A Fair To Remember

Part One: No Exit to Middleton

Author's Comments: I'd like to thank Scott Simerlin of the LaPorte, Indiana, Wordcrafters

writers' group, and Mark Lungo, for their comments and feedback that helped make this story

what it is.

Read on, and enjoy . . .

"I'm telling you, KP, this has got to be one of Professor Dementors's traps — or maybe,

Duff Killigan's." Ron Stoppable waved an arm at the long corridor he and Kim Possible were

walking along. "Somehow we've been zapped into a video game."

Kim shook her head. "Come on, Ron! What sort of a video game is an endless series

of rooms and corridors?"

"The Maze of Madness!" Ron shifted his voice to match that of an old-time horror-

movie star and continued, "'Once you go into it you may never come out again!'" He went

back to his normal voice. "That's on the box it comes in." Then Ron added, "Or maybe

we've stepped through a hole in space into another dimension."

Kim looked at Ron very skeptically, but the blond youth was gazing around at the walls.

However, she did manage to catch the eye of Rufus. The naked mole rat shook his head and

shrugged in a way that seemed to say, 'Oh, brother!'

Still, Kim had to admit that this was a very weird sitch that they were in. Running from

the bus stop to the entrance of the Middleton Mall they were about to be caught in a sudden

downpour of rain when they'd seen what seemed to be an old-fashioned telephone booth

standing outside a loading dock. They'd ducked into it a split second ahead of the rain, and

found themselves in an eight-sided room with white walls and a six-sided console of some

sort in the middle. And if that wasn't strange enough, there was the realization that the

room was considerably bigger than the inside of any telephone booth.

"Or, we could've been hit by lightning, and this is all a dream," Ron went on.

"If this is a dream, Ron, would we both be dreaming the same thing?" Kim gave a

sigh of annoyance.

"Ah, but if this is my dream, then I'm just dreaming that you and Rufus are here!" Ron

replied.

"And if I'm the one who's dreaming, I'm only dreaming that you're here with Rufus,

right?" Kim said, sarcastically.

"Exactly!"

At his master's comment, Rufus gave a snort of disgust.

"Well, if this is a dream of mine, I'm going to dream up a way out of here," Kim

declared. "Eventually there has to be an end to all these rooms."

As they continued along the corridor, Kim realized that it looked familiar. They had

come this way, right after they had gone through the only door they could find in that white

room, and found themselves in this maze instead of outside at the mall.

"I think we came in this way, Ron."

"I'll take your word for it." Ron shook his head. "I don't remember anything like this. It's

harder to figure than one of Drakken's lairs."

"Well, I remember this corridor," Kim replied. "That first room we were in should be

right through there." She pointed at the ordinary-looking door at the end of the corridor and

then strode toward it.

As they came closer to the door Rufus pricked up his ears and became alert. He had

obviously heard something. Just as they reached the door, Kim and Ron heard it too. A

steady humming and voices could be heard through the door, but the voices were too

indistinct to understand. Opening the door, Kim and Ron stepped back into the room Kim

remembered as the first one they'd been in. The console with the controls and instruments on

it was in the center of the room, and the old-fashioned hat-rack still stood against the wall in

one of the eight-sided room's 'corners.' However, three things in the room were different.

A soft, brown, brimmed hat was hanging on the hat-rack, the central part of the console was

moving up and down with a steady, regular motion, and there was a person in the room.

Standing beside the console and looking at them with some surprise was a tall man

with dark, tightly-curled hair. He wore a dark-reddish coat of some kind, and had a multi-

colored scarf around his neck. Kim noticed that the scarf was so long that even though it was

wound around the man's neck twice, both ends still hung down to the floor. There was also a

metal thing on the floor about the shape and size of a large dog.

"Hello," said Kim. "Could you tell us how we can get out of here? Please and thank

you," she added.

"I wouldn't want to be quoted on that subject, young lady, but I rather think that you

should use the door," the man replied in a friendly, but somewhat irritated, voice. "More to the

point, who are you?"

"This is Ron, that's Rufus, I'm Kim, and we'd like to find our way out of here."

Ron's pet waved a paw at the man and chirped, "Hello!"

The man gave each of them a careful, inquisitive look, and then sighed. "Well, to

complete the introductions, this is K-9," he pointed at the 'metal dog,' "I'm The Doctor, and

I'd like to know just why you're all here in my TARDIS."

"Okay, let's say that Kim doesn't know what a 'tar-diss' is."

At Ron's remark, Kim gave him a look of annoyance, but said nothing.

"It's an acronym, from the words 'Time And Relative Dimensions In Space." The man

spoke in a manner that reminded Kim of Mr. Barkin lecturing to a high school class. "It can

travel to any place in space, and to anywhere in time, alternatively, sequentially or

simultaneously."

"You mean that this phone booth is really a time machine?" Kim tried to keep the

skepticism out of her voice.

"Oh, it's much more than that, young lady," the Doctor continued in his 'lecturing'

mode. "A time machine can only go into the past from its starting point and return. It can't

move around from one planet to another the way a TARDIS does. Or hop down to the sweet

shop for more jelly babies when you need them," he absently added, scowling at the console

gauges for a moment.

"Jelly babies?" Kim didn't know what that meant, either, so she asked before Ron

could.

"Yes. Would you care for one?" The Doctor pulled a small brown paper bag from his

coat pocket and held it out politely. Ron looked in the bag, then reached into it and drew out

a small piece of candy. Kim frowned, then took a piece for herself, and the Doctor tucked

the bag back in a coat pocket while he observed the console closely.

"Well, if there's a door besides that one," Kim pointed over her shoulder, "could you

please show us where it is?"

"Unfortunately we're en route at the moment, but as soon as we reach our destination

I'll be glad to do just that," the Doctor replied.

Ron had moved closer to the console and was gazing at the various switches, dials,

buttons and lights with his usual curiosity. He reached toward one large switch and said,

"Say, what does this one do?"

"Don't touch that!" The Doctor grabbed Ron's wrist in a rather odd way, and the boy

seemed to freeze like a statue.

"Let him go!" Kim instantly dropped into a fighting stance.

The central part of the console stopped moving and the faint humming noise also

stopped. The Doctor released Ron's hand and snapped a switch on a panel.

"There. We've landed, and I've set it on 'safe.'"

Kim had paid no heed but moved to Ron's side instead. He looked around, blinked,

and asked, "So, what does this switch do, anyway?"

"What did you do to Ron just now!" Kim's voice was still in 'mission mode,' even

though her friend and partner seemed to be all right.

"Oh, just a touch of Venusian Karate," the Doctor answered absently. "He'll be fine."

He looked directly at Ron and spoke in a stern voice.

"Now see here, you musn't touch the controls while the TARDIS is moving! You

wouldn't want us to land inside a black hole, would you?"

At the mention of a black hole, Ron flinched, and in spite of her concern, Kim grinned.

"Suppose we get back to my first question, as to why you're all here?" The Doctor gave

each of them a careful gaze. Ron seemed to be all right, so Kim began to explain.

"We were running to get inside before the rain caught us and saw what looked like an

old-time telephone booth," she began. "We ducked into it and found ourselves . . . here."

"The only door we could find was that one," Ron added, pointing behind him. "And it

doesn't lead out."

"Of course it doesn't," the Doctor replied testily. "What use would this control room be

if it only had one door, and that one just led outside? I couldn't get to the rest of the place at

all."

"There seems to be a lot of it," Kim remarked. "I mean, 'the rest of the place,'" she

added.

"Well, that's the nature of my TARDIS — lots of odds and ends: corridors, spare rooms,

closets and such." The Doctor had turned back to the console and was studying the various

dials and switches on it as he spoke. He paused a moment, and then snapped a switch with

an air of satisfaction. "Yes, this time she did it just right."

"Did what?" Ron moved closer and was looking over the console at the same time,

which is why he bumped into the 'metal dog' that was on the floor. It promply backed up a

short distance and spoke in an oddly-pleasant and somewhat mechanical voice.

"Please be careful and watch where you are stepping!"

Rufus promptly ducked back into his personal pocket in Ron's cargo pants.

"I'd really appreciate it if you did not kick K-9," the Doctor remarked absently. "He's a

good friend and very useful to me." He looked up at Ron and added, "He's also a dead shot

with a nose laser."

"Is it — alive?" Kim gazed at the 'metal dog,' and realized that two small antennae on

the top of its head were oscillating, as if they were scanning the room.

"I am not an 'it;' I am K-9," the creature — K-9, Kim mentally corrected herself — firmly

explained.

Rufus had poked his head back out of his usual pocket, looking much like a subject in

the Whack-A-Mole computer game, and was staring at K-9. He gave a squeak of amazement,

whereupon K-9 squeaked in a similar fashion. Rufus squeaked again, K-9 replied, and

within a minute they seemed to be conversing at a brisk pace. Kim noticed that Rufus pointed

at her and then at Ron as he and K-9 were 'talking' to each other. Then the metal creature

shifted back into the first voice it had used.

"Master Ronald, Mistress Kimberly, Rufus has asked me to tell you that he greatly

appreciates all that you do to keep him comfortable and well-fed," K-9 reported. "He also

would appreciate having some Gorgonzolla cheese to eat when you have the chance to

get him some, Master Ronald."

"You can talk to Rufus? And understand him?" Ron took Rufus from his pocket and

knelt beside K-9, looking first at the metal dog, then at his pet, and back at K-9.

"I am capable of all forms of sonic communication used on three hundred and

seventy-five planets. Rufus' speech is 97.4 percent equivalent to the language spoken on

Momerath."

Kim considered asking Rufus — via K-9 — a few questions, but then decided that the

sitch they were in was strange enough already. As she mentally put aside the idea, the

Doctor said, "Let's just take a look around."

He tapped a button on the console and a wall panel opened up. It showed a perfectly

clear, full-color picture of the inside of a building, and suggested a museum of some sort.

"Good! Right in the British Pavilion where nobody will notice a London police-box," he

said, in a very pleased tone of voice.

"The British Pavilion?" Kim asked. "Where is that?"

"Why, the Columbian Exposition of 1893, in Chicago, Illinois, of course," the Doctor

replied. "Where else would it be?"

"You mean we've gone to Chicago, in 1893?" Ron's question was a mixture of dismay

and surprise. "Aw, man. I hate time travel!"

The Doctor frowned at Ron. "If you don't want to travel in time you shouldn't get into

any TARDIS that you happen to find."

"Well, you shouldn't go out and leave the door unlocked!" Kim was feeling annoyed at

the way this man seemed to blame her and Ron for being here.

"Yeah," Ron agreed. "Why was the door unlocked anyway?"

"The Doctor neglected to lock it when we went out."

Kim thought that K-9 had managed to sound smug, even though his voice was the

same as it had been a moment ago.

"Thank you, K-9, I remember that you suggested that I lock the door." There was some

irritation in the Doctor's voice. "But we were only out for five minutes . . . "

"Correction, Master; nine minutes and thirty-six seconds."

". . . and I didn't expect two visitors to get in during the interval," the Doctor finished.

"Why did you land outside the Middleton Mall if you wanted to come to Chicago in the

first place?" Kim asked reasonably.

"An unanticipated anomaly effected the operation of the TARDIS," K-9 replied. "It

materialized unexpectedly in a strange location."

"And we went out to see just when and where she'd landed," the Doctor added. "It's all

very simple, really."

TBC . . .

Author's Disclaimer and Notes:

The Disney Company owns the Kim Possible concept and characters. The British

Broadcasting Corporation owns the Doctor Who concept. The term TARDIS is also copyright

by the BBC. The plot of this story is my responsibility.

This story takes places immediately after a specific "Doctor Who" story seen on

television, and just before the start of another one. Anyone who wants to identify these

stories or decide which Doctor is involved in my tale is free to do so.

Please leave a review if you can. All comments and criticism will be replied to.