part 11

Jay McIntyre, Secret Agent. Lillith Skye Rael, Super-Dragon.

     The man got up and glared at them, his sword thick with the thing's 

     "Great," muttered Joel, "First it was the psychic severed head, now 
it's the guy who played too much D and D as a kid."

     The man held his sword on them, warily.  "Who are you?" he 

     "Movie cliche number 14 in a series of eight thousand," said Joel, 
"Everybody speaks your language."

     "Part of my abilites," the Doctor whispered back.

     "Plot convenience theatre," replied Joel.  Ace dug him in the ribs.

     The Maxx advanced on the man, claws at the ready.  "I am the Maxx, 
ruler of this land.  What did you kill in there?  Speak now!"

     The man held his sword warily.  "It was a tentacled horror.  I know 
not what it was."

     "How'd you come 'ere?" Ace asked him.

     "A man in strange robes drew me here, from my own battles with the 

     "Not D and D, but Fantasy General," said Joel.  Ace stepped on his 

     "And what is your name?" asked the Doctor.

     "I am called Sir Kalador," he replied.

     "Would you know this strange man again if you saw him?" asked the 

     "I would indeed.  He must be a powerful wizard." replied Kalador.

     "Describe him!" the Doctor urged.

     Mike was scrambling through the mazes of the Doom video game that 
the Toymaker ahd imported, blasting demons with the various weapons he 
had picked up.

     *You do well.  Better than I expected,* the Toymaker grudgingly 

     "On a mere temp's wages, games like this are one of the few 
luxuries I can afford," replied Mike.

     The Toymaker broke the connection to Mike as Torgo came in.
     "M-master, Mister G-g-g-g-g-one has returned." he yammered.

     The Toymaker smiled as Gone entered on his Isz mount.  
"Underestimated the Doctor, did you?"

     Gone glared back at him.  "They will arive here in a few hours. And 
if that knight you dragged here before survived that beast, he'll 
probably join them."

     "He was my first test to see if I could bring anyone here," the 
Toymaker retorted.

     "I've been bringing people here for some time," Gone shot back.

     "You think me foolish enough to trust you?" Toymaker thundered.

     "I think you wise enough to leave to me those matters in which I 
outmatch you," Gone responded coldly.

     Toymaker almost unleashed his power then, but restrained himself.  
"We'll settle this later," he snarled, and stormed out.

     "Yes," Gone whispered, "After they're dead."  Torgo eyed him 

     Sir Kalador had finished his tale.  The Doctor sat back quietly.

     "You know this wizard he speaks of?" Maxx prompted.

     The Doctor looked at Maxx with his eyes in that grey tinge again, 
but this time it was not intimidating; instead it seemed to show the 
centuries of age and weariness the Doctor had endured.  "I met him many 
many years ago, many lives ago," the Doctor replied.  "He is called the 
Celestial Toymaker.  He turns whole planets into diabolical playgrounds 
for his amusement.  I destroyed his last one, but being immortal, he 
escaped.  It had been years since I faced him.  Almost a thousand years 
in fact.  I thought he might've moved on to another plot, and left me 
be.  But now it appears that it was not so.  He has allied himself with 
Maxx's enemy, Mister Gone, in order to destroy me."

     They all stared at him, stunned.

     "Lives?" asked Sir Kalador.

     "A thousand years?" gasped Joel.

     "Destroyed his world?"  Maxx managed.

     "Professor...when will you tell me who you really are?" Ace asked 

     The Doctor gave Ace a sad smile.  "Remind me to lend you my diary 
sometime," he said.  Turning to the others, he raised his voice.  "I 
don't have time to answer all your questions," he said.  "We must get 
out of this ravine by nightfall."  He started moving on.  After a 
moment, Kalador and Maxx followed.

     Ace stared after him for a moment and then made to follow, but Joel 
put a hand on her arm.  "Look, um..." he began.

     "Yeh?" she asked.

     "I...I've been trapped on a Sattelite for three years before now, 
and I...well, you're the first girl I've seen in the flesh in that time, 
and, well..." he lasped into an embarrased silence.

     She smiled and ruffled Joel's hair.  "Cheers mate, I'm flattered. 
But one of the cliches of *my* life is that any man I fall in love with 
seems to end up dead."  She followed the Doctor.

     Joel blinked and stared into the distance for a moment.  "Well, 
that's a unique rejection, anyway," he whispered, then followed the 

     Mike found his way to the center of the Doom game, and found 
himself confronted with the mightiest demon of them all...