Title: "Here, There and Everywhere"
Author: 'A Gentleman Of Leisure'.
Summary: In which our friends arrive somewhere out of this world, meet some brand-new friends, and Marvin is still very, very depressed. As usual.
Story Type: Dan Dare/Buffybot/Dr Who/H2G2 crossover. The next part of my series 'The Long Way Round'.
Rating overall: G. (or K+ if you insist)
Spoilers: None, if you've got this far!
Distribution/Archiving: Ask first please.
Disclaimer: No one here belongs to me - I've just borrowed them. All other Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights acknowledged. Thank you.
"Here, There and Everywhere".
A Gentleman Of Leisure (c) 2005.
1. 'Flotsam or Jetsam?'
Meanwhile, somewhere near the planet Mars...
"Look! Colonel Dan, Colonel Dan, sir. Look over there in the distance. I think my eyes must be going back on me!"
"Good Lord, Digby. It looks like a long blue box with a flashing light on one end of it. Whatever is it?"
The pilot studied the object carefully through binoculars as his co-pilot steered their spacecraft towards the object they'd just spotted.
"Perhaps it's a container of rubbish that's been ejected from a space liner," he said thoughtfully. "Or possibly an escape capsule. Surely it's not some sort of spaceship - it would be far too small for that. Whatever it is, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it before."
"I'm afraid I have, sir. I've seen something exactly like. There's an identical one just like it in the Wigan Museum. It's a nineteen forties police box!" said his companion.
Colonel Daniel MacGregor Dare, senior pilot of Earth's Space Fleet, looked in surprise, even astonishment, at his batman, Spaceman Albert Fitzwilliam Digby, who was sitting in the co-pilot's seat of the Colonel's diminutive two-man spacecraft the 'Anastasia'.
"A what? Are you quite sure, Dig?"
"Aye, certain, sir. I got stuck inside it when I were a lad. We were there on a school trip. The door jammed and they had to call a locksmith to get me out! I'll never forget it. I've disliked cupboards ever since."
"Well, what do you suppose it's doing out here?"
"Maybe it's one of the Mekon's little tricks, to confuse us, sir."
2. 'Are We There Yet?'
...said the Buffybot.
"And where is there? As if I really wanted to know," said Marvin with a deep sigh. "Oh God, I'm feeling so... bored... very, very... bored... and deeply depressed."
"Of course you are," said the Doctor cheerfully. "I think it must be in your job-description. Here, have a jelly baby."
"We seem to have stopped travelling," said the Buffybot.
"Wait while I check the scanner," said the Doctor. "We've obviously arrived somewhere."
He busied himself around the central console, muttering various mysterious comments to himself meanwhile about such things as etheric flux, temporal flow, and intermediate-vector-boson density, while he checked the TARDIS's instrumentation and display screens.
"Well," he said eventually, "wherever we are, we're here, wherever here is. Or there, wherever there is. And look, we seem to have company!"
The two robots looked at the scanner's external viewscreen. It was completely black, except for the millions of brilliant stars looking like diamonds scattered on the richest sable velvet, and the small, but perfectly formed little silver spaceship nearby.
"We don't seem to be anywhere in particular," the Buffybot said uncertainly, slightly puzzled, "certainly not on solid ground. We seem to be floating about in the vacuum of space."
"I'd say that would explain the presence of the small silver spaceship over there, then," said Marvin heavily.
"Now, now, Shirley. Don't be sarky," said the Buffybot, patting him encouragingly on the arm. "Have another jelly baby. It'll make you feel better."
"You've been around in space a bit, haven't you?" said the Doctor. "I seem to remember you telling me that. Do you recognise what type of ship it is, or even, possibly, where it's from?"
"'Around in space a bit? Around in space a bit?' I'm twice as old as the bloody Universe, so yes, I have been 'around in space a bit'," said Marvin indignantly. "And the ship is an Earth ship - from Earth - but it was built by the natives of Venus. I know that because the TARDIS's instruments are telling me, even if they aren't telling you, that it's fitted with a special magnetic drive designed by the natives of that planet. Well... by some of them."
"What's that noise?" the Doctor suddenly said, a trifle anxiously.
"There's probably someone outside at the door," said Marvin despondently. "Perhaps they want to come in."
"Oh goody! My turn to do the 'knock-knock' joke then," said the Buffybot brightly.
3. 'Fishing In The Sky'
"Nip outside and slip a cable round the thing will you, Digby, there's a good chap. We're only a few hundred miles from the Mars transfer station - Space Station SFJ2 - we can tow it over there. It's easily small enough to go in through their main airlock, or we can always moor it outside until later, if the Mars to Earth liner is still loading."
"Aye aye, Colonel Dan, sir", the fat spaceman in the co-pilot's seat of the 'Anastasia' said doubtfully, and went aft to the narrow little airlock near the stern of the ship. As he squeezed out of the hatch with some difficulty, he thought to himself that he really must try to keep to the diet he'd been prescribed by that nice young Professor Jocelyn Peabody, or one day he'd get himself stuck in some confined space or other, and that would be the end of him! Especially if, as seemed all too frequent these days, he was desperately escaping from some unforeseen danger he'd got himself into by being Colonel Dare's batman!
He fired his jetpack and gently floated over to the object in question, where he was amazed to find that, when he got really close to it, the thing still looked exactly like the old police box from the Wigan Museum, right down to the very smallest details - the flaking dark blue paint, and the lettering of the notice on the door. He tried the handle, but it was firmly fastened shut, so he wrapped the cable he was carrying round the base of the box and clipped it firmly to itself. He tightened it as much as he could, and then jetted slowly back to the 'Anastasia'.
"Off we go, then," said Dan Dare cheerfully. "We'll have to travel at very low speed to avoid snapping the cable when we accelerate, but it should only take us an hour or so to get to the space station. I wonder what the crew will make of what we've found?"
Spaceman Digby thought gloomily that some of the comments his friends back at Space Fleet Headquarters might make would almost certainly be unrepeatable, but he wisely kept his opinions to himself. It was a hard life being batman for a senior officer who was so damned optimistic, cheerful and self-confident, whatever the circumstances. He never knew from one week to the next what adventure or other he might find himself mixed up in. And whatever happened, it was almost always bound to involve either missed meals, or uncomfortable bunks with little or no sleep, or sudden mortal danger - perhaps even all three. Sometimes you just couldn't win!
4. 'The Punchline'.
At last, after quite a while, there came the sound of cautious knocking on the TARDIS's door. The Buffybot rushed over and opened it a few inches.
"Who's here!" she said enthusiastically.
AN1: 'Dan Dare' 1st featured in the brand-new 'Eagle' boys comic in Great Britain in 1950, and was the creation of the late, great Frank Hampson. The original series ran until the end of 1965, IIRC.
For more information try Google searches for "Dan Dare", "Frank Hampson" & "Eagle", or any combination of these three.
AN2: For a long time I have been wanting to write a Dan Dare story, even though he's really only a comic strip character. It's true the very first of his adventures was converted into a commercial novel, of which I have a copy (possibly of some value among his limited British fanbase), but it suddenly occurred to me that his old-fashioned 'Boys' Own Paper' type of character would fit in well in my comic Buffybot spinoff series "The Long Way Round". It will be easy to take the mickey.
For those still vaguely interested, my intention with "The Long Way Round" is to eventually link it back to S7/22! Figure that one out if you can GRIN>.
A Gentleman of Leisure (aka AGOL)