TITLE: Waxwork
AUTHOR: Roseveare
RATING: PG13
LENGTH: 5,500 words
SUMMARY: The Doctor, Fitz and Anji visit a museum on a peaceful holiday planet. The exhibits hit a bit too close to home for Fitz.
DISCLAIMER: BBC, not me. Fun not profit, yadda yadda yadda.
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Waxwork

The planet Goreal, despite having a name that sounded more like it ought to be an embarrassing disease, was still a long way from being the worst place the TARDIS had ever set down. The people were friendly - okay, so most of the people were tourists out to have fun and the actual natives they'd encountered tended to be fairly reserved, but the vast majority of the people were friendly, and the climate was pleasant, and the beaches were awash with scantily-clad alien babes.

Fitz sipped at a brightly coloured cocktail and tracked the progress of an extremely well endowed orange-skinned woman across the beach towards the drinks kiosk, and concluded happily that Goreal was far just fine with him.

Nearby, Anji was sitting reading a book and pretty much ignoring everything going on around her. Fitz suspected she was finding the Doctor embarrassing.

The Doctor was on his hands and knees in the sand, contentedly building a sandcastle.

The sight of him in shorts and a brightly coloured shirt was faintly disturbing, but Fitz had long gotten over the urge to buy himself a T-shirt declaring 'I'M NOT WITH THAT NUTTER'. Anji was evidently still going through that stage of acquaintance.

"Looks to be coming along nicely, Doc," Fitz called out, as the Doctor looked up and saw him watching. The Doctor smiled delightedly and went back to his creation, engrossed.

Anji glanced up from her book. It was one of those from the TARDIS, a large, oft-handled softcover that was falling apart at the spine. Anji seemed to have her work cut out holding the book together as she read it. Fitz thought it was probably about Maths because Anji was a fan of Maths, although the lengthy title across its jacket contained few words he actually recognised.

Why couldn't they pick up someone that was interested in normal things, like going out and getting drunk and talking about mindless crap? What was it with these intellectual women?

Maybe he was just cursed. He took another long drink of his cocktail, which was yellow and contained a blue squiggly straw and something oddly shaped and green which he suspected to be Goreal's version of the obligatory parasol. It also glowed in the dark, which was probably more fun at nights, but had nonetheless provided him a delighted few minutes' entertainment in the shade.

"Are you planning on doing anything with the day apart from getting drunk and ogling alien women?" Anji asked.

"Nope," Fitz said. Anji sighed. "Hey. It's the first time in weeks we've had more than two days in a row not being shot at by maniacs, so thanks all the same for the concern about my intellectual growth, but I'm planning on enjoying it."

Anji huffed. She put her book down on the sand and several pages peeled off the spine, fluttering around in the light breeze. She snatched after them and weighted the book down with a large pebble. "Still," she said, taking a breath of the air and scanning the long vista of the beach. "This is a nice place. Why didn't anyone mention before that there were actually holiday planets? Why don't we land on a few more of these, instead of the evil-and-run-by-psychopaths sort?"

"Um." Fitz shrugged. "You know the TARDIS."

"I'm beginning to. I was wondering if sane cultures actually repel it or something." She yawned and stretched.

Fitz watched her stretch. Since she was wearing only a bikini, the effect was fairly easy on the eye. "It's always possible. But then it did bring us to this place."

She paused and frowned. "Maybe things just haven't started going wrong yet."

Fitz choked and almost dropped his cocktail. "What'd you have to go say that for?" He could have throttled her.

"What?"

"You've bloody gone and hexed us! Something's bound to happen now."

"Oh, grow up." Anji took a firm grip on her book and managed to fan herself with it without losing any pages. Then she stopped and stared over towards the Doctor, her jaw dropping.

Fitz followed her gaze.

The Doctor's castle was a towering fortress in miniature. He was adding the final few details to the battlements, his face creased in deep concentration. Fitz had seen that expression on his face as he worked over technical doohickeys to save entire planets from destruction. Now, that energy focused on simple grains of sand.

"There!" he exclaimed, rocking back on his heels. He brushed sand from his shorts as he stood, a smile stretching his face.

"It's very nice," Anji said, deadpan, massaging her jaw and looking cross.

Fitz knew she was just being stubborn. The sandcastle was a work of art. It was a mass of artfully sculpted towers and ramparts, all made with an intricacy of detail that almost had you looking for the people inside.

Shame, really, that the incoming tide would wash it all away.


It was the Doctor who wanted to visit the museum. Well, it would be, wouldn't it?

"It's this planet's major attraction," he pleaded reasonably, all but bouncing on his toes like a kid begging to go see the circus. "There has to be something special to see."

So they went to the museum, and waited in the queue outside for the best part of two hours, and waited in the queue inside for another half hour, and finally got somewhere near the admissions kiosk.

By that time, Anji was tapping her foot, a thunderous expression on her face, and Fitz, having little else to do, had worked his way through half a pack of ciggies. The Doctor was happy enough. He'd struck up a conversation with a bunch of over-excitable, knobbly-skinned, three-foot-tall aliens and was far too engrossed to notice Anji and Fitz being bored out of their minds.

As the Doctor was roused from his conversation to pay their admission, Fitz snagged a guide book from the edge of the counter and flicked through it. Anji leaned in over his shoulder. "'Including the famous Hall of Names!'" she read. The big letters were emblazoned in swirly neon-y writing across the cover, beneath the more staid 'Goreal Interplanetary Museum'. "Well, I've never heard of it. I wonder what it is."

"I've a feeling it's the reason this place is so popular," Fitz said, as a being with purple tentacles who'd overheard the remark gave them a disgusted glance that said 'where have you people been?'

The dour-faced native handing their tickets to the Doctor intoned, "And that will be another fifteen hegs for your friend's guide book."

Fitz had learned enough about Goreal's currency to know fifteen hegs was extortionate, but the Doctor waved him off when he made to replace the book and paid it, happily beaming.

They walked under an over-elaborate archway that wasn't plastic or papier mache, but looked like it thoroughly deserved to be, and into a vast foyer. Brightly coloured banners were strung across the ceiling of what looked like a prime example of Goreal's ancient architectural heritage. It always reassured Fitz, in an odd way, that tourist tack was universal. The Doctor acquired the guide book from Fitz's hands before they'd walked more than a dozen feet. "I still don't know why you wanted to come here," Anji said. "It's not like it's our heritage. What possible interest could this place have for us?"

"'The Hall of Names!?'" the Doctor suggested distractedly, his nose glued in the book as they walked straight past a row of display cases. You could hear him pronounce the exclaimation mark. The disregarded cases contained skeletons and charts not unlike the prehistoric-to-present-day displays Fitz remembered from the British Museum, except the bones weren't quite the right shape. He'd seen what a few alien beings looked like on the inside on various memorably disgusting occasions, but those hadn't really offered much time for thought about their internal structure. The Goreans just looked like blue dwarf humans, but their skeletons were put together in unexpected ways.

Fitz realised quite a lot of other people were walking straight past the initial displays, their focus elsewhere, just like the Doctor. "So that'd be this way, then?" he hazarded.

"The great detective," Anji said sarcastically. Fitz looked up and was embarrassed to see a bunch of massive banners pointing it out in Technicolor with Big Arrows. He shot her a huffy glare.

"Ah," said the Doctor, reading. He stopped almost on the threshold of the chamber the signs indicated, holding up the crowd, and shot an unhappy look across Fitz and Anji.

"What's the matter?" Anji asked, scowling as people shoved past her.

"I know what this place is." He sighed. "Well, it's not as though I haven't come across these things before. At least, I think I have." He looked confused a moment, searching his dicky memory. "Yes, yes, yes. Sure of it. Every so often a culture decides it's a bright idea to do something like this. Usually ends in tears." He snapped the book closed and glared accusingly at it.

"What?" Fitz and Anji demanded in concert, Sometimes, the Doctor's vagueness was enough to drive Fitz barmy. Anji snatched the book and leafed through for his page.

"Think of it as a more technically advanced version of Madame Tussaud's," he said gloomily.

Anji stopped and gaped down at the open pages. "Except in Madame Tussaud's," she squeaked, "You can't hold a conversation with the exhibits."


The Hall of Names turned out to be a big, crowded room. It had walls lined with booths bearing names in excited lettering that shouted to the waiting masses about how something amazing waited inside. Fitz squinted into a few, but all he could see was a Gorean sitting chatting to another Gorean in fancy dress. He found this something of an anticlimax.

"So what's all this, then?" he asked.

"They're replicas of Goreal's most famous historical figures," Anji said. "Fake people like in, uh, Blade Runner or something. And you go and talk to them." Fitz looked at her blankly and she looked back equally blankly. "Well, I don't know. I didn't even like the film."

Before he could tell her he'd no idea what she was talking about, the Doctor cleared his throat, worriedly interrupting. "I'm afraid these aren't even androids or artificial people, Anji. They're quite human, clones programmed with artificial memories so they can make an authentic show of being the originals."

Fitz choked, and hid the reaction by reaching for another ciggie.

Anji gave him a stern look which almost matched Sam's best: 'you do it to yourself, you know'. "Which would be why this place is so popular," she said to the Doctor. "You can come and chat with Julius Caesar, or whatever this planet's equivalent of him is."

The Doctor nodded. "So long as the government-sanctioned scientists behind this little attraction had a biological sample on record, they could recreate the person. The degree of accuracy of their memory and personality depends of course on how much brain-scanning technology the Gorean Empire possessed in their era, and the detail of the records available. Really, for all intents and purposes, many of these people could be who they are advertised to be. But here, they're just more exhibits that belong to the museum, property of the state."

"Circus freaks," Anji said.

Fitz tried to still the shaking of his fingers as he lit up. "Isn't that a little... immoral, Doctor?"

"Decidedly. It's also a common developmental step for cultures with similar strands of technological advancement. Many outlaw it sooner or later. Of course, many don't." His mouth twisted in disapproval.

"Well, since we're here, I guess we might as well mingle," Anji said. "Of course, I haven't the faintest clue who any of these people are, which does take some of the point out of the whole thing."

The Doctor was already walking towards a man wearing a museum uniform and a badge reading 'Supervisor'. Fitz recognised the determined expression on his face and groaned. "Make the most of it while you can," he told Anji. "We're about to get chucked out in, oh, give it ten minutes."

Anji, alarmed, shot off through the crowds after the Doctor. Fitz could have told her it was pointless. He watched her lips move as she seized the Doctor's arm, dragging him around to face her. Fitz couldn't hear what she said, but could make a pretty good stab at filling in the blanks.

He was about to start after them, resigning himself to watching the Doctor lecture on morality for ten minutes or so then get manhandled out by burly guards - although out was no bad idea. This place was giving him the creeps. When a hand tapped his shoulder before he could take a step, he almost jumped out of his skin.

"Aren't you going in?" the young woman standing behind him asked. "It's your turn."

He realised he was standing in one of the queues and looked around the impatient, expectant faces. The lettering on the booth in front of him was grander than most. Must be somebody important.

"Um," he said. "Okay. Thanks."

Two security guards with cattle-prod things on their belts were now studiously eyeing the Doctor, who had closed his exchange with Anji and resumed his purposeful march towards the supervisor. Uniformed types seemed to possess some sort of internal radar which helped them clock the Doctor as Trouble the instant they laid eyes on him.

Talking to whoever was in the booth a few minutes, Fitz considered, had to be better than being chucked out of the museum by two over-muscled blokes who looked like they could bounce his scrawny bum all over the walls. Maybe he'd even find out something useful to help the Doctor's latest crusade.


Inside the booth, there was a small desk with chairs either side. The one on the far side was occupied.

"Hi," said Fitz, perching on the edge of the other and wondering if this had really been a good idea.

The bloke on the opposing side of the desk was dressed in costume not too far removed from the every day kinds of garments a lot of the posher Goreans wore, so Fitz figured he must be from fairly recent history, say the last few centuries. The lines of his face were haughty, just like those of his counterpart in the holo-picture-thingies which covered the walls of his booth, but there was an underlying weariness the stuffed shirt on the pictures should never have possessed. There was boredom lurking behind his expression when he looked up.

"Welcome, friend. What questions do you have to ask of Inharo Gormentin the third?" he droned.

"Erm," said Fitz.

From the slight roll of the man's eyes, he wasn't unused to getting that sort of reaction.

Fitz shifted his gaze uneasily around the booth. The pictures plastered over every inch of it showed the fellow as a public speaker, standing in front of landmarks waving, signing documents, shaking hands with other severe men, standing smiling grimly surrounded by armed men who deferred to him. Great. He was some sort of political leader, and Fitz hadn't the faintest clue what amazing historical feat he was supposed to have done.

"Sorry, friend, but I'm a stranger to this planet, and I, uh, don't actually know who you are. No offence. I mean, believe me, I really am from a long way off."

"I am he who led the forces which supplanted Herith Jlant's corrupt government in the year 3697, and ruled for twenty-seven glorious and prosperous years," droned thingummy-Gormentin-thingummy as though by rote.

"Uh. Okay. Congratulations. What was your name, again?"

"Inharo Gormentin the Third."

"Right. Fitz Kreiner. Nice to meet you. I'll be sure and look you up in the history holovids. Sorry to have bothered you." He stood up to leave, then jerked back like he was on elastic and found himself blurting, his voice croaking a bit, "Do you seriously like doing this or what?"

Gormentin blinked at him. "What?"

"Sorry," Fitz said. He backed away. If artificially created people were considered things and property on this planet, this was headed someplace he really didn't want to go - and going seemed a bloody good idea. "Sorry. I'm... bye."

He stumbled out of the booth and looked around for the others. Across the Hall of Names, the Doctor was in the process of getting thrown out by the two burly guards. One of them had Anji hammering on his back with her small fists. Fitz groaned and started to push through the crowds towards them.

An arm shot out of the booth and dragged him back inside. A bystander started to protest "Hey, it's my-!" but Gormentin yanked the curtain shut and dumped a 'closed' sign over the top of it. He pushed Fitz back into the chair. There was a glint in his eye which looked decidedly dangerous despite the fact that, standing, Gormentin was revealed as a short, pudgy bloke even for a Gorean, whose blue complexion was faded from lack of exposure to the sun. He must've been perched on a box in his photoshoots. Either that, or he'd habitually handpicked very short guards.

"I want to talk to you," Gormentin said. He sat down, steepled his hands together on the desktop and looked at Fitz along the line of his fingers. "There's... something strange about you. You aren't like the others. And I'm not referring to your race, I'm familiar with humans." The curl of his mouth suggested contempt. "I sense a strange kinship to you I can't begin to explain. I wonder if you'd care to? And where did that ridiculous quesion come from?"

"Well, you know." Fitz shifted uneasily. "You're like this great historical figure, and here they've gone and stuck you in a box for tourists to gawp at. I kind of thought that might gall a little."

Gormentin laughed, and the fight left his face as quickly as it had been sparked up, leaving a rather pathetic short blue guy. "I'm not real, you know. Just a copy, that's all."

"An exact copy." Fitz straightened up, not quite sure why he'd been afraid of the man just moments ago.

"Yes," Gormentin agreed.

Fitz leaned forward over the desk. "When you get down to it, with the sort of advanced methods we're talking about, do you really think that makes a lot of difference?" he asked, slightly plaintively. He'd been dealing with this for a long time, on his own. It would be nice to hear some kind of validation from someone else who should know. "I mean, technically you're him, down to the last molecule, aren't you? That's the attraction of this place. They wouldn't all come here if you weren't him. You. Whatever. And the guys who run this joint can't pick and chose, you're either him and they've got an exhibit, and they've no damn business treating the guy you are like this, or you're not him and it's all a fake and they've got no business running this Hall of Names in the first place."

"You think nobody's ever put it like that before? There are pressure groups we're not supposed to know about. Just like there are pressure groups to save the spatted hrek-vogle from extinction, and to officially allocate the Falgarian red toad sentient status. It makes no difference. I know it, and everyone else knows it - that I might well be him, but the real person is dead, and I'm not real, and that's what counts."

"Bollocks," said Fitz. It raised a pretty good question, though. If he was the only person left in the universe that actually remembered he wasn't the real Fitz Kreiner, did that mean it didn't matter?

Gormentin blinked, and cleared his throat irritably. "Would you care to elaborate on the reasoning behind that hypothesis, Mr Kreiner?"

Not especially. Except that it suddenly seemed very important to persuade the little Gorean that he was real - as real as Fitz, as real as the genuine Fitz, as real as the genuine Inharo Gormentin. Fears he'd kept buried had risen up and socked him in the face, and he needed this.

"All right," he said. The anger underlying his words surprised him. "Let's not talk about you, then, since you already seem decided there. Let's talk about someone else - take me, for example... do I look real to you?"

He'd thought, when the banks broke, that it would be the Doctor he poured his heart out to. Had spent a couple of bad nights, the times he couldn't make himself not think about it, scaring himself with the thought of giving in and doing just that. With the Doctor in his current state it would be a betrayal. So instead he found himself telling everything, from the Remote to Gallifrey, to this little fat bloke he didn't know, who in any case listened with an intentness that suggested he needed to hear it as much as Fitz needed to voice it.


"So you think maybe I could be... for real... as well?" The subdued Gormentin asked as he closed up his story.

"I don't see why not. I mean, it looks like all that's been holding you back is that they've filled your head all your life with the fact that you can't."

"I... don't know. There are penalties. I've done enough just talking to you. They own us."

"And they've no sodding right to that ownership! I bet you could change things, if you tried. Make a protest, take a stand. Come the revolution! Make things better for you and the other poor suckers stuck in here - there're some of the greatest minds in your people's history in this lot. And a whole lot of models and entertainers, too, granted, but still, you've got loads of stuff to work with..."

"It's pointless. They'll only re-program my memories."

"Well, that's not exactly a risk that would make you any worse off then you are now, is it?" Fitz scoffed.

Gormentin, he thought, might be a bit of a prick. But he was a depressed, undertrodden prick and Fitz couldn't deny feeling a certain bond with the uptight little git even so. He sighed, looking at Gormentin, who had his head in his hands like it was all too much for him.

"What you need," Fitz decided, "Is to get utterly, completely and mind-bogglingly pissed."


It took ages to persuade Gormentin to take off his fancy jacket and creep out of the museum with his decorative sleeves rolled up, a humorous souvenir hat stuck on his head, and bad sunglasses. Fitz was frankly astonished it got them past security, but took care not to let on about that part.

Once out of the museum, it was like trying to babysit a particularly excitable kid in a really massive sweet shop. Gormentin was into everything, all wide-eyed wonder and outrage at the ways the city had changed since 'his' era. Fitz figured that to be a couple of hundred years ago. He was willing to bet that besides not being allowed to mix with the populace, poor old Gormentin hadn't even had a beer in this lifetime.

One thing for certain, even if Gormentin didn't want one, Fitz sure as hell needed a drink. He dragged Gormentin into the first bar they passed, found seats at the counter and used the pocketfull of odd coins the Doctor had doled him out to buy two 'quelzonks' of 'vanna nectar'.

"I'd forgotten what this tasted like," Gormentin said, and finished his off before Fitz had taken more than a couple of sips. He half-inched Fitz's alien cash to order another two while Fitz struggled to catch up.

The bar was small and smokey, but it had a pleasant enough ambience. Fitz could see himself strumming a few tunes out on his guitar in the corner to good reception by the crowd. The dingy light was all for the best considering he didn't particularly want Gormentin to be recognised. He didn't fancy being arrested for kidnapping famous historical personages - or their clones, or whatever the hell Gormentin really was.

Most of the faces of the drinkers around him were alien, not Gorean, the odd human, or at least human-like being, among the mix. Definitely the chilled-out sector of the tourist crowd. Whatever the green-skinned folks in the corner were smoking looked interesting, rising to the ceiling in delicate lilac wisps.

Vanna nectar tasted kind of like heavily sugared liquorice to his human palette and by the time he was starting on his second, his drinking buddy was ordering thirds. Inharo Gormentin, Fitz thought, was a guy who'd desperately needed a drink. He gave up all hopes of matching him - Goreans might be little, but they were sturdy drinkers - and lit up a ciggie and took it easy.

When he was on his fourth and he'd lost count so far as Gormentin was concerned, the Gorean persuaded him they should move onto something a bit harder, and Fitz's recollection of the evening rapidly deteriorated from thereon.


Fitz blinked open his eyes and groggily moaned. Closed his eyes tight shut again with a wince.

"...And you," a shrill voice said, far too loudly, a little way from his left ear. "Trust you to vanish while other people are trying to achieve something worthwhile. Trust you to come back, hours later - hours of worry later - pissed as a skunk, make a pass at the hotel night security guard, throw up on the carpets and pass out in the hallway..."

For a second, he was convinced his mum had come back from the grave to give him grief, but when he winched open his eyes a painful fraction he saw it was Anji standing over him. Anji in a major Anji-huff. He could just make out the Doctor, standing beyond her looking furtive and faintly bemused, as though he'd been getting the caustic edge of Anji's tongue too. Then his vision blurred at the edges and he had to shut his eyes again.

He tentatively tried to explore his situation without vision or much in the way of movement, and with about one operational braincell. He was in a bed, although his mouth still tasted of carpet and vomit. He was still wearing his clothes from the day before, but that part was kind of a relief. He edged away from Anji's strident voice and slid off the bed.

"Serves you right!" Anji said, as he hit the floor with a groan. After a moment, she apparently conceded that she was wasting her breath in Fitz's current state, and stomped off to yell at the Doctor instead.

Fitz drifted back into unconsciousness on the floor.


It kind of put a dampener on the whole vacation idea. Anji was in a sulk because of Fitz and the Doctor's antics the day before, mainly because she'd been manhandled by security men and given a warning by the hotel manager, and was taking it personally. She'd begun muttering a lot about being the Only Responsible Adult among them. The Doctor was moping because his holiday planet had turned out to be just as iffy as all the rest of the planets, plus Goreal's eccentric tide was in all day today and he couldn't go rebuild his sandcastle. Fitz was just hungover. All he wanted was a quiet corner to nurse his misery, and for Anji to shut up.

The Doctor wandered off for a bit, then came back and sat and read Anji's book, chortling occasionally in a way that didn't do a lot to improve Anji's mood.

It was about mid afternoon, and Fitz had been aware for a while that the hotel had sounded busier and louder for the past hour or so. Anyway, that was when he shifted position in his chair and yelped as the remote control for the 3D nausea-inducing Gorean version of television jabbed him in the buttock.

More importantly, albeit hardly his immediate concern at the time, Nausea-TV switched channels. He was still swearing and rubbing his backside until he looked up and saw that Anji and the Doctor were glued to the 3D image with their mouths open like goldfish.

"What's--?" he began, then stopped. He recognised the local news channel because the Doctor had watched it the first night they got here, for long enough to establish nothing newsworthy ever happened on the planet and they might as well watch paint dry.

There was a bunch of oddly-clothed, oddly-familiar blue-skinned Goreans on the NTV, pictured storming into a large, important-looking room where besuited, important-looking Goreans were sitting arguing with each other. They stopped arguing when they saw the intruders, and looked extremely surprised instead. Some of the newcomers had guns, and started rounding up the important-looking Goreans and clearing them out. The rest claimed seats of their own in the important-looking room, and one by one looked smugly at the camera (or whatever). An all-too-recognisable figure took central position and stood, bright-eyed and arrogantly confident as he opened his mouth to address the camera.

Fitz registered that the writing scrolling in a circuit around the base of the image read 'GOREAN PARLIAMENT FACES CLONE COUP' an instant before Gormentin spoke.

"My people," he said, sounding every bit the pompous git Fitz had suspected him capable of being, "Until yesterday I was merely a museum exhibit. But today, I have awoken enlightened, and I am here now to share that enlightenment with you, my people. Once, I led this planet through a Golden Age - as did many of my fellows here today. I may have been brought back into this world for other purposes, but now I see that it is my duty, as that of my fellow clones, to return to our former roles overseeing this great world, which has so clearly fallen into frivolity and decline, and to bring back the Golden Age. To bring back all of the Golden Ages!" He raised his hands and a cheer swept through the odd assortment of Goreans around him.

Fitz felt his face freeze. He didn't feel surprised, just abruptly even greener than before. Gormentin, that little git. He'd wanted to show him freedom... well, this was one blue midget he'd gone and helped reach his potential, all right. And who knew who else the bastard had dragged into this with him. Fitz hoped there weren't any blue midget Hitlers along for the ride. He hunched further into his seat.

The NTV returned to a worried looking reporter standing outside a building - presumably the parliament building all of this was taking place inside, since important looking Goreans were now milling around it looking lost. She said, "Nobody knows quite how this shocking revolution came about, but it seems that this morning these hundred and fifty-nine clones from the Hall of Names abandoned their positions, attacked their caretakers, and left for the capital. Inharo Gormentin the Third, apparently the group's spokesperson, is demanding that the people of Goreal acknowledge the new government, and that the worlds of the Shandeen Empire cede authority to the New Golden Parliament of Goreal."

Fitz groaned and put his head in his hands.

The Doctor coughed. "Fitz," he said uncomfortably. "That blue fellow on the podium looks rather like your Gorean friend who brought you back last night. I don't believe you've told us yet precisely what you did after we left you in the Hall of Names..."

He knew, the bastard, Fitz decided, mired in depression. "Yeah," he mumbled. "Looks kind of like him. Funny coincidence, eh?"

Anji was looking between them, incredulity building on her face. Fitz covered his ears in time for the explosion, and still heard every word. "I don't believe this," she said, furiously. "You went and instigated a coup? On just about the only stable planet we've yet landed on?"

Fitz gulped. "I just... talked to him. Bought him a drink. Wanted to make him feel like he wasn't just a copy," he stammered. "I... I thought I was doing the right thing." He looked at the Doctor, not sure whether he should be expecting a lecture or back-up.

The Doctor was looking bland and expressionless.

"Doctor?" Anji said, dangerously.

"Stability is temporary," the Doctor said philosophically, after a moment. "It's upheaval that brings about change, and advancement."

That would have come off a bit more profound if Anji's thrown cushion hadn't clocked him smack in the face a second later.


They left, of course. The regular authorities, such as they were now, were urging tourists to leave with all due haste in view of the impending planetary civil war. The Doctor proved unusually reluctant to get involved for once, and was close-mouthed and thoughtful all the way back through the confused streets to the TARDIS. Anji, still in a snit, trailed at his back.

Fitz dragged his feet mournfully behind both of them and hoped for something suitably nasty at their next stop. If they got shot at by enough Cybermen, maybe Anji would have forgotten about it all sometime before the next millennium.

END