A Target Novelization by Charles Daniels

Illustrations by Chris Rednour

Doctor Who Plays With Knives
The Tribe was sleeping -- well, they were laying down, feeling the warm embrace of their sordid bodies. These were guiltless, pleasure laden, acts of pure lust. The thousands of years of religious persecution that would plague the human species were still a million years away, and in the dawn of time the primitive ape creatures knew only how to fulfill the twisted demons of their libido. Their bodies entwined, dreaming of fire -- oh wait, I forgot what book I was writing. Got this mixed up with "Caveman Lust Orgy". Here's a hint to all you writers out there - NEVER write about the same subject in two different works at the same time -- it messes up your head. Anyway, in this book, the cave people were just sleeping. Ok? And you see these cave people were so incredibly stupid that not only had they forgotten the secret of television but they had also lost the secrets of central heating, flight, fire, and to be terribly honest they were on the brink of losing the secret of pointy things. All in all, these guys weren't the sharpest group of communal primitives you were going to encounter this side of a VW Bus. Only the Old Mother was still awake, and she was terrified of the strangers. These strangers must know the secret of fire. If they shared the horrible secret of fire then the morons of her clan might burn the cave down, and she'd have to move in with some nearby French cavemen - which she couldn't bear the thought of. No one had asked the strangers to bring fire, but once the tribe got telly back, there would be cooking shows. And when the cooking shows came, the lust for fire would soon come. Old Mother creeped to the place where Dave lay sleeping, Hur at his side - JUST SLEEPING! I SWEAR. Dave's precious knife, well a rock with a mildly pointed edge to it, lay close to his outstretched hand. Old Mother reached out for it. Dave twitched and muttered in his sleep - as if recovering from a surreal acid trip involving rotating bunnies screaming in japanese while playing loud guitar rock. Not wanting to risk waking her son, Old Mother took the knife quickly and scuttled away.
Hur watched her through an alcoholic haze, and basically didn't give a damn to move and stop Old Mother. Ian was holding his tied hands before him, still unable to think of a clever escape - even though he had free use of all his fingers and his captors couldn't tie knots to save their lives. Ian meekly tried to explain that he found his bonds to be "especially sinewy", but no one was buying it. Susan wiggled, the sharp-edge sensations of the restraints against her raw supple flesh, the sweet pain of the restraints as they cut into her wrists, this is how she had always imagined it would be with Mr. Chesterton -- well maybe not with her grandfather there, and being stuck in a cave a million years in the past with no hope of rescue, and come to think of it even the human skulls liberally decorating the landscape was SOMEHOW a turn off -- it still had enough of the elements she had longed for that she would look back at this as one of the most interesting and intimate moments of her travels in the TARDIS. All the while Susan pretended to be searching the cave for sharp stones. "Mr. Chesterton. I need one with a rough edge." She said coyly.
Barbara blushed in embarrassment and in a stirring of jealously. The Doctor snapped "Look, we don't have time for Orgy of the Damned! We'll all certainly be put to a death worst than fate!" Ian looked desperately around. He knew that even if he could free himself they would still be trapped in by the massive stone blocking the cave's mouth. Lost in a moment of self doubt Ian unconsciously sniffed the air around him. Then with a shock he exclaimed "There's smoke coming into this cave from somewhere! They're smoking cannabis! I KNEW IT!! Damned hippies! All the bitchin' skull bongs are IN HERE! With us! Are these people mindless savages?" "There IS cannabis in the air." Said Barbara. "I CAN FEEL IT!" "It's only a contact high Barbara." Explained the Doctor. "Not nearly enough for me!" "Any opiate is better than none here. It's no good just lying here, I can't touch Susan. I can't touch Barbara. I can't even touch myself. And I'm not going to touch you creepy old man. Anyway, if you're so clever you do something to get us out of here!" Ian tossed a flaking stone aside. "This is hopeless!" "Don't give up Ian! Please!" begged Barbara. "Maybe if I tried to wiggle closer. You might be able to get a grasp." "All right. That's half a good idea. Susan, you come over here and help Barbara find a big rock." "HMM!!! My dear boy! Don't you think i realise..that I realise what you are thinking, hmm? You plan to exhaust all the oxygen in this cave with the activities you propose my young fellow! NOW! I must take charge. We must concentrate our efforts. We must all take turns in trying to cut YOUR hands free!" "Umm Doctor. No means No! I'm not interested!" Insisted Ian, and then added "Surely we ought to get the girls loose -" "No, No! You are the strongest. You might have to...protect us..." "I'm sorry Doctor. This REALLY isn't my fantasy!" "Be quiet! I plan to escape before we all die!" "As opposed to AFTER we all die Doctor? That's very clever of you." Started Ian. "I would have NEVER cracked that sequence. I see why you've chosen to approach the situation that way around." The Doctor ignored Ian's taunts and began to bite at Ian's bonds with his teeth. "Yes! DELICIOUS! Absolutely delicious! Tastes just like the Elk jerky eaten by by the Navajo!" Within minutes the Doctor had eaten all the restraints off the captives, including a few of the mummified corpses nearby - "Hmm! Fabulous!" Susan offered her grandfather a small piece of skull as a toothpick. The humans were thoroughly disgusted by this behaviour, but the Doctor and Susan seemed oblivious. "Doctor, if you've finished!" Chided Ian. "It's all very good to free us, but unless you plan to have that boulder for dessert, we're stuck here!" "Don't think about failure" Said the Doctor gently. "Think only of success and fluffy white clouds in a bright happy blue sky with large Mr. Sun." "Isn't that a tad delusional?" "I'm sorry. We left Grandfather's medication in the TARDIS." "We shall be free! We shall all escape from the planet of the apes!" Insisted the Doctor. "What?" Barbara scarcely seemed to understand him. "Try and remember how you and the others found your way here. Concentrate solely on that, as I steal your wallets, taking advantage of your complete distraction." "Yes, all right, if you insist." Barbara looked at him with an unsettling mixture of respect, disgust, and pity. "Fear makes companions of all of us. If you'd been to the prisons I'd been to, you'd know that. Fear just reaches out and kicks you in the arse." "I didn't think you were ever afraid, Doctor." "Fear is with all of us, and as long as I travel with my highly desirable granddaughter who is completely capable of getting knocked up by some passing butterfly man, it always will be with me. My species can cross-pollinate you see. It's very interesting! Let me draw a simple diagram in the sand here to illustrate!" "I rather wish you wouldn't, weirdo." Replied Barbara. "And as fear travels with us - constantly grabbing at my granddaughter's virginity, so does that other sensation." "Other sensation? What sensation?" "Your companion referred to it a little while ago. Lust, Miss Wright, BURNING CRUSHING MIND NUMBING LUST!!" "Umm..wait. So are you saying that lust always travels with us, or that lust is constantly grabbing at your granddaughter's entirely theoretical virginity or... oh god, why am I asking, you've put a different sock puppet back on your hand, Doctor!"
The Doctor did not respond to Barbara, but merely put a sleeping cap on this sock puppet he had obviously hidden away in some secretive pocket, and fell into a deep sleep. Meanwhile Susan was sitting in a far corner of cave where a framework of branches, decorated with more of the grinning skulls dominated her view. She heard a rustling coming from the corner and then, to her horror, Susan saw that the skulls were moving. "LOOK!" she screamed, rather predictably. And even more predictably, everyone turned to face her, except the Doctor who was still sleeping, but his hand jerked the sock puppet's head to attention. The pile of branches crashed against the cave floor with a horrible thunder and emerging from the smoky chaos appeared an elderly lady, a ghastly white haired figure, brandishing a mildly pointy rock. Sensing their terror the old crone advanced and screamed "FIRE IS EVIL! TELLY IS EVIL! YOU WILL NOT MAKE COOKING SHOWS!! THERE WILL BE NO FIRE!!!"
Hur nudged Dave into wakefulness. Dave was as useless awake as he was asleep, so there was little point to this exercise and Hur regretted it immediately. "What is it? Why did you wake me? I was have the most totally awesome dream involving three women and a small fruit!" "I saw the old woman take your knife!" "Umm..she IS my mom. I mean, I wish you'd stop calling her that. It's a bit insulting." "THE OLD WOMAN HAS YOUR KNIFE!" "So? Maybe she just went hunting. It's nothing honey. Go to sleep." "No! She must be meaning to kill you! To slit your throat in the night as you rest." "Why do you say this?" "Because it is what anyone else in the whole damned tribe would be doing!" "Did she say this?" "She took your knife. She is scared of telly. She is scared of fire. I showed her a small plant yesterday and she was horrified of THAT!" "Where did my mother go?" "She went into the cave, with the telly makers!" They hurried to the entrance to the cave of skulls and saw the great stone still blocking the mouth of the cave. Dave was deeply unimpressed. "You woke me up for this? The cave is closed. You tell me lies!" Hur however had some imagination and leadership ability, so she immediately figured there must be a second entrance to the cave, and started to shift the large boulder to expose the plot of Dave's mother to kill her stupid son. Which, really, I can't see why she bothered. It took the Doctor a long time to wake up. Luckily after awakening, his sock puppet was ready to whisper into his ear and brief him on the changes since he'd fallen asleep. Old Mother was thrusting wildly with the slightly sharp rock, which, on close inspection looked like sandstone. "What does she want, Doctor?" Sobbed Barbara. "Is she going to try to kill us with that sorry excuse for a knife?" "No, I don't think so. As far as I can make out she's terrified of every substance native to this planet -- she's offering to let us go if we don't reveal any of our secrets and let her people die of exposure as Darwin intended." "I will set you free. If you will take your strange ways and your strange fire and your strange telly. And never come here in your checked trousers again!" "Let us go!" said the Doctor, instantly. "I wouldn't help you morons if you were the last people on earth. As it turns out, you're actually THE FIRST people on earth, so there's only going to be more of you. Dammit, sometimes there's just no justice you know?" They became aware of a soft, grinding noise from the mouth of the cave. "Someone is coming!" shouted the Doctor. But Barbara said "No. I don't think it's that kind of grinding noise. Someone is trying to open up the cave!" In a panic the Doctor knocked the old woman to the floor and made a mad dash to the empty space where the branches had been. All the time the great boulder blocking the entrance rocked more and more. "Hurry!" Shouted Ian, further trampling the old lady. "They'll be in here in a minute!" They all made their way quickly through the opening. Minutes after they escaped, the boulder shifted to leave a gap at the entrance. Dave squeezed through. He saw the Old Mother trampled on the ground, and the cave otherwise empty. "She has not wished to kill you, Dave the Stupid!" Realised Hur. "She had come to free the strange ones!" "Why old woman? WHY?!" Insisted Dave. "They would have made telly, they would have made fire. Must spare the tribe from reality TV!" Insisted Old Mother. Hur's alert eyes spotted the giant, obvious, gapping hole in the wall. "They have gone this way!" She deduced. "Why do you say this, Hur?" Asked Dave. "Because this hole is the only other exit from the cave." "If this is an exit, Why is it so dark in there?" "Because Dave, it's the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! It's DARK OUTSIDE!" "Oh...yeah. umm..oh well." "They have taken the secret of fire!! The secret of telly! Are you just going to sit on your arse for the rest of your life or are you going to actually go out there and do something for the damned tribe??" "Hur. They have gone into the night. The beasts will kill them. They will kill us if we follow." "The beasts??" Asked Hur incredulously. "In the time of darkness, nightfall, the feral cats emerge from their hiding. Feral cats really freak me out man. Their eyes glow like fire!" "You mean, Mister Snuggles?" Asked Hur. "I do not keep track of the names of all your cats woman!" Dave insisted angrily. "Well at LEAST my cats aren't scared to go into the night and hunt. LIKE SOME PEOPLE around here!" "I do not wish to speak of this! I must retreat now into my cave!" "Retreat into your cave? Where did you hear such nonsense?" "From you!!! From your tellings of Cavemen Are From Mountain, Cave Women Are From River!" Hur picked up the arguably pointy stone from Old Mother and placed it firmly in Dave's hand. "You are leader Dave. You are as dumb as the beasts. As strong as the kittens. And once you know the secrets of fire and telly, you will be in complete political control. Kevin will be gone." Dave looked at her for a moment and then slipped into the night. Hur followed him -- stupid, stupid woman.
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