather shoe to Ian's head, one swift smack against him, would cause him to be slightly upset. It was after all merely a leather shoe designed by a tribe so incredibly stupid they hadn't worked out how to turn on a television. Boredly the Doctor decided to intervene. "STOP! Why not hit him with a stone knife for chrissakes? I mean a leather shoe! Really! You could be doing so much better!" The commune member halted the downward movement of the shoe, and looked inquiringly at Dave whom was as amused as anything by the mocking comments of the old weirdo. "Kill them," shrieked old Mother, for a bit of sadistic fun. Dave considered. "Nah. I don't think so. I mean at least one of them is naked." "They are not all naked, and of them I can not think I would be excited to see a majority of them naked. Just kill them anyway. It will cut this entire story short and probably save us many headaches." Impressively, David remembered something he'd once heard on a very bad science fiction show on Channel 4, "When Orac brings the television from the sky like a liquid digital cable link. Let the cable man look down on his sacrifices. That is the time that we shall make them sing the theme songs to our favourite programmes - and Orac will be pleased with us, and give us free stations that we really won't deserve in the value pack in our price range. I think we have a cave for this sort of thing. We MUST do, we're Cave Men! Put them in some damn prisoner keeping cave, and PLEASE don't let them escape!" The four strangers were dragged off struggling. However it was not a struggle for escape, but two of the prisoners struggling to get closest to the younger and less attired of the group. Kevin looked thoughtfully at Dave, and then legged it into the forest as fast as possible. Tim put his hand on Hur's shoulder to draw her away. but Dave walked up like he owned the place, which in this case he probably did, and took Hur's arm. "The woman is mine. You got a problem with that Timmy?" "My daughter is for the leader of the commune!" Insisted Tim who apparently wasn't too up to date on communal events. This is the real problem of drug abuse ladies and gentlemen, short term memory loss. I mean all this stuff just went down and he can't remember?! "Yes," Said Dave as he stated the plainly obvious. "I am the leader of the Commune. Remember, just there, I totally ruined Kevin's dreams of dominance. That was SO great." Tim sighed. "I do not like what has happened. I do not understand. I used to be hip, I used to be someone, I used to be a contender." In a way this was a sad fall from grace and should have been a heart touching look at a person fallen from the social graces and position at which they had become accustomed. However I've never been accepted into any social grace or position, so really I have no pity for the guy. "Old men never like new things to happen. Even really neat things like topless hockey!" "In the time of your father, I was a Keg Master. The most powerful member of the party. Your dad ruled." "Yes, I know, I've heard this story so many damn times." Dave repeated bitterly. "The parties started to go down hill when the TV left. Now the Telly will return and give me Graham Norton again. To me, not you. Just as you will give me Hur." Dave felt as if he was again explaining that putting a live fish in your mouth and taunting a bear was not a good idea. Consolingly, Hur said, "Dave, too, will be a great programmer. If you let me hook up with this guy he'll remember that and not try to screw you over when it gets cold. Deal?" Accepting the inevitable, Tim bowed his head and moved out of the way. This would have been really dramatic on screen, trust me. Old Mother stared broodingly at Dave. "There were leaders before there was telly," she muttered. "Teletubbies anger the gods. Tinky Winky will kill us all in the end. You should have killed the four strangers. Think of it! Four strangers, four teletubbies! The Big goofy one is Ian, Barbara is Lala, The Doctor is Dipsy, and Susan is Po! THINK ABOUT IT!" Dave shook his head, she wasn't suppose to know their names. How Old Mother had discovered the strangers actual names was probably some bad oversight of this poorly written fictional reality. "It shall be as I said. We wait until Orac shines in the sky! THEN they sing the Brady Bunch theme song for starters." *** Arms and legs trussed like captured animals, Ian was embarrasingly aroused by this turn of events! Ian, Barbara, the Doctor, and Susan lay in a smaller cave, just behind the main one with the optional pantry. After binding their arms and legs their captors had ignored their cries to bind them harder and together, and thrown them into the cave hastily, almost as if they had to catch their favourite programme in a few moments, which in this case made no sense. Rolling a stone to block the door the four were trapped, tied up, all alone together, with Susan still naked except for the tight ropes which rubbed her white virginal flesh. Ian and Barbara could have sworn they'd died and gone to heaven. The cave was small and dark, and it stank of death, which was admittedly a turn off. The skulls everywhere, arranged in pryamids on the ground also did their small part to kill the mood slightly. Still Ian and Barbara struggled blindly against the harsh realities of the situation, instead deciding to focus on what was really important - Susan still had her kit off. "Are you all right?" gasped Ian. "They didn't hurt you? If they did...did you like it?" "No, I'm all right." Barbara's voice was trembling with excitement. "I'm frightened, yet still..fixated, Ian." Ian could offer little consolation, nor could he help her get Susan off her mind, as she was fixed in his as well. "Try and hang on," he suggested as he liked where Babrara was attempting to move her fingers. "We'll get out of this and get off somehow." There was a hysteria in Barbara's voice. "How? How are we going to get untied before Susan?" "We shall need to be cunning," said the Doctor, which was actually totally fucking unhelpful. Of course they had to cunning! They were tied up in a cave, millions of years removed from their own time, and about to be murdered by prehistoric Blakes' 7 fans. These situations, by their very nature, called for cunning. Still, the Doctor seemed remarkably spry after his ordeal of being beaten and juggled. The others had no way of knowing this, but the Doctor was not only used to this sort of treatment in his travels, but had actually paid exorbitant amounts of money to be treated this way on several occassions. The Doctor had many dark secrets and dimensions to his character, and not just a few involved copious amounts of edible under garments. This experience helped him as he struggled with his bonds. After a moment he said "I hope you can get yourself free Mr Chesterton - because I'm going to repeatedly punch and kick the crap out of you for oggling my grand daughter as long as you are tied up and helpless!" He looked at the others then said "I'm sorry. All this is my fault really. If only I had been a bit less of a bastard, but hey, I gotta be me." "Grandfather, no!" sobbed Susan, yet again, for the three-hundredth and forty-second time during this exciting adventure without the Daleks. "Well find a hole in the plot! You mustn't blame yourself for bad character development!" ("Why not," thought Ian sourly "The old bastard's a total screw head, and it is all his fault!") The Doctor looked at the pile of skulls in front of him. They looked boney and skully, as most skulls do. This staring wasn't very helpful so he threw one against Ian's head because he had just read Ian's mind. "Take that, Young man!" Clumsily Ian pushed and dragged himself up from the grimy cave floor, still bound. Ian picked up the skull (Luckily for plot convenience their hands had been tied in front of them. Why they didn't just pick up a sharp stone and cut their ways to freedom I have no clue, and I'm the narrator and should have the best shots and knowing those sorts of things) "It's a skull." Said Ian with his usual standard of observation. (This is why these people keep getting captured and can only half ass escape to be easily captured again). Ian tossed the skull aside wrecklessly and it opened a rift in the space time continuum which allowed for the creation of Terry Wogan. If only Ian had understood how he had just cursed all of creation. Ian leaned forward and picked another from the pile, and then another examining them carefully. "They're all the same," he whispered "I hope no one minds me saying this, but you could make some neat looking human skull bongs out of these!"
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